Last year, I got the chance to start the new year with a road trip to Grand Canyon! It was my first time hiking in the snow and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends to adventure with!
I was fortunate enough to travel again in the start of this new year! I went to Yosemite for the second time in the span of 9 months. Though my first time to Yosemite was in the spring, I was more curious to experience Yosemite in the winter with the snow!
On our way from SoCal to Yosemite, we made our first stop at Benaddiction in Fresno. We were pretty hungry after driving so many miles and found a place to eat via Yelp. It’s a small restaurant that can probably fit a max of 30 people. Due to the small capacity of the restaurant, the wait for us to be seated took some time. We saw hangry customers leave after waiting several minutes. If you plan to check out Benaddiction, keep in mind that it’s a small restaurant, it gets busy, and they close at 3PM!
Benaddiction is known for their breakfast and brunch entrees. I ended up getting a burger because it was past lunch time by the time we got seated and I wasn’t feeling breakfast. The burger was packed with a huge slice of tomato and shredded lettuce. The burger wasn’t anything that special as I expected but it did the job filling me up since I was hungry!
After lunch, we kept driving north until we got to our AirBnB place. We had a hard time finding our place since the street signs were hidden and it was getting dark too. We circled around the neighborhood for quite a long time and somehow we found it after lucking out on a turn!
Note to future self: Check-in at AirBnB place before the sun sets so it’s easy to find especially in rural areas where they like to hide street signs and house numbers.
Once we got to our AirBnB place, we chilled for a bit and then prepped for dinner. We had some fancy lasagna from Costco with a side of corn and garlic bread. We raised our glasses with Martinelli’s Apple Cider and made a toast for our trip! Can’t go wrong with that! While we were eating, we played some classical music in the background and ate with our pinky’s up. We fancy.
We went for a walk in the dark after dinner. Literally, it was pitch black outside. I had to hold onto some hoodies to make sure I was walking in the right direction. I may or may not be afraid of the dark. Don’t judge!
It was beautiful outside seeing some stars but it was also scary. I wasn’t sure if some animal was going to pop out of nowhere. It was just the five of us walking down a lonely road.
We ended first day with an episode of The Man in the High Castle. It was my first time ever hearing about it but I surprisingly enjoyed it. I think everyone else knocked out except me and maybe one or two others. I can’t remember who knocked out because I was really into the show.
The next day, we packed our lunches in the morning and headed out officially to Yosemite National Park!
We actually had a rough start to Yosemite. We entered the park and we were required to put chains on. We purchased some chains from Walmart earlier and that was not a good idea.
I repeat it was not a good idea.
Probably for a good hour, we struggled with them chains. They were straight up real chains with links on them.
First, we had a hard time putting them on in the cold, very cold weather. Once we got them on, we were driving around and something was not right. We heard some clunking noises. As we were driving, we passed by a bunch of Asian tourists standing outside. They were watching us drive by and the look on their faces was priceless. They looked concerned for us. Oh, you could tell they were deeply concerned.
We pulled over and thought we knew where the clunky noise was coming from so we tightened up the chains. Then we started driving again but heard the noise again! We pulled over for two or three more times to tighten things up. We were pretty confident for the first few times that we figured out where the noise was coming from but at some point, we were like, “Let’s be safe and just go back and buy new chains from that guy.”
We backtracked and bought chains from the guy on the side of the road. That was probably the best idea ever. Those chains were thin, easy to put on, and definitely quiet. And no tourist looked at us weird.
I think we spent two hours in total trying to figure out our chain issue. BUT! It was great teamwork and we all learned something new that morning. Too bad we don’t have a picture of us with the crazy chains. Maybe some moments aren’t meant to be captured.
Ok, now onto the fun stuff! We didn’t hike any strenuous trails since they were all closed due to the weather. We made multiple stops within the park and took a brisk walk to see some beautiful sites!
Major PC to Kevin! Thanks for taking this awesome shot!
We ended up not being able to hike up the whole trail to Vernal Fall. It was blocked off midpoint because of the snow. It was still nice being able to hike up halfway and have our lunches up there with the drizzle.
We were able to make a lot of stops within one day and experience the beauty of Yosemite with the snow. There were moments when it was snowing and felt so magical! Going to Yosemite during the winter is a MUST! It’s a complete whole different experience compared to any other season.
I heard that you’re able to ice skate somewhere outside in Yosemite. If the opportunity comes around again to go to Yosemite during the winter, I hope to ice skate then!
The trip was short and sweet! I’m thankful that we played in the snow and that no car was damaged from the chains! Yay, us!