Joel has an annual work conference in October. So far I have been able to join him each time. The first conference was in Captiva Island, FL. Last year, the conference was in San Diego; Macy and I both came along. This past conference, we decided to leave both kids at home with Grandma. The conference was in Lake Tahoe from Sunday-Friday. We figured we'd make the most of our time if I joined him at the end of the week so that we could be together all day, instead of just in the evening. We decided to spend our weekend in Yosemite, which is about 5 hours from Lake Tahoe.
On Friday evening, I flew to Sacramento, CA where Joel picked me up (about 2 hrs from where he stayed in Tahoe). We stayed near the airport on Friday night. On Saturday, we woke up and drove to our Bed & Breakfast (about 2.5 hours). On the way, we stopped for lunch at the Iron Door Saloon. The place was really unique and had a great vibe to it. Food was mediocre.
We stopped by our B&B, the Blackberry Inn, to check in briefly, and then headed to the park.
By the time we got to the park and up to the trail head it was getting kind of late, so we only had time to do one hike. We decided on seeing the Sequoias at the Mariposa Grove. The Sequoias are absolutely huge. Of course we knew this, but wow, it is so impressive to see nature in its full glory!
We actually ran out of time to do all the trails in the grove. Joel happened to look at his watch as we were walking around and realized we had 15 minutes to catch the last shuttle of the day. If we missed it, we would have had to walk a few extra miles down a hill to get to our car. So, we decided to make a run for it, almost 2 miles. We made it, hot and sweaty. What a way to start our adventure!
On the way back to the B&B we made a stop to watch the sunset.
That evening we ate the Groveland Hotel for dinner. The food was delicious, though Joel was dismayed at the portion size. He is a big eater, and this portion was even small by my standards. I gave him my leftovers, and surprisingly he didn't starve.
We wanted to get a drink, so we headed back to the Iron Door Saloon. It was Saturday night and they had live music. The music was pretty good and the crowd was eclectic, so people-watching was good! Check out the name of the band!
The next day (Sunday) while at breakfast at the B&B, we were sharing stories with other guests as to the best hikes to do during a short stay. One couple who had been there several times recommended the Glacier Point hike. To save time, you can take a shuttle bus up to the point, then hike 5 miles down, taking in all the views of the Half Dome and the surrounding area. We asked our B&B owner if they thought there might be availability for the next day and before we could get the words out of our mouth he went in the other room to "check" and came back and informed us he booked us for that day and we should hurry to not miss the bus. We were a bit shocked, but excited for the day ahead. We stuffed a few bites of food in our mouth and gulped our coffee and off we went. It was such a shame to rush through such a fancy breakfast, but adventure waited. The hike was well worth any missed morsels of food. We frequently had to stop to take more and more photos because at every turn we were amazed at the breathtaking views before us, although we were just taking pictures of the same things over and over. It never wore off!
|The Half Dome|
|When we got to the bottom, the views from the valley were beyond amazing!|
We were tired from our hike, but made a stop on the way back to the B&B. We stopped at the rainbow pools. You stop along the side of the road and literally walk a few feet and TA-DA! Waterfall! Absolutely beautiful! You might get tired of me saying, “Beautiful, stunning, amazing, breath-taking,” but really that was how our weekend went!
For dinner we read the menus at a couple places, nothing sounded great. We finally gave up and headed to the Iron Door Saloon AGAIN as it was right across the street. I was starving, we just needed food. This was our worst experience yet at the Iron Door. The service was horrendous. It took ages to get our drink order, eons to receive our food, which was not that great once it did arrive. By the time we left I was through with the Iron Door Saloon, to put it mildly. When we got back to the B&B we star gazed for a few minutes. The sky was so clear and the stars were as bright as I’ve ever seen. It was stunning! When we got in, Joel made me some tea and we ate the cookies the B&B left for us daily. Nice way to cap off the evening.
Monday morning we were in no rush and had time to really enjoy our breakfast. The B&B really put out a nice breakfast. We loved our stay there and would highly recommend it. The accommodations were very nice, great meals, and lovely hosts!
We decided to do shorter hikes so we could see more on our last day. First, we went to the Emerald Pools. Joel was quite keen on hiking. I was tiring of it. We hiked for about an hour or so, we stopped somewhere pretty to eat a sandwich we packed, then we headed to our next destination.
In my opinion, Lake Tenaya was the prettiest place we saw while we were there. The pictures just do not do it justice. I was absolutely in awe. As I mentioned, Joel was still quite keen on hiking. I think he likes to burn a ton of calories so he can indulge later. I wanted to relax a bit and really take it in. Joel proceeded to do an hour hike around the lake, while I sat right there on the beach and read my book. I simply couldn’t imagine the view could be better anywhere else. Joel enjoyed his walk, which was a relatively flat hike around the lake. We were both happy…compromise. :)
After the nice break, I was ready to see more of the park and do a bit of hiking. We climbed Pothole Dome, which was a short hike. We were so amazed at how different the landscape was all over the park. Who would think that Lake Tenaya and this view were only a few minutes away from one another?
The next hike was to Lukens Lake. The forest leading to the lake was so peaceful. Again, the landscape was very different. This area was cool and smelled like a campfire. So many trees were down due to a recent wildfire.
|Joel inspecting the damage.|
|This tree had a booty. I later Googled it and found that it's known as the "Ass Tree." lol|
That night we ate dinner at the Evergreen Lodge. It was our best meal of the trip, though truth be told, food was the only downside of the trip. Even our best meal, was only decent. Every meal on the whole trip was really salty (besides breakfast at our B&B). That's okay, we didn't come for the food, we came for the views and we were not disappointed there!
Tuesday morning we drove back to Sacramento, flew home, and got home around 12:30am. Yawn!
Needless to say, we had a wonderful trip. Yosemite is a beautiful park. We only scratched the surface in our three days, but we still felt like we got to see a lot. There will be plenty to see when we come back one day!
We are so lucky that Joel’s parents take such good care of our babies so that we can have a little getaway! A HUGE thank you to them!!