Friday, December 18, 2015


Just in:  Konditorei Austrian Pastry Cafe is once again offering a free Christmas String Quartet concert from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 24, at 2710 Fifth St. in Davis, next to the Davis Police Department.

We have another concert on the 20th in Sacramento.  And this past week, while in Yosemite, we attended a spectacular performance by a choral group made up of opera and light opera singers from around the San Francisco Bay Area.  They perform at the Bracebridge dinner every December, and offer a free evening concert while there.   We sat with a fun couple, Jeri and Ray, who live in Danville.  They encouraged us to put the dinner on our bucket list.  After hearing them describe the event, I decided we should do it some year soon.  It is food and pageantry of the highest order.

In our 4 days in the park, we talked to many fascinating people:  the fellow who came from Romania 20 years ago for a vacation, and never left.  This is a common thread for park employees.  They come, they fall in love, they stay.  Cost of living is high there, but they all site quality of life as the big draw.  I can understand.

Tara Crowley, All Rights Reserved
We were lucky to drive in before the predicted snow fall.  We spent our days and nights walking the park, photographing, warming up by the fire with food and drink, and freezing our arses off.

The Ahwahnee Hotel has been hosting the Bracebridge Dinner since 1927.  You can feel the vibrations of decades of visitors within the walls of the hotel.

During our lunch there, our waiter admired our cameras and we began an off and on again conversation about photography.  He is quite accomplished, and I thought, at first, a bit snobby.  But as it turned out, he is a true creative artist who is still shooting in large format film.  We exchanged thoughts about film vs. digital and the pros and cons of each.  We share the belief that all serious photographers should start out with film.  The lack of instant gratification teaches one how to see and plan for an image.  Not to merely click away rapid fire and hope one of your images works.  So, here we have yet another park employee who works in Yosemite in order to live the dream and have time for their creative work.  The thought of doing this is very tempting, I must admit.

So, that was the week that was, and now it's time to turn my focus on up-coming guests and Christmas day.  I must say, however, that trip was all the Christmas I need or want.  I came away thinking that I would like to stay in the park for Christmas day some year soon.  Attend the Bracebridge dinner, hike in the snow, photograph every gorgeous scene that presents itself.

Peace on Earth.


  1. Sounds like it was the perfect journey. Yosemite is such a beautiful place. I am so happy that it exists in all its stunning and breathtaking beauty. Yes to peace on earth.

  2. Sounds like a great time. And so beautiful.

  3. Oh, Yosemite! I love thee. I am going to be there from the 29th through the 2nd. I can't wait.

    1. oh, lucky you! I hear more snow is on the way.

  4. Sweet to be in Yosemite in December! Peace on Earth.


Goings On in Northern Colorado

Gosh, but it's been a minute since I posted. I've been consumed with my move, and adopting a new dog!  The house is coming together ...