The car we chose this time for the drive was a Toyota FJ Cruiser, which has those suicide doors than can't be opened unless the front doors are open. It is a pain but the car was comfy enough for the long drive. We had a full 8hr day of driving and we made sure we swapped drivers every couple of hours to break it up which helped a lot.
As far as scenery goes, it was quite a good transition. It went from dry desert heat to green landscape to mountainous forest. We arrived just before 8pm and the restaurant was nice enough to stay open longer for us. The lodge we are staying at is on Bass Lake and we sat down for dinner overlooking the lake. It was so relaxing we decided we needed another night here and booked it before we had even seen our rooms. Not that it was an issue, our rooms are very cosy with central heating plus a fireplace. The point of staying another night was to spend the following day hiking and exploring. When we woke up the next morning though, it was pouring rain and really cold. We thought we had just wasted a whole day here. After breakfast we drove into town to the visitors centre to make a plan to drive to view points instead of hikes. Our drive took us up one of the mountains where we got some amazing pictures and really soaked up Yosemite. We continued up the mountain were we noticed it got colder and colder. Then the rain started to turn to ice. Then we noticed patches of snow, to which we found out that Sav and Georgia had never seen snow. So we kept driving until we found a good heap of snow and pulled over to have a snowball fight and experience the snow. I wasn't too keen on exploring too far up the mountain, as there are warnings about mountain lions. While we were playing in the snow it started to really heavily snow which was just an awesome moment.
We drove further up the mountain and as the snow got heavier we discovered that the whole area had been turned into a winter wonderland. It was such an amazing sight, like something out of a movie. Because of the snow and low cloud, all the scenic viewpoints were clouded in but that didn't stop us from playing in the snow at every chance. It was so surreal to think that not even 12hrs ago we were dying of the desert heat in Vegas and now we are having a snowball fight. At no point on our trip did we expect to come across snow.
We headed back down the mountain and into the valley where we were below the cloud. This had some spectacular scenery. Huge mountains with the valley between them, it was like something from a postcard. Most of today was.
We drove over an hour back to our lodge on Bass Lake, had a massive dinner and 2 bottles of red. Now we are all back in our room sitting in front of the fire. Early start tomorrow as we drive to San Francisco. Today was the best last minute decision we have made and so worth hanging around for. Go to Yosemite National Park. It's the perfect way to break up a busy holiday.