We have our plane tickets purchased and our passports in hand. An international trip was not on our radar when we departed Minnesota last October so we had to prevail upon our friend Kelly to unearth our passports and send them via registered mail. We owe her a BIG thank you as she is the one who mailed Stephen’s forgotten sandals and is collecting our mail for the duration.
We depart for Australia in mid January and will be there for six weeks. Our plane leaves from San Francisco via Auckland and two days later we’ll arrive in Perth. Most of our trip will be in Western Australia but we have allowed a few days at the end for exploring Sydney. Several weeks are allotted for house-sitting and caring for Valentino, a sweet puppy and the rest of the time is for exploring. Perth has been on Stephen’s bucket list for years and it seems like the perfect trip to celebrate our 30 years of marriage.
Presently we are in the San Francisco Bay Area celebrating Christmas and the New Year with family. Stephen and I both have siblings in Northern California so we have split the time between Santa Cruz and Modesto.
Because Modesto is near Yosemite National Park we were able to manage a one day visit to this iconic park directly after Christmas.
Our daughter Abby joined us which made the day even sweeter.
Although Abby, Stephen and I have all been to Yosemite before, we wanted to experience the park with its winter coat. We watched the weather for several days before our trip and when there was no snow in the forecast we made a dash. With turkey sandwiches prepared the night before and extra blankets in the car for safety we departed Modesto at 7:00 am and arrived in the park by 9:30 am. The Mist Trail which is Yosemite’s signature hike was the perfect morning activity. Fabulous views of two powerful waterfalls and Half Dome in the foreground made this an unforgettable trek.
Even though there has been very little rain in California the falls were still visible and flowing.
In the afternoon we hiked across the valley floor and photographed the Yosemite chapel. Abby was keen to see a bear but alas we didn’t spot any on this trip.
It was a lovely day but too short. Next time we must bring the Vistabule and stay for several days. It will require some pre-planning as camping spots are at a premium. We also discovered that traffic jams and minimal parking spaces cause havoc all through the park. It would be much better to bring bikes and leave the car parked at the campsite. There are well-marked bike trails with plenty of bike racks for storage. We’re not sure when we will return to Yosemite but it’s certainly worth a longer visit.
When I started writing Queen Bed and a Kitchen I never imagined our travels expanding beyond or without the camper. I wonder if I need a new blog name? At any rate, we’ve got one more day trip planned before heading “down under”. Pinnacles National Park, one of our newest parks is nearby. It was established in 2013 and begs for a visit.
Happy New Year.