Saturday, March 26, 2011

Snow Shoes & Sacramento

So, obviously, we are home, now... back in NYC in the freezing cold winter weather! I am so ready for some spring weather! This winter seems to be dragging on and on. Hopefully its going to come to an end really soon!!

I have a couple of more posts to finish out this vacation, so although, we are home and you are not going to be getting real time updates, I am going to try to finish up the summary of our vacation so that it is all properly recorded. I had actually written out most of this post while we were still on the trip, but I am just now getting around to posting it and uploading the pictures that go along with it.

This is a picture of Jonah in the lobby of the lodge. He loved these wooden bears. He would put an arm around each of them and shout "goup uggh!" (Group hug!) So sweet!
(I meant to post this picture earlier and forgot to, so its really an add to the post from day 2 at Yosemite).

Saturday, March 19th
We woke up to about a foot of snow in Yosemite on Saturday morning. Yup. 12 inches. It was gorgeous. Snow is always beautiful, but snow in Yosemite National Park with the huge pine trees, cedar trees, and the mountains… it is just a whole new level of beauty if you ask me.

Mark headed out as soon as we woke up to get some pictures of the freshly fallen snow. Of course, he also had the motivation of going up to the lodge to get us some breakfast and coffee, but along the way, he did capture some beautiful pictures.
I had plans to go up to the lodge when he got back to go into the gym there and run on the treadmill. Mark had a better idea for me and convinced me it was a good one. I’m definitely glad I followed his suggestion. The lodge has snow shoes you can rent by the hour, so I ended up renting some snow shoes and hiking back through the woods behind the lodge for about an hour. It was great; a very unique experience, and much more out of the ordinary than a run on the treadmill, not too shabby of a workout either. The snow shoes kind of feel like big flip flops on your feet. You strap them to your shoes or boots and your heels are not attached to the snow shoe, so they kind of have the motion of a flip flop. With the snow shoes on, you still sink down an inch or two into the snow, so it’s not totally like you are walking on top of the snow. During my walk/hike, I saw various track prints of animals, probably some coyote and deer. I also am relatively certain that I saw bear tracks. I tried to take pictures of them, but it is really hard to tell what they are in the picture. I’m pretty glad that I did not see an actual bear. If I had, I’m sure I would’ve totally freaked out – exactly what you are not supposed to do.

The rack of snow shoes for rent

This is the path I walked down with my snow shoes on... beautiful, huh?

There wasn't really anyone else out on this path, so I layed down in the snow so I could take a picture of my snow shoes in the snow :)

Here I am laying down in the snow. At one point, I got thirsty on my hike/walk, so I ate some of the untouched snow.... hadn't done that in a good 15 years, kind of made me feel like a kid again.

scenery on my hike

Had to get a picture holding my snow shoes

Tenaya Lodge also offers sleigh rides. If we had planned ahead a little better and known for sure that we were going to get all of that snow, we definitely would’ve taken Jonah on one of these rides. While I was out on the trail behind the lodge, one of the sleighs went by… it looked like so much fun!!! I snapped a few pictures as it went by (as I secretly wished I was on the ride instead of in the snow shoes)

The beautiful horses pulling the sleigh

After my hike, I went back to our cabin to find Mark cheering on the UK Wildcats. Luckily, they pulled out a win over West Virginia. This means that they will be playing their next game on Friday in Newark, NJ. Mark is already trying to figure out a way to get to the game!

We had a great time in Yosemite and I already want to go back. I want to live there actually. They have a clinic inside of the park…. I’m pretty sure they have an opening for a Nurse Practitioner :)…. Maybe in my next life.

So, after watching the Wildcats pull off a victory, we quickly finished packing up and headed out for Sacramento to meet up with our friends Jenny and Jeremy. Jenny is my dear friend who I met in graduate school at Ohio State. I was so very excited to get to see her! Initially, we thought we might have to get chains for our tires to get down the mountain, out of Yosemite area, but fortunately we had waited long enough and the roads were basically completely cleared. We heared a few days later that Yosemite contined to get snow, got like 4 feet total, and all of the visitors inside of Yosemite had to be evacuated out of the area. Glad we got out when we did! (Although, that would have been kind of cool to see 4 feet of snow fall in such a short amount of time).

The drive to Sacramento went by quickly. It was about a 4 hour drive. A lot of people have made comments about all the driving we did. It really wasn't that bad. Jonah did so great. He didn't seem to mind all the driving either. I think partially, especially for me and Mark all the driving was pretty enjoyable since we don't have a car or drive that much.

We met Jenny and Jeremy at the state capitol building in Sacramento. It is a beautiful building. It was really interesting to walk around in the building and see the rooms where the legislative bodies meet. Jonah seemed to enjoy being in such a big building and being able to run around in some open spaces. We also saw the giant bronze grizzly bear that Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger had put in front of the public entrance to the govenor's office while he was in office. Jonah really liked the giant bear (as you can see!)

The beautiful state capitol building in Sacramento

Jonah kissing the grizzly bear.... glad its a bronze one

All of us with the Grizzly

Jonah standing on the steps of the CA state capitol buliding

After visiting the state capitol building Jenny took us by the hospital she works at. I wanted to see where she works and learn more about her position. It was really interesting to me to see the hospital and learn a little bit more about her daily life. I am always interested in seeing hospitals and learning about them. I always have Mark drive me by the hospitals in the cities we go to.... I guess that's the nerdy nurse coming out in me. After visiting Jenny's work, we went to dinner at a favorite local resturant (of Jenny and Jeremy's) and then we got some coffee and dessert. We tried to go to Old Sacramento, but it was getting really late and it was raining, so we decided just to drive by rather than get out and walk around.
We had a great afternoon and evening with our friends! We then went back to their house in Davis, CA and spent some more time with them before we all crashed for the evening.

My last post about our vacation will be about what we did the next day... we spent the day in San Francisco with Jenny and Jeremy... it was another great day!! I'll blog about it as soon as I can!

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