We still have 4 weeks to go!!
We arrive in San Francisco at 12:30 pm so technically day 17 on the trip. I slept in…until 7:40 AM…exhaustion setting in…Victoria still asleep but off to the city by 10:00 am!
San Francisco is a city Victoria and I have decided we want to return to with Bowen and Cory (her brothers.) Can you believe it? Victoria found a city she would like to come back to and explore! It could be the chocolate of Ghirardelli Square or The Cheese School? Just kidding. There is a vibe in San Francisco we both really enjoyed and there is so much to do! We, of course, enjoyed the Golden Gate Bridge Recreational Area. A perfect spot for The LOOK Book! MANY tourists and the Presidio would be of interest to scouting groups.
Next stop Muir Woods. A little bit of a “discussion” about going or not going…I was driving so we went! But…we realized you needed reservations for parking because of the MANY signs along the way. Victoria tried to make reservations but we had to pay an entrance fee into the park and we had a pass and why pay twice…so we kept on driving and explained to the attended. He handed us a paper explaining how to do it. Begin by proceeding 3 miles to Muir Beach to get phone reception. Apparently, a lot of people are clueless like us. We drove to the beach…it was just a beach I was hoping for more…decided we would do this next time with Bowen and Cory. In case you are wondering the importance of Muir Woods to this family. There is a scene in Star Wars filmed here. Has anyone noticed the theme here? Movies and TV shows?
Off the Ghirardelli Square and Fishermans Wharf. A few of you may be sad to hear we did not get any seafood…sorry! We did however enjoy chocolate and cheese! After enjoying a free chocolate sample wandering around I found “The Cheese School.” Who doesn’t LOVE cheese! It was, in fact, a school but…also a restaurant overlooking the water and what do they serve??…cheese of course and WINE! This was the place for us!
The people were friendly, it was quiet and we relaxed and I enjoyed the water view. A perfect “linner” (lunch and dinner combined.) Because it was early and I don’t think we actually had lunch.
Full and satisfied we headed back to the Sir Drake Hotel, another Kimpton property. I do love Kimpton’s!
Our first night we were in a standard room we booked last minute but the second night we were in a suite. Victoria was very excited. I think she wanted her own bathroom. Yep…this had two bathrooms! I want to be very clear, especially to George, my boyfriend of 9 years and traveling companion. I paid the price of an average hotel room not for a suite. I am getting good at this, finding deals and upgrades for cheap!
After a good nights sleep and WIFI!!!
We set off to Yosemite. Victoria was very excited about this park. Things do not always go according to plan..although it has really worked out well on this trip. We did have a camping sight I had booked for two nights but…not in Yosemite National Park as I had previously thought. It was just outside the park so we figured it would be ok. It was a lovely campsite but no running water and compostable toilets in the bathrooms. All good…though…plenty of handiwipes!
Dinner was guacamole and chips. Victoria did a fine job preparing dinner. Traveling with a vegetarian you become a vegetarian and it is much easier when camping. It was a lovely relaxing dinner, just what we needed because we were both EXHAUSTED!!
You could tell how EXHAUSTED by the “discussions” we were having…a little rough few hours but we ended the evening calm and still happy to be on the trip together.
This was probably one of the toughest few hours of the trip so far…we both discussed how it was a defining few hours leaving us both with the question. Were we going to hate each other at the end or get closer? We both agreed closer (yep tears welling up as I write this…)
I know you are all thinking what happened??? Think of a fight you had with someone and you said a few things you regret simply because you were just EXHAUSTED. Thankfully we both understood and are still mother/ daughter and friends!
I woke up in the morning …NO BATHROOM TRIPS!!! WOW!!! I am sure anyone over the age of 50 totally gets how amazing this truly was. Anyway…I woke up at 6:04 am to the sound of a distant chain saw and a falling tree.
I tried to capture it on this video. If you listen very carefully you can hear the chain saw.
The running water is the river about 50 yards away. I know many of you think …camping?? I wouldn’t miss this experience but I will admit I really enjoyed the suite at the Kimpton too:)
Off to the Lodge and a hike today.
We didn’t make it to the Lodge but we did make a stop at the Majestic Hotel, formerly the Ahwahnee opened in 1925 and from 1943-1946 it was a rest and relaxation hospital for the Navy.
On are way again after a stop at the bathrooms with running water, YIPEE!!! and a stop in the gift shop.
We are tourists after all:)
While on the way to the hotel I was driving and Victoria let out a huge gasp. She panicked me which is not a good thing when you are driving on thin mountain roads with MAJOR drops. She spotted Half Dome and got very excited!!
The day became at that point a quest for the perfect shot of Half Dome and we made our way to Glacier Point to achieve our goal along with the other million or so people. I would not recommend Yosemite in mid-late June or the summer. there were actually traffic jams! It usually had to do with pedestrians or foolish people on bikes not on the bike path. I am not referring to cyclists but to children and families on bikes. CRAZY thing to do on these windy roads with so many people.
However, Victoria managed to find special quiet spots along our rote for reflection and pictures. She has a knack for finding the hidden spots other people miss.
We managed to make it back to our campsite with a stop for gas and a bathroom with running water. Now back to my camping story and opinions…
Camping should be done ONE night at a time! I really do enjoy sleeping outdoors and meal prep is easy enough if you plan. BUT the bathrooms are an issue for me!! Sounds crazy but I prefer and am fortunate enough to enjoy the luxury of running water and a hot shower. Sleep was a bit restless, it got cold and I was too cold to get my sweatshirt out of the car. I was up at 5:19 and off to the bathroom although now I would just call it a hole in the ground with a seat (but who sits?) and a lid. Although I am appreciative of this …only one night camp stay for the rest of the trip!!!
I had Victoria up and on the road 2 hours earlier than she expected or would have liked. I literally pulled the mat out form under her so we could pack up. She was not thrilled but adjusted quickly.
I was done smelling poop in our campsite and wanted to leave. Not sure why everything smelled so bad…we were surrounded by pine trees! Victoria thinks it was all the 1-800 RV rent people not taking care to clean their RV’s properly…possibly? Anyway off to the home of dear friends from our neighborhood who moved to Santa Barbara, California. They will be putting us up and putting up with us for 2 nights! Thank you Allison and Frank!!!
We stopped along the route for a breakfast sandwich in “Fish Camp” just beyond Yosemite in the cutest little shop. They had everything and where so friendly. I really do enjoy these moments along our trip seeing people just happy to be where they are and content with the life they are living. Victoria was in the car scrolling through Instagram because we had reception! YAY! I was wandering around waiting for my breakfast sandwich and found a small snow globe with an adorable little bear in front of his tent. I bought it for Victoria and surprised her when I got back in the car. She was pleased, the bear had a green backpack too (her favorite color is green.) The little moments continue…
On our way again and heading to Sequoia National Park. “To the trees…” We are actually heading to the park for one specific tree names “General Sherman.” This is the largest tree in the world!
A moment for reflection…who really knows if this is the largest tree?? What about the the deep forests in the world no one has entered?
It was actually quite amazing and a beautiful area to wander. Victoria and I enjoyed a walk before getting back in the car and driving back down the mountain because of course the tree is on the top! I am ready for flat land!! I drove up this time and Victoria drove down. I think this was the windiest road yet!
Day 21: THREE WEEKS AND HALF WAY!!! We are still alive:)
Off for a hike!
Being with these two is always an adventure!!!
We lost the trail and decided to following the waterfall back down...or at least I think this is what happened??
Thank you to the Paolino family for 25 years of friendship, laughs and making every moment count!