Sunday, June 28, 2009

Family fun on our summer trip...

Yosemite Part 2
"What a Wondrous thing
to spend time with family..."

(note to self...)
make sure when you are going on a family outing that you double check that you have your makeup bag. I didn't realize I had forgot this until we were in Hawthorne Nevada and there were NO stores that I had the kind of make up colors I use, so needless to say this trip I was "Natural Kimmie"...thank goodness I at least had some lipstick stashed in my purse).

Other than not having any make-up,
this was a fun and amazing family trip!
My sister-in-law Cheryl,
called us a few months ago and told us she was wanted to do a surprise 30th birthday party for her hubby Travis (Tracy's Brother) and that he had always wanted to go to Yosemite and she thought it would be fun if we met them there and surprised Travis.

I'm amazed that she was able to pull it off
without Travis knowing, but it was a complete 100% surprise.
Tracy's parents surprised Travis Friday Night
and we surprised him Saturday morning.

The following are the photos
from our wonderful family summer trip to Yosemite!!
(WARNING...another PHOTO overload. ALL OF THE PHOTOS ARE Clickable and as tempting as it to just scroll down,
you see amazing beauty by making them larger).
I went through over 500 photos to get the "best ones" to do our trip justice
So after 2 weeks of going through photos in my spare time and trying to collage them together, I finally can share our memories and hopefully this is enjoyable to read!

The beautiful drive up Tioga Pass!

YEA...we made it!

The lakes in the high country
were peaceful and gorgeous
and what a fun novelty to enjoy SNOW in June!!

Large slabs of solid granite everywhere
that looked like they would be really fun to ride a scooter on.

More gorgeous lakes and scenery at Olmstead Point!

Tracy taking a photo of "Half Dome"
from Olmstead Point

Some pretty scenery from the "front window" of our car!

A creek....
where Tracy filled up our water jug
with fresh mountain spring water.

Another little stream and gorgeous rocks...
I LOVE this kind of scenery in the High Country.

The kids were SO excited to go through 2 big tunnels!
An absolutely gorgeous waterfall!!
Little did we know this was a "baby" waterfall
compared to the ones we were be seeing later on.

We were awed with the amazing size
of "El Capitan"...

you round the corner and WOW,
you are staring it right in the face!

The giant trees were unlike any others
we had seen in Idaho!

This photo shows just how small
we looked compared to these trees!

The first moment we saw Travis...
he had noticed someone that looked like Ethan in the parking lot and sure enough we were waiting at the Yosemite Village area with a big surprise!! It just made his day! We then embarrassed him and sang "Happy Birthday" to him while we ate lunch and he blew out candles on a batch of Rice Krispy Treats we had brought!
He was sure a good sport!

I LOVED all of the different textures
we saw during our visit...
the bark textures especially enthralled me
as we don't have trees with this kind of bark where we live.

Hiking into Yosemite Falls
(poor Jade kept getting nose bleeds on this part of the trip)

The beauty of Yosemite Falls!!

Tracy's handsome parents...
Clair and Josie!

This reminded of the "Bonzai Plant" from Karate Kid...
it was solid giant granite mountain
with this mossy ledge and tree growing out of the edge of it.

Nothing like taking photos of your kids in the woods!

More cool tree photos...
Travis, Hudson and Ethan.

Awesome photo of
Travis, Cheryl and Hudson in front of Half Dome.

Awesome grassy meadow in front of Half Dome

Hudson was SO cute and did awesome riding in the backpack...
OOPS...looks like one of the kids were thrilled to find some asparagus! (wink)

Bridal Veil Falls in the background
and some awesome reflection photos in the meadow!

Cheryl's cousin's adorable son!

Ethan LOVED playing in this replica
of a traditional Native American shelter
and another unique tree with Cheryl!

We enjoyed MANY gorgeous flowers!

The lodge at Yosemite Village

It was awe-inspiring
to come out of the Lodge and
to be surrounded by the beauty of "El Capitan"

I actually took an "Ansel Adams"
style of photo and it doesn't look too bad!

