Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Forty years goes by in a flash!

Forty years ago I was a silly 20 year old and Mr. Scottie Dog was just 23.  We were young, full of ideals and in love.  So much has happened in our lives in 40 years and yet it has gone by in a flash!  We had lots of love back then (still do!) but very little money.  Our honeymoon consisted of driving from Southern CA to Northern CA.  Just two and a half days of on the road.

We've been many places in the world since and wanted to take a fun trip to commemorate our 40th anniversary.  This year we only had a small window of time so Mr. Scottie Dog set out to plan a special trip for us.  Both of us had been to Yosemite as kids and once we had driven through the park when our girls were small.

If you aren't from California you might not realize how big a state it is.  We drove all day Friday and spent the night in Merced, a town two hours away from Yosemite National Park.  Next morning after breakfast it was off to Yosemite.  This is a popular place.  We waited in a line of cars, buses and motor homes for 45 minutes just to get to the entrance gate.  Sheer granite cliffs were peeking through the trees as we wound up the Merced River Valley.  After we drove into the park we turned South towards Wawona and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequioa trees.  An hour later after climbing to 6,000' and then down to 4,000' elevation we arrive at our lodging...The Wawona Hotel.
The Wawona Hotel was built in 1879 and is certainly a Grand Old Lady.  This building is the third or fourth on the site.  It houses the lobby, dining room, kitchens, and music room downstairs.  A beautiful and wide veranda winds on three sides.  Upstairs are 25 rooms, a couple of suites, shower rooms and shared bathrooms. This is where we thought we were staying.  I certainly thought the charm of staying here was worth the "excuse me, I've got to go to the toilet" down the hall.
Imagine our delight upon being shown to the "Clark Cottage" a few steps from the main hotel.  This is our delightful Victorian corner suite. And it had it's own private bathroom! Two adirondack chairs on our porch were put to good use.  Clark Cottage is the oldest building in the 6 building complex, built in 1876.

Comfy bed (that's the side veranda of the main hotel through the window).

 A little desk, our chairs just outside the windows.  No phones, no TV....we sat and enjoyed the evenings.  One night a large and extended family posed for photos on the lawn outside.  Turns out it was a family from Redlands and surrounding area (where I grew up in So. CA) celebrating mom and dad's 50th anniversary!

Even the bathroom floor seemed made for us....Grandma's Flower Garden Hex Quilt Pattern!

 We took some hikes.  This one was to Yosemite Lower Falls.  The Falls seemed to disappoint many of the hikers...just a trickle of water this year (and Upper Falls was just a damp smear on the rocks).  After all this is a huge drought year.  I still found it beautiful.  In the park we heard so many languages being spoken: German, Spanish, French, Korean, Japanese and more.  At breakfast at the table next to me two young men were speaking French.  Later we observed them speaking an Asian language;  Vietnamese? Cambodian?

We stopped and an Australian couple took our photo with Half Dome barely visible through the trees.

 Another hike with the Fallen Giant in the background this time.  That is the root system of a tree that was on the ground over 150 years ago....looks pretty much the same since it takes redwoods so long to decompose.  This is where the "FAT" Giant Sequoia trees grow.   They like the elevation and the heat in the summer (and they get snow in the winter).  Where we live on the Northern CA coast is where the "TALL" Redwood trees grow.  They are still huge trees, just not quite as "fat" as these.  We found out that BOTH trees are the California State Tree(s).

Up at Glacier Point we could pose again with Half Dome.  We could also look awaaaaay down and see the Ahwahnee Hotel on the valley floor.

Here's a photo I took earlier in the day at the Ahwahnee.  Little did I know that I'd be up there on the top of Glacier Point later in the day.  This photo was taken with my back to the pool which was so clearly seen from up above.

We had the Grand Sunday Brunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel on our Anniversary.  Oh, my!  Every imaginable lovely breakfast item...Mr. Scottie Dog raved about the Eggs Benedict but I must confess I chose more luncheon-type items from the salads, cheese tray...the prawns served in an ice sculpture, poached salmon, some cheese tortaellini, mussels, pesto chicken and more.
 Finally came dessert....I wish we could say we tasted it all, but we just couldn't.  It was all so decadent and delicious.  A meal to remember and the views were spectacular.  The Ahwahnee Hotel was built in 1927 and is impressive and imposing.  It was fun to explore, but I was glad to go back to my more private Victorian Cottage at the Wawona  at the end of the day.

Here's one last photo of one of the giants we saw.  It was a nice and relaxing trip.  We'll remember it fondly.  Drove on to spend another night in Sacramento, swim a little and today drove back home.  It's true what they say, "East, West, Home's Best."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Promised Pictures!

Yesterday I promised pictures.  Can anyone tell me how to turn photos in Blogger?  These first two photos are saved right side up in my computer but Blogger insists they are to be on their side.  I even tried to save them on their sides so Blogger would turn them correctly, but no deal.  Here they are anyway!  If you can help me please let me know how to turn them correctly.
 Mr. Scottie Dog with Tinkerbelle and another Faerie at Disneyland.

 Mercedes picking a radish from the garden.

 Here's Jakob just before the second front tooth came out!

Adorable Shiloh and her dessert....looks luscious! 

 Look at those eyes!  Anastacia has my mom's blue, oh so blue eyes!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Where have I been?

I have no excuse.  Where have I been, you ask?

Well, let's see.....June 10 (over a month ago!) Mr. Scottie Dog, daughter Liz, granddaughter Sydney and I loaded up the car and went to San Luis Obispo to see our dear friend, Samantha Trehearne graduate with her BS degree in Architectural Engineering.  Quite an accomplishment for an up and coming 20 year old!  We've known Sam from the days she sewed with us at Kid's Camp at Scottie Dog Quilts.  She worked for us occasionally as does her mother, Crystal.  We cheered her on as she tackled Jr. College while still in high school and as she went on to CalPoly.  We salute you, Sammy!

After Graduation we drove to LA for a wonderful trip to Disneyland!  Mr. Scottie Dog and I went for one day.  We had a great time.  Sydney hated loved riding on Indiana Jones...she had to go twice!  Grandma screamed on Splash Mountain and we all cooled off on Pirates of the Caribbean.  It was great to watch the Fantasmic show--a laser show projected on sprays of water with music, fireworks and live action figures too.  As the sun was setting we did my favorite ride...It's a Small World.  The next day Liz and Sydney went back to the park and we drove a bit around LA.  In the afternoon I boarded a plane for Minnesota!

I can't find my photos (maybe tomorrow) but I had a wonderful time with Jakob, Mercedes, Shiloh and Anastacia.  They had colored pictures for me and taped them on my door....I think Mercedes used half a roll of tape putting hers up.  It was a nice welcome.  We did what I love to do....went to the beach at Cleary Lake, walked around Featherstone Lake, went to the playground, ate dinner on the deck, watered the garden, read books, went to the Library and the Zoo...and just hung out together.  It was a glorious 2 weeks.

For the past few weeks I've just done what I usually do.  I taught several classes at our store, I have done a bit of sewing and I've gone to my Aqua Aerobics classes.  We had Sydney over a couple of times and we went to hear Mr. Scottie Dog and the Humboldt Accordioneers play.  It's good to be home.  I've got two trips planned in the next several weeks but I'll wait until next time to tell you about them.  For all of you who have emailed me, I'm fine and well.  I think if you take a little break from blogging it is just too easy to let it slide....I'll do it tomorrow.  And we all know how often tomorrow comes!!!