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The Griswolds….(certifiable Out-West Junkies)… get their 9th road trip *fix* in Yellowstone, Yosemite, central CA coast, Route 66, Utah and MUCH more!

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Aug 15th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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The Griswolds….(certifiable Out-West Junkies)… get their 9th road trip *fix* in Yellowstone, Yosemite, central CA coast, Route 66, Utah and MUCH more!

We've been back a couple weeks after spending the majority of July (3.5 weeks) on our ninth out west road trip adventure. And what an adventure it was. We are truly out west JUNKIES and we didn�t get our fix last summer due to internships and cheer camps (way overrated btw). And now we're going through major withdrawal because 1) we have no road trips planned until next spring break and 2) I want my babies back!

Having done countless trips throughout the Midwest and east, including many beach resorts on the eastern seaboard plus the UK, we gave our kids a choice between europe, hawaii, new england or out west again. Without hesitation, they chose out west again. They�re addicted too and will likely live somewhere on the left coast�

Anyway, this may seem like a whirlwind trip to some and maybe it is as we do drive and pack in a lot, but having done eight other similar trips, to us it�s totally relaxing and refreshing. It's truly a 'fix'!

These were the best 3.5 weeks of the year, another trip of a lifetime. Despite several mildly amusing mishaps, NOTHING could dampen our spirits, not altitude illness, nor monsoon season hail storms (including a touch of hurricane Emily, that bad girl!) nor DRY heat in the 100s, nor cell phones glued to our kids ears, not even when *Onstar* didn�t work and we were pathetically lost, nor not even when I thought hubby clark would stroke at the sight of $3.19 gas prices! No, nothing could keep me from being almost giddy with delight! Gag if you will, but we had our kids to ourselves (well, us and their cellies) and we were away for almost a month! There were times we had to pinch ourselves and remind ourselves that this great adventure wasn't our 'life' but that we had 'real' lives at home. With both our kids almost in college, we were thrilled they could join us yet again this year (i want my babies back). And i'm sure it helped that son rusty's girlfriend was busy doing her semester abroad ...and thanks to some wonderful fodorites on the Europe board, they found a way to still communicate, and even somewhat economically. Yes, thanks soo much

Anyway, 7100 miles later, here's my trip report, or the start of it. First though, a BAZILLION THANK YOUs to soo many fodorites! You guys rock! Your sage advice was put to great use -- and did y'all have fun too?! In a sense you were with us as more than once a day i would refer to your savvy suggestions. It became funny, as someone would inevitably ask, "What did your fodor friends say about that?� So again, a most heartfelt, sincere thank you for all your help!

Since there were many other things we did and quirky experiences we had that probably aren�t funny to anyone but us...(anyone ever have a pit stop at the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, MN...gives new meaning to eating your veggies!)�... i'll try to highlight only what may help someone else plan their trip.

DEADWOOD, SOUTH DAKOTA and TATANKA

Several of our previous 8 out west road trips included exploring the black hills / mt. rushmore area (we usually take the I 90 and I 40 routes, preferring them to I 70 and I 80) previously staying in Lead, Hill City and Custer State Park. This year, after the obligatory pit-stop at Wall Drug (we ARE the Griswolds afterall!) we stayed in Deadwood to see TATANKA, �The Story of the Bison�. We all love buffalo and *I* love kevin costner. (Clark was disappointed the gift shop didn't sell masks of kevin.... )

Anywho! Despite our love of bison (and kevin) we were a bit disappointed. Not quite sure what we expected, but what we DID expect was that there to be more OF it. It�s not quite what I consider to be a museum, although there are displays in a small room, and its not really a re-enactment or restored village, although there is a tipi with a costumed guide and an adorable young man riding around on his horse�.. There are no buffalo, with the exception of a brilliantly beautiful sculpture of several, the focal point of the center. We enjoyed the movie documenting Tatanka�s inception and construction (staring kevin of course) but the attraction itself needs something more, IMO. It definitely has potential and i�ll return again to check it out (hoping of course that kevey boy will be there next time!)

