22 years I've lived in California and I've never been to Yosemite! What the fuck. So when Moms said she wanted to road trip somewhere, I figured let's kill two birds with one stone. One of them could be Mom! JOKE. Sort of. Anyway, off we went to Yosemite on Wednesday morning.
Drive drive drive. Finally get to Yosemite around 1:30 p.m. It's beautiful, just as advertised.
Here's the thing with Mom: she is a fucking pain in the ass to travel with. Me and The Wife are kind of casual, hey-whatever-happens-happens travelers, but Mom is FOCUSED and DIALED IN and that means LET'S GET TO THE VISITOR CENTER ASAP because a trip MUST BEGIN with a visit to the Visitor Center.
In Yosemite, the parking area for the Visitor Center is about a 1/2 mile away from the VC. Mom's getting up there and she doesn't walk so fast and so we spent a good hour of daylight in the 24 hours we have in Yosemite slowly walking along a pathway between a parking lot and a Visitor Center that, upon arrival, Mom decided she wasn't that interested in.
But don't get me wrong; it is a truly stunning place. Yesterday morning we took about a 2-mile hike through the Mariposa Grove with all these giant redwoods and shit. Unbelievable. Pro tip: If you're going to do this, get there early, because we had it mostly to ourselves until around 10:30 when school groups started arriving.
I want to go back, though.
2 things: (1) The Comfort Inn in Oakhurst is relatively cheap, really comfortable, and not far from the south entrance to the park; and (2) Lunch at the Wawona Hotel is less expensive than you'd think and totally worth it.