September 26, 2017

5-day Tour to Scenic Yosemite National Park

22008112_1997028980310873_3043325520692306042_nFifty-one DayTripper guests, our driver, Tony, and I ventured up to the jewel of the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite National Park for an incredible 5-day tour. 

The trip was off to a great start as we started off with perfect weather that would stay with us the entire time. As we passed through the Grapevine, we learned that one of our guests, John, was from Bakersfield and he serenaded us with his song about Bakersfield that was written by his brother. All road trips must have singing and this trip met that requirement. 

The next morning’s activity energized the group as we watched three teams of DayTripper guests stuff as many balloons as possible in a set of long John red pajamas. As if that wasn’t enough, they then had to parade around with this fashion before being popped back into place. Many thanks to the volunteers who not only provided us great laughs and memories but also received some Wonder Valley gifts. 

22008410_1997027643644340_949407488770513370_nAs I often say about DayTripper tours, we get into niches of the state that many of us don’t know exist. This is the case with our visit to Forestiere gardens. This unique landmark took us beneath the surface to enjoy the underground gardens that began as a way to beat the Fresno heat. We had a wonderful docent who gave us an introduction about the creator of the gardens and then we broke off into smaller groups to explore the many rooms that were carved throughout the property. This was a spectacular highlight for many of us.

22008050_1997029830310788_6478498258661807534_nI have been to many beautiful places and national parks, but Yosemite is the one place that moves me spiritually. Deep breaths are required when you set your eyes in the grandeur of El Capitan and Half Dome and look down into the Valley.  It’s hard to imagine the forces of nature have been working on this jewel of the national park. I challenge anyone to not be revitalized by the beauty of this view and realize that seeing something in person will engage all senses versus a photo. We explored the valley floor by way of escorted tram with a wonderful ranger named a Eric who not only provided us with detailed information about the flora and fauna of the park, but also a memory of the flying like an eagle to the sounds of classical music. 

21766653_1997026830311088_7192321652580285863_nAs we headed down south, we stopped at cat haven for a picnic lunch and a tour of a preservation for big and small cats. We were captured by their beauty and the variety of cats they had from snow leopards, to tigers to jaguars. Many DayTrippers guests loved this stop and are so glad it was a part of the tour allowing them to see a part of the many efforts and areas that our state has to offer. 

Before heading to Bakersfield for the night, we stopped at a local market that makes homemade cheese and has other snacks for sale. Although we complained about eating too much the whole trip, it didn’t stop us from grabbing something extra. For the first time, I tried banana milk and now I can’t get it out of my mind. It was fresh, delicious and cold. 

22046894_1997031420310629_5892367090529442882_nOur last night together was at Buck Owens Crystal Palace where we had dinner and watched the live music. We were dazzled by our guest Lloyd who started by taking Darlene out for a dance. Darlene was gracious to let him ask some of us ladies for a dance too. Well don’t call us DayTrippers a dud, we closed the place down (ok they closed 9, but we technically closed the place down!). 

Our last stop before returning to San Diego was at the Gene Autry Western Museum. We had docent led tours of the collection and lunch at the cafeteria. The docent led tour gave a nice overview and encouraged many to come back for their Masters exhibit in the near future. 

Sometimes when I watch the news and hear about crimes committed on other humans I just wonder where all the nice people in the world. Then when I get to be with 51 wonderful DayTripper guests, I am reassured that the world is going to be okay. Thanks to everyone who touched my heart, made me laugh or told me their stories that make my job wonderful.

patti_4Patti Foley
DayTripper Tour Director
Tour: 5-day Scenic Yosemite National Park
Date: September 17-21, 2017


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