Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yosemite - Day 6: July 28, 2010

editorial note: decided I should finally finish this up.  It will come with a lot fewer photos and links because I'm tired and sick of the photo uploading situation... made a Yosemite photobook online yesterday and it took me ALL.DAY. and I am desperately sick of dealing with the photos.  You can see the photobook here (I think).

Today was our trip to the Valley.  Everything that we read prior to coming out here said that the Valley is very busy and crowded.  And it was.  We had been told by several people in the area that we should at least go see the Ahwhanee Hotel, so after talking with a guy at Glacier Point, we decided to go there for breakfast.  This required us to leave the room early to get down there for our 9:15 reservations.  The goal was 7:15, but we got out at 7:40.  We missed our reservations by 15 minutes, but they seated us without question in their grand dining room.

I have to say, the hotel is beautiful, BUT, because I'm not a visual, artistic, architectural person, the amazingness of the place was a little lost on me.  I could definitely see why people think it is so incredible, however, I would not have missed out on anything if we had skipped it.  And the breakfast, while decent, was not worth the price we paid ($80 for the 5 of us to have the buffet).

After breakfast we parked the car in Yosemite Village and began our walk to find a place to swim in the Merced River.  This was not pleasing to the girls at. all.  This was not a hike in the mountains with areas to explore, this was walking down the road or on a bike path to a place and they were sick of it and none too pleased.  We managed to ignore them well enough to reach our destination and everyone changed into their suits and we got to the beach.

The beach was very rocky and the water was very cold.  That didn't hinder Cornbread and Nodie from doing a little swimming, although they didn't swim for long.  Bugly also got in eventually, but was much more hesitant in doing so.  Skipper and I decided that going into the water to our knees was quite enough.  Cornbread tried to teach the girls how to skip rocks and I don't think he was successful, but he skipped several really well.  At one point Bugly and Skipper had asked him to bring them to a tree in the middle of the river and during the transport Bugly's flip flops came off of her feet and started floating down the river.  Realizing that lost flip flops would equal a barefoot trek back to the car - or a piggy back ride to the car - I took off after them as fast as I could and got much wetter than I originally wanted to in the process.

From the Merced we took a different route back to the car and stopped at a gift shop in the Village to buy some souvenirs.  Nodie's whole life became complete when she was allowed to purchased a small stuffed raccoon (earlier in the week I had told the girls that a souvenir did NOT = a stuffed animal, so she sat in the store for a long time and longingly played with the stuffed animals while the rest of us found our souvenirs... I finally got so sick of her attitude and the crowdedness of the store that I told her to just pick it out and lets go.  Her world brightened and she was happy for the rest of the walk).  We made our way back to the car and out of the valley, with a quick stop to snap some photos of Cathedral Rocks and El Capitan.

On the way back to the car it was decided that Cornbread would take Nodie fishing near the lodge and I would take the other two swimming in the pool.  This plan pleased everyone.  The girls and I hung out at the pool with Grant and Jana and Lane & Josie, while Cornbread and Nodie tried to fish at Bass Lake, but ended up swimming instead.  We all met back at the room for baths and showers and went down to the firepit area for our Farewell dinner.

The girls actually ate some of the dinner this time around as it included a kids buffet, and we sat with the McGraws again and asked them way too personal of questions :)  They are a wonderful family from Iowa whom we really clicked with.  Nodie and Lane (6 1/2) spent the evening climbing the hill and sliding down, Bugly and Josie (4) spent the evening trying to lick each other (and succeeding) and dumping dirt on top of each other (did I just mention they took baths before we went?)  Skipper was in on the Bugly/Josie thing, but also succeeded in getting Daddy to make her the perfect s'more - and then wouldn't eat it or let anyone else eat it.  It was a fun night, we met a few other people, but mainly hung with Grant and Jana.

I had gotten most everything packed before dinner, so we are set to go.  We decided today that we are definitely Yosemite'd out.  Had enough.  Every one of us.  And we're missing our Woof.


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