12/3/17 – 1/6/18

Yosemite National Park

We headed towards Yosemite in early December and stayed at the Mariposa Fairgrounds while we explored the area. The fairgrounds were pretty sparse and very uneven so leveling the motorhome was impossible. Parallel parking the RV between two other trailers was the only way we could level properly so I took on the challenge and backed in easily on the left.

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Most of the roads into Yosemite were closed for the winter season, however, the valley area was open so we went towards El Capitan. Along the way we saw Bridal Falls, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and stopped at the village. This was our second time visiting Yosemite (last time was 1989) and the views of the massive rock formations still takes my breath away.

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The next day we headed for the top of Yosemite Falls, North America’s tallest waterfall at 2,425 feet above the Valley floor. Round trip is 7.2 miles with a 2,700 ft elevation gain. Since we started a late start and it typically takes 6-8 hours total we weren’t sure how much we could do. I made it more than half-way, however, Bob and Alyssa hiked to the top. Learn more about their journey here:

https://meanderingmatteis.com/2017/12/09/stumbling-around-in-the-dark/

https://alysinlondonland.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/yosemite-national-park-upper-falls-hike/

I took my time walking back down enjoying the views along the way and talking with my mom since the cell reception was great on the mountain. On my way down, I noticed a baseball cap in the path so I picked it up and caught up to the man in front of me to see if it was his. “Yes, thank you” he said and we continued to chat together along the hike. He was a California fireman with recommendations of things to see in the area. I typed them into my cellphone notes, said goodbye at the end of the hike, then waited for an hour or so for Alyssa and Bob to come down. They reached the bottom around 6:30 pm after hiking 2 or more hours in the dark. Bob’s knees were killing him so he hobbled into the car looking like his dad as 90 years old.

That evening, everyone worked up an appetite so we headed to the Happy Burger Diner in Mariposa for dinner. Great food, happy place … so good that we went back a couple more times for dessert and breakfast.

During our last day in Yosemite we went to the Majestic Lodge and then took an easy hike to Mirror Lake to see the reflection of Mt. Watkins. Wish we could have seen more of Yosemite but we are glad that we saw as much as we did. Until next time!

We moved to a campground that was closer to San Francisco since we were flying back to Massachusetts for the holidays. We reserved a spot at Kit Fox RV Park in Patterson. It was 1.5 hours East of San Fran and the town is known as the Apricot Capital of the World, however, harvest time is May through July so we missed the season. Finding a place to store our RV while we were away was a challenge. Most RV and boat storage centers were full. We found a truck repair center that had one spot open so we gave them our name to hold it for us. While passing through the area we drove by the place to check it out and we were happy we did because it was located near a dusty farming area surrounded by dozens of stripped cars on the street either by theft or a used car lot. We canceled our holding spot and decided to just reserve the campsite for a month instead.

Looking forward to seeing our family and friends but not dealing with the cold weather!

Home Again, Home Again

All of us really miss our family and friends and we couldn’t wait to see everyone again. We had three weeks (21 days) to spend time with as many people as we could. It was a challenge but we filled up our calendar and hit the road in a fun Mini-Cooper that my dear friend Anne let us borrow while we were home. Thanks a bunch Anne!!! We stayed with family (Karina, Laura, Cliff, Mom and Dad) who treated us very well and we enjoyed the special time with each of them.

A big thanks to Isa for picking us up at the airport and treating us to a visit to the ICA, Mary for the delicious dinners, Anna for the great baskets, Laura for hosting us and the movie treat, and Karina for hosting us twice.

We spent a week with my parents at the Cape and celebrated Christmas with Cliff, Luke, Linda, Doug, Kim, Tony, Kate, Aunty Carol and Uncle Brad. As usual, we had fun with the Yankee Swap gifts, enjoyed delicious food, and it was great to be together!

We also visited with our friends Renee and Kelly, Carol, Anne, Neil, Russell, Rachel, Patti, Lana, Sue, Nick and Nick, Leslie and Adrienne. Alyssa had fun hanging out with her friends too (Harry, Liana, Neha, Zohaib, Rachel, Tess, and Riley).

Melinda, Jim and Alexie invited us over for a delicious dinner in Hopkinton. Their house is always beautifully decorated for the holidays and it was wonderful reconnecting with them again.

On New Year’s Eve we took a ride to UCONN to see the women’s basketball team play. Alyssa met her friend Chelsea there and we watched UCONN win the game. Later on, we saw my brother Cliff and had dinner together with shots of whiskey at midnight to bring in 2018! Thanks bro for having us over for a few nights. It was so nice having that special time to hang out and chat like old times.

Lucky for us, the day before we were heading back to California, there was a blizzard! We got to enjoy shoveling and even better, the bitter cold (-2) again. We even delayed our flight so we could have one more freezing day.

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OK, seriously, I really want to become a snowbird. OMG, I just looked up the definition and found this in the Urban dictionary:  snowbird. 1.Irritating old people who come down to Florida from Northern states, drive like maniacs, and should be illegal.

LOL!!!