Sunday, October 14, 2007
hey, what about Darren's b-day blog?
Calm down, blogheads. I know, I know, you were anxiously checking this site all day Friday for a witty post on Darren's birthday... and it NEVER came! We spent Darren's 33rd birthday in the glorious wilderness of the Mariposa/ Yosemite KOA. Darren was in desparate need of a few mental health days so he planned a little trip to get us out of our normal world and into the WILDERNESS! We checked in Thursday only to discover that the advertised "free Wi-Fi" was only for the first time you used it in the campground. The second time you booted up your computer to contact the outside world you were politely informed of the "first-time free" policy and the convenience of using VISA or MC for access to the internet. Alas we were truly roughing it as we had to settle for full hook-ups and cable TV... and oh yeah, the nature and stuff. SO that is the big explanation for the missing birthday blog... send your complaints to the geniuses at the Mariposa/ Yosemite KOA (with FREE wi-fi!).
On Darren's birthday we took our rolling home on down the road for a little jaunt into the park. Ever been through the stone arch gateway in a 24 foot motorhome? THRILLING! We stopped in the valley for the spectacular views of El Capitan, Half Dome and the amazing waterfalls (which aren't all that spectaculr in the fall, perhaps if there was a little water to fall down the falls I'd feel differently). We walked around for quite some time, checked out the Visitor's Center and the Indian village display and rode the environmently friendly, free shuttle buses. After thoroughly exhausting Cameron (the trick was to NOT bring a stroller... the little fireball had to walk/run to keep up!) we headed back to the Tioga to find another parking place preferably next to the Merced River (trickling stream... see above note about fall not being optimal for water). While the guys went fishing I coerced Cameron into dreamland for a well-deserved nap. During the nap I had a little excitment. A rather loud family pulled up right next to us (empty parking lot, but apparently we were in a prime spot so they snuggled up). After loudly spilling out of their car, they settled in for a picnic lunch (this was about 2 o'clock, so the low blood sugar increased their volume). Just when I thought they couldn't get any louder, they did. I looked out the window and saw what all the fuss was about: 2 BEARS! Well, they were only Jason-sized brown bears and they were only trying to get into the bear-proof trash cans, but the knuckle-heads thought it was an extreme emergency. And you know what we all do in emergencies.... get pictures! (Was it wrong to secretly wish for loud family to get mauled by little brown bears?) Finally the bears went away and the loud family packed up and left and we were the only ones left in the picnic area. The guys had a great time fishing in the stream, crossing over logs and scouting out the best spots. I am so glad that they didn't catch anything because who knows how we would have handled that?!
The birthday was topped off by a dinner of spaghetti and homemade meatballs and brownie with strawberry cheesecake ice cream back at the campsite. Delicious! We spent the next day hanging out, trying to keep Cameron from tripping and falling and crying every 15 minutes. We were those people. You know, the ones that you secretly spy on while you're camping because they are so much more fascinating than the book you brought along. By about 11 o'clock that morning we had decided to cut the trip short and drive home that night instead of the next morning. That way, the kids could sleep the whole way home. It was the most delightful, quiet 4 hours of the entire trip! Not that we don't appreciate our kids, but you know....