Tag Archives: spring break

My awesome spring Break

Spring break was the best because we got to go to Yosemite National park, walked on the Golden Gate Bridge and go to Rutherford Grill. In Yosemite National Park we saw the Grizzly Giant. We walked 6 miles in the snow, and it took forever. We saw tons of rock formations.

On the Golden Gate Bridge we did not hike that far because we were so tired. At Rutherford Grill I had a yummy dinner of rice and ribs. At the coast, we went to the beach. It was so fun because we saw tide pools. We saw some sea creatures in them like some clams and stuff like that.

Thank you for a special edition on CNN 10.

Napa and the Northern California Coast

We couldn’t let a trip to Northern California go by without at least one stop in wine country. After driving from Yosemite, we took the boys past one of our favorite mountaintop vineyards for a quick tour. We stopped for dinner at our old standby (Rutherford Grill), and then it was off to the Best Western in Calistoga to hit the pool. It may have only been 50 degrees, but that wasn’t going to stop the boys from a few laps and splashes.

Today we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway from Mendocino to Jenner, before cutting back inland to our hotel in Petaluma. We stopped at several beaches along the way, exploring the tidal pools and wading in the freezing Pacific. While it was overcast and drizzly inland, the coast saw beautiful weather today. It was sunny and calm, with temperatures in the mid 50s.



As you might have guessed, it’s getting tricky to live on the road in California. Restaurants are closing to guests other than drive through or delivery, and gas stations are closing their bathrooms. This has made it terribly inconvenient the last couple of days. Since Alcatraz is also closed for tours, we’ve decided to cut our trip short and head back home tomorrow night. This will hopefully leave us time to take a hike through Muir Woods and check out the Marin Headlands before heading to the airport. We’ll check back in on Friday.

Yosemite in Spring

After much debate, we decided to press on with our Spring Break plans. That meant braving one of the COVID-19 “hot spots” in California’s bay area. The bulk of our plans were well outside the metro area, but clearly the insanity is spreading to every corner of the nation.

We visited some long-time friends in the south bay before heading up to Yosemite National Park on Sunday morning. In another bout of incredibly timing, we caught northern California in a major winter storm. Rain was pouring the entire drive, and by the time we entered the park it was a full-on snow storm.

Our goal was to see the sequoia trees in the Mariposa Grove on the south side of the park. The road was still closed for the winter, so we had to park at the visitor center and hike the entire way in. Luckily, we were prepared for variable weather. Still, the dense “Sierra Concrete” snow soaked us through by the time we were done. The hike was roughly 6 miles round trip, but we all really wanted to see the big trees. The “Grizzly Giant” was one of our primary goals. As you can see in the pictures, we made it, but it was tough to even look up towards the tops of the trees with the snow coming down in buckets.

The snow turned to rain by the time we reached the Yosemite Valley, but turned back to heavy snow overnight. We awoke to a winter wonderland, which could have been pretty were it not for the incredibly limited visibility. We took a few of the shorter walks to see Bridalveil Fall, Lower Yosemite Fall, and a few other sites around the valley. We could barely spy El Capitan, and couldn’t even find a trace of Half Dome.

To make matters worse, the Park Service decided to close down lodging and restaurants within the park as of noon on Tuesday. The good news is that we had planned to check out anyway. The bad news is that the vast majority of park visitors would be leaving en mass at the same time as us. Still, if that was the biggest impact of the current panic, we have no complaints.

I woke up early to catch some sunrise pictures. The snow and clouds finally cleared around 6:00. That didn’t give me time to take any of the hikes I was hoping for, but I at least had a chance to find a nice viewpoint on the valley floor to watch the sun come up over a magical scene. The valley was covered in snow. The trees were caked in frost. And the light was incredible. The scene was well beyond my meager photography skills, but I was still excited by some of the shots I was able to capture.

Once the rest of the family was up and ready to go, we took one more lap around the valley so the boys could finally see the grandeur of the park. The wait was worth it. The views were amazing, and the combination of weather and national chaos kept the crowd to an extreme low for a national park. As we left, we all vowed to come back soon.

Our next stop is Calistoga, in Napa Valley. This will take us a step back towards the social firestorm. More to come in the next chapter of our adventure, but for now, all is well…

One More Day at the Beach

We spent our last couple of days in more typical Hawaii vacation fashion – lots of time at the beach, and a little more at the pool. The sunburns are still blazing, but what are you going to do? We got pretty attached to Hapuna Beach. It’s a beautiful (although quite popular) white sand beach about 15 minutes north of the hotel. A couple of days had some really great waves (for landlocked kids anyway), plenty of sun and just enough breeze to keep it comfortable.

We had to leave the hotel by 1:00 on Friday, and our flight didn’t leave until 8:00. The weather was getting pretty gray, so we decided to take a drive up to the north side of the island. We stopped at a municipal park and walked along the coastline a little while, where we came across another turtle sunning himself on the rocks. Then we drove to Kapa’au to see the King Kamehameha statue. It’s not a great site, but we felt compelled to see it while we were here.

Driving back to the airport over Kohala Mountain took us up into the clouds, where visibility was down to 30 feet at times. It slowed us down, but luckily we still made it back to Kona in time to turn in the car and grab a quick bite before boarding the plane. We were all sad to end the trip, but we had a great time. We’ll definitely be back.

 

Here’s a little compilation of our trip. It’s hard not to have a good time in Hawaii, and I think we proved that to ourselves on this trip. Aloha!