Posts Tagged ‘travel’

“Travel” is my choice for Sally’s “Challenger’s Choice”.  The view from Griffith Observatory is one of the top ten things to do or see in Los Angeles.  The night we visited, the observatory was open, free, and impressive.  So was the view.

© janet m. webb 2017

Our plan was to take a last-morning, long hike.  But with about 12+ hours of pouring rain, the conditions, although sunny, were less than stellar.  On the trail, any non-mucky surface would be slick rock and every tree or bush a dosing of water waiting to happy.  oI’ve been horseback riding in those conditions and a heavy-duty slicker is a must if you don’t want to send up soaked and shivering.  We didn’t have slickers, so after a leisurely early morning, we packed up and started to leave.

I say “started” because the beauty we saw that morning made me say/yell “Pull over whenever you can” at almost every turnout.  The clouds were hanging low, new snow dusted peaks, and the air was crisp.  What a farewell to a most gorgeous place!

© janet m. webb 2017

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Our lodging in Yosemite was rather pricey, but it looked like a bargain compared to the price of the majestic Awahneee.  To be completely correct, the majestic Majestic. The magnificent hotel, constructed from steel, stone, concrete, wood and glass, opened in 1927 as the Awahnee.  According to Wikipedia:

The Ahwahnee was renamed the Majestic Yosemite Hotel on March 1, 2016, due to a legal dispute between the US Government, which owns the property, and the outgoing concessionaire, Delaware North, which claims rights to the trademarked name.

No matter the name you like, in the downpour, we weren’t able to get any outside shots, but to see the beauty of not only the hotel, but its surroundings, click here for images taken in better weather.  It’s well worth a minute or two and a click on the highlighted “Awahnee” above will let you read the fascinating history of the hotel.

For us, it was a shelter during the deluge that followed our morning of hiking and trip to the Ansel Adams gallery.  We walked through the hotel’s first, public floor, then went into the bar for a drink and some munchies, a lovely way to spend a rainy afternoon.

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For Wednesday’s Photo Challenge, I mentioned a funny story about the photo of a church.  My s-i-l was driving my husband and me around the roads of rural France, seeing sights and generally having fun.  We were walking through a small village, when my s-i-l said, “Look. This is the first Lutheran church in  France!”

As we’re Lutheran, of course we thought we should go in and see it (besides the fact that it was very old.)  But the door was locked and there were no people to be seen anywhere.  After walking around the outside, we headed for the car.  Suddenly a man came out from the building across the street and asked if we wanted to see the church.  He took us into the entryway and told us that the key was hidden behind a painting.  He moved the painting to the side, gave us the key, and asked us to put the key back when we were done!  His kindness and trust had us smiling and shaking our heads.

The unusual thing about this church was the wood-burning stove partway down on the left side.  I can imagine that side of the church had the most parishioners sitting there in winter!!

© janet m. webb 2014

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The sun shone on our first afternoon in Yosemite, but the rainy writing was on the afternoon wall.  Our hope was to get in a hike during the morning without getting soaked.  A trip to the food court netted me tea and my daughter coffee and a croissant.  Back at our room, we filled up on yogurt and homemade granola, put on our various layers, and headed out.  I had my non-backpack lined with a heavy plastic bag to protect my camera and telephoto lens in case the rain showed up early.

The hike to Mirror Lake isn’t difficult and if you really want to take it easy, you can walk on the edge of the paved road.  We took the path less traveled and…dare I say?…that made all the difference.

Notice my Chicago Blackhawks jacket?  🙂  Layers were definitely the thing as it wasn’t warm.  But of course, as we hiked, we warmed up.  Jacket zippers down, then up, then…  I was also constantly changing lenses or bringing out my phone for a shot.  My favorite pants have a pocket along the leg just the right size for my phone, which is most convenient.

© janet m. webb 2017

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Back from La-La Land, back from sunshine and (at the end, at least, warmth) to rain, gloom, and a high of 42F (although it’s supposed to be in the 50’s in the coming days.) It’s good to travel and good to come home…and even better to have a home I like to come home to!

Each time I visit our daughter, we have a brave, daring adventure.  Last visit it was a whirlwind trip up “The 1” to Napa’s wine country.  “The 1” has nothing to do with Neo and “The Matrix” and everything to do with the fact that for some unknown reason, highways in California and Arizona (and possibly elsewhere in the west) are called The Whatever Number.  At least you know the number.  In the Chicago area, they nickname the highways:  The Dan Ryan, The Kennedy, The Eisenhower, and so on.  If you’re new to the area or don’t use the highways much, you have NO idea what highway the traffic reports are referencing!

This year’s brave, daring adventure was a quick trip to Yosemite National Park, a place I haven’t seen since I was too young to remember what I saw and all photos were black and white without editing.  During tourist season, we wouldn’t have been able to spontaneously do this, as reservations have to be made many months (or more) in advance. My understanding is that even trails have to be reserved for hiking during the high season, a far cry from the days when my mom and her family camped in the park for several weeks, an inexpensive vacation for a Lutheran teacher’s family!

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For yesterday’s Photo Challenge, I revisited Basel, Switzerland.  While waiting for our flight the next day, we were blessed to meet Claudia, a fellow blogger who lives in Basel and was happy to show us around her lovely city for an afternoon.  My favorite part was wandering the streets of the non-tourist areas, seeing the very old, but well-kept buildings and, of course, doors, although this was well before I joined Thursday Doors. Oh, all the doors I missed!  🙂  I’ve featured some of the Basel doors here before, but here are a few more for your enjoyment.

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