Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trip Report Tuesday: California Day 2 // Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Hello, friends!  Thank you so much for all the sweet comments on last week's first installation in this, the newest addition to my Trip Report Tuesday series!  You all make sharing so much fun! 

Let me start this week's trip report by saying, I have a thing for trees!  I just love interesting trees in all the beautiful varieties that God created them.  That being said, seeing sequoias, and the world's largest tree at that, was definitely on my bucket list!  This was a long awaited and highly anticipated day and our adventures did not disappoint!  Ready to hear more about this Cali vacation?  Alright!  All the day two deets coming right up!

Day 2 - Sunday, September 11, 2016

Our day began with a complimentary breakfast at Hampton Inn.  Their breakfast included a waffle bar, hot and cold food offerings, and fresh fruit.  I love when you can enjoy a delicious start to your day without paying a dime!

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

We took pictures galore, even pictures of others taking pictures, as seen above.  Yet, none of them could possibly capture how absolutely jaw-droppingly incredible these beauties are!

Giant Forest Museum
Learning a little about the big trees we would be admiring that memorable day!

A few fun facts about the General Sherman tree we'd soon see!

We enjoyed winding around walking trails, looking skyward at the loveliness with such amazement!

Tree hugging in California at its finest! 

Tunnel Rock in Sequoia National Park
This gigantic boulder used to be a tunnel over the Generals Highway before this road was rerouted.  Our girls didn't take the photo op for "granite". ;)

General Sherman Tree

Of course photos do not do this record setting tree justice, so here are some stats for you...

Lunch at Lodgepole Market Center
Before making our way on into the Kings Canyon area of the parks we popped into Lodgepole Market Center to grab some lunch.  I thought we'd only find things like cold grab and go sandwiches and snack offerings.  In other words, our expectations were pretty low for this meal.  Seeing that they had a running kitchen cooking up food to order was a pleasant surprise!  I almost went with another burger, until I heard a guy behind me telling his girlfriend how amazing their pizza is.  (Locals are great for food advice, even when it's gathered through eavesdropping! ;))  He was right!  It was delicious!  I also had Jason order me some fries.  They were salted and seasoned to perfection!  I'm getting hungry just remembering that delicious "to go" meal!  Little One always goes for chicken, and if pepperoni is on the menu we don't even need to ask Princess her pick!  Jason got the burger and while it wasn't as ginormous as my Ruby's Diner burger, he enjoyed it.  

I was incredibly picky about making sure that our car had every last grain of salt cleared as soon as our meal was finished!  This girl isn't used to bear warning signs and I wasn't taking any chances!

Grant Grove

Notice the people on the trail on the right side of the picture to get an idea of the size of this tree. 

Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in North America!  At more than 8,000 feet deep in some places, it's deeper than the Grand Canyon!  I didn't have high expectations for this part of the day as I didn't know much about it before we arrived.  I will tell you this now, it is underrated and more incredible than any photo or fact could express!  I don't remember ever feeling so small or so taken with the amazing majesty of just how big a God and Creator I serve, other than perhaps the first time I stood with sandy toes gazing out at the ocean.  If you plan a road trip through California, I say put both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on your itinerary, if you aren't bothered by heights, that is!  Standing there looking out at this view, and hearing the rushing of a river thousands of feet below was terrifying yet invigorating!  What a moment, what a day!

This is the aforementioned river we heard rushing while taking the photo above this one. ;)

This day held so much natural beauty!

Ok, I should say that this post is not sponsored by Ford. ;)  Yet, I can't help tossing in a photo of the rental we did all this exploring in, a 2016 Ford Explorer with the works!  We fell head over heels in love with this vehicle!  Did we need separate driver and passenger side climate control with heated and cooled seats?  No.  Did we enjoy them?  Immensely! 

 As silly as it sounds, when we arrived at the rental place I prayed that Jason would be given a car that he's actually interested in, so that it could be one big long test drive of sorts.  When he told me they gave him two options, and he went with the one he thought he might like to have one day, my heart was full!  It's the little things.  We won't be driving one of these in our everyday life anytime soon, but it may be in the ten year plan. ;)

Time to hop back in that SUV!  Moving onward!...

From Kings Canyon we made our way onto Oakhurst, CA, getting ourselves closer to our next destination, Yosemite!  We spent the evening at the Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn.

My favorite part of our room was the balcony!

By this point our tummies were grumbling!  When we're in an unfamiliar area we make good use of our Trip Advisor and Yelp apps for dinner suggestions.  We decided on ordering takeout that night from a local favorite, Sugar Pine Pizza.

...because pizza is always a good idea.  Twice in one day?  Hey, this is vacation!

I want to end this saying, "This was one of my favorite days of the trip!", but seriously, it just keeps getting better!  You'll see! 

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Hope you'll be back to hear about day 3 next Tuesday!  

Wanna see video footage from this day?   Head on over to my family's YouTube channel,  Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat!

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  1. Those trees are absolutely beautiful! And pizza is ALWAYS a good idea! :)

  2. What an amazing day! I would LOVE to visit these places someday. Great photos, Brenda!

  3. I absolutely get the tree thing! Those trees look amazing! And the waterfalls?! I'm ooo'ing and ahhhh'ing over here! Absolutely stunning! How could you NOT recognize an amazing God who created such beauty after seeing such majestic views! WOW!

  4. So guess what? I have a thing for trees too girl! General Sherman is on my bucket list. I love the sequoias. In fact I used to be on a local board to plant more trees in our community and value the trees in our area. Every time I plant a new tree I said a little prayer. They make the world a better place and so do you my friend! I am adoring your trip Chronicles! Love seeing your cute faces having so much fun!

  5. I love hotels that have complimentary breakfast as well! It definitely helps keep travel costs down. I visited Sequoia National Park back when I was in eighth or ninth grade on a Girl Scout Wider Opportunity trip. It is true that pictures do not do those trees justice. They are massive, but so beautiful! What a great day you guys had!

  6. This is AMAZING! I have always wanted to go see the giant Sequoia trees. Looks like a dream trip if you ask me!

  7. Hampton Inns are my favorite when we travel - their beds are so comfy, and the breakfast - yum!! What a fantastic day!! You saw sooo much :)

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

  8. I really need to explore the northern part of my state a bit more. lol I think I might have to plan a trip up there one of these days! So beautiful!!

  9. I love the stone work at your inn that night and the view from the balcony, gorg! Rustic has my heart. I would love to go see the giant trees one day, it is definitely on the bucket list. It sounds like an amazing day taking in such striking natural wonders.


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