After a 2.5 hour delayed arrival due to the blatant failings of the so called “Allegiant Air”, I was raring for some activity after the humdrum monotony that is Macaroon International Airport. Uncle Gary and I went to “practice” tennis which consisted primarily of me learning how to hold the racquet and throw a tennis ball straight up in the air (more difficult than one would think!) Aunt Kim splurged on the dinner that night: cheesy lasagna. Her and her husband Gary are VERY healthy eaters. My stay is causing me to reconsider or at least think more candidly about my diet, especially when I am older. Everyone was early to bed that night, as Aunt Kim and I were making our pilgrimage to Yosemite the next morning, a relaxed 2.5 hour drive from the house. The next morning, after honoring the habitual Starbucks stop off, excitement was high as we climbed higher and higher into the California mountains. As we crossed into Yosemite Park, I was absolutely staggered by the sheer rock faces. I had never seen rock quite so large. After settling into our lodging in the valley, we ventured out for the afternoon hike to see the famous Yosemite Falls. Aunt Kim likened the hiking to the “Stairmaster+”. After going strong for a few hours, Aunt Kim had had her fill. I decided to forge on ahead, telling her in passing that I would turn around in 20 minutes. After about 15 more minutes of hiking, I was greeted with a most majestic sight: the Yosemite Falls
After returning to our previously agreed meeting place, much to my chagrin Aunt Kim was nowhere to be found! After waiting for about 20 minutes, I made the executive decision to continue down the mountain, reasoning that it would get dark if I did not break my stasis. I found Aunt Kim about 1/2 an hour later. She exclaimed defensively that she thought I said 20 minutes round trip. After that small slip-up the rest of the evening went smoothly. The next day was fine too, and we went to the Grand Majestic Bar (AKA the Awahnee) for dinner. We had plans the next morning for an early hike before departing back for Fresno and catching brunch at Erna’s Blackberry House in Oakhurst. Aunt Kim and I had previously schemed that we would smuggle ourselves into the Tenaya Lodge (high-end hotel) and clean up in their spa / shower facilities. She had stayed there several times in the past, and knew the lay of the land well. We breezed right past the front desk and in no time I was enjoying the spa for all it was worth: first a shower, then the steam room, and finally the sauna. Unfortunately we were just a few minutes late for the brunch reservation due to my reluctance to evacuate the luxury that was the Tenaya Lodge Spa. We made it home in plenty of time to spare for entertaining my uncle’s sister and husband. This morning I had a bit of a sleep-in because I stayed up too late watching the brilliant movie Hot Fuzz last night (side note: not one that mom would enjoy). Again we climbed, climbed, and climbed some more to get to Kings Canyon where we could spectate the Sequoias. They were YUUUUUUUGE!!!
Finally we returned to Fresno, passing by the Cat Haven on our way back. After resting for a few hours at the homestead, we went to got watch Aunt Kim’s tennis match. With the sounds of balls richocheting against racquets, I watched the amber sun slowly dip behind the horizon. I exhaled, and thought, this is a good place to be! More images below