Every time I return from a trip, I add to my growing list of ‘must return to …’ destinations. Yosemite — and the Valley itself — are one of those places. There’s never enough time to see, do, and experience a destination on a limited number of vacation days it seems …

Add in that it was a July visit, and even if we had allowed more time, the crowds would have made it difficult to truly enjoy all that was on our list …

“Down through the middle of the Valley flows the crystal Merced, River of Mercy, peacefully quiet, reflecting lilies and trees and the onlooking rocks; things frail and fleeting and types of endurance meeting here and blending in countless forms, as if into this one mountain mansion Nature had gathered her choicest treasures, to draw her lovers into close and confiding communion with her.” – John Muir

Yosemite Valley has so many sights and activities packed into this small area of the park. We started at the park visitor center — snagging our National Parks Passport stamps — before moving on to the Yosemite Museum.

While I wish I could have taken more photos inside — the number of people made it hard to do so. We paused to listen an artisan explain the process of knapping arrowheads and spear points as he demonstrated how to do so.

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” – Ansel Adams

After the museum, we walked through the Ansel Adams Gallery, finding lots of inspiration among the prints of his photographs for sale. Mom and Dad weren’t feeling too energetic that particular day, so they found a shady spot after the gallery while the bro and I set out to view the natural sights as well as a few manmade.

The bro and I trekked to the Ahwahnee Hotel (unfortunately now called the Majestic Yosemite Hotel ) as a longtime friend of mine had been a foreman on a construction project there years earlier and his stories had me wanting to see the hotel in person.

After walking through some of the public spaces and visiting a chocolate shop in the hotel, we headed for the other major manmade spot in the Valley I wanted to see in person — the Yosemite Chapel. Rather than walk the long distance, we attempted to figure out the shuttle system. Let’s just say we ended up with one nice driver and one cranky driver who snapped at us when we asked a question at boarding, then nearly hit two cars who had the right of way.

After leaving the chapel area, the bro and I decided to walk back rather than risk another cranky driver or being witnesses to a wreck …

Yosemite Falls greeted us as we neared the parking area … a welcome sight as my right foot was killing me at the time (it was part of the issues I was having that led to surgery a few months later).

Yosemite is on Davis’ and I’s must-visit/must return to list — especially as he’s never been there. Hopefully, we’ll be able to return in a few years and time our visit so that health issues, crowds, and closures (I’m looking at you Mariposa Grove!) won’t stop us from seeing and doing all we’d like to experience while in the park


To see more my visit to Yosemite + other stops on the 2015 Roadtrip, click here to view my instagrammed images or here to read posts from earlier stops.

Want to visit Yosemite NP? Here’s info on Yosemite Valley via the NPS.


I’m planning to blog the rest of the trip out of order (I’m usually a ‘stickler’ of sorts when it comes to sharing travels in chronological order), but with so many places now in the queue to share, I’ll rotate between the remainder of the 2015 Roadtrip and more recent travels in the months to come …

Ever been to Yosemite? What was your favorite place in the park?

Last March — the first Saturday, in fact — Davis and I started our day out with a 5k jaunt. By jaunt, I mean there was more walking than running going on for us. Once we finished the race and collected some swag and free snacks, we decided to be spontaneous and make a three hour one-way drive to visit a tulip farm that my mom told me about after seeing it on one of the DFW news stations.

So to Pilot Point we went … to Texas Tulips!

Owners Pieter and Petra Koeman relocated to North Texas in 2015 after visiting the area and deciding to start a tulip farm here in the states. Pieter’s family were tulip farmers in The Netherlands for many years.

There are about 90 varieties of tulips to view and pick.

Aside from viewing and picking flowers, many visitors take advantage of the beautiful field and snap springtime photos of their families. We saw families and couples as well as groups of friends dressed up and casually snapping away in addition to a professional photographer conducting a session.

The day we visited, it was nice and cool, perfect weather (unless your hair frizzes like mine does)!

While we visited at the beginning of March, the growing/blooming season is fairly short, starting in mid/late February and going through late March.

Texas Tulips is the only tulip farm in the state of Texas …

While you can see tulips blooming at places like the Dallas Arboretum, you can’t pick them (not to mention, Texas Tulip’s variety is something you won’t see at any arboretum)!

How to get to Texas Tulips:
Address: 10656 FM 2931, Pilot Point, TX 76258
Phone: (940) 230-6512

Details to know for your visit:

Hours: Daily from 9 am – 8 pm
Entrance fees:
Adults and children: $3/person
Children 12 months and under: Free
Senior citizens: Admission and picking 3 tulips for $7.50 per person Monday to Friday
Veterans: Admission and picking 3 tulips for $7.50 per person

Parking: Free
U-Pick Tulips: $2.50 per stem

Follow Texas Tulips on social media:

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Have you ever been to a tulip farm or something similar with other flowers? Share in the comments below …