In August we had a family trip in Lake Tahoe planned (courtesy of niece Margaret), but wildfires and poor air quality led to a last minute change of plan. Instead of Lake Tahoe, Big Bear! Neither of us had been to Big Bear for probably 40 years, and at that time we would have stayed at a cabin in Fawnskin belonging to our friend Tom’s parents. This time we were in an AirBnB adjacent to the Bear Mountain ski area, where we arrived on a Sunday after first (and finally!) going up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and driving up to Big Bear via the “back route” through Yucca Valley.
Despite everyone’s initial disappointment at not going to Tahoe, and some worries about “not enough to do”, well, of course, we ran out of time and didn’t get to everything. In our five days there, and some judicious “divide and conquer”, the group got in paddleboarding, cycling, birding, hiking, hot tubbing, wine tasting, and games. I’ll steal from our friends at Bike Spain and say “every moment is a highlight”, but really it was. The Family Olympics was a real hoot, including such classics as ladder ball, grape spit, and aebelskiver shot put (none of which Robert and Liza excelled at, but Robert totally kicked a$$ at the geography quiz! Yay Mr Map!).
We also ate very well … or too much depending on your point of view. We’d divvied up the dinner responsibilities ahead of time and enjoyed one great meal after another, starting with Lee/Jenn/Grandma’s bbq steak and smoked sausage night (the bbq grease fire notwithstanding…); Luci’s and Mo’s Jimmy Buffett night with cheeseburgers in paradise and jerk chicken; our own taco night with pork and shrimp al pastor and a variety of salsas; and Margaret/Micah’s shallot pasta with kale salad and garlic bread.
The last night there we had originally thought we’d eat out, but as we had way too much food we basically stayed in and grazed on all the leftovers. 🙂 (It didn’t help either that the restaurants nearby generally lacked outdoor seating and too many people were not wearing masks in public.)
Too soon the time was at an end. We drove back out the way we came, via Yucca Valley, revisiting Joshua Tree National Park en route. (Not too much time spent out of the car as the high temp we saw was 114°.)
For more photos, see the photo galleries below.
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