Bakery, Barbells and Bargains I own a bakery, and I like to lift weights and shop

October 27, 2017

California 2017

Filed under: Vacations — shuss @ 10:37 am

Last time, I shared the Disneyland portion of our trip and today I am going to share the national parks portion. Enjoy!

In this trip, we flew into Fresno and from there went to visit Yosemite and then the Giant Sequoias/King’s Canyon. This wasn’t my first trip to these parks but my first time actually staying inside of them. We spent two nights at each park before flying back to Los Angeles.

We first went to Yosemite and stayed at The Big Trees Lodge just inside the park entrance. The Big Trees Lodge is definitely memorable. It is a very pretty white hotel made of several buildings nestled perfectly in the woods. There is a golf course, huge porches and one large dining room for meals. I kinda felt like I was on the set of Dirty Dancing. It was also very historical, the rooms were small with antique furniture and fixtures. It had original 1920’s wiring (you could not use a hair dryer) and a claw foot tub…..that was interesting, for some reason I have a fear of claw foot tubs, shudder! Fortunately, we booked rooms with private bathrooms as many are shared and you have to go outside to get to them, yikes! The rooms had no WiFi or television. We actually kinda just stood in the room clueless when we got there, haha. It was all good, we were still jet lagged and all in bed by 8 pm those first two nights.

Outside the main lobby at the Big Trees Lodge

While in the park, it was about an hour drive to the main Yosemite area. While beautiful, the very high mountain roads gave me some serious anxiety so I am glad we only had to make the drive two times a day. What I really liked about Yosemite, was once you were in the valley everything was close by. We parked at one area where we all enjoyed playing on some rocks and fallen trees, Samantha really enjoyed climbing rocks!

Playing on the rocks

Driving from our hotel to the valley

Miss Sammie exploring


Next, we took a nice paved trail to see some waterfalls and then took the shuttle bus over to visit the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. This luxury lodge is right in the park and very beautiful, we were lucky enough to take a tour and check it out. We ended our full day in Yosemite with lunch at a pizza place, browsing the souvenir shop and just enjoying the scenery. My favorite things in Yosemite included the amazing views of Half Dome, the Majestic Hotel tour and the animals, deer and chipmunks were everywhere.

Sammie loved seeing deer so close


The next morning after breakfast at the lodge, we headed out for the Sequoias. While Yosemite was stunning, I think everyone in our group was ready for a hotel with more modern amenities.   When we arrived to the Sequoias, we stopped at a nice area near our hotel with nice trails among the giant trees and had lunch at a nearby restaurant.  After a nice long walk, we checked into the John Muir Lodge for the next few nights.  I was thrilled to see a hair dryer and normal bathroom, Sammie was thrilled to see a TV and we were all very happy to have WiFi.  We had a late lunch, so that evening we had a small dinner on the porch.

Enjoying the new lodge

Looking for baby chipmunks

Our full day in the Sequoias included driving to many different stops including the Sherman tree which is the biggest tree in the world and a hike up to the top of Moro Rock.  What a hike, 300 feet up!  I wore my CrossFit shirt that day and I am pretty sure I heard it laughing at me as I huffed and puffed my way up the steep and terrifying stairs.  The top view was beautiful and worth it.  Other sites included the Grant Tree which is known as America’s Christmas Tree, the Tunnel Log, the Auto Log and a lovely loop around a huge meadow where we saw lots of huge trees and a sweet family of deer grazing.   My favorite thing about Sequoia was just how incredible the trees were, how quiet it was and the cute deer.

The next morning, we headed back to Fresno so four of us could fly to LA for Disney.  What a wonderful few days of exploring all the natural beauty!

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