Although we've seen several 'shoot-outs' over the years, we missed Deadwood�s shooting and trial of jack mccall as there was a jazz street festival instead that night. Enjoyed the music and a cold one on the street; the open container ordinance was lifted that night. From research here mostly, we attempted to have dinner at Mustang Sally�s but it was mobbed with a long line. Main Street Deli was just serving ice cream (??) and Deadwood Thymes was closed. So we followed the advice of our hotel management and had diinner at Gem Steakhouse, inside Mineral Palace Hotel and Casino. While way smokey from the casino, we did enjoy our steaks and salads. And made a very small donation to those noisy clangy amusement things nearby lol. We walked around Mt. Moriah Cemetary and found some intriguing gravesites, in addition to an amazing panoramic view of the town from the military tribute observation point.

Also worthy of mention is Shedd Jewelers on Main Street, where i contributed nicely to their profits that day. Far from being the typical touristy trinket shop, i found my new favorite pieces of Black Hills Gold (Landstrom) with the affable help of one of its owners, Mrs. Shedd, a real sweetheart. They have the largest and most diverse selection we saw anywhere, and we hit most of the nicer shops wherever we went (dd's idea of a hike is walking to the visitor center and gift shop )

In Deadwood, we stayed in the center of town at the Holiday Inn Express (free w/ points) and it was perfect. Immaculate (new or very recently remodeled) room with contemporary western touches. It faced the 4-5 story lobby atrium, off of which their small casino was located. It wasn't necessary to go through the casino to get to the rooms as in Vegas. Walked to everything in town. Nice fitness room with DREAD-mill to run off the less than spectacular chocolate chip cookies found somewhere in town. We would definitely stay at this Holiday Inn Express again. (we actually prefer the holiday inn EXPRESS chain, which provided us with several free nights from points on this trip.)

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Aug 15th, 2005, 08:57 PM
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DEVIL'S TOWER NATIONAL MONUMENT

Another return visit but this is a must see if you haven't been. We've seen most of the west and this is truly a unique national monument. Walked the perimeter and nearby saw a herd of beautiful wild (we think?) horses. Also check out nearby prairie dog village. Turns out the last time we'd been to this area was exactly nine years ago to the day. Kewl!

CODY, WYOMING

We love this cute little cowboy town. Touristy, of course. But enough seemingly authentic cowboy things to make it really fun. Dinner at Maxwells, somewhat charming mom and pop (?) restautant at the end of town -salmon cakes appetizer and homemade beef noodle soup for me, oven fired pizza for the kids and some sort of steak for clark, who really enjoyed it. Previously had stayed at the Best Western and Big Bear Lodge, wouldn't really recommend either. Had considered The Irma this time but were glad we didn't stay there. Historical and all but we just didn't like the vibe. (reminded me of a really worn out Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, Colorado)

Stayed instead at the Holiday Inn Buffalo Bill (free with points). Typical HI, clean, functional and close to town. Free internet in lobby, excellent Eggs Benedict in hotel restaurant! While older than most properties found in the holiday inn EXPRESS chain, we would definitely stay here again.

Enjoyed the CODY RODEO once again, what fun! After seeing other rodeos out west over the years, this is by far the best. And we learned something new this time, how the cowboys get their bulls to buck; they squeeze their balls! OUCH! Who knew! But along with the winning cowboy, the winning bull's owner wins some amazing cash (thousands) so apparently it's worth it!? And, despite a nasty, 15 minute thunderstorm, the cowboys carried on. How brave! How fun for the audience undercover in the stands! A great way to spend an evening with the fam.

Spent half a day in The Buffalo Bill Historical Center and once again, I highly recommend this. Hadn't been for several years and dd Audrey had slept through most of that visit, so we were all very pleased with the experience this time. After a quick stop at the Sierra Trading Post, we picked up deli stuff and had a picnic in Buffalo Bill State Park. Another picture perfect, sunny day. Despite the height of the tourist season, we seemed to be enjoying this gorgeous area alone! From there we headed through only a slight construction delay inside the park into one of our favorite national parks...

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK and altitude illness!

What can i say about yellowstone that hasn't been said countless times before? It's the jewel of the nat'l park system and among our personal favorites. Regardless being there many times, it's always amazing, inspiring and a joy to behold. We hiked, walked, explored, ooed and ahhed again, loved being there even more this time. Even with having previous visits of greater length, three days were not nearly enough this time.

