Folks, we just had perhaps the craziest travel experience yet. With all our family travels, we’ve managed to escape without having to deal with a few really unpleasant options. This trip, we rolled the unfortunate dice. Read on to hear all about the highs & lows on our recent adventure to Yosemite.
We usually end up flying on vacations. This summer we have been driving more – we live in Northern CA and we’ve got a new car. It’s a win win. Traffic was pretty easy – even on the hilly climb – except for the group of cows crossing the road en route to our Lodge. I swear they stopped, looked, and waited to make sure we were stopping before they crossed. I don’t think my kids do this on their own yet.
We selected Evergreen Lodge based on great recommendations of so many friends. I do recommend their 2-bedroom cabins for families. A living room separates a queen bedroom and another bedroom with twin beds. Furnishings are very minimal & simple – nothing fancy. Be aware, the beds are hard. The bathroom is also very minimal but it is spacious and that was a big win later in our stay (wait for it).
Once at the resort the kids loved the snacks in the General Store and the outdoor park area right outside our cabin. They also enjoyed the geode cracking activity of the day – resulting in some really pretty crystals. After being in the car most of the day, a dip in the pool was re-freshing. We enjoyed a poolside buffet dinner before taking the kids to the fireplace to make S’Mores. Yep. They thought this was the best place ever.
We woke up bright & early (not hard with our kiddos who love to get up around 6:30 a.m.) and got ready for a day packed with adventure. There is nothing express about the Lodge Restaurant so we grabbed coffees and breakfast foods (along with picnic supplies for later) from the General Store and headed out to the park.
The views driving into and through the park were beautiful. We stopped at Tunnel View to enjoy a peek-a-boo view of Half Dome and the kiddos (especially Finley) were amazed by the size of the rocky peaks, boulders, and beautiful views.
We hiked all around the Valley Floor – through meadows & groves of trees, into museums and galleries, we took tons of photos and learned all sorts of facts. We took a break at the Majestic (formerly Ahwahnee) to cool down. I purchased coloring & activity books for the kids and had to borrow highlighter markers from the front desk. Can you believe not one outlet in that Hotel had crayons available for use or purchase?
After nearly 4 miles of walking, we made it back to our car. Finley flat out refused to do the last .25 mile and honestly, I don’t blame her. Poor turkey.
We returned to the Lodge for a swim, poolside dinner and dessert (check out the strawberry infused Palomas if you go). We all cleaned up and fell asleep with wet hair well before 8pm. Bill was getting up early the next day for a private guided fishing trip in High Country and I was going to enjoy a day with the kids – either at the Resort or taking in Hetch Hetchy. Or so we thought…
Holden woke me up 11:30 p.m. announcing he just threw up. Unfortunately it wasn’t an isolated episode and I sat, holding him, in the bathroom all night till about 6am when Bill woke up to get ready for his trip. Poor Holden was sicker than I’ve ever seen him. I didn’t know if it was food poisoning or a bug.
Bill stayed with Holden for about 90 minutes so I could get a really quick nap before he left. I kept Fin in her bedroom with an iPad while I kept Holden with me. I packed us up between Holden’s episodes and moved us to the Rec Center when our room was no longer an option. I spent at least an hour on the phone with a local Dr. and my nurse friends since Holden wasn’t improving at all till mid afternoon. The Lodge didn’t hae any electrolyte tablets but thankfully one of the staff brought us some of her own which really seemed to help once Holden was able to keep down fluids. The kids and I made baskets to help distract (and keep them separate).
Bill finally returned around 5pm and we loaded up his gear quickly to head home. He indulged Fin with another few rides on the zipline and we were off. I’ve never been so happy to come home from a vacation. As Holden was improving, and no one else was showing signs, I was hopeful it was food poisoning. Nope. Wrong.
Finley went down Thursday afternoon, I followed late that night, and Bill got it on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, we had committed to hosting a fundraiser at our home on Saturday evening but thankfully when Holden got sick, I booked full catering services. I thought it better to be safe than sorry and didn’t want to infect anyone else if we did have a bug. I’m glad I did because even looking at the food, still on Saturday, was hard enough. Cooking, arranging, and serving was not an option.
If you want a laugh after this story (you may need one), check out the videos of the kids on zip lines above. They both absolutely loved this – definitely their favorite part of the trip. Hands down.
In short, this trip was the ultimate high low experience – gorgeous views and fun family outings but also awful with a horrid stomach bug & very limited resources.
I learned I need to be in close proximity to hospital & medical services at all times; to avoid locations filled with large groups of children that may or may not wash their hands (aka the Mather camp that has a history of closing due to norovirus); always have electrolyte tabs and a tub of Clorox wipes on hand; and to stay wherever a butler comes with the property.
It’s just the way it needs to be.