I took several days off for my birthday.
Last Thursday, we headed north, driving to a town called Groveland and checked into a B&B. I was occasionally disturbed by continued calls from the answering service because they ignored the fact that I was on vacation. Good things? We saw deer, wild turkeys, and some pretty terrain.
Friday, we got out fairly early, and caught a bus into Yosemite. forestcats had never been there before, so when we popped out of a tunnel into Yosemite Valley, her reaction was priceless. What a beautiful place!
We wandered, followed the trail up to Lower Yosemite Falls (and, yes, the drought IS affecting the Upper Falls), which were beautiful. We also found that various wild bushes were laden with black raspberries; we tasted a few. We caught the bus back to Groveland, and crashed.
Saturday our transport was the same; the hike differed. In a more vigorous trail, we worked our way along the origins of the Merced River not quite making it to another falls. Stunning beauty along the way, though the altitude was getting to us (headaches and fatigue, I'm afraid). This time, on our return to the B&B, we tried the restaurant of the hotel across the street, and they served some delightful dishes, tapas style. Very nice.
Next morning, we drove from Groveland to the coast, and met up with our friends Leah and Ivan in Point Reyes Station. Ivan was singing in the chorus for a production of H.M.S. Pinafore, and we went with them to the cast party following for a little while. From there, we stayed with them in Inverness, in Marin County. Weather was much cooler than in Yosemite Valley; however, oxygen levels were higher! A nice dinner, a nice chat, then to bed.
Monday, we did a bit of sightseeing, taking in the Charles M. Schultz Museum (small, but it has some great exhibits), and then a picnic lunch in a park with a lake in the area. A good day!
Tuesday we were off again, heading into Palo Alto (a neighborhood obviously affected by the close proximity of the Stanford campus), and we met sekl for lunch at a Paxti's, a chain of pizza parlors that provide Chicago stuffed pizza to the hungry. Very tasty. We also stopped at a local ice cream parlor, which made their own, apparently. I had a scoop of saffron and one of dark chocolate; the former pretty good, the latter a bit grainy. Then the drive home to have our menagerie express delight at our return.
Back to work...