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 Hotel, Yosemite

If you’re going to live a dream come true, might as well live it right. We loved the Ahwahnee as soon as we read about it. As long as we were going to be there, we wanted to enjoy the experience all the way. We booked the Ahwahnee.

It was so worth it, just to see the joy in AdventureMan’s face as he checked in. He couldn’t even take it in, it is so beautiful. It is European, and grand, but not in a formal way but in a rustic way. The public spaces are gracious and welcoming, and so beautiful. There is art everywhere, even the fabrics on the furnishings are chosen with care.

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The private spaces are also spacious and welcoming, and on the mezzanine floor, they have coffee service set out every morning, and afternoon tea for guests. There is a full breakfast available in the dining room. This is our own space 🙂

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And this was the view from our room:

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And this was the sunrise from our room on the first day:

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In the bathroom, they had rubber duckies. We wanted to buy them, but the staff wouldn’t let us; they insisted on giving them to us. Every staff member we encountered seemed happy to be working there. It was like stepping back in time to a place where customer service mattered. Total wow.

We could live here happily for months.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Cultural, Hotels, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Travel | , | Leave a comment