California Dreamin'-A 14 Day Odyssey to San Fran,Yosemite & DL! 8/2013 COMPLETE!1/9!!

Discussion in 'DVC Trip Reports' started by podsnel, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Ha! I have been know to indulge in the odd Marg ;)
     
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  3. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    So my computer just deleted an entire update...GRRRRRRR.... to begin again....

    We were up at a decent hour, largely due to our EXTREME excitement about going to YOSEMITE! First, a quick brekkie downstairs-

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    Which was fine and fast, but a tad disappointing considering how creative the food had been the night before. But... there would be other breakfasts to NOT disappoint on this trip, so, no worries! One last look around...

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    A chunk of the original wall they discovered while restoring the place-

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    I loved this- it was behind the front desk-

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    On the way into the park, we realized that we should probably get gas (it is not sold in the park) and I also wanted to double check our dinner reservation at the Ahwahnee. WHICH...I would need a (GASP!) payphone for. We stopped-

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    I didn't realize forest roaming cows were a part of the deal-

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    Yippee! We were entering at the Big Oak Flat entrance.

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    Being our first trip to Yosemite, we really had no idea what to expect- I mean, we knew it was going to be beautiful. But let me just say, there is NO way to be prepared for the glorious and majestic jaw-dropping beauty of Yosemite. There is a very good reason why John Muir chose to live there, and why Ansel Adams chose to take sooooo many photos there. It is mind-blowing.

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    Even with sun glare and smoke from the fire. Ultimately, we were heading to the Valley floor, to check in at the Ahwahnee and leave our car- we would use the free park shuttle for transportation. But going there, there were alot of places to stop on the way....

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    Even the boys put away the phone games to look around- it was spectacular!

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    We were the only people here, it was silent and beautifully peaceful-

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    A little further down the road, and we were treated to our first BIG site- El Capitan, a 3000 foot, 100 million year old little piece of rock, mostly granite.

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    Cont'd next post-
     
  4. mckryan

    mckryan DIS Veteran

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    Yosemite = gorgeous!!
     
  5. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    There were busloads of tourists here.

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    But the deer did not seem to mind-

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    Just across the street was the short trail to Bridal Veil Fall-

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    So we went to have a look-

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    All the rocks- the small ones, the big ones, the giant ones- all dropped off by a glacier a million years before-

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    At the fall, the climbers did their most favorite thing...

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    So, the way these falls around here work...a few always have flow- even if it's not much, like this one, all the time. The water flows strongest in the spring, then decreases throughout the summer. So in mid-August, we were feeling pretty lucky to see any kind of a waterfall at all, because by then so many have already dried up.

    I wonder if they will ever come back?

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    Finally!

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    My happy boy-

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    Back through the forest-

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    A little further down the road, we pulled off to explore some more-

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    There was no one here either- just us

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    And the friendly ducks who swam over to welcome us-

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    Nature is GOOD!

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    Off to upload more pics! See ya soon!
     
  6. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Back to the car, toes in the FREEEEEEEZZZZZING cold water on the way...

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    We made one more stop before the hotel- that was at Cook's Meadow. I mentioned this was a great place for a bike ride and that we could do that later- Timmy then informed me that he would NOT bike ride AGAIN.

    I sure hope that changes in our future!!

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    I mean, it's just ridiculous, right? How gorgeous it is?

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    Yep- I try to stop them, but there's no point.

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    Bunch of freakin monkeys-

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    I mean seriously.

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    Next we checked in at The Ahwahnee Hotel. We would have 2 nights here...2 VERY EXPENSIVE nights. But here's the thing- the Ahwahnee is a National Landmark. It is considered the flagship of all National Park Hotels. It is in a prime and beautiful location in Yosemite Valley, steps away from everything (or most things) a first time visitor wants to experience. And...it has air conditioning. Sorry, but when it's 100 degrees in the Valley in August- I need me some AC. So...we sucked it up, and paid the sizeable tab to stay in one of our country's most special and historic places.

    Yes, it is old. But we all thought it was awesome. I even took a tour of it the second day just to learn about it. Some pics from check in, before we went outside on the bar patio for lunch-

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    The bar area does not take reservations, it is first come, first served. We waited maybe 10 minutes for a table outside-

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    Just awful here, isn't it?

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    I enjoyed lunch- a Chicken Waldorf Salad Croissant with Cashews, green apples, raisins, red onions and fruit salad, $16.50

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    Pods had Hot Pastrami and Swiss on a Brioche roll with sweet and sour onion relish and whole grain mustard $16.50

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    Tyler had Roast Beef an cheddar cheese on whole wheat $16.50

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    Young Tim had a hot diggity dog off the kids menu for $7

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    Best lunch ever? Hardly- but it was fine. And the view WAS one of the best ever, so it's all good!

    Cont'd next post

     
  7. scottny

    scottny <font color=blue>You better have crackers<br><font

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    I love the cash register.

