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."


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you were able to spend your fortieth Wedding Anniversary in such a famous and beautiful place. Mr. Scotty Dog is so thoughtful of you! And of course you are so thoughtful of him. All that is needed for 40 great years, right? God bless the Scott's marriage with forty more!

Carol E. said...

Happy 40th! What a fun trip. Love the cottage. Our 40th will be in 2015.