Erlo and I FINALLY got to go back to the Bay Area together. It seemed like a whirlwind of a trip, but we definitely got to do a lot and spend a lot of needed time with the family.
The day after we arrived, we drove down to Yosemite with my parents. My mom had booked a hotel outside of the park the first night, but we wanted to try to see the valley on our way there. There was a chance of snow, so on the way we kept calling the park for updates on the road conditions. We ended up stopping in some little small town (Merced?) and buying some. Erlo was fascinated by the small American town….it looks exactly like it does in the movies!
We did get to drive through Yosemite Valley the first night, but unfortunately, there were so many clouds that we barely saw Yosemite Falls and El Capitan! Erlo was impressed, nonetheless, and I was happily breathing in the familiar cedar and sierra scents.
The little motel we stayed in was adorable. It was about 20 minutes outside the park, and had some pretty bad reviews, but it suited our tastes. It was tucked away in the woods and was refreshingly peaceful. Not the best service by the owner/manager (the garbage from the previous guests was left in our room) but it was good enough.
That night, we had our first Mexican meal of the trip….and it was SO GOOD. We shared a dish of chicken Mole that literally melted in your mouth. We were also reminded of the Great American Portion Size. Yikes. Erlo and I shared a dish and were still stuffed to the brim. I don’t know how people do it…
(side note: I’m realizing as I’m talking about all of this that I should have taken pictures of all of this! I’ve been away from the blogging game so long that I have forgotten! My sincerest apologies, I will try to do better…)
The next day was still quite cloudy, so we were left to explain and try to convince Erlo how beautiful Half Dome is. Every time we rounded the corners that would normally have a view of the spectacular rock, there was a patch of cloud covering it. At least El Capitan and the Falls were in clear sight!
We took a couple walks, ate a picnic lunch in the Awahnee Hotel and moved into our rooms at Yosemite Lodge. After a dinner at the Awhanee Bar(WAY overpriced), we returned to the Lodge for an early night.
The next day, it was back to Yosemite Valley to see the fresh morning fog clearing to reveal Half Dome! I love this view so much. We also hiked up to Mirror Lake, which has a lot of memories for my parents. Although the lakes were dried up for the season, we enjoyed an exploratory wander through the woods behind the lake. Erlo was disappointed not to see any bears, but we definitely saw evidence of them (torn up logs, footprints) which was almost as exciting. A group of about 6 buck made an appearance for us, which was definitely cool.
And then back on the road for us! We headed back to the restaurant we went to the night before where we stuffed ourselves silly again before jumping in the car back to my parents’ house.