I’m back to my normal routine this week after a fun week with my parents are older brother last week. They stayed for 8 days and I had a jam-packed schedule for them. Normally I let our guests relax but it was my brother’s first visit to California and he had a lot of sites on his wish list. He wanted to see Pebble Beach, Carmel, Monterey Bay, Yosemite, Big Trees, Tahoe, and San Francisco and I tried my best to fit everything in.
Yosemite was definitely the highlight of the week, we spent 3 days at the National Park. None of us had been there before and we couldn’t believe how beautiful and magical it is. My pictures hardly capture how grand it really is, there is a stunning view around each bend and all of the waterfalls were running full force. It really seemed surreal at times.
Because the park can be so busy this time of year I set up our reservations to stay back in January. I did a lot of research and ended up finding a great room for us at Yosemite View Lodge. We had a two room suite with two bathrooms a kitchen and a large balcony over the river. The lodge had a nice restaurant where we had breakfast and dinner and we were able to pack a cooler with lunch goodies. I would highly recommend staying at the lodge, it is just a few miles from the north gate of the park.
My brother Christopher did a great job documenting the trip, I thought he was nuts when he jumped out of the truck to take this picture of us driving through the entrance but it turned out pretty cool. Our truck looks perfect going through the rocks, it’s like a Ford advertisement!
We had really nice weather on the first and third day at the park, it was sunny and a little chilly making it nice for hiking. The first day we drove around the park and stopped at all of the main attractions and took lots of pictures. If you are not into hiking you can see a lot just by driving around the floor of the valley. Here are some of my favorite pictures from our first day…
I really worked on playing around with the settings on my camera. It really love this blur effect and the pop of color effect that you will see in other pics.
The view from the Tunnel was really beautiful! We got there just before the sun got lost in the fog…
It almost looks like we are standing in front of a backdrop doesn’t it? So pretty!
On our second day we woke up early and hiked to Mirror Lake. It used to be much fuller and my mom read in a book that she bought that it is slowly going away. Eventually it will become a meadow. They call it Mirror Lake because it acts as a mirror to the granite mountains, pretty neat. The hike was supposed to be a 4 mile hike but at the end it turned out to be about 8. It was really pretty but in the middle of the hike we started to worry that we would never see the end!
I’m usually the only one taking pictures when we go hiking so it was nice that my mom and brother too just as many as I did. It was fun to see myself in them for a change!
Halfway around the lake we ended up a Snow Creek, a fast running river with a cute bridge.
You know how much I love the show Finding Bigfoot right? Well, I decided to do some Squatch calls from the bridge. I’m pretty confident that Bigfoot lives in Yosemite, lots of places to hide and wildlife to eat!
On the backend of the trail there was an area that had a huge rock slide. The granite boulders seemed so huge, you can see how big they are compared to me hiking on the right. Can you imagine how loud it would have been when they rolled down the hill?
Between my mom, my brother Christoper, and myself we took over 1,000 pictures at Yosemite. I have them organized into three different folders on my computer, it is fun to look at the park through each of our perspective.
At the end of the hike snow creek meets back up with Mirror Lake and then it turns back into the river that runs through the park. At this point I thought the hike was almost over but we still had about a mile left. By the time we made it back to the main road we all decided to hitch a ride from the free shuttle at the park to the truck for lunch.
On our last day at the park we made on last trip by the main attractions before going up the road to the giant Sequoias in the Mariposa grove. There was a wedding at this church when we drove by on Monday, wouldn’t that be a neat spot for pictures?
Yosemite Falls was definitely my favorite waterfall. It was HUGE, the largest in the country. Next time I go back I want to hike to the top of it, the map says it is 8 miles so I’ll have to assume that it is about 12 or 14, ha! We’ll have to pack a lunch and extra camera batteries!
It was a really fun trip. I think we spent just the right amount of time at the park an I’m glad that we were able to see so many things. My brother really loved it. Last night we had dinner before I took everyone to the airport and he said he didn’t want to leave, he loved the weather and all of the fun things to see which made me feel good. I know when we moved out here my family was really sad that we’d be so far away so I’m happy when they can visit and I’m thankful we live in such a beautiful state to make their trip worth it. Today our house feels so empty without our guests!
Tomorrow I’ll be back with pictures from Mariposa Grove, the historic Wawona Hotel, and our day trip to San Francisco.