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Old 26 Oct 19, 08:47 PM  
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smithlane
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The BIG Little Lies California Road Trip - 4th August 2019 - Drive to Yosemite & Curry Village

Day 18

Woke to the alarm at 8 after a not so comfortable nights sleep. The apartment was fine just the beds really let it down with cheap polyester bedding and lumpy mattresses. We packed up which thankfully wasnít a lot and met the Leans out by reception at 9.15.

















We had a slight detour for breakfast as I wanted to go to Panera Bread. It was only a couple of miles in the wrong direction
I love this place, so much choice!













I had a plain bagel with butter and a bear claw, Jim a bacon, egg and cheese wrap, Hope her predictable 2 croissants and Sam a yoghurt, fruit and granola pot with a blueberry muffin.
Took a pager to wait for the bagel and wrap but got our pastries straight away. Didnít wait long, this was just what I needed. Bear claw was tasty too!



On the way out we stopped to talk to a lady having her breakfast outside as she had her dog with her. The absolutely gorgeous Alfred was only 6 months old but was already the size of our Labrador . He was a mountain Pyrenees mixed with a German pointer and was the cutest thing ever. We were really missing our Boris now, which meant we spent far longer than we should have petting him .

Got back on the road at 10.15, ready for the 4 hour drive to Yosemite.
Not much to see on the way, very flat agricultural land. We stopped halfway in Fresno for a loo break and something to eat from In and Out Burger. Iíve been wanting to try one of these all holiday. We got 4 cheeseburger meals, $27.64 altogether. Bargain!
Wow these were amazing!





Sean was very happy with his burger!



It was now 12.20 so stopped quickly to top up the tank with $35 of fuel before getting on our way again.
Sat Nav was showing another 2hrs 25 and 96 miles to go.
As we entered the Sierra Nevada mountains, Jim took over the driving as I wanted to take lots of photos.
Just stunning!









We paid the $25 National Park entrance fee, worth every penny



Even when you enter the park its still 35 miles to the Valley Floor







First glimpse of Half Dome



We went through a tunnel in the mountain and just the other side was Tunnel View. And this is what welcomed us!















I had tears in my eyes, stupid I know but photos just do not do it justice. I couldnít believe we were finally here.

We soon got going again as there was loads of traffic heading into the Valley.





Yosemite Falls



We needed to jump out at Housekeeping Camp for a wee as we were bursting! Quick 5 minute pit stop we were soon on our way again.







By 3.30 we were parked up outside Reservations. Helen and I went to check in together. Luckily they had put our tents next to each other, we didnít quite realise how big Curry Village is!

A little fact for you, up until recently this was called Half Dome Village but has gone back to its original name of Curry Village, named after David Curry and Jenny Foster who founded it.
The 5 star Majestic Hotel has also changed back to the Ahwahnee Hotel, both these changes were due to a dispute between the US Government and Delaware North being settled.


The guy helping gave us each maps and told us where everything was and explained the bus system and what stops to get off at for each trail.

Once we had our keys in hand we drove round to find our tents, thankfully there were spaces right by them so we didnít need to drag our suitcases from the main car park.



Ours



The Leans







Opened up the tents and man were they hot! Thankfully weíd only be sleeping in them, there wasnít much room to swing a cat

Got all our stuff sorted and emptied every morsel of food from the car and put it all in the bear proof locker outside. Iíd brought a padlock with us so used that to secure it.
We all got changed into our swim stuff then headed down to the communal pool, only a 5 minute walk away.
This is certainly the most beautiful car park Iíve ever been in.





We got there about 5, the kids were so happy to let off some steam having been in the car for most of the day again. I pulled up a sun lounger and finished my book. It was just bliss.
They had divided the pool into 2 sections, which was a great idea. The end we were at you had to be 13 or older or do a swim test. This meant all the little kids were kept down the other end













We stayed until 6.30 then went to find something to eat. Looked in The Grill but what was on offer did not look appealing whatsoever. More like a school canteen



Tried the Pizza Patio but the queue was huge so instead went with Meadow Grill. The menu looked ok so went with here. Ordered a hotdog and fries for the kids, a buffalo chicken sandwich and fries for Jim and a chicken quesadilla and fries for me. With 4 sodas it came to $54.









