Over the long weekend, I went to Yosemite and the trip was amazing. I hadn't been in the winter when snow is on the ground and there was a lot of it with the tumultuous weather. The Merced, more or less runs parallel to the main road into the valley, contains these huge boulders and they were covered in layers of untouched white snow. You could count the number of snow falls with each layer, and reminded of time spent in the Shenandoah Valley.
The purpose of this trip was to snow shoe, eat more than we deserved to, and relax. I hadn't snow shoed and it's really good exercise, especially for the stomach. Not that snow showing works the stomach at all. It's more that I slipped down a bank and was all twisted up. The next thing I know one member of our party is busting up in a huge case of the giggles, which set me off, and got the rest of the party going except for one who observed us with concern or perhaps confusion? We snow showed 6 miles the first day and four the next day. Sadly, it wasn't enough to compensate for all the eating we did. I wish I had pictures to show you the fall -- it's kind of funny.
On Sunday, we scored brunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel, which was a slight miracle given that we made reservations the night before over a long holiday weekend. The guys were really given rather poor choices for brunch, 7:45 to 8 AM and 1PM. Who wants to eat that early, and who could be up without being, well, cranky. To rectify the situation, the girls decided to work it, and the next thing we knew, we had reservations for 9:30! For those not familiar with the Ahwahnee, it was originally built at the turn of the last century to host the wealthy so that they would not have to "rough" it in Yosemite. And certainly, you won't being roughing it. With huge fireplaces (think the size of walls) and comfortable couches, you could easily fall asleep for several hours. You don't have to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy the fires, brunch, and other cool things about the hotel.
Brunch is overwhelming -- there are so many choices. It's hard to know where to begin. They have oysters, salmon, personalized omelettes, all sorts of hot dishes like mac & cheese, mashed potatoes (highly recommend), tilapia with wild rice, fried chicken and shrimp, shrimp cocktail, desserts and so much more. The food is good; the service is good. What is really impressive about the Ahwahnee is the room in which meals are served -- it's quite grand. Super high ceilings, almost floor to ceiling windows that showcase Yosemite's natural beauty. The views probably enhance the food. Be prepared to eat slowly and spend a leisurely morning eating your way through many many courses. It's time very well spent.