Thursday, July 2, 2009

Yosemite Family Vacation

Boo Hoo. Vacation is over. Do you ever feel sad after vacation? I miss my son and his family who live far away, and my youngest son. I miss that wonderful feeling of anticipation and planning. I miss all that "looking forward" to something that you just KNOW is going to be AWESOME!

And, it was AWESOME! This was our 8th family Yosemite Trip. I would be able to say "in a row", but we did not go last year because of dear daughter's wedding.

I will now indulge myself in memories of a fabulous time. Is that okay?

Here is our little "home" for 6 days. There are two sides, this side was mine, the other side was for my son and his family. I decorated both sides with lights and blue paper lanterns. Don't you think it needs a little "decor"?

This is called the "bear box". All food and toiletries must be kept locked up in here. They are very serious about this. Bears? Hmmmm.

We got a fabulous campsite this year. This is the view from our campfire area. Can you imagine? Just sitting there watching the Yosemite Falls in the distance and the river right in front of you? So relaxing!

After we get our camp all set up, our first night tradition is to go to Curry Village (on bikes) for pizza. It's the perfect way to start the week.

Yummy. And, we are all still "clean"!

The first day is "my day". That means that hubby and I are responsible to feed and entertain everyone. Our "theme" is Mardi Gras. Now, I have never been to Mardi Gras, so this will all be my own interpretation. My kids expect my "Swedish Hotcakes" for breakfast, it's a dish that my Grandma used to make, and now it's MY tradition. It's really just crepes with powered sugar. I bought some gold and green sprinkles, magically transforming them in to "Mardi Gras Hotcakes"!!

Mmmmmm, delicious!!

After breakfast we have a mask making session. Everyone thought this was the most fun!! And, wow, did they ALL get so creative! Notice the vintage lantern above their heads? This is something my oldest son found out in the shed. He painted it gold and it is now the "trophy". The best theme day will get the trophy! Yes, we (hubby & I) won last time!!! It's talked about (trash talking of course) all year!!

The glitter remained on the ground for the rest of the trip.

Our youngest son works at the Awahnee, it's his job to keep this room clean! Hubby got a very special tour of the place. Wow.

There are always some very special moments that happen. This was surely one of them! My Mother in Law came for only one day. Wish she could have stayed longer.

Rafting is my favorite activity. Seeing this makes me want to go back right now and raft!

The evening festivities are about to begin! Here is my granddaughter playing with the dart board. Notice the yellow, purple and green streamers for Mardi Gras! Dinner was Jambalaya (a little "hot" if I may say so myself!).

Evening included, best masks, chosen by the girls, a performance of "You are my sunshine" by the girls, and a New Orleans style music club at our campfire. We had guitars, singing, harmonica and everyone got involved. Even my Mother in Law joined in and taught us all some songs.

Now, it's Wednesday morning and time for a New theme day. It's my daughter's turn. Since her hubby could not come, she recruited her younger brother to help out.

Can you guess the theme?

Mexican Fiesta!!

Yummy food, her day always has really good food! Breakfast burritos in the morning, tortillas and fixins for lunch. And, Carnitas for dinner. I was supposed to bring a crock pot and I forgot. So, my son borrowed one and they rigged it up to be plugged in to an extension cord and still locked in the bear box. We could smell it all day, mmmmm.

She had lots of fun planned! This looks promising.

We had a lot of wind. We had to "wrap" our little tent area to keep everything from blowing away!

After lunch we took raft trip. This entails a lot of preparation. The rafts have to be left at our starting point. Then the truck has to be left at the bottom of the river to take the rafts back. We have to leave another vehicle to bring back the people. We developed a system for this and everyone knew just what to do.

Finally!! We get to eat the yummy dish that has been cooking ALL day!

We must pause for a moment and take another look at this gorgeous view from our campsite. Aaah.

After dinner, there were games! We had teams (competition?.....I'm in!!). We raced to open our pinatas, find a whistle...on to "pin the tail on the donkey", then we had to kidnap 2 people from another campsite to come back with us and perform the "Macarana". Which we managed to do.

By this time, we were gaining somewhat of a reputation in the campground. Everyone is wondering what the heck we are up to!

S'mores anyone? We were visited at our campfire by some "Aussies", visitors from Australia. They had never had a S'more. We fixed them up!! Delicious!

Thursday. What is the theme today? Can you tell?

Yep, it's "Pirate Day", mate. My oldest son made a wonderful breakfast. He may get my vote on the bacon alone!!

Dear daughter and I rode bikes over to Yosemite Falls. It's the same waterfall we can see from our campsite. There are so many people in Yosemite from all over the world. It's so interesting to hear all the different languages people are speaking. It's pretty common to take pictures for one another. No words necessary. Gestures with the camera are all you need.

This is the bottom of the "Lower Yosemite Falls".

My youngest son who works in Yosemite, found a quiet place for hubby to get some work done.

More rafting (of course).

Everyone has to carry their own raft up to the truck. Aren't they adorable?

Our evening entertainment was a murder mystery. We were all given characters and assignments. It's was sooooo much fun!! Everyone played at 100%!

What a bunch of actors!!

I was "One Eyed Wanda". A rough and tough Pirate....Aaargh!

Hubby was the "Govenor". Don't you just love his "hair". He is pretty creative. He even made a scabbard for his "sword" out of a plastic cup!

Lot's of swordfights broke out. Roudy bunch, wouldn't you say?

The evening ended with Poker. That sounds like something Pirates would do, doesn't it? I would like to mention the delicious ka bobs they fixed for dinner!

We all decided that Pirates loot is way better to play with than poker chips.

Last day is a "free day". Everyone must fend for themselves as far as food and entertainment goes. Auntie does her fancy braiding for the girls.

As we go around camp, folks are asking us what our "theme" is today. They seem disapointed that we don't have one. I guess we entertained more than just ourselves on this trip!

They got compliments all day!

A work of art!!

Most of the group went hiking. I opted for more rafting. That more my speed!

Last night here and it's time to vote! Do YOU have a favorite theme day?

It's a secret ballot of course!!

And the WINNER is .....(drum roll please) Pirate Day!! Those girls were so very proud to have the trophy.

It's our tradition to take the family picture. We all decided that we must do this picture at the beginning next time, when we are all clean and excited, instead of at the end when we are all dirty, tired and ready to go home.....and maybe just a little sad to be saying goodbye.

Will it be another year before they get to see Uncle?

Lot's of hugs to go around!


Time to pack up all that stuff that we just HAD to have!

It was the best of times. Is it too early to start planning for next year? Heck no....that is most of the fun!!



  1. Stephanie!
    This looks like so much fun. I would like to have gone too. What a wonderful thing to have theme nights. That would be a good idea to have theme weekends when the grandkids come so that each one would be different. Have a wonderful safe 4th. I have signed up to follow your BLOG. PLease pop over and sign up for mine as well, as I would love to follow your writings. "Country Hugs", Sherry

  2. I LOVED it. Thanks for sharing your trip. I lived it vicariously through your camera and stories. It was beautiful, fun and entertaining. Loved it!!!! I can't believe how big the girls are getting!! Just adorable.

  3. Wow! It looks like you all had a great vacation! I love that idea of choosing a theme for each fun!

  4. I'm not a camper and I don't like "roughin' it" but it really does look like ya'll had an awesome time. It almost makes me wish I was there! Almost. ;)

  5. Wow, that looks like it was a great trip. I really enjoyed reading about it too. Awesome!


Thank you for commenting! Let's stay in touch, follow my blog or twitter and I will follow you!