    The pics look beautiful. I should try to go one day.

    The lodge looks really nice.
     
  8. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Another walk around,

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    And we hopped on the shuttle to stop at the Museum. They had this great map and the ranger was there with a pointer showing people exactly where to go-

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    Lots to learn here (or not- you can see Tyler showing off exactly how much my kids do not care for museums)

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    Timmy meeting John Muir again0

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    Seems john Muir is a lot shorter in Yosemite than he is in Muir Woods. They definitely preferred outside the museum to inside the museum. Can't blame them-

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    Half Dome is really something, too! This guy was just walking around Yosemite Village...

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    We decided to go on another easy hike- truth be told, we were being very mellow today because tomorrow we were planning to do the Mist trail, and that would be a lot more strenuous. So we took the walk to Mirror Lake- the August, dried up version, of course...not really a lake and certainly not a mirror at this time of year.

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    Of course...

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    Monkey boy-

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    Eventually, you come out here-

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    And then the sky looks like this and you hear thunder,

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    And decide Oh Crap, we'd better go back because I do NOT want to get stuck out here in a thunder storm...

    But then you pass by this-

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    And if you were like us, you would think this was some sacred thing for the Native American tribe in the area- and if you thought that, you would be WRONG, it is in fact just the opposite, something completely undesireable that should be knocked down (as I learned from a lovely woman the next day who was weaving things in the village). The cairns are meant to mark hiking trails- all together like this, they are just creepy.

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    This hike is right behind the hotel, so we were back in time for tea and cookies. THAT and our incredible dining experience in the Ahwahnee Dining Room when I come back again!


     
  9. melk

    melk <font color=green>DIS Veteran<br><font color=magen

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    Your pictures are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. This is my dream trip, thanks for sharing.
     
  10. Beth D

    Beth D DIS Veteran

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    Great pics! With lunch prices like that, I can't imagine how much the hotel room actually was!:crazy2:

    Glad you're back!
     
  11. JKSWonder

    JKSWonder Twelve plus trips and counting

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    Yosemite....it looks like heaven.
     
  12. ejud

    ejud DIS Veteran

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    When I sat on that rock in '75, I was surrounded by lake.

    And woke in my sleeping bag at 3 am that night in those trees off to the left to a large bear in the tree over my head batting my backpack...



    Jud
     
  13. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    You've just convinced me that I need to schedule a trip to Yosemite in June or July in the next couple years!

    Absolutely stunning!

    I'm not sure we could afford more than two nights in that hotel either!
     
  14. KristiMc

    KristiMc DIS Veteran

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    Wow - beautiful pictures. I also have added Yosemite to my vacation to-do list.
     
  15. Wicket's Mom

    Wicket's Mom DIS Veteran

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    Yosemite reminds me of Yellowstone Park, although if you put your toes in the water there poor toes might get cooked!
     
  16. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    Oh my word! That scenery is so stunning. I would go crazy taking pictures too. You are making me want to go there so badly!!!!!!
     
  17. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    Gorgeous! I haven't been to Yosemite for 20 years and I need to go back.

    Jill in CO
     
  18. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Clearly I am challenged! I will do my best- the DL portion of the trip was incredible- I really loved it there, wish I were going back with you!

    Gee, me too! Imagine that!:rotfl:

    It really is- the pictures don't even come close to doing it justice!

    It was! Stunning!

    You are very welcome, I am sorry it has taken me so long to do it- but I am really enjoying looking at these photos, too! I hope you do get to go- it is a place that makes you feel at peace and in awe through and through-
     
  19. dvc4life

    dvc4life Disney is my Happy Place

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    Absolutely stunning Ellen.
     
  20. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    The hotel is extra expensive in high season, which is what we were at the tail end of- all summer (especially weekends) the park is PACKED, and rooms (even at the Ahwahnee) are booked 12 months and a day in advance. It would still be expensive at other times, but can be as much as half of what we paid-

    And very glad to be back, thanks!:goodvibes


    It is truly gorgeous and awe inspiring.:thumbsup2

    THAT IS SO COOL!!!!! Did you get your backpack back? And what was in it?

    Don't go in August- we have no choice, the boys have baseball until then. If I ever go back, it will be in the spring when the rates are cheaper, the waterfalls are raging and the crowds are much, much less! Even July will be expensive and crowded- back it up a month or two-

    Oh yea- you do need to go- such a memorable family adventure!

    Yellowstone is probably the most rugged of our National Parks, right? I always am seeing documentaries about it that it's a really hostile environment that could blow at any minute- it is fascinating, and is on my list of must-dos. In fact, it is probably the next Nat'l park I would like to visit-:)
     
  21. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    You should go! I bet Skip would LOVE this vacation!

    So many vacations....so little time....

    Thanks, Chris- I was thinking I should play with the photos to make them perfect- but really don't have time, so, here it is as is! :goodvibes Have you been there?
     

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