As major league fans of bison, we spent as much time as possible finding them and feasting our eyes upon them. It was gratifying to see so many more herds than in previous visits, (complete with lots of babies) as we'd feared they were truly endangered. However, we saw two dare devil middle-aged men (thru our binocs) standing waaay out in Hayden Valley, with a large herd separating them from their vehicle. WHAT were they thinking? Anyone who has seen videos of a buffalo attack knows these men weren't the sharpest tools in the shed.
We saw an injured female buffalo who we affectionately named "Walks With Limp" (we all had names this year and no, you don't wanna know) and i tried to keep an eye on her each time we went by. The rangers didn't seem too concerned, saying something about it being all part of the natural scheme of things? Whatever, this mom wanted to take her home!

In previous years we've stayed twice in Old Faithful (our fave, like a treehouse for adults!) canyon cabins (ick) and west yellowstone. To create a new memorable experience, we stayed in Canyon Lodge, Dunraven. What a lovely oasis in the wilderness. Sparkling and new and spotless with lodgepool furniture and a coffeepot (MY kind of camping ) Our room was one of only 4 on the 4th floor (with elevator) and truly lovely. Our view included some of the parking lot but also much of the forest. While old faithful (in the "Old House" especially) remains our favorite, I would definitely stay at Dunraven again. Also nearby is a great place for trail riding ($50 for 2 hours, I think?) although I didn't enjoy it as much as I might have the next day. For those interested in Canyon, Dunraven is newer and has an elevator, unlike the Cascade building. And just around the corner one morning, we saw a lone bison bull, seemingly ambivalent that we were all staring, at a distance, of course.

Of particular note: the canyon lodge restaurant was always mobbed, and there were no scenic views from the dining room other than watching tourists saunter by outside. So our first night we ate at the soda fountain in the general store (Delaware parks, not Xanterra) where I was rewarded with the most delicious chicken and rice soup. Ok, so it couldn't have been homemade, but it was scrumptious and tasty at the time nevertheless. The lodge dining room did serve an excellent southwestern omlette for breakfast and we also enjoyed pannini sandwiches at The Bear Pit in Old Faithful Inn. Hadn't made dinner ressies intentionally but have enjoyed the Old Faithful dining room on previous trips.

What was surprising about this Yellowstone visit was my first bout with altitude illness EVER. In my 40something years of traveling west (including as a child with my parents) to much high elevations with less time for acclimation (including both glacier parks, Banff, jasper, mt. rainier etc) I have never felt so sick! Smug me, thinking since i'm in excellent health and shape (runner and ballet) drink tons of water and not much caffeine, it would never happen to me. But there was no denying I felt like buffalo dung. There's apparently no rhyme or reason when the high altitude will kick your butt.. Thank God and Advil, the headache and other icky symptoms subsided a bit by lunch so I was able to enjoy some amazing chocolate chip cookies from the canyon coffee shop area.

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Aug 15th, 2005, 09:06 PM
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GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

Again, so much has been said about this magnificent park and this return visit was just as stunning and breathtaking. Having explored it in depth on a previous trip, we hoped to enjoy the lake areas, which is what we did. We had one of our most enjoyable deli – picnic lunches on Jackson Lake, with food purchased at their deli. Some of the best prime rib beef ever. And of course, what a view. Hiked around (and IN) Jenny Lake (rusty wanted to test his new hiking shoes). The hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration point is spectacular, there really aren't words, great photo ops.

JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING

Stayed at RANCH MOTEL just off the main square, and I highly recommend it. HUGE room, nearly twice the size of a regular room, micro-fridge, two sinks / vanity areas (great for family of 4) spotlessly clean AND a private balcony. Ask for room #350 – it’s the end room on the third floor with great views of the mountains. And also Sweetwater Restaurant if you look directly down. This was not a problem in terms of noise, despite what I’d read on tripadvisor. Balcony is refreshing cool in the am where we enjoyed our coffee wrapped in blankets and then later a free continental breakfast brought up from the lobby. We would definitely stay here again.

Dinner at Cadillac Café (recommended here) with my guys enjoying Billy’s Giant Hamburgers from the adjoining diner of the same name. DD and I had a complex, scrumptious strawberry salad and French onion soup. Also enjoyed a Snake River Lager! Only had time for a little roaming in town, but added to their economy, also. We all enjoyed the Alpine Slide at Snow King Resort, just plain fun. Also got in a short run here.

GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK, NEVADA

On the way to this Nevada national park, we drove past beautiful BEAR LAKE, UTAH, where we had a picnic from deli purchased at Lakeside Pantry and Deli in nearby Garden City. What a pleasant surprise, and fab chocolate chip cookies (anyone see a trend here?) LONG drive but arrived in desolate Great Basin National Park in time to hike the short 3 mile hike to the Bristlecone Grove, only to find the trail still closed due to snow pack! A ranger had attempted it the day before and it was still over a foot deep. Major bummer, but we did set out briefly and took a peak, and were still rewarded with glorious views of Wheeler Peak at 13,000 elevation.

So we headed to our Ramada Inn in Ely, Nevada. Now i’m far from being suzy homemaker and I don’t expect the Ritz on long road trips (just on biz trips) but we ARE clean (!) and prefer our accommodations to be so, also. This room was NOT clean. Ick and eww. Would have left but the town was sold out. (WHY??) Stayed in annex across the street from the main building, where the rooms encircle the casino and tiny indoor pool. Did mention the ick to the manager and got a 50% discount; I would have preferred clean. Crashed early that night. Con’l breakfast was included the next morning and was sufficient, they can’t really mess with pre-wrapped instant quaker oatmeal. It was enough to get us to lunch (along with fruit from a road side market the previous day and more of those delish choc chip cookies from Garden City!) But we would definitely NOT stay in the Ramada Inn again.

Surprisingly lovely drive through Big Basin Mountains (Nevada has MORE mountain ranges than ANY other state, who knew!?) UTAHTEA, you asked in a thread where I’d requested info, to look for that tall rock formation between Tonopah and Ely. We saw many and each time, I thought of you!

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK – oooh, be still my heart!

Love love LOVE the drive to Yosemite past stunning Mono Lake! We’ve stayed in Lee Vining previously (Best Western Lakeside Inn with a view, highly recommend!) and wistfully wished we were able to spend more time there again too…. but alas, we had to continue onto Yosemite, our son rusty’s fave. He’s been more than we have, when he visits the extended family of his girlfriend in san Francisco. So Lee Vining was a pit stop, picking up deli stuff for our much anticipated picnic in Yosemite, and to gas up. WHO KNEW it would be the highest we’d pay in the 3.5 weeks, only a mere $3.19 per gallon! Once I’d scraped clark off the ground where he’d stroked out, I reminded him it was only money, he couldn’t take it with him, and it was only a means to an end --- the end being even more magnificent memories shared with our kids. (Did I mention I want my babies back!?)

Will continue tomorrow with the Central Coast, Disneyland and Historic Route 66 portions of our trip....

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Aug 15th, 2005, 10:45 PM
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Ellen,

I love your sense of humor! Great Trip Report. I am enjoying it immensly! I can't wait for tomorrows edition!

We have not traveled on Hwy 6 between Ely and Warm Springs since the late 1970's so that's how long it has been, but I can still picture what those tall rock outcroppins looked like! It's so good to finally know where I had seen them! \/

Utahtea
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Aug 16th, 2005, 05:50 AM
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Also enjoying this report! I, too, LOVE our family vacations out West. We are like road wimps compared to you, 7100 miles?! That's awesome.

And after going out West this year again with our boys, I've decided there will be no more (or very few) Caribbean style vacations with them. Yes, the water is beautiful and we all like the beach, but there is just not all that much to do. When we go out West there is just such a great selection of wonderful, different things to do.

I LOVE the word "dread-mill" - not the horrible machine itself! I miss my outside runs with my dog SO MUCH. (LOVE summer, and my outside bike and blade work-outs, but not my indoor runs!) I have an appt. with the dreaded machine this morning, but you see where I am now!
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Aug 16th, 2005, 05:55 AM
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Ellen -- how were the gas prices in Yellowstone? I heard gas was cheaper in the Park than in W Yellowstone!? My dh will stroke out also!!!!!!!

Can't wait for the next installment.
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Aug 16th, 2005, 06:01 AM
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looking forward to it
Ellen
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Aug 16th, 2005, 08:37 AM
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Ellen - I have been looking forward to your trip report and you did not disappoint. I am absolutely enjoying it.
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Aug 16th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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Thanks for the great tips Ellen. We're headed out to Yellowstone, Tetons and a lot of where you've been to next week.

