Tag Archives: yosemite

Just Keep Swimming

Hi Floppers!

Gah. I NEVER intended to take a two and a half week hiatus…I miss you all and hope to post more frequently since my three year blogiversary is just a couple weeks away!

The truth is, I’m just trying to keep my head above water….not in a bad way, just in a need to commit to less, get my priorities straight, get focused and stay focused kind of way.

Anyone else out there feel like this?

Last week we spent 4 nights and 5 days in beautiful Yosemite while the kids were off for Fall Break. The weather was gorgeous and cool {low 80s!} and we were still able to swim in the little creek that runs through Wawona where my uncle lives and where we stay when we visit.

These two pictures of our little fishies were Jay’s favorites and I couldn’t agree more…


Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Happy Thursday….Friday is just on the horizon.


Happy Souls & Itchy Toes

We try to make a trip to Yosemite once a year. My uncle lives in the park so we have a good excuse.

This summer was busy with summer camps and our trip to the Carolinas so we pushed our Yosemite trip back to Fall Break which was perfect since the weather was cooler and I {think} there was a little lower mosquito population.

We always stop off at Sonic in Bako on the way up…

Typically all meals are eaten out on the deck at Camp Duke…

{I almost stole this piece of oilcloth}

{sneaking on the computer!}

{in the neighbor’s hammock}

{a pre-birthday celebration}

{pancakes on the deck}


{under the swinging bridge}

{here come my uncle and jill}

{these two four-legged family members caused a ruckus…they sniffed out a cheesecake on a dresser in one of the bedrooms and ATE THE WHOLE THING. I’m certain that the long one with the short legs instigated the whole thing. Afterall, his name is Rascal. Again, so sorry Jill ;-( }

{we thought the water was going to be too cold so we didn’t wear our bathing suits}

{heading back over the bridge and through the woods}

{another hearty breakfast of steel cut oats, yogurt and fresh fruit}

{mariposa grove and the giant sequoias}

{a quick dip in the pool at the wawona hotel}

{playing with his new choo choo}

{woodsy creation}

{makin’ s’mores}

{full moon}


We love our trips up the 5 to the 99 to the 41 into beautiful Yosemite. Gathering groceries at Raley’s in the little town of Oakhurst to contribute to scrumptious camp feasts. My uncle is a seasoned grill master and Jill has a handle on all the wonderful side dishes. Sipping wine out on the deck never gets old. Kicking up dust out on trails to swinging bridges and GIANT trees. Watching the kids frolic in the creek brings back childhood memories.

The children are gathering beautiful mountain memories and filing them away only to be added to next year…and the year after…God willing.

We’re so grateful for these trips north to one of nature’s most scenic destinations.

THANK YOU Unc and Jill for first-class service every time.

We always come home with happy, nourished souls and this time itchy toes.

That’s what you get when you wear {flip flops} in the mountains.

Darn ‘squitoes.

Totally worth it, though!

Hello, October!

Just returned from S’mores Territory.

Three days filled with toasted marshmallows, Hershey’s, graham crackers and SO much more.


It was so so great to get away for a few days, but it’s good to be back.

I’ve missed you all…

We’re on Fall Break over here so I’ll have a sweet treat and hopefully some Fall/Halloween decor to share with you this week!

The weather is FINALLY cooperating.



Dust & Mosquito Bites

Yup…we’ve been to the mountains!

Flip Flop Follies National Park Edition coming up…

Have flip flops, will travel!


As always on the way up, we stop in Bako @ Sonic for a quick lunch and my all-time fave…

{Don’t bother me, I’m enjoying my Blended Root Beer Float!}

Note to self: Don’t bother me, I’m covering my grays!


We made it to “Camp Duke” just in time for Happy Hour on the deck.

Followed by good ol’ Camp Duke fare….Grilled Chicken, corn and salad:

S’mores for dessert!


Good morning, Wawona!

Grilled veggie frittata:

Our annual stagecoach ride with Beryl:

Hiking to the swimming hole:



It was a treat to witness two of the four baby bluejays leaving the nest!

Mama bird was squawking up a storm ~ I’m sure she was half yelling at us to get away from her babies and half scolding them for leaving the nest!

Sweet baby bluejay.

We cordoned off the deck so the pooches wouldn’t “harm” the baby bird!

This is the third little sweetheart that didn’t get the courage to leave the nest just yet. There is one more sibling in the nest behind him/her:

These were the most spoiled babies! They have grown up on peanuts, almonds and bread crusts thus far. The kids had fun putting the food out for Mama bird to swoop down and grab. She would go up in the trees above the deck, get the peanuts out of the shell and then fly off to feed her brood.

So fun to watch.

{She’ll eat your peanuts all day long, but DON’T get too close to her babies!}

We also caught the rear of a deer at the neighbor’s house:

The kiddos thought this was the bee’s knees.

We saw squirrels that tried to eat our lunch leftovers at the swimming hole!

Grunc saw a 10-point (5 “points” on each side) buck while walking home from the barn dance.


Nature is so busy with all our little animal friends.


Next on the agenda, tri-tip dinner, more sweet corn, fresh green beans and salad:

More s’mores for dessert with the sweet neighbors, The Lowry’s!


The next morning we took a short hike to some local waterfalls.

Holdy and I were on the “leisurely hike” plan!

He walked the whole way, though ~ bless his heart.


Later that evening we went to our usual Summer BBQ at the gorgeous Wawona Hotel.

Holden demonstrates how to eat watermelon on a stick:

Elliott LOVES her some ribs:

Miss Elliott was also the most loved by the ‘squitos this year, unfortunately.

They LOVED her forehead!

Poor sweetie…

A true mountain girl!

After the BBQ, we always go listen to live piano music in the parlor of the hotel and sip:

…THEN, we go down to the barn dance and do a little do si do!

…and sit outside by the campfire:

Nothin’ like sittin’ in front of the horse stables at a campfire in your flip flops!


I LOVE that we can kick up some dirt in the mountains, frolic in the sand & surf, enjoy the art at The Getty or spend an afternoon in bustling LA or Hollywood.

But we also love quiet time at home.

So great to live in Southern California and have all this at our fingertips.

After a few days away from real life, I am reminded of our family’s mission statement:

Strive for SIMPLICITY.

SEEK beauty in “the everyday”.

SAVOR these special moments.

Thank you, Unc for {again} being the host with the most with all the delicious, healthy Camp Duke fare and providing your tour guide services and cozy cabin.

Thank you, Gramma, for getting us there and back by filling up the car along the way and filling us with snacks, meals and Starbucks while on the road.

Dust and mosquito bites aside, it was another wonderful trip to Wawona!

Our Summer is now complete.


Going On A Bear Hunt

We’ll be one with NATURE for the next few days.

Squirrels. Pine cones. Bubbling creeks. Meadows. Worn paths. Slippery rocks. Swimming holes. Skipping stones. Barn dance. Campfires. S’mores. Dandelions. Deer. Acorns. Mountain breezes. Starry skies.

{Cute sign…Google Images, of course!}

Grapes Of Wrath


Just trying to figure out how we’re going to pack the car for tomorrow:

3 adults

2 kiddos

2 pooches

1 cooler


1 LARGE duffle bag

Gramma’s bag




Sleeping bags

Camera bag

Video camera bag

Dog food & bowls

Bug spray


{did I mention that already?}

{Google Images}

Good thing we’re just going for 3 nights.

Mountain living is great ~ you can wear the same thing 2-3 days in a row and nobody cares or notices.

We’ll stack, pile, wedge, shove and push.

Wawona, here we come!