Although there is still another week of school for Bridgette, we officially kick started our summer vacation with a trip to Yosemite with our friends this weekend!
The last time I was in Yosemite, I was younger than Bridgette, so that was over 30 years ago. I’m not sure why it took me so long to go back there, since it is only a 4 hour drive from home. I guess we’ve always chosen to go to Lake Tahoe instead. In any case, this was Alan and Bridgette’s first visit to Yosemite and we were excited for the adventures awaiting us.
We went with 5 other families, totaling 12 adults and 9 kids between the ages of 5-9 years old. Most of the kids have been friends with Bridgette since she was born, so they were ofcourse very happy to spend the weekend together.
We stayed at Yosemite Lodge, with our rooms pretty much adjacent to one another. Often times we had an “open door” policy and the kids would gather in one room to play together before moving to another room. It was an extended “slumber party” that they absolutely loved!
Our room had a small patio that gave us a terrific view of Yosemite Falls. Everything was so lush and beautiful at this time of the year! On our first night, we had a lovely dinner at Ahwahnee Hotel’s Dining Room restaurant. Only 3 families arrived in time to join that dinner, which proved to be a good thing because the atmosphere of the restaurant definitely did not feel like it would be tolerable to a group with 9 loud kids. The next morning, we all met up at 10am with our bikes and rode to a nearby picnic area for brunch. We rode past a beautiful meadow and even saw baby deers grazing nearby! It literally was picturesque in a postcard kind of way, and I had to refrain from stopping every two minutes to take photos. Biking with 9 kids and making sure they stayed somewhat in a group was not easy, but we made it to our picnic spot safely after several pit stops for photos. 😁 After lunch, the kids enjoyed a leisurely hour by the water, before we made our way to lower Yosemite Falls by bike. We knew the weather forecast predicted thunderstorms in the afternoon so we were hoping to make it to Yosemite Falls before the storm hit. Alas, we began losing one another during different junctions on the road, so in the end, only a few of us made it there before the first drops of rain fell.
The downpour lasted all afternoon, so we all gathered in one of our rooms and the adults chatted while the kids played board games.
Although it would’ve been nice to have enjoyed the outdoors longer, the kids had an awesome time just being together and playing all kinds of fun games. Our original plan for star gazing didn’t happen due to the rain, but we did do a short night hike which the kids were excited about because they all got to use their flashlights. On our last day, we woke up early to finish packing and checking out before heading back to the Ahwahnee Hotel for a delicious brunch.
After our very fulfilling brunch, we had to walk it all off by hiking about 2 miles to/from Vernal Falls. It was a relatively easy hike, but with the sun directly above us, we had to keep stopping for breaks in the shade.
All in all, it was a really enjoyable trip, even with the thunderstorm. There was little to no wifi or cell reception at all in Yosemite, forcing everyone to remain “unplugged”, which was a nice change! 🙂
Yosemite is amazing in so many ways, and we will definitely be back (before another 30 years go by!). In fact, Alan is already challenging me to walk the half dome with him in the near future!
Big thanks to our friends Dora and Lawrence for organizing!