Last week Aaron and I went to California for our annual anniversary vacation. Aaron had a gig in Santa Margarita, California on June 2nd, so we planned the trip around that date.
We left Albuquerque on May 31st and drove to Sedona, Az the first day. We had planned on camping in Sedona that night but quickly found that there was no place available to camp, not even a primitive campsite! It seems we are pretty lucky here in New Mexico.
On our entire 2,500 mile trip through Arizona up through California to Yosemite National Park, camping is basically limited to KOA campgrounds or established National Park campgrounds which must be reserved 6 months in advance! Unfortunately, we are more spontaneous than that, in other words, we don’t plan that far ahead.
We ended up staying in hotels all but our last night, when we stayed at the Williams, Az KOA. It’s one of the best KOAs we have stayed at, with the added bonus that they have a hot tub! Actually, TWO hot tubs!
The second day we decided (spontaneously!) to head up to Las Vegas and spend a night there since we have never been. Now, if you know us at all, you know we have never had much desire to go to Vegas. It’s just not our style, we prefer to spend time in National Parks, camping, hiking and picnicking and if we do go to a city, it’s to visit museums, galleries or see the sights. Not that Las Vegas isn’t a GREAT place to see the sights! Anyway, we decided to go and experience it so we could say we did it. I have to say it was a lot of fun! We rode the roller coaster at the NY, NY casino, rode a double decker bus down the strip, and walked back to the Fremont Street Experience. We stayed at the Golden Nugget hotel so it was perfect that there were live bands playing on Fremont Street. We stayed out until 3am dancing to 80s cover songs(my favorite)! Oh and we played $10 on the slots and walked away with $30!
The third day was Aaron’s gig at The Porch in Santa Margarita, California. The place was packed and we discovered a couple of new musicians who shared the stage with Aaron. Jean Butterfield, Three Legged Sister, Don Lampson and another guy whose name is escaping me right now. Thanks to Laura Meyer for recommending it to Aaron. Everyone was very welcoming and the food was good too!
The fourth day we drove up to Yosemite. It was so amazing and awe inspiring, now THAT is my kind of place! I only wish we could have spent more time there. We had planned to camp, but there was not one single campsite available. There were some tent rentals in the Yosemite valley, but there is no way in hell we were paying $110 to stay in a TENT! This is apparently what is called “deluxe camping”, everything is set up for you, you just bring your suitcase. I don’t know about that, seems kind of counter to everything camping is about! For us anyway, to each his own I guess. Turned out the pass we had planned on driving over to go home was stilled closed for the season, so we ended up going back down to Fresno to get a hotel room. When we woke up in the morning it was pouring rain and the weather showed snow up in Yosemite! We were grateful that we didn’t end up camping that night! Since rain was forecast for the next couple days, we decided to head home a day early. So we drove back to Williams, Az and then the rest of the way home the day after that. As always, good to be back home!