Day 7 – Mariposa to Carmel Valley

Today we woke up at 8am and finished packing all our stuff up again. We loaded the car for Carmel Valley and grabbed another breakfast in the hotel. The drive to Carmel Valley was about 2 1/2 hours. On the way we stopped to get some drinks and I ran into a very angry man in Quizznos who almost decked me for accidentally “cutting” him on line to pay…ahhh well.

After checking into the Hidden Valley Inn, we drove to Carmel-by-the-Sea. We went for a drive down Scenic Dr and finally saw the Pacific Ocean!! We also explored up and down Ocean Avenue before stopping at Portobello’s for a great dinner. I had amazing penne pasta with chicken apple sausage and an apple tart with vanilla ice cream.

We also drove through Carmel Valley, which is where we are staying, before going back to the hotel. We wanted to go swimming but it was cold and the pool was very dirty so we watched TV instead….

Day 6 – Yosemite

So today was the day I was most looking forward to by far. I got to go bike riding through Yosemite Valley. After waking up again at 7:30am and grabbing breakfast at the hotel (today I had fruit loops and an english muffin), we headed to Yosemite via 140 to the Western entrance.

First we walked to Briadalvail Fall. It was awesome and Kevin and I hiked to the bottom of the fall. Then we stopped at the Old Chapel, which is all that is left of the Old Yosemite Village. We then parked in the day use lost and went to the store. Then we boarded the tram/shuttle thing that goes around the Valley and went to the Yosemite Lodge where we rented bikes. At this point, I separated from Joan and Kevin and went on a 1 1/2 hour bike ride all over the valley. First I headed down to Curry Village and saw some amazing views on my way. Then I parked my bike and hiked up to Mirror Lake, which didn’t end up being as exciting as I thought it would be since the haze ruined some of the views and the reflection of Half Dome in the lake was distorted by all the people swimming in the lake due to the 90+ degree weather.

After my bike ride, I hiked to the Lower Yosemite fall. It was gorgeous and definitely the most crowded place I saw anywhere in the park. I then went back to the store and grabbed a burger before meeting back up with Joan and Kevin to head back.

When we got back to Mariposa, I got a fruit salad and baked potato for dinner. Even though it doesn’t seem like a great dinner, it was exactly what I needed. We all went for a swim again and now we’re watching Harry Potter #5. Tomorrow we are off to Carmel Valley…

Day 5 – Yosemite

Today we woke up at 7:30am to get some breakfast at the hotel. I made a waffle and had what I think was 1/2 OJ and 1/2 Sunny D…it sure wasn’t just OJ. Then we were off to Yosemite’s Southern entrance via 49 and 41.

We first hit up the Mariposa Groves and the Giant Sequoias. We took a shuttle to the grove, a tram through it and the shuttle back. The tram ride was so worth it. Then we drove up to Glacier Point which was absolutely amazing!!! I can’t even begin to describe what I saw, all I can say is check out my pictures which are coming soon. BTW – some of the pictures are blurry due to all the haze and smoke from the forest fires which aren’t all too far from where we’re at.

On the way back to Mariposa, we grabbed dinner in Oakhurst and I had a wonderful hot turkey and potato dinner. When we got back I jumped in the pool to cool off and now we’re watching some TV and relaxing.

Day 4 – San Fran to Mariposa

This morning we woke up and finished packing to leave San Fran. We went across the street to get our rental car from Avis. It’s a Buick Lucerne. We checked out and loaded up the car then grabbed another breakfast from Denny’s. This time I had a bagel with cream cheese and jelly and some hash browns. While we were hitting up the bathrooms to clean up and get ready for our drive out east, the hotel lost power briefly.

Then we had a 3 hour, no traffic, drive to Mariposa. It’s a small town near Yosemite that we are staying at for the next 3 nights…we are at the Yosemite Inn. When we checked in, you could tell we were not in the city anymore and Joan and Kevin found it all too funny that the people hear may be missing a tooth or two and are very country-ish. We then grabbed some lunch at the Miner’s Inn across the road where I had a gigantic taco salad.

