It was our last full day in Yosemite, me, Sister, the Sister-in-Laws, Nephew and Nephew's Girl Friend. We SILs had breakfast at the Ahwahnee scheduled (but not reserved) and all of us were reserved for a tour of the Ahwahnee.
We emerged to a frosty morning, en route to catch the bus to the Ahwahnee. Yosemite Falls had a spray of ice frozen against the valley walls framing its flow. I tromped in amongst the trees where another photographer had found a semi-clear shot. Only he had a big professional camera.
|Cliffs and falls against a cold gray sky|
The most direct trip to the Ahwahnee involves changing buses at Yosemite Village. At the transfer point, our driver said the next bus would be along in 8 minutes. The Sister-in-Laws decided to walk. I'm not sure it was all of 8 minutes before the bus actually arrived, but it was crowded and Sister and I stood near the driver and she opened her window as we passed the SILs and hollered and waved at them. They didn't actually see us, just the driver, but they arrived pretty quickly.
|Ahwahnee Hotel from the meadow side|
|Introductory information about the exterior of the building is provided by our |
ranger guide. Nearly all that appears to be wood on the exterior is stained and
molded concrete, to protect against one of the major threats in the area, fire.
|Sister-in-Law appears to be snoozing, but she always manages to blink when I take her picture!|
The theme is kind of a grand, eclectic mix of rustic lodge, Native American design, and European design and craftsmanship. Fortunately, one hunting lodge plan to mount bison heads on the walls went by the wayside. All the light fixtures, for example, were designed and hand-crafted to the theme. This chandelier, for example, is in the lobby, just inside the entrance.
Inside, we went to the lounge area outside the Dining Room. Since luncheon service was still being provided, our group went in a few at a time to take pictures. Since we'd eaten in there that morning and the day before, I provided you above with our breakfast picture, and the big overview I took Wednesday at lunch. The guide also described the Bracebridge Dinner, which has been held in the Christmas season since 1927. Ansel Adams, remembered now more for his photography, was the original creator and musical director. Photography was his "day job" that allowed him to indulge his musical passion.
|Back into the Great Lounge|
|Another chandelier, in the Great Lounge|
Stained glass panels were placed at the tops of the ceiling-high windows, not because someone thought that was a good idea from the start, but because the view of the underside of the structure holding the upper floors was not attractive.
If I read the information correctly, these fire escape stairs were added in later remodels. I think they have an interesting beauty to them, although I sure wouldn't want to have to come down them from the upper floors. Let me tell you about the time the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night in the Ahwahnee during a stay a couple of years ago! But not now.
|The Great Lounge viewed from the Mezzanine floor|
|A little work area|
|Another chandelier (photo by Sister)|
Reservations are required for the tour. When you make your grand trip to Yosemite, stop at the concierge desk at the Ahwahnee to sign up. If you haven't been here yet, you will make your grand trip, won't you?
It -- Yosemite -- is the reason I live where I live.
See you soon.