Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying a plethora of yummy leftovers!  We did a little something different for Thanksgiving this year and rented an RV to go on vacation to Half Moon Bay and Yosemite.  Of course, Miss Liesl loves vacation and loved spending time in what her daddy referred to as "The Rolling Doghouse."  She was pretty excited as we were packing it up to go with everything we needed for nine days of vacay!  She knew something great was happening, found herself a cozy spot next to a low window, and we were off.
Now if you are new to RVing, as we were, I can not compliment KOA Campgrounds enough.  We decided on one in Half Moon Bay so we could get used to the RV experience before we drove the winding roads to Yosemite.  Most KOA's have full hookups, are pet friendly, and have the NICEST people working there, who are so helpful and cheerful.  KOA is awesome.  Here is a view of the sunset just steps from our parked RV:
After a couple of days, we were off to the Sierras.  We were thrilled to pull into Yosemite.  It is so spectacular.  I have been reading John Muir's "The Yosemite" (free on Kindle).  He so poetically describes the Valley Floor as "walls of Granite that rise up to form a temple."  This is so true, and seeing it is so breathtaking.   Liesl seemed to remember the place from our trip in May.  When she got out of the camper, she sniffed around, turned up and looked up at me with the most happy, joyful look of recognition.  She loves Yosemite and was so happy to be back. 
We got to take some incredible walks, ate Thanksgiving dinner by the campfire, and hear a bear breaking into a car in the campground.  (How the heck do you explain that to the car rental company?)  It gets very noisy when this happens as rangers have to do a lot to get them to leave.  Yosemite reminds us constantly that we have a responsibility to protect the bears, and this means not keeping any food where they can get it.  Bears who keep coming into campgrounds or become aggressive ultimately have to be relocated or worse.  So we were super careful.  Bill said that he did hear a growl at him early one morning as he walked Liesl at the edge of the campsite which bordered the woods. Yikes!  He pulled Liesl close to him right away and moved on.
So a quick funny story:  The first day we got to Yosemite, we got the campsite set up and went exploring.  Sunset was about 5 pm.  We made dinner, then read books.  It was absolutely dark outside and the other campers had all turned in for the night so the campgrounds were dark.  We took Liesl for her last potty walk and decided to turn in.  I never wear a watch in general, but have a cardinal rule of not looking at clocks or watches while I am on vacation, as it is the only time I do not have to care what time it is.  Just as I was dozing off, I glanced at my phone.  The time - 6:45pm.  We laughed so hard, because we thought it was like 10 pm.  Most nights the campsite was dark by 7 or 8.  So we would just read until we fell asleep.  Bill was proud one night because he stayed up until 8:30.  LOL 
So here are some photos:


The last one is Liesl in her cute little yellow coat.  She hated it and would run from us when we took it out and lodge herself in a spot where we could not reach her easily. But it was generally extremely cold.  Anyway, as cold as it was,  we sat on a rock on Thanksgiving Day while it was warm and sunny and she sunned herself.  We had been growing her fur out for the past couple months so she would be warmer on the trip. 
So we had a lot of fun and are totally hooked on RV camping (or Glam-ping, as it is called.)  We are already looking for the next National Park to visit.   National Parks are awesome and should be supported!  There is so much to see in America and this is a great way to see it.  Plus Liesl gets to travel with us, which makes us all so happy.  She is a great traveler, goes with the flow and accepts new experiences quite readily. 
On the way back, we stayed at another KOA campground.  Again, the nicest people and an overall great experience.  They even offered us a little discount for Bill being a veteran and thanked him for his service.  The campsites were super clean, had full hookups, and a picnic table at each site.  We both fell in love with KOA and agreed that it was a great place to stay for a weekend, when we do not want the full camping experience. 
So now we are home, working on a mountain of laundry.  Liesl is exhausted and has napped all day.  Bill is cooking dinner.   It really is good to be home.