At my university, Spring Break is no joke. I can't even begin to tell you how many people I know went out of the United States for our week off. It would actually be quicker to list the people who stayed. It's crazy! There's absolutely nothing wrong with traveling to other places, believe me I'm a HUGE believer in expanding horizons both metaphorically and literally, but if you're anything like me, watching all your friends leave to magical destinations leaves you feeling a bit entitled. Why was I missing out? I deserve to go somewhere. This week, I've said out loud that it's not fair. Not fair that I have no crazy amazing plans for a week in Thailand or London or Mexico or honestly anywhere. Not fair that I couldn't afford a cute Airbnb in the jungle or even in Portland. Not fair that it was raining everywhere I had in mind. With nothing planned and spring break underway, I stayed in California. Poor poor me, right?
Then I started thinking about it. I live in CALIFORNIA. In high school, I would have been thrilled to hop on a flight to Malibu, California for Spring Break. I would have died to road trip up to Northern California. Honestly, I live in the destination. Suddenly, I felt better about my lack of plans, and vowed to hit the beach daily to relax. I'll be honest, seeing travel photos on social media still stung a little bit. I still teemed with jealousy when I thought about other people's plans. I wanted to do something that felt like a spring break, but I had nothing. I knew I wanted to go camping at Yosemite, but the only time we could go was Saturday morning, and it seemed like a waste to drive all that way just to turn around and drive home the next day. However, Friday night, we finalized the plans. We just packed up and left at midnight. Sleepy eyed and sunburned we drove and drove (I slept mostly, sorry guys) until we arrived in the valley.
For those of you who know me, you know how much I love Yosemite National Park. It is my happy place. I have an entire collection of enamelware just waiting for the opportunity to escape the box and hold some fresh campfire coffee. Along with that, I have pretty much all the buffalo plaid my closet will hold, and a sherpa jacket that has been around the globe, so you know I was thriving when we pulled up and there was snow on the ground.
As I looked at Yosemite Falls, I tried finding a speck of falling water and watching it hit the bottom. There is such an awesome wonder about that place, and I found myself totally at peace. Our spontaneity suddenly filled me with such a joy and gratitude. I hadn't blown all my money and I had still made it. I achieved the high I was looking for; and you know why? Because we went. We just did it. There was no time for comparison because we were filling our precious time with doing and planning our own small adventure. It felt good guys. It's the type of happiness that nothing can take from you, which was good because a blizzard had us leaving that night instead of the next morning. We spent not even 24 hours in Yosemite National Park, but I felt so alive as we pulled back in the driveway at 1 a.m.. I'm so thankful for people that are willing to go and do and even leave the elaborate plans at home. Thanks to them, I was able to enjoy the simplicity of going with the flow this week, and instead of entitled, I'm feeling pretty dang lucky.
By the way, I have this camping dinner tradition, and I wanted to share the recipe for anyone who wants a fun easy campfire meal!
Here's what you'll need for 3-5 people:
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1 white onion
- 3-5 carrots
- 2 potatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- aluminum foil
- 1 box of dry onion soup mix
- salt & pepper
Here's how ya make it:
Make 2 sheets of foil about the size of letter paper for each person.
Next, peel and cut the ingredients (except the beef) into small cubes and place enough for each person on 1/2 of the sheets of foil you have cut.
Form little patties with the beef and place those on each pile of veggies.
Sprinkle some onion soup on each pile, the more the better honestly. Salt and pepper to taste.
Take the remaining foil sheets and place over the piles. Pinch/fold/roll the edges together to make a little foil pouch.
Place on the fire, and try to cook as evenly as possible! Check periodically until the meat is no longer pink. Enjoy!