Monday, August 27, 2012

Ice House Resevoir

This is another shortened post due to the fact that only half my pictures are sending from my phone.  Anyhow, the weekend after Yosemite we took a trip to Ice House.  We love it here, and try to go every year.  This is actually the place where Forrest and I got engaged 10 years ago.
The weather, again, was perfect.  We got there late Friday night, set up camp, and had everyone settled by about midnight.  We had some noisy (but friendly) neighbors.  The lake was beautiful.  We happened to be there on the weekend of the meteor shower, but by the second night we were so tired that we only stayed awake for one or two.  It was actually kind of neat because Forrest took the canopy off our tent so we could see the night sky.  I had just closed my eyes to go to sleep, and I thought, "It would be neat to see at least one."  Just then I looked up through the top of the tent just in time to see a big one rip through the sky.  I was satisfied and fell asleep after that.  We had some excellent campfires, and of course camping food is always the best.  I made some crisp golden hashbrowns in my cast iron skillet.  The second night there a bear came through the campground and broke out the window in our neighbor's car.  The kids awoke and spotted him foraging around our campsite.  I'm glad they got their bear sighting. =)

We came home Sunday afternoon after a short 30 minute drive and prepared to start the school year.  This was the perfect end to summer.

Yosemite Famiy Trip

So this is the shortened version of our family vacation because only half of the pictures sent from my phone, but we were fortunate to receive a free vacation to Yosemite.  Our family stayed in a cabin with Uncle Tommy and Aunt Vera.  We literally had about 3 hours notice, but I wasted no time in packing up and jumping on the opportunity.

We visited the Giant Calaveras forest, which was a small, hot hike. 
The cabin had a cute little breakfast nook.  Vera took charge of the breakfasts and we provided dinner. 
This was the kids' first time in the Yosemite valley.  They absolutely loved all the breathtaking views.
On Saturday we (5 adults and 6 kids) hiked to the top of Vernal Falls.  This was crazy.  I had Anthony in the wrap, and those steep steps at the top were a killer.  I stopped a couple of times thinking we weren't going to make it, but with the extra pairs of arms we did in fact persevere.  The view at the top was more than worth it, and wouldn't you know at the end the kids said that hike was their favorite part of the vacation.
Gorgeous.  We did break the rules and swim at the top, only to find out 2 weeks later that 2 boys drowned swimming near the falls.  I guess several people die there every year.   Nature is certainly unpredictable.
This was a loooong drive, 5 hours each way, but so worth it.  It was a vacation I did not expect and am so grateful for.  Forrest and I did not think we'd be able to take the kids to Yosemite anytime soon, yet we think of them each time we go.  The cabin was cozy, the food was delicious, the sights were beautiful, the weather perfect, and I couldn't have asked for anything more.