Warning- this is a trip report, if you don't like detailed trip reports you should hit the back button on your browser now, yes Chuck, that was for you ;).
Continuing on our adventure...
Day 5- woke up to more of the beauty of Tuolome Meadows Lodge. Packed up, had some muffins from the small lodge store and checked out. Grabbed some gas at the Tuolome Gas station, I can't remember the exact price but it was near or right over $5.00 per gallon. Drove down the Tioga road, very little traffic. Stopped at Tenaya Lake for more fishing. This lake is really gorgeous. Funny- my little boy thought the water was too cold so he climbed on a log in the shallow water to cast his pole, at his first cast the momentum dropped him right off the log full into that really cold water, he was NOT amused (but we were). Wish I had the video camera out ;).
We got down to Curry Village around noon. Tried to check in early, no line, and found our hard sided cabin with out bath was surprisingly ready. Found a fairly close parking spot and settled in. Our unit (can't remember the #) was a very short walk from the pool and showers, located directly behind the ampitheater and the dining pavillion. 2 double beds and a nice roomy closet area. No bear box required since it was hard sided, Yay! They also provide a fan, which we REALLY needed as the temp was 102. There were 4 electrical outlets in the cabin with the heater unplugged. We settled in, hubby took dirty laundry to housekeeping camp to wash and the kids and I went for a swim. Right after we got out of the pool and went to the store for ice cream bars the sky fell in. A huge thunderstorm dumped quite a bit of rain on the valley. We sheltered in the store,all the employees were excited about the rain. (We are from Louisiana, it rains almost every day here in the summer so we were not quite as excited but we understood why they were). Ran back to the cabin and the kids worked on their Junior ranger/little cub workbooks until the rain stopped. Hubby got back. Headed to the ampitheater at 645pm for Wee Wild Ones program on raccoons headed by Rachel, it was great and the kids really enjoyed it. After we got Pizza, 30 minute wait in line to order then 40 minute wait for the pizza, but it tasted pretty good. Got to bed, we did not notice any noise problems at all, but the room was a bit stuffy due to the extreme heat that day.
Day 6- Got up and headed to Yosemite Village. Shopped, checked out the museum and indian village, the kids favorite part was learning to play the indian dice game. We went to the visitor center and met with a ranger who looked over the kids work books then swore them in as a little cub and a junior ranger. I wish i could remember this rangers name. He spent about 20 minutes just sitting with the kids and talking to them about theactivities they did. then he stood up and announced to everyone in the visitor center that they had just been sworn in. He was so wonderful with them and really took a lot of time to make it special.
We then went to Yosemite falls trail head and walked to yosemite falls. There was still quite a bit of water in the falls and the wind blowing the spray on us felt wonderful as it was another day of more than 100 degree heat. This is an easy trail with a spectacular end result so it was perfect for the kids. After that we went back to Yosemite Village store, there was a BBQ going on in a parking area to benefit the YA so we had lunch there. They had veggieburgers for Sierra so that was good. Shopped a bit more at the Village store- very well stocked, prices were a bit high but not outrageous. Then headed back for another swim in the pool. Kids did another wee wild one program- bats this time. They did not like as much as the raccon one but they learned a lot about bats. The shower lines were insane so we all made do with a spongebath. Had sandwiches in the room. Room was a little more stuffy and hubby has trouble sleeping but the rest of us were fine.
Day 7- Hubby's 40th Birthday! Checked out of Curry and headed up to Glacier Point. On the way we stopped at the pull out near Avalanche creek because people were standing and pointing. Got out of the car and found that tehre was a bear on the ridge above us in the trees. Kids watched him walk around in awe. mission accomplished, we saw a bear! Headed up to Glacier Point, not much traffic, great views. Had sandwiches up near the point and had to fight off the very bold squirrels, the kids were very amused by their antics. Headed back down and saw LOTS of traffic heading up so I guess we missed the rush. Stopped at a beautiful wildflower meadow for some pictures. Hubby was upset because people were walking out into the meadow, a BIG no no!!
Got to the Ahwahnee around one pm. Room was not ready so we wandered the grounds and got a snack. Room was ready before 2pm. Checked in, I got the bed and breakfast package so they gave us 2 tickets for our breakfasts. I found ut that you can use them in the dining room OR for room service and they include tax and gratuity. We were on the 4th floor. The room was beautiful, 2 double beds with a small balcony that overlooked the pool and lawn. Another big window on the wall across from the bed. A BATHROOM, finally! A note here- the tolietries at the Awahnee smell heavenly, they are some type of green tea extract and they are fantastic.
The kids just sat on the beds and enjoyed the air conditioning and the first tv they had seen since leaving home. We rested then headed down to Tea service which is complimentary for guests from 4-5 pm in the lobby, tea and cookies which we all enjoyed, kids were very well mannered and behaved and I was very proud of them. We then went to the small but heated pool. Not crowded at all. Swam then went and showered. We had 8pm reservatios in the Ahwahnee dining room for hubby's bday dinner. Waiter was pleasant, hubby had filet and I had prime rib, kids had pasta. Food was very good and the prtions were extremely large. I was a little dissapointed because i called ahead to inform them that it was hubby's birthday and they were supposed to bring a dessert with a candle on it and the pianist would play happy birthday but when they brought dessert none of that happened. I mentioned to hubby in front of the waiter, well i guess this is your Bday cake and the waiter then apologized and said he forgot it was a birthday. Otherwise meal was great, Dillon fell asleep at the table during dessert. Meal was $150 with 20 percent tip. We slept wonderfully, beds are pillow topped and super comfy.
