Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012: Day 11 – Monterrey to Yosemite
Today we are headed to Yosemite so will be a long drive. Just waiting for Vick to wake up and we can get ourselves ready for leaving the hotel.
Had a fruit breakfast (well almost) – starting to feel like we need a day off from eating – booked in for Awahnee dinner tonight so want to make sure we create lots of space…
Got on the road at 7:10 (only 10 mins behind schedule). Think we had an argument over who was to blame for the delay. However we are on holiday so I’ll not mention it again (!)
The drive was much less of an issue than it was made out to be. A significant stretch was 2 lane highway so overtaking was easy, and other than the last 30 miles or so there were long stretches where the single lane wasn’t too restrictive.
We got to Yosemite in 4 hours including a brief stop at Starbucks (thanks Sam) at Los Banos, and a fuel stop at Merced. The top came down at Los Banos since the temperature shot up as we headed inland. At Yosemite it’s around 90f, whereas when we left it was 55f.
As we travelled closer to Yosemite we started to realise just how stunning it was going to be. We’ve lost the power of words like ‘amazing’ and ‘awesome’ due to overuse. So what do we say about Yosemite? A zillion times stupendous. You just have to see it for yourself.
We managed to find a slot in the self parking lot for the Awahnee hotel – we had only planned to stay here for 1 night, but when we checked in we managed to extend this to 3 nights. Normally the place is packed out every night so we have done well. It’s a lot more expensive but it will make a huge difference not to have to drive into the park every day (20 miles each way), which isn’t quick.
The hotel looks amazing – very similar in a way to El Tovar at the Grand Canyon – very posh, very old, but the staff are far nicer to deal with here.
In the afternoon we had a quick look around the visitor’s centre, familiarised ourselves with the trails and picked up our keys to our cottage. Then we decided we would pick off one of the easier trails to get us into the mood so we did the Mirror Lake trail.
We sat outside having a pre-dinner drink, where you get a view of the Half Dome. Just fabulous.
Dinner at the Awahnee was superb. The starters were smaller than normal US starters but still a little bigger than UK.
We both had the mushrooms on flatbread which was good but not overly tasty. The main course was another matter.
I had the prime rib with horseradish mash (which was amazing), and Mrs B had a pasta dish which came with pink cauliflower(!) Very odd but a great flavour.
We also had to endulge in sweet too.
A little bit of wine and Mrs B is normally on the floor anyway, so after little carbs during the day I had to carry her back to our cottage where she almost immediately passed out. Great day though.
Stats for Day 11: 200 miles.
Plan for tomorrow is to try another easy trail in the morning to be back for the footie starting at 11am (come on England), and we will probably try to do Glacier Point in the afternoon.
Follow the whole story here: Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012