A quick trip to the Golden State

Hey guys! I know I’ve been severely slacking on jumping on here, but if you saw our calendar you would know why! I’m hoping to become more consistent (I think I may say this a little too often) in my posts and keeping you all updated on this wild summer of ours.

Ben has been gone for going on his third week and thankfully I was able to visit this past weekend for a few days. You guys, California is so beautiful. Since we were limited on time we really tried to cram in every popular tourist attraction that we wanted to see.

First destination, Yosemite National Park. The drive started off kind of odd as we passed through corn fields and farmland and for a moment we thought we were back in Indiana. Then we got to one of the many national forests that surrounds the park. As beautiful as it began, we soon started to see many large areas full of black trunks and spindled trees that were burnt in a fire. Sad, but truly eye opening to the damage that just a small wildfire can do. After a long drive and bad traffic we were both more than ready to make it to the village we would call our home for the night.

The entrance to the park quickly woke us up as we winded around a turn into a amazing view of the most grand valley surrounded by giant rocky boulders and mountains. I think we were both pretty much in awe of the beauty. We drove down turn after turn until we made it into the valley. Amazing views passed us left and right as we pulled into a village packed with people and canvas tents. We checked in and listened to warnings of the popular black bear who seems to make an appearance almost every night into the village, searching for anything and everything with a scent. It was cozy in every way possible. The mountains that surrounded us, the clear sky that displayed a million stars, the pizza place that was always busy and the tent that felt safe, yet gave us a wild sense of adventure. We camped beneath the mountains and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

The next day we woke up and made our way to fill our tummy’s with a big breakfast, since a big hike was planned for the day. The heat quickly rose as we began our trek to the upper Yosemite falls. A 7.6 mile hike with a 2,600 elevation gain, yeah I was totally oblivious to the challenge of this hike. I almost gave up about five times, but luckily I have an adventurous husband who likes to push me.

After about 3 hours, we made it to the top. It was one of the most amazing views. It’s one of the best views of Yosemite valley, Yosemite falls, and Half dome all in one panoramic view. At the very top there is an area where the falls begin that is the most perfect area to swim. It’s like swimming on the top of the world.

The hike was all we got to fit in and honestly neither of us would have had energy to do anything else that day besides drive back to our hotel in Fairfield. It was exhausting, but so worth it.

Next stop, San Francisco. Ben had already visited the city and a few popular spots around it before I arrived, so it was nice to have a personal tour guide who knew the best spots to fit in a day trip. Before we entered the city we made a quick stop at Rodeo Beach. Salty air and a chilly breeze made for the perfect beach to walk or just watch some surfers catching waves. It was my favorite beach. Pebbles between my toes, sandals in my hands and wearing a light jacket as the breeze blew my hair, I felt like I was living in a summer romance novel as a walked along side my best friend and talked about the possibility of calling California our home. After that we stopped at the iconic lookout point for the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a clear day, which made for beautiful pictures and as we walked back to our car a guy got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. Well done dude, well done.

We spent the next couple of hours walking around San Francisco. We spent most of our time in the Wharf area and on Pier 39.  I had some of the best clam chowder and Ben chowed on some fish and chips. I wore new sandals and made the mistake of not breaking them in beforehand, so after a few hours on our feet I was more than ready to hop in the car and hit some outlets on our way back to the hotel. San Francisco is a very diverse and interesting city, nothing like I pictured or could have imagined.

On Sunday, Ben finished his two weeks on base and had to move to Sacramento for his last two weeks at UC Davis. So we packed our bags and headed an hour to the city that we could call our home in 11 months. I didn’t get much time there so I didn’t get a full glimpse, but I’m excited for Ben to dive in and tell me all about it. He worked on Monday until 4:30, then we headed to Napa Valley for one last dinner together at Oxbow market. We walked around the market filled with wine, sushi, oysters and tacos. Grabbing a little of everything and trying to experience all we could squeeze in our last few hours together.

Our time together quickly passed and before we knew it Ben was driving me back into San Francisco to the airport. It was a hard drive. The sun was setting and the bay looked gorgeous at the sun faded into an orange blur behind the Golden Gate Bridge. It was beautiful, but tears rolled down my cheek because I soon had to say goodbye once again to Ben and return to Indiana to an empty home and a life that only felt normal with him in it.

This summer and being away from Ben has been really hard, but my trip to California was a dream. Thank you Ben for being my tour guide, for filling our few days together with laughter to last a lifetime, memories to hold onto forever and enough love to get me through these next four weeks until I visit you again.

That was our 4 day California adventure in a nutshell and as I rode along the stars last night on my red eye, I began counting down the days until our Texas adventure begins.



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