Memorable Vacations

Those moments where things do not go as planned while on vacation. Yes, those. Yet, they turn out to be ahhh-mazing and the most memorable of the trip.

This happened for me at Yosemite National Park years back. Some call those a happy accident. Sometimes you just cannot plan these things. And that is what makes them so special.

We were coming back from a star gazing event on the Valley Floor that we seemed to miss or could not find. We were bummed and everyone was feeling hungry and grumpy. No campfire smores or shooting stars. Sad face.

Remembering back, the moment was not heart racing, like jumping out of an airplane type of excitement. It was more subtle and took me by surprise. While we waited for the shuttle bus to arrive, we all had a chance to get quiet and gaze up at El Capitan. Realistically, I think we were all slightly annoyed. But then something changed while sitting there.

What appears to be a phenomenal wall of granite during the day has an enchanting transformation as the sun sets. The colors from the dimming fiery orange ball in the sky blazed. Until slowly it faded and a reddish-purplish glow cast like a thin veil covering the textured surface.

Minute-by-minute the brilliant rock giant grew slightly darker. Fading and its rough edges smoothing out, like a shadow against the deep purple heaven. The forest trees appeared to draw themselves closer as if they had come to take El Capitan and store it away until tomorrow.

I began to struggle to make out its shape. I held on for as long as I could, I was absorbed and felt like a friend was departing after a sweet and memorable visit. A rush of emotions filled up on chest and I did not want to leave, my mind rebelled. My gaze fixated on the place where it was as I boarded the bus.

I would like to think it was serendipity that placed us in the path to witness the the beauty I saw. Something  that can never be experienced in our pictures. The moment was ours and it plays over and over in my mind’s eye when I travel back to that bus bench. The moment I sat among and shared space with the rock gods of the Yosemite Valley. I must go back.

What is your favorite memorable moment from a vacation?

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