Then we hit up the tourism center and got info on how to get to Yosemite and took a drive through town. We then went swimming in the ridiculously small and freezing pool in the hotel. We grabbed some dinner on the main road in town at a pizzeria which ended up being packed by the time we left.

Day 3 – San Fran

Today we slept in and woke up late. We went next door to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant. I had some amazing french toast. Then we spent 45 minutes looking for something for Kevin since his wire in his bottom brace is poking the inside of his mouth. Eventually we just got him some gauze.

We then boarded a ferry to Alcatraz at 12:40pm and left at 1:10pm. It was only a 20 minute ferry ride, but I met people from Naas who not only know Margaret, Peter & the boys, but on of their sons is on Conor’s hurling team that Peter coaches! Small world or what?!?! I walked up to the cell house on my own and had a nice walk. It was nice to have some space from Joan and Kevin. The tour inside the prison was a guided audio tour and a learned a lot. Plus I got a phone call from friends at home and it was nice to hear from all them 🙂 We got back on the 4:15pm ferry.

From there we headed to Pier 39 and ate at Wipeout. It was a fun restaurant and I had amazing clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. Then we headed back to the hotel to pack up as we are off to Mariposa & Yosemite tomorrow morning! I’m so excited and it’s what I’m looking forward to the most.

Day 2 – San Fran

Today we woke up at 7:30am to get ready. Then we went downstairs to Denny’s for some breakfast. I had 2 pancakes, toast, hash browns and bacon. We then went to Pier 41 to buy tickets for the ferry to Sausalito. While we waited for the ferry, I walked around Pier 39 and saw the sea lions again since the stores weren’t open yet. I also bought some postcards and sent them out.

We boarded the ferry at Pier 41, gate 1 about 10 minutes before we were set to leave. 22 minutes later we were in Sausalito, a little village on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. We walked around the town, saw some art, including art work by Dr. Seuss, and hit up some nice jewelry stores. Joan and I did some wine tasting. Joan did the first 3 of the sampler flight and I did the Just Desserts one. I bought two bottles of the first wine, a Moscato d’ Oro. It was sweet and perfect. The second was a Late Harvest Chardonnay and I found it too dry. The Petite Sirah was bitter and the Chocolate Port was nice at first, but quickly because to strong and bitter.

We got back to SF on the 1:30pm ferry and bought tickets for a motorized cable car tour of the city. It lasted 2 1/2 hours and we went all over the city. We saw Union Square, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown and about every other part of the city. After that we had dinner at Hard Rock and I got fajitas and we split a plate of nachos.

Now we are back at the hotel and watching Wipe Out on TV.

Day 1 – San Fran

Today I had to wake up at 4am. We got to JFK by 6am and the plane left at 8:30am. We had a great, smooth flight from JFK to SFO and landed in Cali at 11:35am. From the airport, we took a taxi with an awesome and fun taxi driver to our hotel. We were staying on Columbus Street at the Holiday Inn. When we got to the hotel, we checked in really quickly and they already had our room ready…and we were in the newer of the two buildings.

We then walked to Fisherman’s Wharf for some lunch at Taurantino’s (sp?). It was a great restaurant with a gorgeous view of the bay…I had a burger that was cooked too much and tasted like a charcoal rock. But the view was to die for and made up for the bad burger.

Then we walked down to Pier 33 to buy tickets to go to Alcatraz. On the way, we passed a living statue that Joan didn’t believe was really a human. We also went to the Aquarium. It really wasn’t all that great, but they had two amazing tunnels to walk through the fish which was awesome. I got to pet a tiger shark, the water was freezing and it felt like sand paper. Then we walked around Pier 39 and got some popcorn and watched the famous sea lions that just chill out there.

We attempted to get a cable car to go see Lombard Street (the crooked street) but the line was too long so we just went to Fisherman’s Pizzeria for some pizza for dinner. Then we headed back to the hotel, bought tickets to see the SF Giants play on our last night here and we are going to bed early since we are beat from a long day and still think its whatever time it is in NY right now…