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Yosemite lodging reservations: Why it pays to be hopeful, patient and tenacious

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Here's my story of patience, tenacity, and flexibility in planning on how to celebrate our 54 wedding anniversary.

1. On 8/7/22 I made reservations for 2 nights in late June of '23 at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, I also made reservations for the two nights after that at the Yosemite Valley Lodge. And I made a reservation at a motel in Bridgeport the night before TML The plan was to drive to Bridgeport, spend the night, go up early to TML for two nights to celebrate the anniversary,. And then hit the Valley for a couple of days before driving home before the 4th of July.
2. On 3/2/23 we became paranoid that Tioga pass may not open before July 1st, and that TML may not even open at all (psychic on that one...still open on the 1st). So we made a contingency plan to spend night one in a motel in Mariposa, then spend our anniversary night at Tenya Lodge, and then see if another night in the Valley might be available to go with the 2 nights we already had. Nothing was, so we booked a room at the Wawona Hotel for the one night. The only problem was that it was a room w/out a bath, and for a couple in our 'late' 70's we didn't really want that. But we do still have a port-o-potty from our camping days, so what the heck!
3. On 4/22 when TML not opening became a reality, we canceled those reservations and the one at Bridgeport. So now our contingency plan became THE plan.
4. I kept checking the Aramark site like 100 times a day, with both my lap-top, and smart phone if I was away from home. After like 40 days, on 4/28/23 another room at the Lodge opened up. So we got that reservation combined with the other two nights, cancelled Tenya, and booked two nights at a nicer motel in Mariposa (2 nights for less than one at Tenya). Spending our 54th anniversary at a motel in Mariposa hadn't been a lifetime dream, but at least we would have 3 full days in the Valley to look forward to.
5. Then the Valley was closed due to flooding, and the potential was there for it to happen again through June...great. Time for another contingency plan. So we booked two nights at one of our favorite places in Tahoe. We spent our anniversary there last year, so at least we know we like it, and what to expect. BUT...it is NOT Yosemite. (I did have TML reservations last summer too...until it didn't open)
6. Yesterday afternoon I was going through the apps on my phone and saw the one for Aramark. I thought, "what the heck", and checked to see what might be available on our anniversary, the 2 nights before the 3 days at the Lodge. To my surprise there were 2 nights in a Queen room (with a bath) at the Wawona hotel...so I booked them. So now the plan is to drive to Mariposa for lunch at Happy Burger. Then go through El Portal so we can drive along the Merced and then head through the tunnel to Wawona.
7. Now if it floods in the Eastern Valley we may stick with two nights at Wawona, or just go back to Tahoe. At least we will have a choice. But we will have to decide a week in advance or not get our Tahow deposit back.
54 years! That's incredible!
Long time, but it sure has gone by fast! And it was 59 years ago as an 18 year old that I got a job for the summer at TML...just a week after graduating from high school.
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