Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yosemite and the Hantavirus

 I thought my 5 year old son's rat drawing was fitting for  a Hantavirus post. Much more fitting than for   his homework...but I digress.

You may remember my last experience trying to camp in Yosemite. If not, here it is. Well, since that disappointing time in 2002, I have been trying every single year to score campground reservations in the Yosemite Valley for a vacation. Each time, I've been denied. Of course, there is always the first-come first served reservations, but 8 hours is a long time to drive to a "possible" site. Especially with our kids.

So this year, we were really trying to get a week in Yosemite in October. Our eldest has a week vacation from school, and we thought it would be perfect. So, I decided to try for reservations in September, just to practice and fine-tune my reservation skills. At 7:30 am I was up, coffee in hand, reservation screen up, mouse finger pointed...7:59....and 8:00 am, GO!! By some miracle, I got the first spot I tried for. Wait, what?! I got a spot? For September? In Yosemite? YES!! So, my kid's just gonna have to miss some school. This is monumental. I had also sent the reservation link to my brother in the hopes that they could camp with us as well. Again, this was a huge reach, as it is nearly impossible to get a reservation in the park. And my brother is not quite as er...meticulous okay, anal as I am. But about 9:30 or so he called me and told me he had gotten a site too. What?! Awesome. Apparently he had forgotten about it being reservation day until about 8:40 or so, when he remembered, and managed to get a site anyway. Have I mentioned what a terrible time I've had trying to reserve at this place? Maybe it's me. Anyway, I asked what site he got & it sounded way higher than my number. Just to be sure, I checked the campground map. Turns out, our spots are right next to each other. Right next door! Isn't that crazy? We hadn't even tried to get neighboring spots. Just got really, really lucky! I was elated. It looked like my Yosemite luck had changed.

Well, looks can be deceiving. Or dead wrong as the case may be. Now, just weeks before our trip, there are all these stories about two people passing away from the hantavirus, which they contracted in the Yosemite Valley. Yikes!! Very sad for those campers and their families.

Right now, we are still planning on going. We are staying in an r.v., not in the tent cabins, and we're not staying in Curry Village, which is the place where both victims contracted the virus. I have read all about the virus, and will bring Lysol, bleach, and be prepared to do a lot of hand-washing. Still, I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't a little nervous. Just another reason for me to hate rodents. I hope this is not an omen for the rest of our vacation!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bike Riding with three small children

Beautiful view of the overlook on our family bike ride near Mammoth Lakes, California
Because my husband didn't think I was crazy enough, he suggested we get some bikes for our family. Our oldest daughter already had a little bike, and she was getting very good at riding. So good, in fact, that we could barely keep up with her, even if we were running at full speed. Her Dad had resorted to riding her little razor scooter while she zoomed along on her bike. Hilarious to watch, but very sweet. "Big man on a little scooter!"(Tommy Boy, anyone? Big Man in a little coat...okay, nevermind).

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Our First Trip-- Silver Strand State Beach: Coronado, California

After my good-natured husband had fully recovered (after a good shower, and a good night's sleep) we began planning our first RV trip in "The Skinny Winnie" as these rv's are sometimes called. We wanted to go somewhere pretty close by, since we weren't totally familiar with our new rig and wanted to be near home in case something should go wrong.

We decided on the Silver Strand State Beach in Coronado, California. I knew there were beachfront spaces there...and how can you go wrong with that?! It was very easy to get reservations, as the campground is not terribly in demand in February. There are no hook-ups or dump stations there, and rv's must be fully-contained in order to camp there.

We arrived on a Friday evening, and pulled in to our space. The spaces there are like large parking spaces in an asphalt lot. Beachfront spaces (like ours) allow your back end to be directly over the sand.
Here is a pic of our spot:

Beautiful spot at Silver Strand State Beach

Jeep-ing around Big Bear

Since Big Bear was only a few hours away, we decided to bring the Jeep along with our  RV. This way we'd be able to try out some of the ...