Wednesday, December 19, 2007

White Christmas in Yosemite


“White Christmas...well, our Christmas was never really white, but we would go to the snow in Yosemite during the winter times so that we could experience snow. California doesn't really have a lot of snow except when you go up to the mountains.”

This is how Lalaine Durand recounted details of her first snow experience. She was like 8 or 9 when she went hiking in Yosemite for the first time. She vividly reminisce details of such moment when she and the rest of her family would camp out and have a taste of western holidays.

Like any beginner, they had to learn things the hard way the first time. With nothing but excitement building within their young hearts, they suit up jeans with sweats underneath, seemingly clueless of the biting cold they would feel afterwards. They were like tiny soldiers marching onto the hill with huge orange sleds as firearms; trailing for a hike that is so perfect like one sledding paradise. All the kids would hike up the hill and slide down as the adults are waiting to catch them at the bottom. “We were all sliding everywhere and were going crazy.” She recalls further.

The snow climbing onto their snow shoes, the feel of their fingers numbed by cold and with seeping water wetting their denims and all are like treasures unraveled in the eyes of 8-year old Lalaine that time. They would simply ignore everything as they put all cares behind; she along with the other kids would continue running up and down as if there’s no time left for everyone. “Your fingers felt like they were about to come off, but it was our first time in the snow, so at the time you don’t care.”

Memories like these could have happened a long time ago yet when so many great things come out of it; one cannot help but be glad of thinking youth over and over.

For Lalaine, her snow experience truly meant something. She could never forget that after the sledding, changing their clothes would mean an end trip to wonderland. All because, they could feel the cold biting into their skin, with their pants all wet that such made the difference. She even described the feeling as if there were tiny pins pricking and all they wanted was to dry up and change. But for these young ladies and lads, they knew it was a fitting beginning for a much greater escapade.

Getting back to the campsite was a lasting memory itself. According to Lalaine, there were around 4 families camping out that night. They sat and gathered circling the campfire and enjoy roasted marshmallows, even the latter has made her think of how she wanted them to be done- toasting her mallows well enough so that is it chewy in the outside and soft and gooey in the inside.

While the kids enjoy roasting over the fire, parents would tell them scary stories.

“This was the best part of all. Everyone was together and you had no choice but to be together. There was nowhere to go. No for the kids, no mahjongg or card games for the parents because it was too cold, nothing. Just being together, it was so much fun. It makes me nostalgic just reminiscing on those times.”

Lalaine is a mother herself just now as she had her first child. For certain, it won’t be long before her precious princess would take a glimpse of Yosemite and feel her white Christmas.

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