Who says that these need to just be international travel?!
Shintaro, Beth, and Jose spent the night last night. Jose really needs a second key, he lives 30 minutes away, but because he gave his one key to Hermann and Katy, friends who are looking after his cats, he didn’t have a key to sleep in his own bed. Shintaro and Jose shared the couch before Jose moved to the floor, and Bethany took my spare bed. We got up at 7:30 and got rolling pretty early. After a quick stop and Denny’s for a heavy breakfast and a stop at the gas station we caught the 405 North and headed out of town. We planned to split the gas costs between us paying for Jose’s share, so we kept the receipts for later. The drive up was pleasant without much traffic. The valley as we drove to Barstow and Fresno was caked in smog as bad as I ever saw in China, it was depressing. Along the way we saw some sheep, and someone said “look sheep” and Shintaro responded “what?” mishearing his name. Needless to say we had a lot of fun calling Shintaro “Sheep” from that point on! Jose also got some grief for not having a spare key and sleeping in his own bed, but that’s part of how our friendship works, we give each other grief but it’s all in fun and no one ever gets their feelings hurt.
Stopping in a small town outside the park called Oakdale, we filled up on gas, had lunch at a Round Table, and filled up on food for the cabin. We decided to split the food bill down the middle; we didn’t know Shintaro had already bought a lot of his meal’s food. Shintaro was clearly agitated but wouldn’t really say why, but it eventually came out.
We arrived earlier than we expected, and checked into our cute little cabin, if you can call it that. The place is tacky and cute, filled with bear figures, bear stuffed animals, and bear this and that. It’s called Cozy Bear Cottages. The cottage though is within the park grounds and in the closest community, Yosemite West, to the Yosemite Valley without actually being in the Yosemite Valley (and costing a ton). Yea that was a whole lot of “Yosemite” for one sentence. The next closest community is Wawona, a good 30 minutes more down the road. And Yosemite West is still 30 minutes from the valley itself! The Cabin has a master bedroom which Jose got, a room with a double and a twin Bethany and I shared and Shintaro on the couch. We had talked about this arrangement before booking because otherwise we would be in Wawona or WAY out of our price range. Shintaro though was already feeling jipped because of the food, and sulked. There was a logic to it though! Jose was driving and we were using his car, Beth is only friends with me so it seemed appropriate we roomed together (I also arranged and financed the trip), so that left Shintaro with the couch bed.
Jose and I decided we were missing a few items and headed back to Wawona for some items at the general store. On the ride I agonized a bit about the Shintaro situation, he want Jose who is recovering from a cold and just drove 6 hours to sleep on the couch, and I wasn’t sure how to smooth things over. On the way back it occurred to me I could add the cost of his items to the total that gets split, and subtract his cost from what he owes, this way it’s like he bought it at the store with everyone else. I told Shintaro this and things got better.
We had decided before the trip that since there were four of us and four nights we would each cook one night each. Shintaro decided to go first and made a Miso Soup I actually liked and a teriyaki pork belly. I never expected to like the food, but it was quite tasty.