United States – West coast road trip in 20 days – part 2

Day 2+3: San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe

From San Francisco, you could make a stop at Napa Valley to visit winery and sit on hot air balloon to enjoy the beautiful scenery from up and above. If you don’t know how to appreciate good wine like us, head straight to South Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is a very popular holiday destination for people in California and surrounding areas.  There are ample of accommodation choices even during peak seasons. The scenery is very peaceful with clear water lake Tahoe and there’s also a ski resort on top of the mountain. It’s a perfect holiday location for the whole family.

Beautiful Lake Tahoe

Beautiful Lake Tahoe

Crystal clear water - lake Tahoe

Crystal clear water – lake Tahoe

Unfortunately, El Nino hit Lake Tahoe last year so there was not enough snow for us to ski. Nevertheless,  we stayed at Lake Tahoe for two days, just chilled and relaxed, and went to village for late night movies on both days. Perfect vacation lazy style! Another favorite activity to try here is to submerge yourselves in an outdoor hot pool under freezing cold weather. Unfortunately, our age didn’t allow us to try that.

Ice skating at the activity village

Ice skating at the activity village, in front of the cinema

Awww so cute!!!

Awww, a celebrity dog, so cute!!!

Day 4+5: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park

“Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness.” – Wikipedia

Take note that there’s an entrance fee of $20 per car. Talking about entrance fee, it’s worthy to purchase a 1 year membership national park entrance pass that costs about $80 which gives you access to all the state national parks in US. Since we visited a few national parks during these 20 days, the pass saved us some money.

Beautiful scene along the drive to Yosemite

Beautiful scene along the drive to Yosemite

With Yosemite village is so deep in the wood, you would expect minimal convenience and comfort here but it is surprisingly well accommodating. There’s even a supermarket selling fresh meat, fruits, water, souvenirs… There are many convenience stores lying around. Accommodations are plenty with different styles catered to different preferences. There’s even unlimited FREE WIFI at Curry Village common lounge.

We planned our itinerary so that we could spend Christmas’ Eve in Yosemite, sleeping in tent, next to bears and racoons. It’s pretty awesome!

Bring glow sticks to have some fun in the dark - Merry Christmas everyone!

Bring glow sticks to have some fun in the dark – Merry Christmas everyone!

Curry Village tent

Curry Village tent – the tent has a big heater but it’s not well insulated so we slept with our jackets on

This is our sleeping tent with a big metal box to securely protect our food. It’s a MUST to put food here instead of putting them in the tent to prevent bears from attacking us during our sleep. We actually met two racoons roaming around our tent. Also, remember to clear all food from your cars if you don’t want to wake up to broken window cars.

Ice skating in a beautiful setting - Curry Village

Ice skating in a beautiful setting – Curry Village

Yosemite has more things to see and more activities to enjoy during summer. During winter, the waterfalls are not as manificient (almost no water) and most of climbing tracks are not open. If you stay at House Keeping camp, you could have your own BBQ right in front of your tent. Be ware of friendly bear visit at night though.

and granite walls... during good weather, you can climb on them

Yosemite is famous for granite walls… during good weather, you can climb on them

giant sequoia

… giant sequoia…

Yosemite is famous for its crystal clear streams...

… and crystal clear streams…

To be continued…

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