First Annual Cousins Tea

At Mary’s baby shower, back in March, 

 Sweet Donovan is getting big! Also, Daddy has apparently taught him to do an eye roll. 

I suggested getting the extended cousins together for a fancy tea party. The little girls are all about the same age and they don’t get to hang out very often. 

 From left: Leanne, Leia, Karina, Anna and Addison (not the Colorado Addison). Naia had to work (booo!) and Jaclyn is too little for such a breakable setting.

Meg jumped on the idea, suggested potential dates, and we were off and rolling.

  My nieces, Meg and Jen

And just to add an extra bit of pizazz, the day we picked (unknowingly) was the same as the Royal Wedding! Perfect for an English tea party. 

 Honorary cousins Wenona and granddaughter Karina

Well, almost perfect. On our past trips, we’ve had the place to ourselves, which is a Good Thing with excited little girls.

 My SIL Vickie with granddaughter Addison

This time, the place was packed when we arrived - and the staff was a bit stressed. 

 Daughter Marie 

The littles took it in stride 

and loved having their own table, separate from the adults.

 The food took a long time to be served - see “they were busy” above; next time, we need to consider feeding the girls before the party. 

The food was delicious, as always, 

the table decorations beautifully mismatched,

 Shelly’s choices. The third one - the green - was the definite winner.

but the hats - and masks, gloves, shoes and kid dresses - are always the main attraction (and why we choose this shop over others in the area.)

The girls finished their food ahead of the adults, which led to a round of “what can we dooooooooo?” Wenona had art supplies in her car (doesn’t every grandma??) and we heard nary a peep from them again.

 Almost everyone else was gone by this point.

Was this a hit? You bet! We’re already planning next year’s Second Annual Cousins Tea . . . but never again on a super busy, royal wedding weekend.

More hats and pictures!!

 I brought my collection of Super Fancy Bling necklaces for the girls to wear. 


Yosemite, Day 4

We’d planned to hike to Mirror Lake today but rain was forecast. . . and we got a late, lazy start. . . so we ended up exploring the paths behind the Ahwahnee Majestic Yosemite. Lots and lots of pictures . . . 

 Nestled in the arms of granite. The back lawn.

 Outdoor patio behind the tea room

 Cloudy and cold but no rain!

 I love Yosemite’s stone walls

 Merced River (I think . . .)

 Strainer - a new word I learned at Wednesday  evening’s program (hubby already knew it from his SAR days). It keeps large objects (like bodies) from continuing to float down the river. Gruesome but interesting.

 Sugar cone pine. World record cone - 10+ pounds - was found in Yosemite.

 He looks so small . . .


 More roots. There were so many trees down throughout the park, from both the drought and this year’s floods.


 More debris - and future home for wildlife?

 Stone bridge with view of El Cap

 Things you want to be *empty* when you see them in the forest.

 Heading back to the Ahwahnee 

 Pacific dogwoods look spectacular, especially with a backdrop of cedar

 Between the main hotel and the guest cabins

 Things you don’t expect to see in the forest.

 These trees were everywhere. The ranger said they bloom for a very short time. So glad we got to see them.

 Opposite side of the Ahwahnee Majestic

 A little history

 Front view


Yosemite Tram Tour

Today’s open-air tram tour of the valley floor was a first for us - and a definite hit. 

 Wind blown but happy

We learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed the two hours of storytelling from our ranger guide. 

Then tonight we went to a 1.5 hour presentation by a senior ranger from the Yosemite Search and Rescue team. Amazing what they accomplish - and how a second of inattention (or stupidity) can have such horrifying consequences. 

 Cathedral Rock

 El Capitan through the trees

 Meadow at Cathedral Rock

 Majestic El Capitan, El Cap for short

 The heart of El Capitan

 Bridal Veil Falls, from across the Merced River

 My favorite view of Bridal Veil

 Aromatic cedar trees, not sequoias

 Granite bridge on the Merced. Most granite for construction projects is brought in from Georgia since it is closest in color to Yosemite granite.

 Overlook at Tunnel View. From the left, El Capitan, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Three Sentinels, Bridal Veil Falls.

 Silver Strand Falls at Tunnel View (look up)

 Our chariot

 Bridal Veil Falls and stream

 Ribbon Falls, the largest single drop waterfall in the world.

 River view on our way to Half Dome

 Meadow view of Yosemite Falls

 Dramatic Half Dome. The dark clouds made it look even more spectacular.

 The Arches at Dome (not Half Dome)

 We know we’re almost “home” when we can see Yosemite Falls

 A “private moment” with mama deer and her two babies. (She’s peeing 🤭) Took this shot for Addy!