Saturday, June 17, 2017

Carlon Falls

Last Day....a short hike to Carlon Falls, just outside Yosemite in the Stanislaus National Forest.

"Takes your breath away!"



The kids took a little more convincing to get into the water.













Friday, June 16, 2017

Wapama Falls

During our one full day in Yosemite, we all were hoping to go up and hike around Tuolumne Meadows, but the Tioga Pass road had yet to open.  So instead, we headed to Hetch-Hetchy to hike to Wapama Falls, seen in the distance.

Onions and I came here last time on our way out of Yosemite but this time water was being released out of O'Shaughnessy Dam.


Both times we got PERFECT weather.

Wapama Falls




Lunchtime!




The drive between Hetch-Hetchy and the main section of Yosemite takes one past a couple amazing open meadows, at this time of year full of wildflowers.



Onions decided he wanted to shower, so we drove all the way to the Valley.  We were rewarded with this sunset view.


The highlight though?  Was on the drive back to camp, we saw a BEAR.

YUP, A BEAR.  We were all so excited.

Seeing a bear made the entire trip for Onions!!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Glacier Point

Even though Hodgdon Meadow is at the entrance to the park, we drove to the valley that first day.  Last time we came during April and the Glacier Point Road was still closed.  This time.....OPEN!  Here's the view from just past Washburn Point.

Looking east to the end of the Valley

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls and the Valley floor


Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls




Looking back on the drive up Highway 120.  Bridalveil Falls in the distance.

Onions Goes Camping!

We were out in the East Bay last week and stopped by our friend Mary's house for a visit and she mentioned that she had a campsite in Yosemite this past week and invited us.  Onions agreed to GO!!!!  So we spent three days and two nights in Yosemite, camping at Hodgdon Meadow!



Setting up the hammock with Mary's kids.



Onions impressed us ALL with his camp stove cooking skills.

Here's his shrimp curry as he's eating a burger.  For the second night's dinner, he pulled out some Udon noodle soup.



Pete and Mary


Onions has mastered camp hangout!

After hiking on day 2, he wanted a shower, so we drove down into the Yosemite valley (not a bad place to drive to) and cleaned up!  Here's Onions post shower!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Un anno d'Italiano

Professoressa Valentina a destra!
A year ago, I decided that I missed the Italian portion of my life, so I found the Italian Language School of San Francisco to commit myself to improving my Italian.  I tested into "Elementare 3" and began going to class every Wednesday evening for the past year.  Not only have I learned about all those pesky two letter words that I never really understood when I lived in Italy (they are PRONOUNS!) but I learned so much grammar (ciao conjuntivo!) that I actually feel like I've advanced in my knowledge of the language.  Throughout the Intermedio courses (I've just completed 1, 2 and 3, with 4 and 5 still to come), I have enjoyed the grammar because to me, it's just math.  It's a a logical system. If A, then B, then make sure the C and D match what A and B require.  I love it.  My goal is to get to the Avanzato courses, where they read actual Italian books.  How cool with that be!

But I also write in sadness as my teacher for four classes, Valentina, is leaving our group.  There's a core of about six of us that have been together an entire year.  Valentina claims that we are her favorite class and that the other teachers at the school have been clamoring to take over our class.  Apparently, we're a famously fun class to teach. But it's not all bad news. Valentina's visa expired so she was headed back to Europe, but then her husband was selected for an H1-B visa and so she will come back with him in October, but it doesn't come with a work permit.  However, when her green card comes through, she will be able to come back to the school and see us again.  So this truly is "ci vediamo presto."  Valentina, I know I speak for all of us in class, we will miss you when class starts up again in July!