I'm keeping your motel recommendations!!
Ellen
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Aug 16th, 2005, 09:20 AM
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Ellen - Great report! I'm looking forward to the rest of your report. We returned from Yellowstone and GTNP over a month ago and I'm still going through withdrawal.
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Aug 16th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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How wonderful. Will you adopt me?

Please.
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Aug 16th, 2005, 12:12 PM
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Welcome back, Ellen & Family! Don't write off all Ramadas, the Canadian ones are nice!
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Aug 16th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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Thanks for the replies, guys!

Utahtea, we thought of you often, your advice is truly sage everywhere but especially in utah. Can't wait to tell you about our (accidental) off - roading in MOAB
Highway 6 was beautifully lonely. Maybe its because we're 'city folk' (burbs) that there's nothing like being alone on a highway mile after mile after mile.

Karens, i totally know what you mean. We started going west after too many whiney bored kids mid-week on ocean vacations. You're right, regardless where we go out west, theres something to pique (and hold) their interest (sometimes more than mine ) BTW, DS was totally intrigued with your glacier / convict story and bummed we didn't go again this year TO SEE IT

Laurieb, i can't remember the exact cost but were surprised they were in line with those outside the park. Didn't hit West Yellowstone this year so i can't comment on theirs, sorry.

wtm003-- oooh yes i hear you. It is extremly difficult re-entering reality this time. Maybe we can all go back with LN!
Hope my report helps you LN, you were so helpful in our OC trip planning last year.

Sure ncgirl! but can you cook?

Hi Faina! i was surprised with the ramada but have yet another ramada on this trip to report...coming soon..
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Aug 16th, 2005, 02:35 PM
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Laurieb - my parents returned from Yellowstone yesterday and said gas in the park was $2.64.
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Aug 16th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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J_Correa, somehow i missed your reply, and your advice was STELLAR, thank you soo very much! Can't wait to tell you, i'm working on the report now. Its taking almost as much time as planning it but not nearly as much fun
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Aug 16th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

There are tons of threads here re Yosemite so i'll just report what i think might be updated and helpful. And there aren't sufficient words to describe the grandeur of its beauty anyway. You just have to be there. And despite the fact that we'd 'been there done that' a few times, these three days were not nearly long enough. (To those who wonder why we do repeat visits -BIL- I wonder why some stay in the same house on the shore or return to their fave restaurant time and time again, same thing.)

Anyway, Tioga Pass was striking as usual and this year greatly reminded us of Going to the Sun Road (glacier), possibly due to the greater snow pack that remained? We enjoyed our deli picnic at the base of Lambert Dome in Tuolomne Meadows. So peaceful, despite the continuous stream of traffic passing by.

As others have noted recently, the falls were exceptionally full and glorious this year and our fave hikes had to be those. This was made a bit easier by staying in the park at Yosemite Lodge, our first time, with previous stays in El Portal and Fish Camp.

Such great nights. The room had a vaulted ceiling giving it the illusion of greater space. It was equipped with both a tv and phone(didn't use either) but no coffee pot. No problem as we were directly across from the lobby / restaurant complex in the ADLER building, on the second floor. At first I was concerned about noise since the Adler building faced the bus route, but it wasn't. And the private balcony overlooked the wooded landscape.

Everything was great except the beds. They both felt like sleeping on a sofa bed, you know the kind where the middle bar goes right through your kidneys. Despite being tired from exploring, these were the only nights we ALL had a difficult time sleeping. The heat might have been a factor because despite using the fan provided in the room, it never really cooled off. For $177 per night, we thought the beds could have have been better. Regardless, we were thrilled to stay there, wouldn't complain (except here and will hopefully stay there again! Plus, you could see the falls from our front porch, room 3627.

Walking around the lodge complex, i think the most likelihood of a balcony with view of the falls is from the Elderberry or Cottonwood Buildings (if you want to request a specific building). However, the view may be obstructed from the tall trees surrounding the area.

