When I was 12 years old my family moved to a new neighborhood in town which meant that when I started Junior High School I didn't know anyone.  However, in the first few weeks of school I realized a girl in my PE class had the same last name as my dentist and so I asked her, "Is your Dad a dentist?"  Sure enough, he was my dentist and this was the same girl in all of the family photos on his office wall. That simple question led to a best friendship that shaped my years at Warren Jr. High. Ashley and I easily connected and soon became inseparable.  Nerd alert: We were both diligent students, loved art, were in band and were the school's biggest teacher's pets.  We went above and beyond on every project we worked on and excelled in our classes.  She really encouraged me and helped me a lot in school, which had a chain-reaction in the classes I took in high school and college.  I didn't realize it then, but the friends you choose really do play an important part in your life. In High School we still remained friends, but our paths took us slightly different directions and then after graduation we both got caught up in college life and lost touch for a while.  Recently though, I ran into her sister and told her to have Ashley message me next time she's in town, which she did.  We went to Dewar's and had the best time catching up, as if nothing at all had changed in the last 12 years.  We made plans to go to Yosemite for a day trip (she lives in Fresno, so it's not far from her) the following week and the pictures in this post are from that trip.  She is truly a wonderful, life-long friend and I'm so grateful that her Dad was my dentist because that small question is what started our friendship.  

Like I said, here are pictures from our Yosemite trip.  Despite being from California I had never been before, so I was really excited to finally see this beautiful place for myself, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.  We drove around the valley and stopped whenever we saw something that looked picture worthy.
Here we are at the beginning of our drive.  You can see El Capitan and Half Dome there in the background.

In the distance, down the face of that rock you can barely see Yosemite Falls.
Yosemite Falls were more of a trickle this time of year.  Ashley said she went earlier in the spring and everyone was getting drenched from all of the water spraying down from them.  Wikipedia says that Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America.
The roads around the valley are paved and easy to navigate.  It wasn't overly crowded, but the tourists that were there seemed to all be foreign.  It was strange hearing more non-English than English.  I was asked multiple times, "You take peek-chur for us?" After taking a picture of some older Italian men I asked if they'd take our picture for us as well and one of them said, "Oh yes, anything for such beautiful girls."  haha, I forgot how much I love Europeans and their charming ways.
I think those bikers had the right idea.  What a great place to bike around.  

A very friendly man started chatting up Ashley and I while we were taking pictures of each other and offered to take a picture of us together.  Clearly, we thought he would get the background in with us since that was the whole point, but after looking at the pictures later, nope!  Just us haha.  Oh well, the pictures turned out cute, even if he didn't get any of the background in.

He redeemed himself when he pointed out a nearby deer to us.
In addition to deer, we saw the prettiest birds.
The giant trees were gorgeous.  We did Yosemite in just a day and covered a lot of the park, but I'm anxious to go back again and do some hikes and see even more.  The beauty, lovely weather and fresh air is just unbeatable.

We decided this growth on the tree looked just like an ear.
We had lunch at the hotel in the valley and it was on the expensive side, but very good.

The views are unreal here.   I love the contrast of the beautiful, serene valley next to these enormous, sculpted rocks.
We had pulled over to take pictures of a particularly spectacular view when another visitor came up to us and pointed out a couple of deer nearby.  They were so close and so content to just lay there as we observed them.
This picture with Ashley goes to show just how close we were to them.  We tried to not disturb them, but also couldn't help photographing them like a couple of crazy paparazzi.  

The deer with such an incredible backdrop was picture perfect.

I love the way she did her hair.  
I want to print and frame some of these pictures one day.  I just love California and all of the beautiful scenery found in this great state.

  Ashley washing off her feet.  Somehow her feet got ten times dirtier than mine did even though we were together the entire time.

Look at what a gorgeous perfect reflection  that is!

The water near this bridge was the prettiest shade of green.
I loved Yosemite and can't wait to go back again!

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