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Spring Break: Yosemite, Reno, Cisco Grove

Spring is not always fun. 10 days away from school and classmates seems like a lot. But when you go on a vacation, things can change. Fifth-grader Vansh A. Gupta talks about his recent tryst with Mother Nature and videogames.

Congress Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi
(Above): Bridal Falls at Yosemite National Park. [Siliconeer photo]

What started out and seemed like a family road trip, turned out to be a mixed bag of surprises. While I thought we were going to Yosemite National Park for the Spring Break, we actually covered a lot more with places like Midpines, Yosemite, Reno and Cisco Grove.

We were three families, who traveled together on this four-day vacation.

My little brother (Janam), my parents, our three friends (Sonal, Vansh, and Aarushi) and their families accompanied me.

We started out towards Yosemite (as I was told) and instead of entering Highway 120 from the Bay Area, my dad decided to go to Highway 140, which was a longer route. Why, when gas prices are so high? Well, he had a reason, and the drive was definitely a welcome change from the bumpy roads of Fremont to back roads through small townships on Highway 140.

During the beautiful drive we saw lush and rolling green hills and mountains full of rocks under the layer of green. After almost three hours drive, we arrived at the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort in Midpines, Calif. This was about 30 miles before Yosemite National Park and was going to be our vacation home.

Congress Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi
(Above): Starlite House - Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort. [Siliconeer photo]

As we were a large group, we rented the Starlite House at the resort. The Starlite house is named its name because the night sky is lit up with countless stars right in front of the lodge.

We reached around late afternoon and explored the resort, had lunch at the café and saw the spa. There was a fire pit where we hung around for a while and then got back in the car to head to the Starlite house that was a short drive from the main campus.

The Starlite House had about six rooms including the kitchen and living room. It was nice, but space was little for all of my friends to run around. There was a swing outdoors in the porch. I was a bit scared reading a sign by the lodge that cautioned us about wandering wild animals like bears, snakes, and cougars at night time; and poison oak plants. Very thoughtful! However, that was enough to keep us indoors after dark and I was content with my favorite eats of Indian treats for two days.

It was almost dinnertime as we settled in and we ate tasty Indian veggie kabob wraps which was followed by family time, fun games and dancing till almost midnight.

Congress Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi
(Above): Sonal Agarwal, Janam and Vansh Gupta and Vansh Jain, yes we both share the same name. [Siliconeer photo]

After a good night’s sleep, I woke up to the smell of my favorite snack for breakfast which was baked beans on toast. We then headed out to the Yosemite National Park, stopping occasionally at various points, chit-chatting and taking pictures.

The whole time during the Yosemite drive, we admired the beauty of nature and waterfalls rushing down from the mountains. It was late afternoon and time for a late lunch at a picnic spot in one of Yosemite’s landmark, Sentinel Beach. We ate Pav Bhaji, a spicy snack of bread and veggies. The lunch was followed by a long walk through the park and over the Sentinel Beach bridge.

We continued our trip to Yosemite’s famous Bridal Falls. The closer you walk to the waterfall the harder it sprinkles out water and it felt like a stormy rain in the top. The waterfall was very beautiful surrounded by boulders and plants. The water in the waterfall was so high that it almost touched the sky. After a day outdoors and a long hike we headed back to the vacation lodge and partied till midnight, eating yummy Indian-style Chow Mein and Vegetarian Manchurian Curry.

The next day things looked a bit awkward. I thought we were here for three days, but turns out, everyone was packing. After a breakfast of delicious Indian frankies (wraps), we got in the car and when we crossed the turn to Bay Area, it all made sense to my friends and I that we were going someplace else.

Congress Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi
(Above): Sentinel Beach and Picnic Area at Yosemite National Park where we had our lunch of Indian Pav Bhaji - an Indian dish of dinner rolls and spicy spread of veggies and then to beat the spices, we had homemade fruit cake. [Siliconeer photo]

As we crossed Sacramento, I could figure out, we were heading to Reno on I-80 East. It was time for some wild videogame action, I was thrilled!

We stayed at the Atlantis Resort, our room had a beautiful view of the mountains and downtown Reno. We went straight to the pool and hot tub. The pool was not so exciting except for the waterfall fountain. Next came a fantastic dinner in Café Alfresco. At night before getting too sleepy, I played some games and listened to some calm music.

On the second day in Reno, I had breakfast at Purple Parrot Café. After the breakfast we hit the Videogame Arcade at the Atlantis. I saw the newest video games in Reno. I left the arcade making about 200 tickets, and went to the lounge where hot and cold beverages and snacks were being served. The lounge was on the 25th floor and had glorious views of Reno and light snow-covered mountains. After sitting in the lounge for a long time we went back to the pool where we had more fun than the previous night, and then for dinner at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.

The following day was the time to leave for home. We had our breakfast in the Concierge Tower lounge and headed out. I was still missing something and then it came.

What fun is spring break without the last peek at fresh and white snow?

Congress Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi
(Above): Sentinel Beach and Picnic Area at Yosemite National Park where we had our lunch of Indian Pav Bhaji - an Indian dish of dinner rolls and spicy spread of veggies and then to beat the spices, we had homemade fruit cake. [Siliconeer photo]

On our way back, we went to Boreal, Soda Springs and they were all closed. I was sad that snow would not happen. Then we stopped at a new place — Cisco Grove. I saw a few families playing in the snow and was wondering if we could do it too. But I had no sledge and then another family that was there came to my rescue. They had an extra one and let us use it. It was fun, more like an icing on the cake to end the spring break!

This trip to Midpines, Yosemite, and Reno was fun, especially with friends and great food. This trip was my second best family and friends road trip. I enjoyed each and every moment in the vacation.

Vansh A. Gupta, 10, is a fifth-grade student at Mission San Jose Elementary School in Fremont, Calif.


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