Monday, December 21, 2009

Yosemite (Part 1)

I am writing this from the Great Lounge of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite. So far this is the only place in the valley I’ve been able to connect to the internet. Our room in Curry Village didn’t come with an internet connection.

We arrived in Yosemite Valley past 6pm on Saturday night. It was already dark as we came over the peak on Highway 120, where I know of a good snow play area, and so the kids weren’t able to sled on the drive in. I promised them we would go sledding on the way out instead.

Walking into the Ahwahnee Hotel (pictured above-right)
Posing in front of one of the Ahwahnee's huge fireplaces (below)

We were really hungry by the time we checked into our room in Curry Village, and so I decided to take the kids to my favorite restaurant, the Ahwahnee Hotel, for dinner. I figured this might be our last chance to eat dinner there since they are holding their Bracebridge Dinner many evenings this time of year. The kids enjoyed themselves and were well behaved. When they finished with dinner, they played in the snow while I finished my meal.

We slept late the next morning. When we finally left our room, the kids found other children to play in the snow with, and then we hiked around Yosemite Falls. In the afternoon we went ice skating in Curry Village until well after dusk.

Yosemite Falls

Ice skating at Curry Village

Today we woke up early and drove up Glacier Point Road to the Badger Pass ski area. This is where our trip kind of went into slow motion. The wait to rent boots and skis for the kids took about one and a half hours! I don’t think it was that there were too many people trying to rent, but rather that their rental operation was inefficiently run. This is strange because Badger is the oldest ski resort in the country, and now bills itself as a family oriented place.

The kids had two 2-hour group lessons as part of a “guaranteed learn to ski” package. While the kids learned, I had a chance to swoosh the slopes myself. After every run or two I would stop by the ski school and check on the boy’s progress.

H learning to stop
using the pizza wedge.

In the afternoon it started to snow, which made our swooshing really smoooooth! Finally, in the last half hour of their last lesson, both boys experienced their first chair lift ride and skied down an easy hill!

First time getting off a chair lift!