Day 1 – California Trip 2011

5:30am on 10/15  and we are up and ready to leave for the airport.  Our destination?  San Francisco!  We flew on Airtran and we paid extra $20 to upgrade to Zone 2, since we didn’t check any bags.  We just had our small carry-ons.  It was well worth the $20!  Our flight was (thankfully) uneventful.  When we got to SF, we went to pick up our rental car, which was supposed to be an Infiniti M37.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have any left.  😦  We ended up with a free upgrade to a new 2011 Mercedes E350, loaded.  That’ll do, I ‘spose.  🙂

We got our stuff in the car and schooled ourselves on how to work the Command system, along with all the other buttons, etc in the car.  This car was rather “Christine”-like, as it would do things on its own.  Kinda freaky!

Ok, so we are on our way, and we were hungry!  Our first stop was in Pleasanton, CA.  We went to In-N-Out Burger.  It was INSANELY busy, but we went anyway.  We were so glad we did.  They sure do know how to make a good burger and fries!  After lunch, we drove the rest of the way to out hotel.  We went through the San Joaquin Valley, which was very flat and full of almond and pistachio trees and other crops.  The landscape changed from farmland, to desert-like, then prairies, then hilly pastures with vertical rocks everywhere (almost like tombstones!), then huge mountains!  When we got to our hotel (which was 8 miles away from the entrance of Yosemite) we could smell a strong burning smell.  Apparently there was a bad forest fire only 2 months ago!  You could see where the fires had burned all the trees and brush around the mountains.  The hotel escaped the fires unscathed, thank goodness!  You can see the burns on the mountainsides in the below pic.  Our hotel was the Cedar Lodge in El Portal.  When we checked in, they had upgraded us to a King spa suite.  Sweet! 😀  After we dumped our stuff into the room, we changed into bathing suits and went to the indoor pool.  We had to pool to ourselves and we had fun doing handstands and funky dives and flips in the water.  Who woulda thunk we were 39 and 40 years old!?!  After our swim, we grabbed a good dinner at the hotel (not much else available in the area!).  After dinner, we walked around the property and saw the stars and all the cute bear statues around the grounds.  Here’s me with an angel bear.  Soon after this, we went to bed.  It’s not easy getting used to Pacific Time!  Zzzzzz…..

 

 

 

 

 

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