Thursday morning we woke up, got ready, and went back to the restaurant by our hotel to have some breakfast before heading off to Yosemite National Park.
We had about a 45 minute or so drive before arriving at the gates of the park. Somehow I got driving duty on this day. I had managed to weasel my way out of driving for all but one day up until this point. I got us there in one piece as it was not too bad of a drive on up into the mountain and into the park.
The fee to enter the park was $20 and that fee was good for seven days which I thought was really reasonable. We came into the park from the west side of Highway 120 and saw all sorts of glorious sites. God really placed some beautiful sites in this little corner of the world. Every so often we would pull over and take some photos.
We passed El Capitan on the way to the visitor's center as well as Bridal Falls and took pictures all along the way. Once at the visitors center, we found that we could walk up to Lower Yosemite Falls in less than an hour and we decided to do that. The pathway didn't take you to the top, but it took you pretty close to the bottom and it was a lovely view. We stayed there for around 20 minutes or so before heading back down and catching the tram to the visitor's center.
We watched a movie about Yosemite at the theater and this part of the day gave us the biggest laugh of the trip. I probably cannot even describe it to be as funny as it was. The theater was obviously dark and when we stepped into the dark theater from the bright sunlight we could not see a thing. My eyes adjusted a little bit and I spotted three seats on the first row and told my dad to follow. I plopped down in a seat but my dad's eyes had not adjusted as well as mine and he grabbed what I guess he thought was a railing, but it was a man's leg. I started laughing and said, "that's a person." The man was totally cool though and didn't want my dad to fall so he didn't move. He laughed, his wife laughed, all the folks around us laughed too. The man said, "what happens in the mountain, stays in the mountain." That just made me laugh even harder. The man's wife said she had done the same thing before in a movie theater. The movie was ending as all this was taking place and so we all laughed and laughed for a few minutes. The man and his wife left and we stuck around to watch the next showing of the movie.
After the movie, we grabbed a hot dog at the cafe on site and then headed off again. We had planned on stopping at Bridal Falls, but it was not on the drive out. My dad also wanted to stop where the giant Sequoias were, but it was three hours out of our way so we left the park and I drove us out of the mountain very slowly as the road was sometimes treacherous.
Thursday night we stayed at Morgan Hill but before we arrived, he stopped in Gillroy which is the garlic capitol of the world. My dad had told me they had garlic ice cream and I wanted to try some. Long story short, the place with the ice cream was closed by the time we arrived so we are going to try again on Friday. We then went for dinner at a local Italian spot that made their own pasta. It wasn't too bad and I smelled of garlic the rest of the evening, which I suppose is fitting considering our location.
Friday we go zip lining in the Redwoods which will end our 2013 vacation. I'm sad it's coming to a close, but I suppose all good things must come to an end at some point.