Our little guy goes to a year round school . As a result we have extended breaks and a shortened summer. One of the joys of the extended breaks is being off cycle of everyone else and not having to deal with overcrowded resorts or events. We took advantage of this last week by going up to the snow at Big Bear lake.
OK, let me start this off by talking a little about snow. I grew up in the Midwest with some rather gnarly winters (including a HUGE Blizzard when I was a small child). I have memoires of getting stuck, shoveling, slipping and falling, just a miserable time with the awful white death. Living in Southern California you travel TO THE SNOW, you are not stuck in it for months. So as you can imagine, my urge to go to the snow is not exactly overwhelming. Those memes you see on social media about the best part about winter snow is watching the news reports about it from California? Yep, that’s me. If I never placed a foot in snow again I would be okay with that.
HOWEVER, when you have a child who has a real desire to go play in the snow, and constantly asks “dad, why do you not want to go to the snow?”, you eventually put your feelings behind and go to the snow. DAD TIP: It is NEVER as bad as you remember, put your memories behind you and experience it through their eyes. So after many excuses and stalling, we booked a trip to Big Bear lake.
And you know what? It didn’t suck.
Now we did have some pretty optimal weather. The roads were clear. So we were spared some of the worst parts of the winter weather. Big Bear lake is up, up, up a mountain. The drive up is long and wind-y and there are some pretty long drops on the other sides of the guardrails. The views are AMAZING! I really wish I were a little more comfortable and able to enjoy the views a bit more, but my focus was on the winding single lane roads ahead. We did stop at one of the turnabouts to take in the view and snap a picture or three.
Then we arrived. Big Bear Lake is beautiful; filled with cabins and covered in snow. As I mentioned above the roads were cleared and the snow had been trampled down by previous revelers. There was still quite a bit of it around.
We checked into our cabin that was just a hop, skip and a jump away from the lake. I mean we literally walked 300 yards and we were at the edge of the water. It was very… Quiet. Which was THE BEST. The first day we walked along the lake, threw chunks of ice and snow on the frozen lake to see if we could get them to break through the ice (we got a couple break through that were close the edge, but the ice was pretty solid and most just skipped across the top). There were a couple of sled ramps that we used as well. We did a little shopping to get supplies and grabbed dinner. That first night was COLD and we did not want to get out of our nice warm beds in the morning. We got up and going and decided to go tubing. We went to a local tubing park that had all day passes to get the most fun for our buck.
We had a GREAT time tubing, racing each other down the hills (the little guy got a really fast tube, and won most of the time!). After we wrapped up our tubing adventures for the day, it was back to the Cabin to clean up and grab dinner. As we arrived to the resteraunt, there was a group of 25 people who came in at the same time!!! Although we rushed our order in to get in front of that group, we somehow ended up waiting a LOOOONG time to get our food. The plan was after dinner to do a little bowling, but by the time we got to the bowling alley (which was real close to where our cabin was) there was a wait. So bowling will have to wait ’til another day.
After a much warmer night in the cabin (I came to my senses and put a sheet at the base of the door, stopping a lot of cold air from getting into our cabin) we got up and packed our stuff up for the trip home. We went into big bear lake village and walked around, picked up a couple of tee shirts for the little guy and eventually headed home. It was a great quick getaway for us. Just far enough out to feel like we were really getting away, but not too far either. We have plans to go back next month with some friends who own a cabin up there. It should be a great time!!!
So a couple of points to make. First, I went to the snow and it was not as awful as I thought it would be. At one point I looked at newmom and said ‘this trip is for him, not us’ and I meant it. Newmom mentioned to me before the trip that I would be writing this very post saying that I had a great time (I am and I did) but she knows how I really may be disingenuous because I really, really really don’t care for the snow. That is true, I live somewhere where there is very little chance it will ever snow, and I am quite okay with not going. But even with those sentiments, I did have a great time, put my disdain aside and spent a couple of days experiencing something through a different sets of eyes, both newmoms and the little guys. This does not make me a big fan of snow, but maybe, just maybe it doesn’t suck as much as I remember.
I hope this is just the first of many great adventures waiting for us in 2020!!