October 2–5, 2010
My birthday adventure took Ethan and me to Yosemite. Neither of us had been before, and why not it’s only a 12 hour drive. If you haven’t seen it in person you must. I made reservations here.
We arrived late Saturday night in the rain/lightening/thunder, checked in and went to bed. FYI:
• park costs $20 per vehicle, bring cash in case their machines are down
• park is huge into bear protection and deterrent, drive slow
• if bringing food, pack a manageable cooler (not the cooler we brought)
• food cannot be kept in your car after dark; they provide bear boxes, but most are small
We spent Sunday seeing the village sights and driving to all the famous viewpoints. It was rainy, but we didn’t care. We ended the day with pizza and postcard writing. At 1 a.m. I woke up to thunder/lightening and a torrential downpour… it continued for 8 hours. I was up for most of it. The thunder was on top of us and lasted twice as long as in a normal setting (granite walls).
This was the sight outside of the tent in the morning. We were signed up to take a free photography class, but bailed on it because it still hadn’t stopped raining and I didn’t want to risk ruining the cameras. We were also planning to hike half dome, but had to bail on that too. Reason in itself to return. We decided to get the heck out of there a day early. Luckily the campground gave us a refund. So we headed West.
We ended up in Napa, CA. Neither of us had been there either. The AAA book Ethan picked up before the trip came in handy and we were able to find the Napa Inn. They gave us a substantial discount. Woot woot! We strolled downtown and ate dinner. It was a beautiful place to wake up to on my birthday, go for a run and the breakfast was amazing. We drove the strip of vineyards out of town, only stopping to take a few photos (I do not have the taste for wine).