Urban, Picturesque, Wonderful

After traveling nearly 3,500 miles in just seven days, I returned late Saturday night from a whirlwind summer vacation from my humble abode in Omaha to Fresno, California; Yosemite National Park; San Francisco; and back home again. The trip was something my boyfriend, his brother, their parents, and I began talking about back in February, when Nebraska was absolutely desolate under mountains of muddy snow and endlessly dreary skies.

We believed spring – or summer, for that matter – would never come. But July 17 arrived in due time, and we departed for our summer getaway, beginning with an overnight stay at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Fresno.

The next morning we drove about one-hundred miles to Yosemite National Park. The quaint Wawona Hotel would be our home-away-from-home for the next four days. Several guests noted that the Wawona reminded them of the resort featured in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing. (Fast fact: Dirty‘s filmmakers recorded much of the iconic footage at the Mountain Lake Resort near Roanoke, Virginia.)

During our time at Yosemite we rode horses, and took two significant (read: exhausting) hikes: through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and the Lower Yosemite Falls. The car rides in our rented Ford Focus to these two destinations were scenic and breathtaking, albeit a bit too winding for my taste. We did a little grocery shopping in the neighboring town of Oakhurst and stumbled upon one patriotic teddy bear near the paper goods aisle. I could barely hold the camera; I was laughing so hard.

Upon arriving in San Francisco late on Thursday we booked a room at the surprisingly chic (and recently renovated) Best Western Americania located downtown in the Mission district. The lobby and room were most certainly retro, with bold prints, bright colors, and lots of clean, crisp, white surfaces, almost as if Apple’s Jonathan Ive designed them himself.

We spent time in Union Square and North Beach. I found myself dancing at The Saloon, San Francisco’s oldest bar, on Thursday night. As someone who doesn’t fancy herself a dancer, I didn’t mind letting loose in a city full of strangers whose judgment would stay silent. (Want proof? Watch the poorly-lit video. I dare you not to laugh.)

For a more detailed recap of my San Francisco getaway, read this week’s All Around Townley blog posting on the Q98-Five website. And be sure to visit www.flickr.com/wendytownley for more snapshots of our summer vacation to the west and back.

Our approximate mileage breakdown looks something like this, although I’m sure we traveled a few more miles with shorter drives around Yosemite National Park.

  • Omaha to Fresno: 1,600
  • Fresno to Yosemite National Park: 93
  • Yosemite National Park to San Francisco: 191
  • San Francisco to Omaha: 1,600

{What did you do for your summer vacation? Consider submitting your experience for the Write Now project.}

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5 thoughts on “Urban, Picturesque, Wonderful

  1. There is nothing quite so quintessentially American as blogging about a road trip. Never gets old. I did a similar long haul from Omaha to Seattle’s Whidbey Island and back. The best part about going West is that you get to break up the driving with intense bouts of nature. I’ve never done Yosemite, but SF holds a dear place for me.

    I blogged about the rest of the country, from NJ to Omaha, sadly not nearly as interesting, but miles are miles…

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