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Ahwahnee Hotel

Yosemite National Park
November 14-15, 2020

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That's a bucket list item: an autumn weekend at Yosemite's grand hotel, The Ahwahnee.

In normal times, I understand, you need to plan a year ahead to get a room. But I read that the park was relatively uncrowded, due to Covid, so I was able to book a room for a Saturday night with just a few weeks' advance thinking.

We made the most of it, taking our dinner in the grand dining room (even though, owing to the pandemic, there was no table service, just meals available for pick-up in cardboard boxes, which you could take to an available table), and afterward roaming through the great halls with our drinks in hand until we were too sleepy to stay up any longer.

During dinner, with a bellyful of lamp lollipops, wild rice and Pliny, I thought things couldn't get any better. Then the pianist started playing the theme from "You Only Live Twice," which then unfolded into a medley of James Bond themes. I wasn't the only middle-aged guy who went up and tipped him for that.