Hiking Half Dome in June 2012

August 18, 2012

In June I had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco for the weekend and do a short side trip to Yosemite to hike Half Dome.  Prior to the trip I had very little knowledge what Half Dome was and I had no idea what the cables were leading up to the top of Half Dome.  This hike was one of the craziest things I’ve done so far in my life and it was one of the funnest weekend trips I’ve done in a while.

Over the next week I’m going to write different posts about the trip so for this post I’m going to write an introduction about what Half Dome is and where it is.

The day after finishing the hike we drove 25 miles to another vantage point to get this view pictured above.  Half Dome is the rock on the left of the image and the waterfall on the right is the area where we hiked.  The valley below is the floor of Yosemite where most tourists visit.  The surrounding area for miles and miles each way is Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite National Park is located in Northern California about 3 hours East of San Francisco.  Half Dome is located in the main tourist area and is one of the main attractions that many tourists go to see.

Backside of Half Dome

The cables.  The last 1,000 feet to get to the top of Half Dome consist of climbing up this steep piece of granite holding on to the cables and slowly moving from plank to plank.

The top of Half Dome. Worth every ounce of effort to get here.


Hiking Half Dome Yosemite National Park

June 5, 2012

Today I leave on a trip to California to spend the weekend hiking in Yosemite National Park.  I have an Accounting exam in class today and then tonight I fly to San Francisco.  Tomorrow, Wednesday, I’ll spend the morning and afternoon in the city by myself while my friends are working and around evening time we’ll head to Yosemite so we can start hiking first thing Thursday morning.  Saturday afternoon we’ll head back to San Francisco and probably go out for dinner and drinks.  My flight back to Florida is at 8:00pm on Sunday so I’ll have one last day in SF to go around before I wake up Monday morning in FL with a full day of classes, including another exam.

Flying alone is one of my favorite things to do so I’m really looking forward to flying tonight.  I have a layover in Washington, DC so it’ll be a 2 hour flight with a 45 minute layover, and then a 6hr flight cross country.  I always say to myself that I’m going to start reading a good book or I’m going to study for school, but most often I typically do nothing more than stare off into space out the window with endless thoughts.  Or if I’m not in a window seat then I stare off at no place specific.  I very rarely listen to music or have a headset on and I hardly ever watch TV unless it’s a JetBlue flight on the East Coast which I don’t fly often.  So tonight I look forward to another day of flying because California is one of my favorite places to visit and knowing that I’ll be waking up in a 15th floor apartment in downtown SF with the city at my fingertips for the day makes me a very happy person!

One of my favorite places in the United States: Marin Headlands north of the Golden Gate Bridge, December 2010

TravelZoo Travel Deal: ICELAND!

May 17, 2012

When I lived in NYC I noticed Iceland Air would advertise pretty often on the subways and also on the bus stops.  They’d usually post a gorgeous picture and have a catchy proposition enticing you to visit.  I remember seeing deals from $699 and $799 but this week TravelZoo is highlighting a deal that is being offered by Iceland Air for round-trip airfare and four nights hotel for $899 after taxes and fees.  The deal can be extended for $80 per person per night up to 4 additional days for a total of about $1250 per person based on double occupancy for 8 nights.

“Experience the Arctic North”

Travel Period:  Oct 1, 2012 – Apr 26, 2013

Northern Iceland is a land of amazing adventures, offering diverse options for those who want to combine relaxation with fun and excitement in a veritable paradise of nature.  There are countless opportunities for outdoor activities to suit everyone’s taste.  Enjoy a relaxing visit to the charming, lively town of Akuryeri.  The center of culture, education and leisure activities in North Iceland, Akureyri is the largest town outside of the Reykjavik capital area.  In addition to its culture Akureyri  is an excellent base for winter recreational activities such as downhill and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, horse trekking, super Jeep excursions and a skating rink.    The town also offers one of the finest geothermal outdoor swimming pools in Iceland, a spa like facility located just steps from the Icelandair Hotel Akureyri.

There are few places in North Iceland better than the Akureyri area, in close range to the Arctic Circle. The best months for Northern Lights viewing are October through mid-April (subject to weather conditions).

This deal from Icelandair includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare on Icelandair from New York to Iceland
  • Roundtrip airfare between Reykjavik and Akureyri
  • Two nights at the 4-star Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura
  • Two nights at the Icelandair Hotel Akureyri
  • Northern Lights evening tour
  • Four buffet breakfasts

Link to Iceland Air deal page

Link to TravelZoo page where I originally saw the deal