There and Back Again

We just got back from a rather unexpected vacation. We took a family road trip to see my sister in Texas. Yes, I know it was over 100°. We went anyway. And we visited some great sites along the way.

We stopped at Yosemite. Beautiful place.

El Capitan in Yosemite
El Capitan

Although I didn’t get a picture, there was a couple of FAT squirrels making the rounds at the outdoor cafe seating at the Visitor’s Center. They were literally making the rounds. They weren’t begging from people, but they scampered from one table to the next, just in case anyone had dropped anything. Apparently, a LOT of people drop things. Sometimes even accidentally.

One of our stops at Yosemite.
Bridal Falls

We went by Mono Lake. It was so weird to see the tufa.

Mono Lake
Mono Lake

We also saw the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest.

Painted Desert
Painted Desert
Petrified Forest
Petrified Forest

I loved all the colors in the trees. I saw what I thought was gravel, washed down from a hill. Turned out to be petrified wood chips.

That's not gravel. Those are petrified wood chips.
Petrified wood chips

We saw Carlsbad Caverns. I’m sure glad they had railings all along the path, because all 3 of us were wandering around with open mouths and our eyes on the ceiling.

The Chandelier in Carlsbad Caverns
The Chandelier in Carlsbad Caverns
Carlsbad Caverns
Carlsbad Caverns

And our last stop was that big hole in the ground: the Grand Canyon. This is where I discovered the panorama on my camera, and played around with it…a lot.

A panoramic shot at the Grand Canyon
A panoramic shot at the Grand Canyon
Selfie at the Grand Canyon
Selfie at the Grand Canyon

Then, right as we were leaving, about 5pm, we saw a mama elk and two fawns. They apparently knew that it was safe at the Visitor’s Center, so they came right up. The fawns were skittish, but mama just kept eatings and ignoring all of us.

Elk at the Visitor's Center at the Grand Canyon
Elk at the Visitor’s Center at the Grand Canyon

Then we got home, and the cats were so thrilled to see us.

He's so happy to see us.
He’s so happy to see us. You know, on the INSIDE.

There were, of course, many more pictures. And if you’re the kind of masochistic person who likes looking at other people’s vacation pictures, the rest can be found here: 2015 Texas Trip