Day 8- Had breakfast in the dining room, we ordered off the menu instead of the buffet. I had eggs benedict, hubby had breakfast wrap, kids had pancakes. The portions were HUGE and the food was very good. We then headed for Mirror Lake on the shuttle. Took the walk to Mirror Lake, some prtions are a bit steep and kids were a little whiny in the heat (and I guess they were getting a bit tired) but they revived after splashing in the water. Hubby said mirror lake has really dried up a lot since he saw it last. Headed back to the room and relaxed for awhile. Kids went for a swim again. Then we went to Degnan's Loft for Pizza, it was good and the price was good. Headed back to the room and went to bed early.
Day 9- our last day. Got up and ordered room service breafast, again very good. Checked out and headed to Wawona. Dive was nice, little traffic. Got there around 11 am, too early to check in to the hotel. We walked through the Pioneer village. There was a Blacksmith working that the kids really enjoyed watching. the cabins were interesting to see. We took a ride in the stage coach. The driver is a park ranger who has been driving stage coaches since he was 14. We had a great talk with him during the ride. He was very informative about the history of the area. We went to the store and got some snacks then waited forthe shuttle to take us to the Mariposa Grive. Nice 20 minute shuttle ride up to the grove. Here we made a mistake. We decided to wlk to the Grizzly Giant (the sign said it was only 0.8 of a mile, I figured No problem), it is listed as easy in the guide book. We were wearing flip flops that day. This walk is steep and a bit slippery due to loose gravel. It was very hot, again near or at 100 degrees. The walk was sort of a strain on the kids but the trees are awe inspiring. Dillon slipped on the way down a scraped his hand but he was fine once we got a band aid on it. Got the shuttle back to Wawona. Checked in to our room around 3pm. Found out that breakfast was complimentary for guests and was given a breakfast ticket for the next day. Had a room with bath in the Annex building on the first floor, one double and one single bed (they brought another single roll away in around 7 pm). Large windows looking out over the lawn towards the swimming tank. Charming bathroom with a claw foot tub. There are 2 adirondack chairs and a small table outside on the covered proch in front of each room.
The kids and hubby went for a swim in the swimming tank which is heated to a nice refreshing temp. After showers at 5:30 we headed to the BBQ on the Lawn. They do this every Saturday. It was about 60 dollars for the 4 of us. The food was terrific. They had mahi mahi, flank steak, ribs, chicken, hot dogs, burgers, and veggie patties. The corn was swimming in butter, I think Sierra ate about 4 pieces. They had a nice array of cold salads and sides as well. We ate quite a bit, sat with a few other people at the table and they were all very friendly. After dinner hubby went to listen to Tom Bopp play old time Yosemite songs in the hotel lobby. Kids played with their souvenirs in the room. I sat on the adirondack chairs and read, the most relaxing evening I have had in a long time. Some other guests started a bingo game in the annex lounge and still others had an impromptu sing a long while someone played guitar on the porch. It was a neat evening. We slept well, but we did have to leave the windows open and use the fan provided to cool off the room.
Day 10- Got up and went to Breakfast in the Wawona dining room, very old fashioned and charming. They have a nice breakfast buffet with belgian waffles, fruit, bagels/muffins, eggs, hashbrowns, etc. Very good and the waiter was very prompt with the drinks. Tip is not included on the breakfast coupon so we just left him cash on the table. We were in the car heading to Fresno by 10am. Got to Fresno airport around 11:15. Returned rental car and got through security pretty easily, although hubby was picked for a random security scan. Kids were a little nervous about this but the soon became amused as my hubby kind of played it up a bit. The TSA personnel were very friendly and were very nice to the kids. Grabbed snacks for the plane at our gate and our flight boarded and took off on time at 1:25 pm (Cali time). Flight was a bit bumpy and Dilon got a little nauseated on landing but he held up well. We landed in DFW at 6:55 pm (central). The return promptly went downhill right about here. When we located our gate in c concourse we were told that there were delays due to a storm in Atlanta. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 9:25 pm and was now pushed back to 10:15 pm. What are you going to do? So we went to the food court and ate, then settled down to wait. The kids played their videos, I read, hubby watched the news on overhead tv. Promptly my dad called me and said he had been watching the flight online and our departure was now pushed to 10:56 pm. OK. Shortly after that it was listed as 11:15pm. Flights started to be cancelled all round us and I got nervous, hubby got rapidly more irritable, kids started to get a bit hyper. I went and talked to the gate agent around 9:30 and he assured me the plane was in the air on the way from Atlanta and we would not get stuck over night. The plane landed at 10:50 pm. We began boarding at 11:05 pm and were then informed that our flight crew would become "illegal" at 11:20. If we did not board quickly then we would be spending the night in Dallas. You never saw people stow carry ons so fast. Finally the plane (and its illegal flight crew) took off around 11:25. We landed in NOLA at 12:40, no trouble with baggage and headed home.
It was a terrific trip and I would have planned it all wrong if it wasn't for the help of those on this forum. So, a great big THANK YOU to everyone who helped. The pictures from the trip can be viewed at
Thanks for reading!! Let me know if you have any specific questions about any of the places we stayed or the things we did and i will be happy to answer.