Unplugged, Star-struck, & In a Decor Time Warp

I think my cell phone was trying to tell me something when it decapitated. I fumbled to take the first call from my sister’s rental car, her family following close behind as we set out to caravan over Tioga Pass.

The flip phone became flip-less. Signal-less. Ring-less. Not even the meticulous duct-tape repair by my 18-year-old nephew would bring the phone back to life.

Half Dome at Sunset

This trip sounded so doable.

You see, my sister was hauling her husband and three teenaged boys on a rare trek from Back East. She’s a high school photography teacher, and had the opportunity by way of a grant, to photograph Yosemite in the manner of Ansel Adams. When she returns, she will host a show of her photographs, and pass on what she learned to her students.

I and the girls could tag along on this creative journey to a gorgeous place. Sounds awesome, right?

Now even though we live less than a five-hour drive from Yosemite, the last time I went, I was in high school. And suffice it to say that was a long time ago. Now it was summer so the girls were free of school or activities, and it was time especially for my nine-year-old to witness this grandeur of nature. So I didn’t pass up this chance.

Doesn’t matter where a blogger works, right? We checked ahead of time and it appeared my cell/Internet-air-card provider had plenty of coverage in Yosemite. So I could fit in the calls I needed to take or make, send emails, and draft or edit posts after dinner. Par for the course for this mommy-blogger.

Yup. It appeared that after the days of negotiating trails with the jogging stroller, I would sneak in my work time.

So what happened? We’ll start with the low points:

  • Aforementioned cell phone execution.
  • No Internet signal at the cabin, or to be found in the Yosemite Valley for my (mega-large, three letters you’ve heard of) cell provider.
  • No cell service for my Virginia relatives’ other provider. Not even my phone-surfing, text-crazed nephews could reach their (or my) peeps.
  • Yosemite is BIG. And the road to the neighborhood where we stayed had daily construction delays of up to an hour. And though the scenery is incredibly beautiful, that means lots of driving time to get anywhere, including a first-day, four-hour-trek for groceries, capped off by my toddler gracefully throwing up her morning ba-ba all over herself (and thankfully not anyone else).

Note to parents: Always stash a backup outfit in the diaper bag.

I can hear you screaming:

  1. Of course Yosemite is BIG and has sparse groceries; didn’t you research it,
    you lame-o?
  2. You really thought you’d have phone and Internet service at Yosemite?
  3. Couldn’t you have pre-scheduled stories?

No. Yes. And Maybe.

I sure could have looked into the details and should have planned better, although that cell company’s coverage map sure lied. Plenty of story research in the hopper, and I agreed to this trip thinking I would juggle as usual. Heck I blog and do marketing work at Tahoe all the time, around family activities.

The thing is, once the universe began not to cooperate, I let go and decided to give myself a break for the first time in a year-and-a-half.

There you go. So sorry I didn’t give you all prior notice, but I have been on vacation for the past week.

Now for the highlights:

  • My sister is an amazing photographer (that’s my photo — hers will debut at her show). She has learned so much, and it was wonderful to see what she can do.
  • I spotted, and the troops photographed, a yearling bear in the cabin’s backyard. My 14-year-old nephew was the quickest and got a great shot.
  • All (including my toddler) balanced, scaled and splashed around in the rocks below Bridalveil Fall. Lovely.
  • At Glacier Point, after shooting the setting-sun’s light on Half Dome, we were surprised by a local astronomy group’s planned star party. Needless to say, we and the five kids stayed into the dark, soaked in the knowledge and viewed many stars. Then it happened – I spotted the first of a dozen bright, streaking, fireworks-like shooting stars over Half Dome. Awesome. Beyond. Belief.
  • Yesterday (as me and the girls chugged home and Sis rounded out her portfolio) my nephews and brother-in-law made the twelve-hour trek up Half Dome. They are exhausted, but thrilled as we are for them. Can’t wait to see their snapshots from the top of the world.

Finally my decor commentary:

Decor Time Warp

The sturdy log home we stayed in was meticulously well-decorated. For 1970. I could picture the bee-hived cocktail waitress that chose the living room’s rust, foiled, ferned wallpaper, dark-wood paneling, ruffles and fake flowers everywhere.

Spacious, comfy, but in a decor time-warp. I imagine said waitress has since moved to Palm Springs and her kids just pay the management company to keep their rental
income flowing.

I’ll make it to the Ahwahnee next trip. Promise I won’t wait so long this time.

Back now, Design Junkies.

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4 Comments for “Unplugged, Star-struck, & In a Decor Time Warp”

The whole thing sounds awesome in spite of the things that “went wrong”. That’s what gives you the stories to talk about when you get old (or blog about now). All of my best trips were phone-TV-and-internet free. Sometimes you just have to unplug. Looking forward to those photos. And by the way, we missed you.

It was pretty great, Nancy. Yosemite is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Next time I will plan for it better and will enjoy it more, without worrying about those things.

Thanks for the welcome back! Missed you all too,

Sounds like it was a great adventure! One you and your children will never forget. I have to say the wall paper looks a little intriguing….talk about retro vintage design. -)

Mari, it really was great. There were times where I hoped I wasn’t in a new National Lampoon’s Vacation, but honestly I am so glad we went. The star party was magical.

About the wallpaper, you know if it were isolated and used in small doses it could be fun. I thing with the paneling, the ruffles, the dark carved shag…definitely time warp (or more positively as you put it, “retro vintage.”

How would you use the foiled paper today???

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