For me a vacation usually means tent camping or sleeping on a relative's floor or couch (That's not totally true - Sariah always has a nice airbed for me.) This week we were spoiled! Tom's folks have membership (ownership? whatever) with WorldMark and arranged for us to stay at Bass Lake. 3 two bedroom units, with murphy bed in the living room. Most of my children gathered for a week at Yosemite!
We really packed my little Cavalier. Four adults, clothes and toiletries. Four bikes and helmets. Four camel packs. Food for the four meals we were doing for the group plus our breakfasts and some snacks during the week. A couple of laptop computers. We stuffed that little car. But were confident we would have a little more room coming home. After all, we were going to eat the food. ha ha. Somehow it was more crowded coming home and we barely got it all in. But it was certainly worth it!
The Worldmark units were lovely, comfortable and came with fully stocked kitchens. (Not the food, but pots, dishes, blender, etc) Nothing like camping! 2 and 1/2 bathrooms. Plenty of towels. A small washer and dryer in the unit. Gas fireplace. Heated swimming pool, spa/sauna (whatever), playground, basketball hoops, tennis courts - and equipment at the office. Each unit got a coupon for a free movie rental. The units were lovely. But we were not there much!
I slept in the murphy bed - partly for the novelty, partly because it has a great firm mattress, and partly so I could hear my guys coming 'home' from hanging out with their siblings after my bedtime. Which wasn't much of an issue, because we all came back from Yosemite each evening happy but tired and they didn't stay out real late.
Saturday was travel and check in day. A bit rainy. More rain on Sunday. That was ok with us. Get the rain taken care of before we hit the Park. We settled in and relaxed. Sariah and I went to the grocery store where I bought more than we needed and later had to figure out how to get home.
Sunday after church we just hung around the condos. Tom & Ruth's place was the gathering spot. That worked best for the baby.
Sunday afternoon, the kids played hide and go seek. A good trick, I thought, as they were restricted to the lower level and there were not too many hiding places. I thought! The kitchen cupboards were popular. Behind a plant. In the coat closet. At one point Aurora hid in the coat closet, but was none too quiet about getting in so Jared, who was counting just feet away, naturally heard her. When Jared opened the closet door, he saw Acadia standing there, not Aurora! He wasn't playing with Acadia at the time, so he closed the door again. With much encouragement, he looked there twice more before finding Aurora who had been behind Acadia! (by this time, Acadia had left the closet).
Tom decided to hide. He lifted up the couch cushion and curled up under it. Ruth sat on it. As you can imagine, his body was quite visible below the cushion and Ruth was sitting nearly two feet higher
than normal. Jared and Esther looked for something like ten minutes - with the adults laughing nearly hysterically and a couple of people taking pictures. They looked under the coffee table in front of the
couch without seeing him. It was a bit amazing.
Three things bothered me about this trip.
1. Leaving my animals, especially Anna. But Janet from GoFetchPetSitting relieved my mind there for the most part. We had pretty much daily email/text messages, which helped me feel comfortable. We returned to a warm welcome from pets in good shape.
2. That David and Teresa did not come. It's complicated.
3. And that we missed the Mt Vernon Memorial Day service Monday which we have attended regularly for years and which is always deeply moving. Tom found a video for us to watch about the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Then we went geo-caching. Debi organized it on her smart phone and we did 2 easy ones. Our first cache was at the local cemetery. A charming old cemetery beautifully decked out with large flags lining the roadway and small flags on veterans' graves. Very appropriate.
Before geo-caching, Joseph and I went into town to get him swim trunks, but the only swimming actually happened while we were there. : ) I think Tom took a dip one evening when we came in from hiking, but that was it that I know of. It was nice to have it available, but who had time?!
We had decided to wait to go into Yosemite until after Memorial Day because of the crowds. A good call, but later we felt that 4 days in Yosemite was great, but not enough. We have a video about Yosemite in which a ranger says that if he had only one day to spend in Yosemite, he would sit down and cry. I understand now!! We couldn't really have done much better, though. Being in accounting, Miriam and I had a hard time getting time off during June because of fiscal year end. Since it was only a few days at the very beginning of June, we got it, but more any later and we would have been denied. At least, I would. It took my boss months to relent and ok my time off.
Yosemite is incredible. Words and pictures do not begin to do it justice. More than the incredible sights, there is a special feeling there. I think we all fell in love this week.
More later, but like I said, it won't do justice to Yosemite.