Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ahwahnee sparkle

I'm not a glitter and glitz kind of person. For the most part. Most of the time, I look like I've just returned home from a week of camping. The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, built in 1927 to accommodate the well-to-do and prestigious traveler was an intimidating presence to me for many years. If I walked into the lobby, I expected a pompous figure to sweep up to me and inform me that I must be lost. There is a campground down the road. And the Great Lounge . . .  I thought it was for rich, cigar-smoking hotel guests.

Several years ago, Sister-in-Law and I came across one of those low-season bargain two-fers at the Ahwahnee. So we took our once-in-a-lifetime trip there. (To be totally transparent here, it's really only an hour-and-a-half up the road.) We even took a tour of the hotel.

As with many other once-in-a-lifetime events, it serves to create a taste for a return.

And guess what? This is a National Park. The Great Lounge is a public space. You may not be able to partake of the afternoon high tea from off the street, but you can mingle. You can spend hours lounging. There used to be an open Internet in the space, but now you need a room code for it. Even at this off time of year, the Internet in the park seems to be swamped. (That's disappointing for us electronics junkies who want to send out our pictures right now.)

If you look back as you're departing, say goodbye to this view.

I have, lately, taken a fancy to some sparkle. Not that I want to own it (well, I would love some of those Possini chandeliers), but it is fun to look at.

Peering through the window into the Ahwahnee gift shop

It's the high end tourist shop. There are no logo tee shirts, mugs with your name on them, no fuzzy throw for $25 with $50 purchase (although you can use your Ahwahnee receipt to apply toward buying the fuzzy throw in one of the souvenir shops). I love the clothes and scarves they sell. Much of the rest of the things are not to my taste, but it's fun to see how they have displayed everything, including attention to the way the way the items cast shadows on the floor.

This is the dinner service used in the Dining Room,
so if you want that Lodge look at home, you can get it here.

Colorful glass baubles sparkle

These decorative plates are fascinating. The artist creates the designs in the plates making impressions with unique fabrics from around the world. I'm not sure whether the unusual colors would go with my decor, or I'd be right on one. This display is what drew my attention to the shadows on the floor.

Pretty turquoise birds

 Kachinas, ranging from about 20-inches tall at the top of the tower
to teeny-tiny on the tables out front, are arrayed by size.

I had to look closely into this basket of items to figure out what they are. They're measuring spoons. I think they'd be kind of cool to have, but remembered that I don't cook enough to need fancy measuring spoons. On the other hand, maybe that's perfect. These could be hung up for decorative purposes, rather than stuffed away in a drawer with the other measuring stuff.

Bracebridge banner, for this December special event

Now I fell for something, the foo-foo poncho. Tan, black or chocolate?  Finished up with chocolate. I also got a classic red sweater. Sorry, no picture of that.

Little vases for your grand manor

Banner for Vintners' days

Cheese platters, ornaments

Hundreds of little gifts, for Christmas and for year around . . . along with more artful shadows on the floor.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays . . .

Ho, ho, ho!


  1. Your pictures are spectacular, so I can only imagine how inspiring the hotel is. And to think of it as being part of the park is amazing. Hope you had a great Christmas, Lee, and a wonderful New Year!

    1. You didn't make it this far west on your westward trip, did you? Something to look forward to.