The driving time from Orange County to Yosemite, with no traffic, is about 6 hours. Our road trip went okay. Problem #1 happened right off the bat. Right when we got into the car, we realized that my hubby's air conditioner wasn't working. Luckily, the weather wasn't too hot, but the drive got uncomfortable a few of times. I sat in the back with Jacob to make sure he was comfortable, during the time he was awake. Luckily, he slept for a little more than half the drive. I was breast feeding at the time so I would pump every 2 hours and feed Jacob with a bottle for his feedings to limit the amount of stops. Our pup, Lucy was a good girl, and sat quietly the whole way. We stopped twice. One time for a restroom break, and another time to entertain our baby boy.
Right when we got into town, we made a stop at the Grocery Store (Von's), and got all of our food items for the trip. We ate every meal at our cabin, and packed lunches for when we went on hikes. We even brewed our own cold brews for the trip, since we're coffee addicts.
Here's our cabin! It was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, with living room, kitchen, dining room, washer and dryer! It was ideal to have the second room, for all the baby stuff. I used the guest bed as a changing table (since it was so high) and it worked perfectly! Sorry campers, if you're reading, our family doesn't quite have the camping gene. We do, however, love the outdoors and hiking!
Doesn't Lucy look like an angel here?! Well don't let her fool you. In the first 30 seconds of us arriving to our cabin, my husband, Nick, decided to let her off her leash. She ran into the nearest puddle and smothered herself in all the mud. We couldn't expect anything less from our hyper baby girl. Her bath quickly followed.
And then there was wine! The first day we got there, we were exhausted. This was our first family trip/vacation and we both had relaxation on the mind. We had the view of endless trees, and the smell of the forest from the fresh Spring breeze. This was the first time for all of us in Yosemite, and we were just in amazement of the nature surrounding us, and God's creations. This is exactly what we came for.
Our first day of hiking we went to Bridalveil Fall. This is a pretty easy hike and the trail is about 1 mile. We just brought the baby carrier and had Lucy on the leash. This waterfall was a sight to see! It was gorgeous, and lives up to it's name resembling a bridal veil. The closer you hike to the waterfall, the more drenched you get from the mist wafting down. My hubby had Jacob in the baby carrier so he had to stay a little further down. I decided to take Lucy with me to the base of the fall to see it in all its splendor!
We got poured on, but it was so worth it! Lucy loved it! The optimal time to visit Yosemite and the Falls, is in the Spring time when all the snow melts from winter and the waterfalls are most plentiful.
After our hike to Bridal Veil, we pulled over at this Rest Spot with a great view of El Capitan. This is where we ate our packed sandwiches, let Lucy play, and I was able to nurse Jacob comfortably. This view was incredible. The coolest part was experiencing it with my family!
Fun Fact: El Capitan is featured on the U.S. quarter dollar coin, minted in 2010.
We then made our way to Yosemite Falls. We took the shorter, easier hike of about 15 minutes. There is a longer hike option as well that would take about 60 minutes. We figured, with the baby, taking the shorter route would be our best bet. The entire trail to the waterfall is paved so it is stroller and wheelchair accessible. We opted to bring the stroller and ditch the carrier for this hike and we're glad we did. Standing in front of this waterfall is simply amazing. This waterfall is the tallest in North America and the views are once in a lifetime.
Our next and last stop of the day, we went to Cook's Meadow. This was a perfect way to end our day of hiking. The hike at Cook's Meadow is a flat and easy trail that lets you adventure through the green meadow, blooming with wildflowers, with clear views of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome. This hike was relaxing and breathtaking all at once.
Our last day of hikes we journeyed through the Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias. My hubby was super excited about this! We started off at the Big Ed Tree trail. We brought the stroller, and we probably shouldn't have. The trail is really short, but there is a part of the trail where you have to cross a fallen, gigantic, tree. Getting the stroller over the tree wasn't the easiest thing, but we did it!
The Shadow of the Giants trail is about 1 mile and loops over Nelder Creek. This trail ventures through the forest and showcases the world's largest tree, and you spend your time gazing up at these giant sequoias with wonder and amazement.
This adventure was so special and was unforgettable. I'm so glad we came and we plan on coming back. I'd love to see Jacob love and appreciate such a magical place like this in his life. Who knows, maybe we'll make this an annual family trip destination!
Things we brought that made our trip go smoothly:
Rock 'n' Play- for Jacob to sleep in, baby swing, baby sunscreen, baby carrier, nursing pillow (breastfriend)
Things we should have brought to enhance our trip:
crate for Lucy, jogging stroller