After the SoCal Ball cousins left, we had a few days where we participated in the city-wide Rock the Block and then we were off for YOSEMITE!! My parents and my younger brother & his family joined us. We had a VRBO about an hour outside the park, so it was cheap, but it was great and perfect for us!
We left on a Sunday morning and drove almost all the way to Yosemite in one day. We spent the night in a hotel where of course the little girls swam and the big girls ran, and then the next day we met up with everyone for lunch and shopping at Costco and headed to our house.
Waiting for gas at Costco.
We got up pretty early the first morning to avoid the parking nightmares that Yosemite can have. We found a great parking spot and began exploring and trying to figure out the shuttle system.
Our first hiking destination was to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. MOST of us made it to Vernal Falls, and only the elite made it to the top of Nevada. I'm sure my sister-in-law Susanne would have made it also, but since she's the momma of the 4-year-old...well, you get it.
That was the end of the hike for me, my dad, and youngest nephew. It had been a death-defying feat for me to get up there, with the cliffs, slippery rocks, and crowds. Going down with my dad and nephew was about the scariest thing I've ever done and I wish we had known that if we had just gone up a little bit further we would have come across an easier way back down. I'm just thankful that for the many slips on rocks and stones and water, no one got hurt.
After everyone was back down, we ate a quick lunch and then explored the park more, primarily with a fun walk to lower Yosemite Falls.
It was super windy there and each day seemed to end with wind and some rain and thunderstorms.
In the evening we headed back to our VRBO to clean up, have dinner, play games and spend time together. We slept in the next morning and hung out at the house for the morning and through lunch before heading to find Bass Lake to try some kayaking and swimming. The lake was not what we expected, which was somewhat disappointing, but we managed to have a great day!
Kan Jam and corn hole were both popular outdoor events!
And we had a talent show and the two family babies were our MC's...they are also our social butterflies. We laughed SO hard at my mom's talent (chocolate chip cookies), my piano duet with my brother, and much more drama.
Mom had the very important job of making sure the umbrella didn't fall over.
The third morning we woke up quite early and headed to the park again. We knew what we were doing this time and headed straight to the shuttle and up to Mirror Lake for a hike/run. Mirror Lake isn't much of a lake anymore, but there is a section of the river that is quite deep and still and kids were swimming and jumping off rocks, etc. If we had known that, we would have headed there on our day off instead of to Bass Lake. If you ever go to Yosemite, plan to spend a few hours by the water on the Mirror Lake hike!
We kinda lost both Sarah & Bethany for a while, but thankfully we found them...
And I was really glad we had found them when we saw this guy a little while later...
We took the shuttle back to our parking area and had a picnic lunch...we had found a spot with a green belt and a picnic table right behind our vehicle! The parking and traffic in Yosemite really is pretty bad in the summer, but we felt like we did well with our planning ahead!
Then we went exploring a little more, and hiked to Bridal Veil Falls as well!
Too sweet to not include.
And then before we said goodbye, we decided to recreate this picture from 2013.
This is what we got...
Poor Sarah & Bethany...everyone is a lot bigger than they were the last time...