Waited about 10 minutes for our number to be called. It was actually really tasty and not at all what we thought it would be like.
There were copious squirrels scrounging for food, they were cute but we know better than to feed them. The penalty is $5000! They jump up on the benches and everything







Once finished we were aiming to do the short Lower Yosemite Falls Trail so went back to the tent to change as most of us were still in our swim stuff. We set off at 8 and walked to the nearest bus stop 20.







We waited and waited and waited some more. Got to 8.30 and we realised weíd never get there in the light so decided to do a loop of the valley floor instead. No sign of any bus coming our way but a bus was coming in the opposite direction so jumped on that one thinking it would take us there the other way. Most people waiting at the bus stop did the same, well we all got a telling off from the driver for jumping the line and we were only getting away with it because itís quiet! Eh . There was no one at the other bus stop at all, we hadnít cut in front of anyone but she wouldnít stop harping on about it . We went as far as the Pines Campground then back to where we started. It was pitch black and couldnít see anything so cut our losses for the night and went to the bar instead

The kids sat in the WiFi lounge for a bit desperately trying to get online but soon gave up when they realised the service was rubbish
Good! It meant they had to converse with us.



I had a quick look around the gift shop noting all the bits I wanted





Back at the bar Jim had ordered me a vodka and cranberry and a Coors light for him. Not cheap at $14.50 though. The bar is right next to the Pizza Patio and there was still a ginormous queue even at this time of night!
One thing we have noticed is that in peak times there are just not enough facilities to accommodate the amount of people either staying or visiting. Just something to be aware if you plan on going in the US school holidays, there are queues everywhere you look.

We enjoyed our drinks before retiring to bed at 10pm. We needed an earlyish night as the alarm is being set for 4.30am in the hope we see the sunrise over Glacier Point

Edited at 08:41 AM.
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Old 26 Oct 19, 09:07 PM  
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JudyC
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We loved Yosemite, it's awesome in the true sense of the word
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Old 26 Oct 19, 09:50 PM  
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Yosemite is so awe inspiring, the view as you come out of the tunnel is amazing. Photos really donít do it justice.
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Old 27 Oct 19, 03:19 PM  
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The photos of the drive up were amazing. I hope you enjoyed the camping, I can tell you were looking forward to it!
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Old 1 Nov 19, 11:25 PM  
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smithlane
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Originally Posted by JudyC View Post
We loved Yosemite, it's awesome in the true sense of the word
It truly is! Everywhere you look in every direction is another spectacular view
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Old 1 Nov 19, 11:27 PM  
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Originally Posted by Macca04 View Post
Yosemite is so awe inspiring, the view as you come out of the tunnel is amazing. Photos really donít do it justice.
They really don't, the camera doesn't capture the sheer magnitude of it all! I will never forget that view as you come out of the tunnel, nothing can describe it
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Old 1 Nov 19, 11:29 PM  
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
The photos of the drive up were amazing. I hope you enjoyed the camping, I can tell you were looking forward to it!
The views were amazing in every direction, you didn't know where to look!
Haha, the camping didn't quite go to plan
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Old 3 Nov 19, 01:34 PM  
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Well worth the trek to get there. Looks stunning. And thank goodness for decent food at Panera Bread.
I canít believe they were actual tents , I did a double take !
Sounds like a very nice afternoon and evening. Interesting point about the queues for the food places.
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Old 3 Nov 19, 05:47 PM  
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Originally Posted by WileyCoyote View Post
Well worth the trek to get there. Looks stunning. And thank goodness for decent food at Panera Bread.
I canít believe they were actual tents , I did a double take !
Sounds like a very nice afternoon and evening. Interesting point about the queues for the food places.
Totally worth the trek when we saw that view!
I love Panera Bread, Iím not sure why we didnít hunt one out earlier in the holiday.
Haha yes, actual camping! Probably not my wisest ever holiday decision 🙈
Itís crazy, Yosemite is one of Americaís busiest National Parks you would have thought in the height of summer they would get more staff in!
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Old 8 Nov 19, 10:09 PM  
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Fab start to your Yosemite stay those photo's of the drive in and Tunnel view are fab. I too was brought to tears.
Can't wait to read about the rest
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