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Whether you’re looking for a movie for your next flight or your next date night, these 25 movies are sure you keep you entertained AND inspire your wanderlust! Heads up that some are actually thrillers but set in a beautiful place and I have even …
I have an alternative itinerary for you that will make your Yosemite trip unique, extra special & help you explore more of the area.
Many people will tell you to stay in mariposa, el Portal or Fresno (depending on which direction you are entering from) and to visit the valley floor then head off to the next place. Well, I’ll tell you which of the generic, cookie cutter itineraries to listen to and which to switch up.
You can fly into 4 airports to easily arrive to this area.
Fresno (FAT) – 69 miles and approximately an hour and 15 minute drive. This is the ideal option.
San Francisco (SFO) – 128 miles and 2 hours and 40 minutes by car, depending on traffic. This can easily turn into a 3-4 hour drive if you arrive during rush hour
Oakland (OAK) – I know many blogs don’t even mention this airport as an option but its honestly the 2nd best option after fresno in my opinion. 118 miles and about 2 hours and 20 minutes by car. This smaller (than SFO) airport is easier to navigate and you avoid a big chunk of the city and bay bridge traffic too!
Sacramento (SMF) – 149 miles and 2 hours and 30 minutes by car. This is the farthest airport in miles but not necessarily by drive time.
Where to stay:
Posada Mariana. This gorgeous bed and breakfast is owned and operated by a lovely couple who have clearly poured their heart and soul into this land. They have 5 rooms, each with its own unique décor and private bathroom, a lovely courtyard with sitting areas, a lush garden and greenery, two indoor sitting areas, several outdoor sitting areas, a huge koi pond, a swimming pool with sweeping views and a cute swing overlooking the foothills and facing the sunset! They also offer complimentary breakfast to their guests, so you can fill belly before heading out to explore for the day.
Where to go in the park:
OK, so this depends. If this is your first time visiting Yosemite National Park, then I do recommend visiting the valley. There are countless waterfall hikes you can venture out on, ranging from easy to extremely difficult. In fact, the half dome hike even starts in the valley! Apart from outdoor adventures, there’s also a visitor center, shops, dining options, an art gallery and a museum!
Lower Yosemite Falls (1.2 miles)
Bridalveil Falls (0.4 miles)
Mirror lake via the Valley Loop (4.4 miles)
Vernal Falls foot bridge via John Muir trail (1.7 miles)
Four Miles Train (9.2 miles)
Upper Yosemite Falls (7.6 miles)
If you have already previously visited the park or even if you haven’t but you want a more unique experience, I suggest venturing outside of the valley floor and visiting one of Yosemite’s many beautiful lakes.
Tenaya lake • May lake • Cathedral lakes
Or even better, hire a local guide to help you do something really unique, like stand up paddle board on one of Yosemite’s lakes or a guided nature therapy session.
Where to go after the park:
One of my favorite things to do after an activity filled day at the park is to stop at the Yosemite Bug Health Spa and utilize their spa & services. Some options include a cedarwood sauna, hot tub overlooking the forest, cold rain shower, essential oil soaks and massages. You will need to schedule appointments for the massage and essential oil soaks ahead of time but the other amenities are available on a walk in basis.
Where to eat:
After an adventurous day at the park, I am going to recommend two dinner options for a 2 night itinerary. On the evening you choose to stop by the spa for some pampering and relaxation, I suggest you stay right on site there and eat at the June Bug Cafe. They have a HUGE menu and are able to cater to vegans and vegetarians. On the other evening, I highly recommend you head back to Catheys Valley and stop in for dinner at The Oasis. They have indoor, as well as lovely outdoor seating options. The menu offers a variety of food; from burgers and steaks to authentic Mexican food! They also cater to vegans and vegetarians with delicious options that go beyond a “salad” consisting of iceberg lettuce and they have the friendliest staff EVER!
If you love stargazing, then you have probably already heard about International Dark Sky Places (IDSP). As of January 2022, there are 195 certified IDSPs in the world. 11 of these Dark Sky Places can be found in the United States; seven have been designated as “gold …
You may or may not know that I am a survival story & true crime junkie. That being said, I’m always super paranoid about safety while in the great outdoors because of the stories I have heard and read.
I have put together a “to do list” of 9 items for you to check off before you head into the great outdoors, to make sure you have the best chance of getting back home after your nature adventures!
1) Tell a loved one who isn’t joining you about your plans, dates and your route.
2) Leave a note of your plans/dates on your windshield. This way, if you don’t return on your scheduled date, people know where to start looking.
3) If you are ever lost while hiking, get stranded with a broken down car, etc… and you notice your cell phone is either low on juice or has no signal, here is a tip that very well may save your life. Change the voicemail on your phone to a message that gives your approximate location, the time, the date, your situation (lost, out of gas, car broken down, injured, etc…) and any special instructions such as you are staying with the car, you are walking toward a town, etc…. The best part of this is that even if your cell phone dies or stops working, voicemail still works, so anyone calling your phone looking for you will hear the message and know where to find you or where to send help. I found this brilliant advice circulating on Instagram, the original source was not credited.