We took the 6pm, Valley Floor Tram Tour ($88 for the 4 of us) which i highly recommend. We also liked taking the last one of the day. We'd previously taken mid-afternoon tours but thought we'd see more wildlife on this one, and did,lots of elk and deer right next to us, and what we 'thought' (hoped?) was a bear in the distance. (Could NOT believe we didn't have our binocs on this tour, grrr)

Also highly recommend taking the Mariposa Grove Tram tour, 7 miles, again taking the last tour at 5pm. ($60 for the fam). In previous years this area had been open to auto traffic, good move on their part limiting it to the tram and foot traffic. Audio headsets are given that provide pre-recorded narration of the grove. Try to sit on the left side where most of the biggest GIANT trees are located. Although the tram comes back exactly the same way, you won’t hear the same info again. We saw several people walking through the forest carrying the giant snow pine tree cones, to which rusty would exclaim "DROP IT" and they would!

Once again, Glacier Point was probably our favorite, along with the rest of the world' this area was the most congested.

Too pricey to be foodies on long road trips (plus we enjoy a myriad of great places on our home turf) but we were surprised with a greater variety of dining options than previous years, both tastier and healthier. Wraps were perfect for dd and i, and can’t remember what the guys had but they’re easier to please.

Of note, the Eggs Bennie were excellent! And i'm picky about those.

SAP ALERT! ....
For those somewhat cynical or with an over-active GAG reflex, you might wanna skip this paragraph...

One of the coolest parts of this stay was what we found on our private balcony at Yosemite Lodge. At the top of the wall dividing the balconies, we found a birds nest complete with three babies! Standing on a chair waaaaay back so we wouldn’t disturb them and keep their mom from returning, we zoomed in with the camcorder, to find three tiny babies with their little mouths gaping open, chirping for food.

This really touched me because in a heartbeat, i can easily ‘morph’ from pragmatic corporate queen to emotional dishrag. but it was wicked sweet. Even my ‘manly men’ agreed. And each morning i’d have my coffee watching what i think was their mother (in the wren family) as she hovered from the nearby tree, waiting patiently for us to leave so she could feed her babies. All the while thinking of my babies perched at the edge of our nest, ready to soon fly...
i told you it was sappy!

MARIPOSA, CALIFORNIA

Since we couldn't snag Yosemite Lodge for a third night despite making the lodge ressies a full year ahead, we reluctantly left the park and drove to Mariposa. A fairly quick, easy and scenic drive, i can understand why people stay here to explore the park. But only stay here if you can't get into the park.

Arrived late at The Best Western Yosemite Way (free with points) a typical hotel, but clean and spacious with easy access to everything. Had dinner at Happy Burger Diner (recommended here) a kitchy almost cheesy, funky mom and pop diner with a ton of menu choices. Popular with tourists and locals alike, we observed the sheriff enjoying dinner with his buddies. This was also where rusty had his best buffalo burger of the trip. And their chicken and barley veggie soup WAS homemade, rich and very flavorful, yum.

Strolled the cute little town and shoppes but many were closed, a concept we questioned in other towns also. Why do shops, cafes etc close so early (6ish) when there are copious amounts of tourists strolling the streets, looking for something to see and do?

(next: the incredible central coast!)
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Aug 16th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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I have always wanted to stop at Happy Burger, but it hasn't worked out for us. We usually go to Yosemite with a big group and last time I was the one who got "elected" to go up early, check in and make the cabin assignments - we stay at Housekeeping Camp. This was a double-edged sword because on the one hand I had to get my family on the road early and on the other hand, we got our choice of cabins Then on the way back we were playing beat the clock to get home in time to watch a hockey play off game.

I can't wait for your central coast trip report
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Aug 16th, 2005, 05:16 PM
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=D> for more!

Utahtea

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Aug 17th, 2005, 04:54 AM
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Great trip report! Very funny, informative and entertaining. Thanks so much. Looking forward to the rest.
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Aug 17th, 2005, 09:07 AM
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I'm really sorry this is taking so long to write. Re-entering reality sucks. I wanna go back out west right now

Oh, and did i mention how grateful we were for your advice J_Correa? You rock. Seriously, next time i'd love to meet you (and others – utahtea etc) for a GTG!

Oh, and have you all seen this wonderful quote:

Your entire life should be an adventure, full of all the surprises, new experiences and unpredictability that the idea implies. But you can't just wait for the excitement to come to you. You need to go after it, do some planning, even schedule your spontaneity. As paradoxical as it may seem, the best things happen when you put yourself in the right places at the righ times with the right people. The possibilities are endless.

from Adventure Magazine, National Geographic, April 05

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