July 2009

We’re finally off on our honeymoon!

Our direct flight left at nearly 8pm and we finally arrived at our hotel in Anchorage just before midnight.  Since I went to work today, it made for a very long day (we gained one hour from the time change).  We got to sleep as quickly as possible, but we were far from rested.  We spent less than 7 hours at the hotel and chekced out early in the morning.  It was a short cab to the train station.  We were riding the Alaska Railroad to Denali.  The A.R.R. was completed in 1923 and was government funded.

Waiting to board the train.
The ride to Denali was long, but pleasant.  We snoozed a bit and took in the scenery.  It was a typically cloudy day, so we had no views of Mt. McKinley.

The train arrived in Denali by mid-afternoon and we took the shuttle bus to the hotel.  After our bags arrived, we walked to the Wilderness Access Center of Denali National Park.  Here we took care of our Denali bus tickets for the next couple days.   This made sure that our trips into the park were arranged and that we didn’t have to deal with the lines and decisions related to ticket purchases  during valuable sightseeing time.   We stoped for dinner on our walk back and then collapsed in our rooms from the 24 hours of travel.

About a month after our wedding, we spent a weekend up in Napa Valley.  It’s a reasonable drive for a weekend and gave us some relaxation time.  We left after work on Friday (or my work), stopped in St. Helena for dinner, arriving at our B&B as it was finally getting dark.  On Saturday we went to the winery that was built like a European Castle.  The tour was neat and the wine just okay.  We bought one bottle of a tasty dessert wine.  Following lunch, I proceeded to take an afternoon nap.   I got up in time for dinner.

Outside the Castle

On Sunday we got some exercise hiking in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park.  We finished around lunch time and grabbed some unsurprisingly mediocre pizza.    We did another round of wine tasting  which was very disappointing.  For twenty bucks, none of the wines we tasted was even as good as the ten dollar bottles we buy at Safeway. Oh well.  We then headed home.

The weather was nice and warm (since June was unseasonably cool)  which was a pleasant change.  Here are the pictures:



Loyal readers know that we went to Yosemite back in April.  It’s been a crazy few months since then.  With a move and a wedding, there’s been precious little time to update the blog.  I had some time last weekend to sort through pictures from recent adventures.  They are slowly making their way online.

The Yosemite weekend was great.  It was my first time in Yosemite Valley, despite having lived three hours away for all these years.  We are truly spoiled to live so close to such a spectacular place.  I can see why photographers the world over trek there and go through way too many rolls of film.  We stayed in the Yosemite Lodge which is highly recommended.  The walls are thin, but the location can’t be beat.  You can see the tallest waterfall in North America from your doorstep (This is not an exaggeration).    We did our reququisite hiking (including an "advanced" hike that L’ lead me on to Sierra Point).   The weather was cool, but comfortable, and it was a needed break from a very unpleasant couple days. 

I took about 400 pictures over just a couple days.  Many of these were panoramas and multiple shots of similar subjects. I tried to whittle it down to just the highlights.  I’ve also made several of the panoramas and posted those online.  Links are below.



Yosemite Falls:


Yosemite Valley and Falls:


Sierra Point (the only place in Yosemite where you can see four waterfalls) 360 degree panorama: