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Monday, July 20, 2009

Vacation Spectacular 2009!

07/10- Our Vacation is finally here!

We started off sleeping in. The we drove to Portland to have lunch with Sue and Owen. We got stuck in terrible traffic. We decided to split our drive up so it won't be as stressful. We were so happy to discover a Sonic on our way we turned around and made a detour! Despite the setbacks we still made it to our first hotel by sunset.

It was nice to get a good sleep in a quiet place. (It's so noisy in the city.)

07/11- Our drive to Sacramento was about five hours. The only events were that we had not one but two meals at the Black Bear diner and my camera died. So..I bought a new one. It wasn't a terrible thing since I had been thinking of getting one anyway.

We got to Sac around 7 and had dinner with Mom and Lily.

07/12- Most of our day was spent visiting. We also went to see my Grandmother for a bit. Scott went for a run in the California heat. Lily showed off her video gaming skills. I helped Mom figure out her new computer.

It was a quiet day but nice to have before the flurry of stuff we were about to do.
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07/13- We had a busy day ahead of us. We stuffed ourselves in the car and got to driving.
We wanted to visit a few of our old haunts before we got to the park. A short stop in Angels Camp and then we were in our old stomping grounds....Sonora.

We ate breakfast at our favorite dive and met with some old friends. Lily and I walked the main street and dropped in some of my favorite shops.

We had a great morning of remembering the good old days. But we couldn't stay forever. By noon we were on the road again and heading to the gate of Yosemite.

Since our campgrounds were just inside the gate we didn't have far to go. Setting up camp went fast and Lily was having so much fun. She was excited to help out and even put up her own tent.

Once we got camp set up we got back in the car and drove down the road.

The Merced Grove is not very big but still impressive. We hiked down into the forest and played among the redwoods for a while.

Back at camp Scott taught Lily how to make a fire. After they got it going they cooked dinner.

Later we roasted marshmallows and told stories. Lily saw the stars clearly and made s'mores for the first time.

It was a good first night of camping.
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07/14- Waking up in the early morning light the heat inside the tent was almost unbearable. By breakfast I knew I was not well but hoped that once I ate and got out on the trail I would feel better.

We made our way down to the valley floor and parked at the store. Then we rode the shuttle so we wouldn't have to fight traffic to get to our trail.

The Vernal Falls trail is the most popular in the park. There were hundreds of people coming and going. As we started up the sun was high and already too hot to stand.

Less than a mile in I began to get dizzy and had to sit down. The longer we walked the worse it got. I couldn't take more than a few steps without needing to sit. It was obvious that I was sick and not going to make it to the top.

I walked on and agreed to wait for Scott and Lily at the halfway point by the river bridge. They went on leaving me to sit by the water.

I ate lunch in the shade and read a book. At one point I felt something touch my leg. I looked down and saw that a ground squirrel had crawled into my lap.

When they returned we made our way down the trail slowly. The rest had helped but not healed whatever was making me feel so terrible.

We took the bus back to our car and headed for the showers. After a long, cold shower and some less than great touristy food Lily asked to see more of the valley. The rest of the day we spent driving around looking at the mountains and waterfalls.

Just before we left we made one last stop at Yosemite Falls. There we encountered a bear just off the trail. Lily got so excited she jumped up and down. This made the bear take a long look to see if it might like to eat her. However, since Scott and I were there too it decided she wouldn't be worth the trouble.

As the sunset we made our way back to the campsite. We roasted hot dogs and stared into the fire. Lily was sad it was our last night to camp.

We were all exhausted and went to bed early.

07/15- Since I was still not feeling well we decided to skip the hike we had intended to do. Scott and Lily woke up early and drove to another campground to have coffee with a ranger and listen to him talk about the park. I stayed in camp and packed up the site.

We left Yosemite via the Tioga Pass. It was a beautiful drive through green fields and snow caped mountains.

On the other side we dropped down into East California. And, the temperature rose to over 100 degrees.

Our only destination for the day was Mono Lake so we took it slow.

Mono Lake was like being on another planet. The tufas rose from the lake like mountains, castles and anthills. The wide blue skies and shear mountains made for a stunning backdrop.

We walked for a short while among these strange formations and then headed for Bishop.

After we checked in to our fancy hotel (a 2 bedroom suite) we went in search of food and (air-conditioned) fun. We found the best BBQ ever (outside of Texas, that is) and a tiny bowling alley just behind our hotel.

That night I slept like I haven't in a few years. It was quiet. We had air-conditioning. And I had my very own full sized bed. It was heaven.

07/16- Waking up was a drag. Once I forced myself out of bed we went and had a great breakfast at the largest bakery I have ever seen we drove off to the heart of the White Mountains.

After a long drive up steep, curvy, dangerous (sometimes barely big enough for one car at a time) roads we arrived at our destination....

The Bristlecone Pine Forest.

This is the home of the oldest living things on Earth. Some of these trees are more than 4,000 years old! We hiked for several hours looking at the trees and down into Death Valley. Lily was in awe of the trees and how barren the surrounding land was.

After our hike we made our way back to Sacramento. We only took one little detour just so we could say we went to Nevada. (see below) We made it back just after midnight tired but happy.

We had a blast but were glad to be back.

07/17- After sleeping in we got ourselves ready and headed down to the local movie theater. The place was only about half full which was fine with me. We watched Harry Potter. Lily loved it and we thought it was pretty good too. We spent the rest of the day relaxing. Our vacation was creeping toward an end.

07/18- We woke up early and packed the car. Mom and Lily help us get things back in place. They waved to us as we back out of the driveway. I was sad all the way to Oregon.

Later that night we checked into a little hotel on the edge of Scott's old college campus. We had dinner at the Olive Garden and Scott relived memories from his college days.

07/19- We slept in and then had pancakes at "The Original Pancake House" down the street from our room. The rest of the day we spent in the car. Traffic sucked and our five hour drive turned into more of seven. We rolled into Seattle at sunset.

After unloading the car we went to pick up our fuzzie baby. Kerwin was happy to see us and purred the whole way home.

As night settled into our apartment we looked at pictures from the last few days and laughed about things that had happened. Our vacation was officially over and already becoming a memory.

Vacations are nice but never seem to be long enough. I was sad to go home.

It was a great vacation and I know we'll never forget all the fun we had.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

One last party before we say goodbye...

Sadly, this will be our last Forth of July party at David and Camilla's place. :(

While they are moving on we are staying here........However...........

That didn't dampen our spirits. We had a great afternoon eating burgers and watching the boats sail The Sound. The sunset was spectacular and the fireworks were worth the wait.

It was a nice way to say goodbye.

Happy Fourth!
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