Friday, May 2, 2008

Ahh Yosemite!

God's glory personified!
(This is going to be a ridiculously long post so please be forewarned)

(I took this picture! I'm quite proud of myself!)

This last weekend we went to Yosemite for the third year in a row. My first time to Yosemite was over Mother's Day Weekend three years ago and I vowed then and there to make it an annual trip! It is such a beautiful place.

We went with 6 families--Blatters, Barlows, Callaways, Edgrens (minus Brad) Laupers, and Suttons. 11 adults and 17 kids! (Sammie Lou stayed with grandma--Thanks Denise!!) It was crazy and chaotic and adventurous and blissful all at once!

(Lisa is missing in the group shot because she is looking for Syd who is there on the end and so Rachel and Chris look like a couple! I just had to point that out!)

We drove up on Friday in the camper and let the kids all take turns getting a ride...
Cole and Maren peeking out the back!

Enjoying the top

Somebody's feet!

I love this shot of Cole with his windblown hair!

The kids were having a great time getting windblown, having dance parties, "surfing" (basically standing up in surfer stance in the camper while it's driving!), eating snacks, using the cool toilet (also while driving) and laying up in the top looking out the front window.

Our first stop was Bridal Veil Falls where we took the little hike up to the falls

Half the group (the other half came up later)

Love this shot of Alex that Britt took

Hannah and her tree stump chair

Jake found the perfect jaguar lounging branch

Owen and his mohawk
There was so much mist coming off the falls that John styled Owen's wet hair into a mohawk. He got a lot of compliments on his hair style and there must be something in the falls water because it never quite went away the whole weekend!

Here's the kids checking out the river while Hannah's checking out the kids! Too funny!

We then headed over to our campsite to set up and cook dinner. The kids loved it. After s'mores we put the kids to bed and the adults stayed up around the campfire talking.

Nothing like cooking over an open fire!

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning.
This is the view we had in the morning...

Saturday morning we headed off to the Curry Village Lodge to meet everyone for a buffet breakfast. Some of the wimpier ones among our group were staying in cabins and tent cabins!! ;)
The kids enjoyed the all-you-can-eat eggs and bacon, french toast and donuts, even chocolate milk!

Rachel "the pied piper" led the kids to breakfast

There were bear warning signs everywhere and we had to lock up all of our food in a bear locker before we went to bed. It reminded me of our visit to Yosemite last year... when we were saying our prayers before bedtime Jake said, "Please bless the bears that they will not try to come into our campsite and if they do, please bless that they will walk in the fire and burn their feet..."
Now that's a kid who knows how to pray!

After breakfast we we gathered the troops and waited for the shuttle to head over to our first stop. The shuttle system was a little chaotic trying to fit all 28 of us. We always managed to do it but there was a lot of standing and squishing. I love this shot of all of us waiting for the bus because of Alicia's "Rock On!" pose in the background!!

Our first stop was Happy Isles where the kids (I mean that loosely for the whole group!) spent hours crossing rivers over logs, climbing rocks, catching bugs, throwing rocks, finding walking sticks, and just being explorers! They (we) were in serious Heaven!

After Happy Isles, we took the shuttle to Yosemite Falls and hiked up where the waterfall roars and the mist gets you wet--so exhilarating! My favorite place!

Family shot at Lower Falls

Britt's beautiful pic of both upper and lower falls

Some of the girls! (I love Syd's demure pose!)

One of many attempts at a kid's group shot!

After Yosemite Falls we had ice cream and then found a beautiful patch of heaven for a very late lunch...

Great view of Half Dome in the background

John letting Owen touch the water (rather than walk right in which is what he was trying to do!)

Owen still sporting the mohawk a day later!

After that, we called it a day and headed home. It was a fabulous trip! We are so grateful for such great friends!

One more group shot--this time with Lisa!

Next year anyone? We can double our numbers, we just may not fit on the bus!!


Britt said...

ahhh. so much fun. count us in for next year.

Rach said...

Next year I say we add bikes and Brad! Great shots ladies.

Camille said...

jealous the pics.

Dave and Crissie said...

wow! Dave and I have never been, we're hoping to go this year at some point. It looks amazing and like you guys had the best time!

Karen S said...

Yosemite is my favorite place on Earth. We go every year too. Loved all the pictures.

Eagar Fam said...

I covet your big "friend trips". I miss those days... Love all the pics. And Jake's prayer was my favorite part! So funny and sweet...

Shannon said...

I'm feeling a bit left out... it looks like so much fun... how about if next year you add bikes and brad and THE CARVERS!

Min&Matt said...

Wow! You guys definitely know the definition of FUN in your family! I hope my kids are as cute as yours are! I have read Because of Winn Dixie. I actually just read it to my students a few months ago. I love the name Opal. It was my Great Grandma's name, so I've loved it for a long time. Thanks for hittin' me up. It looks like you guys are doing well. Give my mom a hug for me!

laurel said...

What a fun trip! I love Yosemite. (My family always did it the wimpy way!)

April & Jacob Dean said...

So we are jealous that you have camper! That is so awesome! I was showing my husband the pics and it looked like a lot of fun!

Farrah said...

Wow, that looked like quite the trip!!!!

AnnieB said...

Don't get me wrong--I LOVE the wimpy way. In fact, a camper could definitely be considered a "wimpy way"!!