Cats have been suspicious of my every move since I began packing up boxes of books from my study umpty-ump days ago, but when I pulled my suitcase and backpack out of the closet, they didn't want to leave my side. Contrary to my usual practice of packing late the night before and getting up early to finish moments before time for departure, I was packed by Saturday afternoon for a Sunday morning departure, and even got the place tidied up for My Gal Friday to clean in my absence. Zowie!
We had been watching weather forecasts in Yosemite for days, concerned about our travel day. Would it snow ahead? Would it be snowing on the day? Would we have to detour in by a lower elevation route? Sister was driving this time for a change. She hadn't driven in snow for years, but her car is well-equipped to handle conditions. Her Friend L was joining us and Sister-in-Law for the first time on one of our Yosemite jaunts.
In another first, three cats who often make themselves scarce for my departure cat-count all gathered at the door as I backed my way out, Chloe and Jean-Luc, the mortal enemies, even milling around together mournfully.
It had rained within hours of our departure, but the sky was mostly clear when we left, with big clouds that could bode almost anything. We weren't terribly far up the highway before we did find ourselves surrounded by snowy forests.
As we got over the summit and were heading down into Yosemite Valley, the roads were a bit clearer, more sheltered and at descending elevations.
|Bridalveil Falls, from the floor of|
|El Capitan, on the other side of the Valley|
|And Yosemite Falls -- A Classic View|
Sister had provided some helpful suggestions to the management after our last visit in December and as an upshot to the conversation, our rooms were ready on arrival. I had a room with Sister-in-Law and Sister had a room with Friend L. We joked with Sister about being a VIP now, and SIL called Sister on the room phone in her best I'm-the-management voice, enquiring whether Sister had received the flowers and fruit basket in her room. Lots of yucks.
|Sister and Sister-in-Law at lunch in the Food Court|
It was pretty darned cold in Yosemite when we arrived, and afternoon clouds looked like snow might not be over.
We headed for the Free Valley Shuttle over to the Ahwahnee Hotel to get information about Chef's Holidays Events which had been going on through January, and to make reservations for dinner at the Ahwahnee one evening, as L had never eaten in the Grand Dining Room. There was a reception for the Chefs that evening, which we ultimately chose to skip, and went to the Ansel Adams Gallery instead. (Let the shopping begin, what with the Ahwahnee Gift and Sweets Shops, Ansel Adams, Visitor Center, Village Store, Lodge Gift Shop, Lodge Store. Let's see. Have I missed any?)
Sister-in-Law beside one of the fancy new outdoor heaters at the Ahwahnee entrance. (Truthfully, they don't put out as much heat as the old conventional patio heaters they previously had.