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Family Vacation to Tuolumne Meadows - Part I

Each year, I always look forward to our family vacation to Tuolumne Meadows, in Yosemite National Park. I feel like I practically grew up there because we spent so many weekends together there as a family growing up. I was especially excited this year, because my nephew would be joining us for the first time! He is just five months old and already has a number of camping trips under is belt bib! Following in his mommy's footsteps. Also joining us again this year, were my two cousins, Brendan and Jason. They love to go rock climbing with my Dad, and it was great to have them come with us again this year. I don't see them as often now that I'm living in San Francisco, so it is great when I get to spend time with them. 

Since I had just gotten my new camera, I took a ridiculous amount of pictures. Because there are so many, I decided to break it up into a few different posts so it wasn't quite so overwhelming. But still, I hope you're prepared for a ton of pictures! 

On our first day, we decided to do a long hike to Clouds Rest. It is just over 14 miles round trip, so we knew we were in for a long day. I was really looking forward to this hike because it was new to me, and I've always heard my mom and our family friends say such great things about the views. And they weren't kidding, the views were spectacular! There was a great view of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley as well as the higher peaks in Tuolumne and the surrounding mountains. Although it had been pretty smokey due to nearby forest fires, the view was still stunning. 

See Tenaya Lake in the background? That's where we started!

After our long hike, we were all exhausted. Tradition is to jump into Teneya Lake every day, and this was no different. I am always so scared before I dive in, but it's so refreshing after the shock wears off. 

Friday morning, we woke up early for a special day of rock climbing with my Dad. Since I was young, I've always wanted to climb The Great White Book. It's a beautiful setting that overlooks Tenaya Lake. Both my Mom and sister have been able to climb that route with my Dad, but each time he's tried to take me there were already people climbing since it's a rather popular route. 

This year, we were lucky! My Dad's friend, whom we affectionately call Uncle Dave, joined us for the day. My Dad and I climbed first, and Andrew and my Uncle Dave followed behind us. It was such a fun day. The route was different than anything I had climbed before. The crack was very wide, so the climb was physical, but not too challenging. 

Andrew and I both had such a great time climbing with my Dad. It was really special for me to do that climb in particular, it had been a bucket list item for sure! 

After our climb, we joined the rest of our group at the lake for sandwiches and to relax on the beach. My Dad and Dave were off for another rock climb, but it was great to spend time playing with Phillip! 

My favorite treat when we're up in Tuolumne is the soft serve ice cream at the Tuolumne Grill, I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is THE BEST soft serve. Ever. That could be because I usually have just done a 14 mile hike or 3 hour rock climb, but still, it's amazing. Since we were too late following our Clouds Rest hike Thursday, we made sure to get there in time on Friday evening. And it was just as delicious as always. Do yourself a favor, and order one if you're ever in Tuolumne. Even if the line is out the door. 

Ok...I'll let your eyes rest for now, but I'll be back tomorrow where I left off with more pictures and stories of our trip!

This really made me miss my family, I'm ready to go back!!

I hope you're all having a wonderful day!




  1. how fun!! and terrifying! oh my gosh that would be a hard fall

  2. this looks so fun!!! my family is too lazy when it comes to vacation time together- we normally sit on the beach for a week at a time. but this looks like a blast!!!

  3. This looks gorgeous!! And your photos are awesome (minus that horrid Dodgers shirt!). I can't believe I am from Northern California and have never been to Yosemite. I need to remedy that real quick!

  4. Andrew looks like he didn't want to be a part of the first picture hahah he's all off to the side..

    Seriously, I have no idea how I'm going to be able to wait until next year to visit Yosemite. Your pictures are making it so hard!! Just that view from Clouds Rest is totally worth going there.

  5. WOW! Can you be my personal tour-guide/climbing buddy? It's obvious you know just where to go and I've never climbed like that but have always wanted to do! Some of those pictures make my head spin a bit, but wow! So amazing!

  6. this looks amazing! you are such a bad ass!

  7. WOW!! Spectacular pics!! You all looked like you had sooooo much fun! LOVED seeing your folk's with Baby Phillip!!! Thank you for taking the time to share your pics and your time there at Tuolumne!!!


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