California Spring Break

I never went on a crazy Spring Break. Never went to Cabo, or Havasu, or wherever else west coast college kids go.

But I did go on this trip, Spring Break of my Junior year. It wasn’t crazy, but it was unique and random and tons of fun!

DAY 1 – We (myself and seven friends) drove from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles and crashed at my parent’s place.

DAY 2 – Disneyland! My roommate was in a club that went to Disneyland every Spring Break, so we decided to copy them. Disneyland is tons of fun, and with eight college kids (plus my roommate and his friends roaming about), well, lets just say it’s even more fun. Here are some pics (appropriate ones of course, and no pics of my friends, for anonymity’s sake):

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First thing we saw when we entered the park. There’re so many reasons to like Disneyland; a big one is that they do things like this

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Mountain climbers climbing the Matterhorn. Did you know: inside the Matterhorn, above the bobsled ride, is a basketball court. It was built to help climbers pass the time when inclement delayed their trip to the top.

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Don’t apply to be a Disneyland mannequin. If you get the job they’ll cut your head off!

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The Disneyland Castle, lit beautifully at night.

DAY 3 – California Adventures! Another reason we did this Disneyland trip was because Disney had a promotion at the time: buy entry to one park, get another day at the second park free! The deal only applied to Southern California residents, but San Luis Obispo is considered Southern California (it’s the northernmost county in Southern California) so we all got the deal.

I actually don’t have any non-friend pictures from California Adventures. But I do have some from an old trip; hopefully these will suffice.

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California Adventures is fun and beautiful but it wasn’t doing too well around the time we visited (hence the two-for-one park passes). I think it is doing better now.

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This is the most fun Ferris Wheel I’ve ever been on. The gondolas aren’t bolted in, instead they roll on tracks as the Ferris Wheel turns. And when they roll away from the center, you feel like you’re going to be launched of the wheel and into the sky! The whole thing is scary and thrilling and tons of fun!

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Another great ride in the park. This roller coaster is smooth and fun and it’s actually relaxing. A thrilling Ferris Wheel and a relaxing roller coaster? You got it backwards, Disney!

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My final favorite ride in the park. I’ve never screamed on a ride as much as I did on this one. I didn’t think you could make an up-and-down elevator ride scary, but this one did it! The theming on this ride is also amazing.

DAYS 3-5 – No more Disneyland, no more Disneyland resort. It’s back up to SLO for the middle of Spring Break.

DAY 6 – Part two of California Spring Break: a road trip to Yosemite. Who goes to Disneyland and Yosemite in the same Spring Break? Me and my friends (two of them at least), that’s who!

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One of my favorite things about roadtrips are the random things you see on the road. This one took the cake this trip.

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The creek alongside our Yosemite campground. This is just a taste of what is to come.

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Our campsite our first night. We were the only ones in the entire campground.

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Ahhh, college…

DAY 7 – Today we went to Yosemite Valley, the most spectacular part of Yosemite National Park.

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Half Dome in the distance. Yosemite Valley, here we come!

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Tunnel view, the most famous view in Yosemite and one of the most famous views in the entire world. In this picture you can see (from left to right): El Capitan, Half Dome, North Dome, Three Sisters, and Bridalveil Falls.

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Bridalveil Falls up close

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Three sisters behind the Merced River. Also, where’d the snow go?

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There’s the snow. It was pretty much everywhere, covering everything. It was very beautiful.

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We tried hiking to the top of Yosemite Falls, but the trail got snowed in a third of the way up.

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We did hike high enough to get this view of Lower Yosemite Falls.

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Upper Yosemite Falls. There’s also a Middle Falls, and the combined height of all three is 2,425 feet, making Yosemite Falls one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.

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Lower Yosemite Falls, with Upper Yosemite Falls just visible above it. I couldn’t get a better angle because (as you can see from this picture) it started raining. And it didn’t take long before it became a downpour.

As I noted in the above picture, halfway through our first day in Yosemite, a downpour occurred. We went to the Visitor Center but they didn’t give us much advice, informing us that it was scheduled to rain for several days and not only that, it was also raining all throughout the Sierra Nevadas. The only nature destination they could think of that was worth going to, (relatively) nearby, and also having nice weather was Big Sur. So that’s where we went.

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There was so much rain that waterfalls started forming all over the park. Not only that, but Yosemite Falls was gushing like I’ve never seen. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get pictures of it because the downpour was too intense; if we had tried our cameras would’ve gotten ruined (something I forgot on my Argentina trip), our pictures would’ve been terrible, and we also would’ve gotten drenched. The above picture was taken on our way out of the park, where the rain was less intense.

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We left Yosemite too late to make it to Big Sur the same day, so when the sun started setting we stopped and found a place to camp. We actually found this house just off the main road; it was abandoned and awesome and also where we spent the night.

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“The South will rise again.” Uhhh…

DAY 8 – We woke up early and continued to Big Sur, arriving during sunrise.

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The Pacific Ocean. We made it!

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We also made it early enough to watch the sun rise over the mountains. It was incredible.

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We wanted to drive north until we reached Big Sur’s most famous bridge. We didn’t know its name and so when we reached this bridge, we thought we’d found it. (Big Sur’s actual most famous bridge, Bixby Creek Bridge, is much grander. I discovered this on a subsequent trip).

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All of Big Sur looks like this, and Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH) runs right alongside it. This section of PCH is widely considered to be the greatest drive in the world.

DAY 9 – It’s Sunday now, the end of Spring Break. But we still had one journey left: driving down south, back to our college in San Luis Obispo. So that’s where we went. We made it just in time for school to begin the following day.

And that’s it! My craziest Spring Break! Not MTV or Spring Breakers crazy, but it was still a great trip.

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A map of our trip. 9 days, 1,215 miles, 2 theme parks, 3 campsites, 1 national park, 4 state parks (all in Big Sur), 2 waterfalls (plus several more caused by the rain), 1 ocean, and 2 parents visited. If you’re wondering why we didn’t enter Big Sur from the north, honestly, I don’t know. All I can say is we didn’t plan that portion of our trip, and this also was before GPS. 

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