Yosemite National Park

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK is a formidable experience if your enjoy hiking in the summer,  snow-Boarding during the winter, canoeing, rafting, cycling, camping, rock climbing, trail walking or simply communing with nature in all its splendor any of the twelve  months of the year (provided the roads are open). There’s also a lot to discover if local  museums, historical sites and folk lore are your thing. Yosemite a 3 1/2 hr. drive  from San Francisco.

The park is maintained by the National Park Service. It is served by the DNC Parks & amp and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc, who manage the hotels, concessions and transportation throughout the year. The Yosemite Lodge at the Falls with its GreenPath  program and eco-friendly guest rooms is one of them. Another resort is the Yosemite View Lodge situated on the Merced River in El Portal with 335 convenient rooms less than 5 miles from the park. The Yosemite View Lodge is where we stayed for two nights. And in the park you’ll find the Ahwahnee, Yosemite’s AAA Four-Diamond national historic landmark hotel. It is frequented by celebrities and heads of state world-wide–it has a big reputation.

To get there from San Francisco we recommend US Highway 120, the main road through Coulterville and Groveland, a very scenic town, to the East Gate. From Fresno, US Highway 61 will get you to the South Gate. Fresno is only 2 hours away.

The major city straddling the park is Mariposa on Rt. 140, a short 30 minute ride from the park’s East Gate, and  through breathtaking scenery. Mariposa is Yosemite’s back yard. The First Friday Art Hop took place on May 4th, where you can meet the local artists. On May 5th there was the annual Butterfly Parade–it was a spectacle. And since the town has had gold fever these last 150 years,  the Mariposa State Mining & Mineral Museum was a find, not to mention the Yosemite Museum and History Center, all within walking distance of Main Street. More so, the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad was most inviting. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time for us to take advantage of it, but you should!  It gave us a chance to read into the town’s down-home roots. In late September they celebrate their annual Tomato Fest. For us, though, the nature and beauty of Yosemite was the grand prize. For more on Mariposa County go to: www. HomeOfYosemite.com

Yosemite has it all. It’s been a national institution since 1863 when President Lincoln declared it a protected area. In 1890 it was declared a national park covering 1,189 square miles. In 2011, 3-4 million people visited the park! It’s most popular destinations include Yosemite Falls at 1,430′ , 675′, and 320′, is one of the tallest in North America and the fifth largest in the world!

For more info on Yosemite Park go to: www.Yosemite Park.com.

About The Author

Michael Zufolo, Producer/Co-Host of Let's Travel! Radio

Michael has been an active player in Media Relations and Marketing for the past 30 years with stints at The New York Times, Forbes, WOR Radio, TV Channel 11, Attenzione Magazine, et.al., and with participation in the Caribbean Tourism Org.,/ CTO, the Pacific Travel Assn./ PATA, the Foreign Press Assn./ FPA, and the International Society of Travel Writers/ ISTR. Libra/ America, his latest signature, provides travel opportunities to VIP travelers and groups world-wide. Let’s Travel! Radio is an extension of his experiences.

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Hornblower blows ‘em away!

Thurs., July 4 aboard the Hornblower Esprit, celebrating Macy’s 4th, the nation’s 233rd Independence Day anniversary. What a night!

Hornblower Yachts owns up to having the largest number of luxury vessels in eight U.S. cities, including New York. The company has seven here ranging from the largest, the Infinity, at over 200’, accommodating up to 700, to the smallest, the Esprit, at 90’ , accommodating 80-100. Cruises are set lunch/ brunch and dinner, for a coterie of special events and private parties, corporate meetings, and weddings, of course! They serve both sit-down and buffet menus.. They also do After 5 cocktail cruises, and a host of charitable events. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, Ca. It’s now in its 40th year.

On the night we were on, the 4th, we were seated on the Sky Deck of the Esprit, a restored beauty. There were only seven tables on this top deck facing out and with a nicely appointed bar in front of us manned by Nicholas, a really talented barkeep, and with some soft jazz by DJ Mike, which later turned to Pop, Latin, Disc and Rock for or dancing pleasure. Gabriel was our Maitre’d and Oscar was our chef for the evening. Boy can this guy cook! Dinner started off with a plate of Blinis with Caviar, followed by a nice medley of Little Neck clams and oysters on the ½ shell, with a sampling of jumbo shrimp in the best salsa I’ve ever tasted ( I asked for a second. My apologies ). This was followed by a full serving of Agnolotti served Italian style over freshly baked cherry tomatoes and a very fresh salad of lettuce, celery, cucumber and more cherry tomatoes. The entrée: Lobster and Filet Mignon with a crab filling topped with a wild mushroom sauce. A bottle of Chandon white was offered to each guest complimentary. Ha! You can’t beat that! As for dessert, a chilled freshly baked apple strudel and chocolate dipped strawberries was the finale, with good coffee and an assortment of blended teas for the asking. And, yes, the bar was open for the entire 3 ½ hours we were on board. By the way, the company provides translaters for Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Korean, French, German and Italian guests.

The yachts ail from Pier 15/ 75 South St. adjoining the South St. Seaport and Pier 40 on the West Side/ W. Houston St. and the Hudson River, from March thru-November with 10 daily departures, 7 days-a-week.

In New York they operate the Statue Cruises affiliate to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island State Park from the Battery Park Terminal on the Manhattan side, along with a Liberty Water Taxi service. They also serve the Metro New York area with a round-the-clock ferry service, the city’s first commuter ferry operation to points in Manhattan, Bklyn and Queens. In brief, the company is the world’s leading provider of high-speed ferry services. For more on Hornblower try: info@365ticketsUSA.com or 1-844TKTS, or phone 646-780.9693 or simply: www.Hornblower.com



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The Blue Dahlia at Chelsea Market in NYC

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