Wednesday, December 24, 2014


We only had one full day to enjoy the beautiful Yosemite National Park so we got up early and made sure to fill every minute to the fullest.  We began with a nature walk with a naturalist and learned all about the history of the park along with fascinating facts about some of the vegetation and rock formations that make the park so famous.

After our informative stroll my dad and I rented a couple of bikes and biked all over the valley floor while my mom explored the visitors center.

Part of our bike ride took us to the visitor center to get cancellations and stamps in our National Parks Passport!

After a couple hours of bike riding, we met back up with mom and went on a open air tram tour of the entire valley floor!  It was really fun

This beautiful look at point is on the bank of the Mercer River looking at the famous Three Brothers.  This is the spot that a young 14 year old Ansel Adams developed an interest in photography.  I just had to create an Ansel-eque photo of this magnificent spot.  See below.

To end our tram tour with a bang, we drove up to a gorgeous overview look out point.  From here we could see El Capitan, Horsetail Fall, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, and Sentinel Rock.

That night I experimented with some long night exposures.  Since I didn't have all the gear I needed to keep the lens open as long as I needed it to, I couldn't get amazing photos like we got when we took our Edge of the Universe pictures.  But I still thought they were kind of fun.  It was fun to be out in the park at night, it has beautiful views of the star filled sky.

The next morning we had to pack up and leave the beautiful Ahwahanee Hotel and Yosemite.  I can't wait to go back one day!  We drove to the Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoias and Redwood trees and took another open air tram tour to see some of these majestic trees.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Ahwahnee Hotel

We had the absolutely wonderful opportunity to stay at the beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel during our short stay at Yosemite National Park.  The hotel opened in 1927 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1987.  It is so fun to stay at this lovely hotel, if I ever get lucky enough to get to stay there again I would love to come visit during the winter time, it is has the perfect lodge-y feeling that would be the perfect getaway during the winter.

The main hall was my favorite part of the hotel.  It is a ginormous room filled with couches, comfy chairs, candle filled chandeliers and big fireplaces.  It is so cozy, I could have spent hours reading in there.  The hotel hosts an afternoon tea in the main hall, open to all guests every afternoon.  We made sure to stop by after our exciting day in the park.  I chose to enjoy a cup of herbal lemon rose tea.

The dining room was exquisite.  It was a beautiful sight all lit up for dinner, every table had a single long candle as the center piece.  We also ate breakfast in this dining room, and I would enjoy a big cup of hot chocolate, complete with whipped cream, every morning. The food served there was so delicious!