In late May I Skedaddled to Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains followed by walkabouts in Carmel, Monterey and San Francisco. Along with me in this adventure was Bruce (my husband) and 2 of our three children, Eric and Alexa. The goal was to hike, hike and hike some more and eat, eat and eat some more. We were wildly successful!
What struck us first and foremost on our drive to the park was the devastation from the fire that was carelessly started a few seasons ago that consumed over 278,000 acres of breathtakingly beautiful mountain landscapes and left in its wake groves of charred gargantuan toothpicks: remnants of stately conifers. It was easy to imagine the countryside engulfed in flames with a searing heat that could melt anything manmade and char that which was God made.
As if protected by fairy dust, likely by the firefighters who protected these buildings and found respite while battling the inferno, the lodges were spared and we entered a green-canopied oasis of conifers filled with songbirds and scampering squirrels. We elected to stay at Evergreen Lodge, a few very circuitous miles from Yosemite National Park and fairly close to Hetch Hetchy reservoir and dam. Our cabin of 2 bedrooms with shared bath off the living room was delightful and a mere stone throw from the pool and Jacuzzi and next to the Bocce court: 2 very popular features for this family! The lodge’s communal spaces are wonderful, inviting and popular as evidenced by the people milling about or hanging out near the fireplaces; especially around 7:30 when they put out fixins’ for s’mores! We sampled the Tavern’s ales on tap and for whatever reason, ahem, I became very fond of the “Denoggennizer” IPA which no doubt draws its name from the 12% alcohol: 2 of those after a day of hiking and you’re down for the count!
We hiked North Dome, Bridalveil, Taft Point and the Fissures Lookout in a dense cloud and rain, and Hetch Hetchy on our final day.
View from North Dome
Taft Point in clouds
Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and dam
In Monterey we Googled “Breakfast near me” and found Lulu’s on the pier for an amazing breakfast experience: hubcap pancakes … I am so not kidding … our banana “hubcap” pancakes were larger than the plate and beyond delicious! Dinner was on a pier in Fisherman’s Wharf typically called Old Fisherman’s Grotto, recommended by our hotel concierge, and dinner reminded us of meals we used to enjoy in Italian restaurants in New York.
In San Francisco, Yelp helped us locate “Hollywood Café” for crazy delicious breakfast. I kid you not our meals had a “side” of fresh fruit
… more like a cornucopia overflowing with really fresh fruit. Since we had to wait for about 30-40 minutes for a table, we saw consistent meals being run out and they were mouth watering and did not fail to impress when we tasted ours!
We started every day at Hollywood Café and then hiked everywhere: unlike these zoomy tourists who politely terrorized pedestrian and drivers alike in their munchkin GOcars.
We looked for Waldo but the address wasn’t helpful!
Snapped Fun shots of the Golden Gate Bridge
and more “perspectives” while strolling on the Embarcadero:
Thanks for reading … hope it was fun: check in at Evergreen Lodge, have a pint of Denoggenizer, and check out the restaurants and visit my new website: KateStillwellPhotography.com
Happy skedaddling, Kate