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Tag: California

Disney and the National Parks

Disney and the National Parks

While I was writing a blog post yesterday about our Florida trip, I had some thoughts. I know a lot of people that travel often and visit many natural places do not like the Disney parks. They find them “fake” and “commercialized.” I have always loved the Disney parks, movies and TV shows and find them to be an experience in Americana and American history.  The first time Craig and I visited Yellowstone, the way it was run seemed so…

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National Parks Visited

National Parks Visited

  2014-Grand Teton and Yellowstone 2015-Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, Acadia, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon      Future: 2016-Glacier, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Everglades, Biscayne, Dry Tortugas 2017-Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, Congaree 2018-Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Bryce, Zion, the Grand Canyon (planned so far!)

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Visiting Joshua Tree National Park is like visiting another planet! There are so many amazing boulders, rock piles, old mines, trees and desert plants and animals there. I think it is funny when John Carter wakes up on Mars and he thinks he is still in the desert. We had such a blast climbing the rocks and boulders and taking pictures. The park is named for Joshua Trees or Yucca brevifolia, a member of the Agave family. “By the mid-19th…

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Alcatraz-Golden Gate NRA

Alcatraz-Golden Gate NRA

Last time Craig and I visited San Francisco, we did not have enough time to visit Alcatraz. I was really looking forward to it for our June 2015 trip. I booked our boat tickets 90 days ahead of time. The only way to get to Alcatraz is by a ferry operated by Alcatraz Cruises on Pier 33. Give yourself plenty of time to get there. The waterfront area is huge! The views of San Francisco on the boat and on…

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The Ahwahnee Hotel

The Ahwahnee Hotel

One of the places we stayed at on our California road trip was the historic Ahwahnee Hotel. We only booked a night since it was so expensive, but we really wanted to have time to check it out. The Ahwahnee is in the Yosemite Valley in an amazing spot. It is in a meadow surrounded by The Royal Arches. Ahwahnee means “Place of a Gaping Mouth” which the Miwok Indians called Yosemite Valley. It opened in 1927 and became a…

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We Are Back!

We Are Back!

So our California road trip was a success! We flew into San Francisco and stayed 3 nights. Then we drove to Yosemite and stayed there 5 nights. Next, we drove down to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks and stayed a night in each. Joshua Tree was next for 2 nights, followed by a night at Disneyland and 3 nights in San Diego with friends. I got so many new Western Region National Park Passport stamps I had to use…

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America the Beautiful Annual Pass.

America the Beautiful Annual Pass.

As Craig and I head off for our two week California road trip, one of the first things we will buy at the Golden Gate NRA or Alcatraz is the America the Beautiful annual pass. Most of the larger National Parks cost around $25 or more during peak times to enter.  This fee is usually good for 7 days. The America the Beautiful annual pass is $80. US Military can get a free annual pass. If you are a senior…

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Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument

The last time Craig and I were in San Francisco we did a tour of Sonoma. On the way we stopped at Muir Woods National Monument. Muir Woods NM is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It is about 11 miles north of San Francisco and a great half day trip if you are visiting the city. Muir Woods celebrated its 100th Anniversary on January 9, 2008! William and Elizabeth Kent donated the land to the government. They…

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Yosemite is 125!

Yosemite is 125!

On October 1st, 2015 Yosemite National Park turns 125. In 1890 Yosemite became the country’s third National Park. Over 1,500 square miles were put aside for people to love and enjoy. Some areas like Hetch Hetchy were changed by development, but it is amazing what people fought to preserve. Craig and I had been talking about visiting Yosemite for a long time, but other trips kept happening. We have been to California many times and I felt bad being so…

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Find Your Park

Find Your Park

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25th, 2016! They made a great new website called Find Your Park to help everyone join in the celebration. On the website you can watch videos, view people’s favorite pictures, take a quiz to find out what park you should visit, support your parks, learn about new experiences at the parks and 100 year tours and celebrations. I love the videos they have on the site. So start planning and get out…

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