The mist around El Capitan was beautiful!

We spent the night at Cedar Lodge...LOTS of fun!

Fun bears and things around Cedar Lodge

More awesome textures!!

This was a lucky photo.
Since we had come in from the other entrance, we didn't know about this neat little rock arch that you drove through to get into the park.
This car is Clair, Josie,
Cheryl, Travis and Hudson driving through!!

Cheryl in front of Bridal Veil Falls!

Excited to hike up the Mist Trail as a family!

The boulder sized rocks were SO cool,
colorful and covered in moss!

Cheryl was an awesome hiker!!

My Adorable Ethan!!
(we forgot his hat and so he was wearing my hat.
He's just SO cute and growing up TOO fast!

The bridge where you can first see Vernal Falls!

I had to take a double take...
REALLY...bathrooms way up high in the wilderness!
(I had never been to a place that had luxury so high up the mountain trail)

I wished SO badly that we lived closer to this spot...
the moss covered rocks and lighting were PERFECT and I just really want a NICE family photo of us in that spot.
Oh well, maybe next time that will happen (wink)

Tracy's has always wanted to hike
the "John Muir Trail" and so he was excited
to hike a small section of it.

FUN times...
my kids LOVED seeing the falls and were troopers with the hike!

The wettest part of the trail
and thanks to Clair and Ethan they kept on hiking
until we were at the top!!

A handsome photo of Tracy and Travis
(at this point in the trail Clair, Ethan and Jade were way on up the trail
and we didn't know where they were (and no cell phone coverage)
and so Travis headed on back down to make sure Josie, Cheryl and Hudson were okay).

Absolutely STUNNING Beauty!!

Clair, Jade and Ethan at the top!

Ethan couldn't get enough of the waterfalls...
he just sat and stared and enjoyed!!

This is the view to enjoy if you headed
on up the trail towards Nevada Falls.

It was a pretty STEEP and WET climb down
and so Tracy (being the cautious dad that he is)
got Ethan all hooked up with a harness to be safe on the Trek back down.

Hiking back down...

and down some more...

Did I already say how much I LOVE the Moss covered rocks.
More stunning beauty!!

pointing to the hike to the top of Vernal Falls.

The bridge and river that we crossed at the end of the trail!

YUMMY pizza shop,
surrounded by the beauty of nature
that we enjoyed eating lunch at.

This photo of Jade amazed me.
A tree root has broken the rock in half.
The power and force of nature is always something to behold.
I LOVE all of the bridges we had to cross!

Our hike into mirror lake
with many gorgeous views of Half Dome along the way.

Another amazing force of nature...
these tree roots that have grown around this giant rock.

There was some sand on the edge of mirror lake
and I had fun writing in it.

Awesome photo of Clair
on a giant rock with a perfect reflection of him.

Gorgeous photo of Half Dome with a cool reflection as well.

Mirror Lake was such a great spot to take unique reflection photos.

Poor Hudson...
all tuckered out after a
LONG day of hiking and taking in the scenery!

Last little bit of the hike
and I was saddened that we would soon part ways.

Awesome GIANT tree stump with Travis, Cheryl and Ethan!

The last view we saw as we left the parking lot.
Clair and Josie and Travis and Cheryl wanted to take our kids with them as they continued to enjoy more of California for the next 2 days and so we parted ways and they went West and we went East.

I know that this isn't the best photo,
but we did see a bear cub that was about
50 yards from the edge of the road, just eating and playing in the grass.

Tracy and I were SO sad that our trip was over
and that we would be making the long drive back to Idaho the next morning and so we were SO happy to be able to come to a clearing in the forest and enjoy the last few minutes of this gorgeous sunset on our last night
All campgrounds were full in the park and we were SO exhausted we could barely stay awake to drive safely and so we pulled over to a pull out, laid our seats back, hopped in our sleeping bags and got some much needed rest.
The next morning when we awoke to such amazing beauty we just couldn't bear to not have ONE more day to enjoy it,
and so we "threw caution to the wind"
and seized the day!
(click here for part of the next days events)