Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Sights in Yosemite: Life is Sweet

God is good. I had always wanted to go to Yosemite, and to stay at the Ahwahnee. It was a dream come true, but there can be a fly in the ointment – everything can go well, but if you have rain, or fog, or heavy clouds, the views don’t present themselves. Going in early Spring is a risk – maybe the waterfalls won’t be flowing yet, maybe it will be snowing and the roads difficult or impassable.

We were so blessed. We were blessed with deep blue skies and glowing sunshine, warm and light, but not hot. We were blessed to have some places all to ourselves, as it is not yet high season, and some great early morning moments. We were blessed that the streams and waterfalls were flowing heavily, and we were blessed to have the time to appreciate them. We are so thankful to have this opportunity in our lives to do the things we’ve always wanted to do – and we are thankful for all the things we have already been able to do. Life is sweet.

Note: Some of the national parks, like Yosemite and Yellowstone, have relatively steep entry fees. If you reach the grand age of 62, you are eligible for a life time senior pass to all national parks for the bargain price of $10. That ten dollars covers your car and all occupants. It is such a deal that AdventureMan and I each have one, so we don’t need to worry about passing it back and forth, we each keep one in our own car.

Coming from the south, we saw a car park on both sides of the road and hundreds of people taking photos, so we stopped. This is Tunnel View, meaning just after – or before – you’ve gone through the tunnel. It is an awesome way to enter the park, and a great place for selfies.

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Bridal Veil, which in mid-morning, has mists of gushing water surrounding it, like clouds of tulle in a bridal veil

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At Bridal Veil Falls, there were also some very tame, very unafraid deer

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Day breaking in Yosemite. We wanted to be out early, before the crowds arrived, and to catch the early morning light

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Yosemite Falls

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Rock surrounding road at the Merced entrance where we went to buy gas

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Yosemite bridge – there were all kinds of campers here, cooking up breakfast, brushing teeth, etc. There were restrooms nearby and running water and picnic tables – what more can a camper want?

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Early in the morning, you meet kindred souls. A very kind photographer told us that if we hiked to the middle of a nearby meadow, we would have spectacular unblocked shots of Yosemite Falls. He was right.

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Another unafraid animal, this time a coyote, waiting to cross the road

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April 26, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Environment, Exercise, ExPat Life, Hotels, Quality of Life Issues, Road Trips, sunrise series, Travel | | Leave a comment

The Ahwahnee Dining Room

American diners have steadily avoided formal dining situations, it is a growing trend. I have to admit, unless I am in France, I’m less enchanted by all the formality than I used to be. I still love beautiful china and gleaming silver, snowy white real linen tablecloths and impeccable service, and at the same time, I really have to be in the mood. It really has to be worth the time, time to make the reservation, time to dress, time to enjoy a leisurely meal.

The Ahwahnee has that kind of dining room.

We ate almost every meal during our stay there. We found we liked the lunch menu better than the dinner menu, as we prefer eating our larger meal mid-day and eating lighter at night.

You have to have reservations, even when it is not high season. If you don’t, you may miss one of life’s great experiences. There is a dress code for the Ahwahnee dining room, both for men and for women. It’s a very mild dress code. They prefer coats for men, skirts for women, no T-shirts, shirts with collars only.

We were shown to what became our favorite table at the Ahwahnee, way at the end of the dining room, in a small alcove with five or six other tables, and a stunning view of the entire dining room, as well as mountains and trees. This is table 123, and a view of the 30+ feet high timbered ceiling which gives the dining room its grandeur.

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My very first meal there, I saw they had a Shrimp Louis on the menu. Shrimp Louis is very west coast; not something I get in Pensacola. This Shrimp Louis was my dream come true; it was served with real Louis dressing, not Thousand Island dressing. I nearly swooned with delight.

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AdventureMan has BBQ pork. He said it was good, but he gets good BBQ in the South 🙂 so he wasn’t swooning.

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The next day, he ordered a Reuben, and said it was good. He hasn’t had a lot of Reubens, and he said this one had a LOT of meat, but it was good meat, and that matters to him. He enjoyed it thoroughly.

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I had the Trout. I adore trout. This was pretty good.

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I didn’t take photos at the dinner meals, and some of our meals we also ate in the Ahwahnee bar, where they had a lighter menu, and we thoroughly enjoyed that, too.

You know me and light fixtures; I really loved all the details that go into making this such a designer’s dream of a hotel:

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April 26, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Civility, Cooking, Cultural, Eating Out, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , , | 2 Comments