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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2009 Winter Holiday - Yosemite National Park I

First road sign that says Yosemite!

We have been planning for a winter holiday since middle of last year but it was supposed to be the Big Bear Mountain. But after looking at my friend's pictures when they went to Yosemite National Park, we decided that maybe that's a better place to go. It is between 5-6 hours drive from OC. So plans were made, hotel was booked, winter stuff were bought like tire chain, his winter overall, snow boots, ear muffs but we couldn't find winter boots for me. Apparently they are not easily found in this Southern California area. They have the regular Ugg boots but I wanted something more outdoor-sy type that I can go trekking in. So we decided to stop at Tulare, a town about 1-1.5 hrs to Oakhurst where our hotel is.

First stop was of course the Super Target but unfortunately they have none either. Upon asking the staff there, we were told of a Big 5 Sporting Goods store just down the road which might carry what I wanted. Since it's already middle of winter, there is really not many choices left but I found one that is easy on my eye (gotta have cute ones!) but the price listed was 85 before tax. If possible I really do not want to spend too much on something that I might use one a year. So I decided to ask one if the guys there if I could get any discount on them. He went somewhere and a few minutes later came back telling me that he could give me them for 60! Yay! So, the next time you shop and want to get a discount on non-discounted items, do not be shy. Just ask for it. You just might get it.

Once we paid for everything, it is time to continue with the drive. Michael is not the type who likes to drive too long and I am afraid of driving in the mountain areas. So he did all the driving while I am in charge of keeping track of the rest areas. Yup, that is usually my job. Id give him updates on how far away is the next rest areas should either one of us need to use the restroom or if we need to fill up the gas!

We reached Oakhurst around 1pm and the check-in time at Best Western Yosemite Gateway Inn Oakhurst was 3pm but when we went in and asked the receptionist, she said we could check-in immediately. Phew! I guess the hotel was not pack so our room is ready. Finding the room is not quite easy since the hotel consist of a few buildings up the hill. But the room is spacious. It only cost us around 80/night and they even have indoor pool. Which brings to another story. We went there all prepared with winter clothing for a rigid winter temperature only to be faced with a rather summer-like temperature. Neither one of us brought our swimming attire so we ended up having to buy them too. Sigh!

Best Western Oakhurst Lobby

Chukchansi Casino

After lunch which was chinese food for me (pretty bad) and pizza for him, we just stayed in the room. Me watching tv while he took a nap. Poor Baby. He gotta be tired after that long drive. When he woke up, we decided to cehck out the casino which was only 15 min drive from our hotel. I was rather surprised to see the parking lot packed. Can't really imagine where all those people came from. Lol! It was also very chilly at night and we were lucky that as we parked the car, there was an open-air bus or tram drove by and asked us if we needed a ride to the hotel. Very good service indeed I must say. We did not stay long at all since it was pretty boring and we had an early day the next morning but I did manage to play the Star Wars penny slots so I was happy.

The queue at the South Gate Entrance.

We started the day with breakfast of the champion aka Carl's Jr and started our journey by stopping by at the Tourist Centre just 5min up the road. The 2 older ladies manning the office were very helpful and cheerful and very happy to hear that I am from Malaysia. They wanted to talk but we had to leave and continue up to Yosemite National Park. The fee to the Park is 20 per car (7 day pass) and for motorbike is 10 each. Do keep the ticket with you because they would ask for it when you drive down.

Road to Mariposa Grove was close to traffic but you are allowed to walk in. We went to Yosemite Valley and wanted to go to Mariposa after that but by the time we get back down it was 3pm and we spent time at Mariposa, we would have to drive down to Oakhurst in completely darkness. So in the end we decided against it. Next time, definitely!

I hope you would enjoy the pictures and story on this part I of our winter holiday at Yosemite National Park. Do come back for the next post. I took lots of pictures and will try to put most of them in a few posts.

In the background is El Capitan


afiq said...

i wannnnnttttt.... can go skiing here right??? ive always wanted to skiiiiii....

pugly said...

Wow ... the park is gorgeous! Nak sampai tu bilalah kan, so yes, do post up more pictures here!

Pi Bani said...

No freezing Farina? ;)

Akmal said...

Kak, this is awesome! You see, Yosemite is a legendary place for photography enthusiasts hunting for cool, nice, unique pictures, especially panoramic views.
More photo later coming? Can't wait! :D

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Gambar2 yg anda paparkan sangat cantik, kata Pak Malim dgn mata yg lentik. Ada jumpa beruang tak, kata PaK Malim sambil minum susu kotak.

Lyana Mauseth said...

so pretty la..everything so pretty, the view is wonderful but tak nampak mcm sejuk sgt eh?

my husband is going to portland end of this year to visit his son, maybe i should join...but problem would be VISA!!

Barbara said...

Hi Farina,
Yeah; you both made it ! That is a long haul and I'm sure that Michael was bushed.
This looks gorgeous !!
Can you believe that I have never been here? I haven't seen a lot of places in the US.

He he; you having a hard time to find winter clothing & shoes sounds like me before I moved to France. I ended up ordering a thick jacket from the Sears catalog !!

Hugs X

mº¿ºsh, brecht and nora said...

Farina, the view is spectacular! I love nature or walking holidays! Looks like a place that we would like!Your boots looked great, hope they do their job well! I got a pair of caterpillars and they are still in good shape even after miles & miles of walking in all kinds of weather and terrein! They are 7 years old now = ) Looking forward to more pictures! Thx for sharing Farina.

mamasita said...

Both of you look so adventurous and relaxed.
Thank you for sharing with us the beautiful sceneries..entah bila lah kitaorang dapat pergi touring kat sana..hopefully next year??hehe

Julie Lim said...

A friend once told me that asking is for free. Good thing you asked for a discount for your boots. No regrets!

Great pics! Post more ya!

Salt N Turmeric said...

Afiq, yes you can. Badger Pass is the place to do all snow activities.

Pug, I fell in love with nature again! Around here, there's nothing much lah. Eh start saving now so you can come soon. ;)

Pi, haha nope. Not this time. Only when I was walking toward the Fall I was freezing that Michael went back to the car to get my gloves.

Akmal, you're right. Punyalah ramai yg bawak cameras with all the gadgets. yes, more pics later. ;)

Pak Malim, hoping juga to see beruang, kata Farina sambil pakai baju kelawang. Malangnya beruang hibernate, kata Farina sambil minum lemonade.

Lyana, memang tak rugi if you go to Yosemite. Ikut ajelah your hubby. Start applying for the visa now girl. ;)

Barbara, yes we made it! We hardly go anywhere together what more for holidays so I was really happy to go. I wish I could just order stuff from the internet but Im the type who has to try them on.

Mush, yup they keep my feet warm although maybe not quite for snow activity. lol. I do hope they would last long and stay as good.

Mamasita, nampak adventurous ke? hehe. Sebenarnya dia driving tu kecut gak perut sebab nampak jauh ke bawah gunung tu.

Julie, actually I learned fr the news that nowadays, if you ask for discount, you just might get them. ;)

Zue Murphy said...

Breathtaking views! I like nature like this. Lots of trees and I bet you the scenes make you feel good.

ICook4Fun said...

Too bad we didn't get a chance to go there when we live in CA. Hopefully one day. I just love the beautiful mountain views :)

Ms eNVy said...

Love the pictures! .. and love the boots too! hehehe ... I've been to Yosemite before .. but tht time it was tooooo hot! :( I don't tan very well hehehe

Nazarina A said...

Now that you shared the pictures, I would love to put Yosemite on our list!

natrah said...

Great pics...the mountain! I like! tp no need jungle treckking ke apa kan to be up there??