September 12, 2015

CANVAZ road trip day 4: bride without a veil

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With our Napa trip cut short, we made an early exit towards Yosemite today.  We had no plans or itinerary other than Yosemite on our calendar, and were gonna take it easy.

Minutes after getting on the highway in Fairfield, we came across the Jelly Belly Candy Company's headquarters.  I decided that we should make the unscheduled stop so that I could pick up some flavors that are impossible to get outside the U.S.

Once inside the shop, I looked around and immediately found something to bring home for friends' kids... the Frozen Jelly Bellys, which contain sparkly beans.  I ignore the Hello Kitty and Star Wars special packs...  But the real goal was Tabasco Jelly Bellys, which a friend had brought me last year.  I love the kick and also the real taste of Tabasco.  Grabbed a whole bunch of these.  I also picked up some A&W Root Beer flavored Jelly Bellys.

You would expect this company to have a bunch of cars decorated with Jelly Bellys.  Besides a VW Beetle and others, you've also got a Jelly Belly food truck!

We move on to Stockton, where mom made an obligatory stop at Costco.  The good thing about this stop was that there's a Five Guys Burgers and Fries right next to Costco.  I made a beeline for the place at lunch time...

Got myself a bacon cheeseburger with the works.  That's a lot of toppings there!  Very satisfying.  The beef patties were a little more charred than I had expected, but still pretty good.  The fries were floppy.

We continued towards Yosemite and after checking into our hotel, finally entered the valley mid-afternoon.  We knew things weren't gonna be perfect by breathing the air in the area... it was smoky.  There were clearly a couple of forest fires nearby, and that left a haze in the air.

Our first stop inside the valley was El Capitan, and once we parked I immediately looked in the opposite direction for Bridalveil Fall, but I didn't see any sign of gushing water.  We hiked over to the vista point at the bottom of the waterfall, and had to squint to see just a trickle coming down...

I took out my telephoto, tacked on the 2X extender, and got a close view of the very top of the falls.  Not a lot coming down...

Back across the road, El Capitan was looking pretty hazy.  The sky was gray and didn't provide much color to any pictures I was taking.

Disappointed, we drive along further to get a look at the Half Dome - another sight immortalized by Ansel Adams.  Things didn't look any better there...

This was pretty disappointing... so we went over to the Village Store to pick up some supplies, and headed back to our hotel.  I doubt there were any decent restaurants around for us to have dinner at, but we had brought along our doggy bags from two Michelin-starred restaurants in Napa, so we actually had a pretty good dinner in the comfort of our hotel room.

I did bring my wines along with me, so we opened up a bottle during dinner...

2009 Kongsgaard VioRous - nice and ripe, sweet on the nose, with orange blossom.  Nice acidity here balancing out the ripeness.

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