4) If it’s in your budget, explore with a GPS/satellite tracking device.
5) Be prepared with protection against wildlife or ill intended humans with items like bear spray and/or a knife.
6) Don’t forget some emergency essentials such as a headlamp, hat, compass, earth friendly sunblock, water filtration system, quick energy snacks, rope, fire starter, whistle, layers, packable rain protection, emergency blanket (aka space blanket), map, a pocket survival guide & a portable solar charger for your phone.
7) Customized first aide kit designed for your environment, even a venom kit if you are in rattlesnake or scorpion territory. Be sure to include Tylenol or ibuprofen, scissors, tape, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic, waterproof bandages, gauze, ace bandage, etc. Don’t forget any allergy medication you may need if you are allergic to certain elements.
8) Bring a friend if possible.
9) Check the weather! Not just in the area you will be exploring but also in the surrounding areas. Most flash floods occur because of a storm happening nearby, while you are unaware and enjoying blue skies!
10) Have a plan. Bring directions along of any type that you are able to read/understand.
This is not a comprehensive list, but it is an EXCELLENT start! ✨
Share this post with your friends who also enjoy time in the wilderness, so they know you care! It COULD potentially save a life!!!💛
Go outdoors and stay safe! Take nothing but pictures & leave nothing but footprints.
Curious about exploring “America the beautiful”? Learn more about my exciting domestic adventure opportunities, over on “Into the Wild Experiences“. Don’t be shy! Head over and take a peek at the INCREDIBLE lineup. From FREE 1 day road trips, to reasonably priced 4 day expeditions, …
Noun: commission; plural noun: commissions
- An instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people
When God speaks, we must listen and what He says is simply put.
The two most important things Jesus asked us to do:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
Thats it. Love God and love each other.
Ἀγαπήσεις (Agapēseis) which carries with it a sense of doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason, or in other words, loving someone like a friend. I think about what I would do if a friend was in need and I was in a position to help in any way whatsoever. I would help.
We love our neighbors when we, like the Samaritan in Jesus’ parable, have compassion for them and help meet their needs as we are able. We love our neighbors best when we share God’s truth with them. Jesus alone can save (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), and He alone can meet people’s every need. resource
While I was in Uganda, God really put it on my heart to help His people in Uganda (& elsewhere) beyond my time there as a tourist. He told me to go home and pray about ways I can love them from home. Love in the way it is used here in this scripture is an action.
I still keep in touch with our guide in Uganda and he sends us pictures often, of safaris with other groups he’s showing around, the amazing wildlife, stunning vistas, etc. but yesterday he sent us some photos of what he was doing with the tip money we gave him. He was giving to the elderly in need!!! I was moved to tears. He used our tip money to HELP PEOPLE!!! God bless him.
It hit me, it was clear as day. I need to give in a tangible way and create a way for others to give as well. My hope is to send my guide (Denis) and hostess in Bwindi (Tina) money monthly or quarterly and have them, with God’s leading, distribute it as they see fit. Being locals there, they recognizing where the need is great. I would love for them to continue to help the elderly, the outcasts, and I would love to see this money also go to help orphans. My guide told me while I was there that there are definitely orphaned children in need. I also met someone on social media recently who works with orphans in Uganda and plan to ask my guide to meet him and see if he feels we can help support this mans ministry as well.
This is where YOU come in. Will you love (Agapēseis) God’s children in Uganda with me? Maybe you can’t physically go to Uganda but you can give a little here from home? A one time gift, a monthly gift or sporadically as you are able. Will you also commit to praying for them with me?
I plan helping in this way in Mexico again as well soon. If you have followed me for a long time, you may remember the annual missions trips my dad & I created to his home state of Michoacán. We called these trips “New Year, New Hope” because we went every January-ish to serve, feed and pray with the elderly, the orphans and those in dire poverty. Well, we have been talking a lot over the pandemic about starting those missions trips back up one day and you can help! Heck, you can COME with us if you’d like! These trips were all 100% self funded. We documented them so we could share what we were doing with people back home and on social media, in hopes that sharing would inspire people to give; so we could help even more people on our future trips there. Here are a couple of video links to previous “New Year, New Hope” trips my dad & I organized and executed (along with help from family members local to the area). WATCH HERE —-> New Year, New Hope 2013 & New Year, New Hope 2014. Forgive the horrible editing, I filmed and created these videos almost a decade ago. The heart is there though, I hope that shines through more than the old school editing.
Are you being lead to love?
Give —-> HERE
Be sure to specify “Uganda Donation” or “Mexico Donation” So I know where to distribute your donation.💜
If you are interested in attending an IN PERSON missions trip, apply —> HERE to join me in Paraguay South America next summer!
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