Tour guides go on vacation, too

YosemiteAfter the busy spring season, every guide reaches the end of May on fumes. But the 100-day invasion of eighth graders is ending, cherry blossoms are past and it’s the right time to take a breath.

So I went on vacation.

San Francisco is my favorite city since first visiting in 1979. Somehow, 12 years passed since my last visit so it was time to return.

It’s still a great place to visit. Driving down crooked Lombard Street to cresting above streets where you literally can’t see the road when peaking. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to lunch at Sausalito to riding a ferry to Alcatraz prison. From eating at a great restaurant in Chinatown my cab driver recommended to peeling steamed shrimp at Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s all good. You have to go.

But this time we also spent a few days in the Sierra Nevada mountains to see Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. (My rental car went 949 miles over a week.) Several days at 6,000 feet above sea level where a Washingtonian used to zero feet above sea level saw short walks cause panting.

I went to see something different, something quiet after a hectic year. Lots of white-knuckle driving on the twistiest roads I’ve ever seen that went on for 25 miles and a cabin on the edge of a 2013 forest fire that was now a scene out of Axe Men logging the remains didn’t quiet give me the serenity I sought. But then, there were moments of quiet by steams and staring at water falls and mountain peaks to make it worthwhile.

cable carsAnd now I’m back to touring our flat streets and thinking the walk up Arlington National Cemetery is no big deal, but missing those humidity-free mountains and chilling sea breezes off the San Francisco Bay. Spending yesterday at a family funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. Awaiting Redskins training camp on July 24 when I resume covering the team for two news outlets as I have for more than 20 years. A ninth Redskins coach telling me how things will get better when they haven’t since 1991.

Anyway, it’s nice to be home for awhile. Just wondering where we’re going next. I have 10 states left to visit. Maybe a quit jaunt to Vermont this fall to see No. 41 and the turning leaves. Until then, let’s have some fun.



About Rick

Rick Snider is a native Washingtonian, long-time journalist and licensed tour guide since 2010.
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