I have a pretty awesome life.  At least, I think so.  I am in good health, I am happy with a sweet husband who cares for me, I have two kitties who add tremendous joy to my life, and I have an amazingly supportive family who would stand behind me no matter what I chose for myself.  I have a warm roof in a city I love, I can walk along a beautiful waterfront to a job I enjoy, working with some of the smartest people I know.  I feel successful and financially sound, and I have the freedom to explore my creative hobbies in various parts of the globe.

I recently returned from one such opportunity.  A friend wanted to visit a national park in the wintertime, so he organized a photo trip to Yosemite.  What a blast!

I had never been to Yosemite before, so I leapt at the chance.  It’s wintertime, so half of the park is closed, and most hiking trails are buried in snow, but we set out more for pictures than exploration, and to that end, we were successful.

This is a park full of magesty and grace, proud monuments inspiring Ansel Adams and stealing the breath of tourists and photographers alike.  It was a real treat to be in a car surrounded by like-minded individuals; when we first entered the park, everyone was awed and anxious to shoot.  Around each new corner we were rolling down windows to catch snaps of the passing landscape.  “Wow!  This scenery is gorgeo-WHOA!  Check out that waterfall!  Ooh!  Stop the car!  These trees are amazing!”  I felt so at home among these friends.  I wish we had video of this spectacle.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

We didn’t hike, and we never used the snowshoes we brought with us.  But we saw sunsets creeping up the face of Half Dome, and we saw sunrises melting down the face of El Capitan.  We caught rainbows in Yosemite Falls, stars from Tunnel View, and the moonscape from Bridalveil Falls.  We chased the sun and got excited for a nonexistent lake.

It was a crazy trip, we got less sleep than we should have, and we took more photos than we’ll ever share.  So much happened in those brief three days, and I would love to dive into each anecdote behind these pictures, but I’ll save those for a later post.

I am fortunate that I have these opportunities and that I have the means to realize them.  Does that mean that I have the greatest life in the world?  While others may disagree, I think I do, because I am truly and genuinely happy – how many can claim that?  I might not be “living the dream” of traveling the globe with my world-famous photography, but I wake up excited for each new day and what it might bring.  The future holds endless possibilities, and I can’t wait to explore them all.  And if I can share just a piece of that with you, dear reader, perhaps I can lend some happiness and help you toward having the greatest life in the world as well.

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