Sequoia-Yosemite, Fainaís report.

Old May 12th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Sequoia-Yosemite, Fainaís report.

We went with a Russian language bus tour for Saturday-Sunday one night only May 10-11, 2008 paid $170 per person ($340 for 2). Left San Francisco early in the morning, came to Fresno around 11.30 making a few stops to pick up people, to stretch legs.

Days Inn is like everywhere, I guess, we had 2 beds, a table with 2 chairs, no fridge, no hairdryer, the towels felt like sandpaper. The beds were comfortable with 3 pillows each. TV had 1,000 channels Coffeemaker with tea/coffee. Good AC which is easily regulated. Included breakfast: coffee, OJ, bread for toasting, cereal, doughnuts. For a budget place itís fine. Clean pool. First time didnít see any touristy booklets or flyers in the office.

Food was not included in the tour price, only hotel, bus, and admissions. Some people brought their own food, some went to Dennyís for lunch. Grilled tilapia was the best I ever had! And my husband enjoyed his grilled chicken. I like how they serve entrees: you get to pick your own 2 sides! It means, you donít have to get fries with fish if you prefer vegetables. I got strawberry milkshake. Hey, itís my vacation, I choose the calories Hint for older folks: Dennyís has over 55 discounted prices on the last page of the menu.

Back on the bus for a drive through Kings Canyon, too bad we didnít stop there, on to Grantís tree in the Sequoia National Forest, then to the Sequoia National Park to the visitorís center and on to the Sherman tree. Had some time on our own to see the movie at the center, to buy souvenirs, to take pictures. All 3 parks are as beautiful as I remember them. And the canyons are simply breathtaking. They were a little cooler then Yosemite, a light sweater needed.

The seats on the bus were assigned. Behind us was a ďknow-it-allĒ who explained to his wife there is no snow in the park as itís located in the Southern California. Doesnít matter that the tour guide passed along his pictures staying in the snow only 2 months earlier. So going up we started to see patches of snow, then blankets of snowÖ I didnít hear that guy for the rest of the trip We only passed snow along the road, not where we stopped to walk around.

Back to motel for dinner on our own. Instead of a fridge, we used the AC keeping food cool. My father, who was also on this tour, brought vodka. Our men were happy!

Next morning left early for Yosemite. To get in the park was easy. To go back to San Francisco we had to take a detour as a road was closed. ďThey are doing repairs, this is why we canít get close to El CapitanĒ said our guide. Nice to know the mountain is kept in good condition being occasionally repaired. We took the 2 hour valley train. Interesting, but not very informative. We saw the free parkís shuttles everywhere, so maybe the tour is not worth the price. For us, it was included.

The Yosemite fall was in full flow. We walked up to it, a couple of years ago we took pictures at the bottom of it. This year, it felt like rain, so much water, we were afraid the camera will get damaged by water. The weather was perfect, t-shirt and sunblock weather. Dogwoods are blooming now. Merced river seems to be boiling, and the noise can be heard from far away.

We had quick lunch in the cafeteria Ė sure, wanted to relax at the tables, but didnít want to spend too much time sitting when the nature calls. Oh, I didnít mean it that way, I mean you want to walk and see! The squirrels by the cafeteria donít ask for food, they just mind their own business not paying any attention to the hordes of foreign tourists taping them.

After wonderful time in Yosemite we went home, soaking in the last glimpses of the park. We saw deer twice, a bear, a coyote from the safety of being on fast-moving vehicle We also saw a mangled tour bus Ė front and the side door glass was shuttered, metal frames bended. Donít know what happened, people were taken away already when we passed that bus and police. Lucky tourists, didnít roll down some thousands feet of the mountains!

We saw the enormous beauty of 4 places, the trip was a great success, and Mr Again, my coach potato Mr Again said he wants to go back, and maybe even this year!
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Old May 13th, 2008, 07:32 AM
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One more thing to add. I was glad to have brought insect repellent to Sequoia. Nothing major, just those annoying tiny flies (what are they called?) getting in your face in the afternoon.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 08:28 AM
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Hi Faina:

I enjoyed your report. It sounds like you were with a fun group, especially if vodka is included!!

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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 02:48 PM
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Finally developed the pictures
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 06:50 PM
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Thanks for the report and lovely pictures of some of my absolute favorite places on earth!
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 06:56 PM
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Faina, why is Mr. Again holding a brown bag?

Where is your lovely orange Fodor's bag?
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 09:23 PM
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Darling photos Faina, thanks for sharing.
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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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LOL Swiss my apologies to you and all Fodorites offended!
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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 08:11 AM
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OH - I don't know how I missed your report first time around.

Wonderful photos.
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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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Enjoyed your report. Yosemite is so beautiful. I haven't been for a while, I need to return. Thank you for the reminder.
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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Great report!
You were lucky to see Yosemite Falls. We went a couple of weeks ago and they were totally dry. The rangers called them airfalls.
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