So here it is. You've read my last post about Wicked...a great night out with my husband...and GREAT entertainment, we loved the show. Total time of entertainment: Maybe 9 hours total trip. Total Cost: $135 plus gas and bridge tolls.
Below you will find more of "my" kind of entertainment. Two days at Calaveras Big Trees State Park (with nearly all of Jeff's family) June 25-26, Four days at Yosemite National Park (with nearly all of my family) July 3-6, lots of great memories. Total time of entertainment: 6 days. Total Cost: $100 plus gas and groceries. I see why some would much prefer the first entertainment to the second...nice clean bathrooms, drinking fountains, fancy clothes...but me, I don't mind dirt, campfires, smokey hair, bears, campsite bathrooms, sleeping bags, air mattresses, sweats and hoodies.
We had a great time at Calaveras with the Capells. They go above and beyond for our family, and we're so grateful. I just am bummed I never got a good picture of Josh and Rae in their TODDLER TENT!! LOL!!!
So here's a lot of pictures (mostly for Blurb purposes) to remember our great time.
The mile and a half walk was a little long for the boys, and our charcoal foil dinners that we came home to were memorable.
Justin loved roasting his hot dogs and Jordan's favorite thing camping, by far, is the MARSHMALLOWS! (He takes after his mommy who LOVES S'mores, which may be WHY I camp!)
On our way out, we ventured to the mosquito infested river. The boys didn't seem to mind them so much though. We found some trusty walkin' sticks.
At first they were just going to get their feet wet:
But the river is just TOO much FUN!
And here's how they ended up:
Shoes, Socks and Shirts---that's all you need to get into a store these days anyways, right???
TRIP #2 Yosemite National Park (my idea of Heaven on Earth)
So to get a campsite in the Valley you have to reserve it exactly 90 days before you want to go or you don't get a site. So Mark (my big bro) thought it'd be fun to go for the 4th this year. So, 90 days prior we were up and ready online to click our sites at 7 am. We got super lucky and got through (fully intending to fail) and were super happy to get three sites next to each other for four days. We stayed in Upper Pines Campground sites 173, 175, and 176. They were great, on the top of a loop backed up to a creek.
Jeff set up his Father's Day gift from the boys: horseshoes
And Jordan had fun carting his Ding Dong around on the back of his bike. This totally cracked me up!
I know this is a bad picture of the Shuttle, but seriously, this was Jordan's favorite thing about our campsite. It was right by the shuttle route and so we got to see a BUS every ten min. or so and he made sure to tell us all when it was passing by. I have to remember to get the pictures from Kari of when we were actually riding the shuttle. Jordan was all smiles.
Our first family hike was to the bottom of Lower Yosemite Falls. The Falls were flowing, it was absolutely breathtaking. Aside from Justin and Jordan being two of the worst most whinny hikers, this was a really nice and easy hike for me.
After our hike, since it was Sunday, we headed to church right there in the Valley. We almost didn't make it in time, but we made it to the tiny little chapel that had Mass earlier that day, and I think a Baptist service as well. The LDS service was from 1-2 and it was so great. Jeff, Mark and Grandpa Hobbs all bore their testimonies among other LDS campers and it made me even more aware of the amazing freedoms we have living here in America. Three different religions were able to meet in the same building at different times to worship how they wanted. I was so filled with the spirit, it was a good day.
Hanging out back at camp.
Jordan and Madelyn pretty much polished this bag of Cheetos together. Jeff said he ate one and it tasted like dirt...not sure how much dirt they actually ate while eating these, but I think it's healthy!
Mark and Kari introduced the family to "Doughboys" Pillsbury biscuits cooked over the campfire then filled with pudding and topped with whipped cream...mmmmmmmmmm!
Grandpa Hobbs made an amazing dutch oven dinner for everyone!
Day 3 My mom and dad and Mark's family hiked to the top of Vernal Falls. I wasn't quite up to that with my kiddos (plus I got some flu bug and was throwing up) so we decided to drive to the top of Glacier Point with the boys and Estella. After being in the car about 20 min. I made Jeff pull over so I could loose my breakfast...we got lucky and here's where we pulled off:
There I am...all better now...
On the way up we stopped to hike Bridal Veil Falls.
Grandpa Hobbs made us promise that we would pull off at the viewpoints on the way up to Glacier Point. Here's our first pull off...pictures are great, but they really don't do it justice do they?
Another quick stop-off with Half Dome in the background:
When we finally got to the top of the mountain, I was pretty wiped out and the boys were totally stir crazy. We hiked out to the look-out and it was a hot, long hike (for us, not for the normal person). I think we wound up dragging Jordan half the way. BUT SOOOOOO WORTH IT!! Look at these views!!! (Jeff and I have both hiked to the top of Half-Dome!!)
Nevada and Vernal Falls over Jeff's shoulder:
Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls behind us:
Day 4 was probably the boys' highlight. Our campsite was right next to a river and the horse stables. So after we took our time and packed everything up, we headed just to LOOK at the horses and then to throw rocks into the river.
As you can see, the boys got to do a little more than just LOOK. It was $60 for a two hour horse ride not too bad right?---yeah right, like we'd actually pay! The nice cowgirls offered to give the boys a free 10 min ride around the circle and they were THRILLED! Neither wanted to get off when it was over. Jordan rode Jenny and Justin rode Sport. Justin even got to feed a bunch of the horses some carrots later that day.
Then over to the river. The water was FREEZING, but Justin didn't care! He went all the way in. Jordan went about knee high and that was it. They had fun collecting rocks and throwing them in.
I took this picture from the bridge. Yosemite Falls is up on the top left and the boys are down on the beach on the bottom right. This place is truly amazing.
On the drive out we snapped a few more quick pictures at some pull-offs to finish up the trip.