Big Bear + $150 Holiday Cash Giveaway

This is one of those posts that I've been wanting to get around to for a couple of weeks. In true life fashion, things kind crept up and I'm just now posting about our little weekend retreat to Big Bear.
So, let's start from the beginning...

A few weeks ago Scott mentioned that I should keep our weekend plans free, and that he had a bit of a surprise in store. I liked where this was headed.

The Thursday before that particular weekend Scott said we were leaving the city and heading to the mountains. God bless him. We'd been needing an escape for some time, and a mountain getaway sounded mighty fine.
Friday morning we were up and at 'em rather early (thanks to our resident 15-month old who "sleeps in" till 4:30). By, 10:30a.m. we were unloading everything into the cabin.

Side note. We are so fortunate to know someone who is incredibly generous and allows us to utilize his family's cabin. It's this quaint, cozy little thing that is absolutely perfect for us. There is no cable, spotty Internet, and a big yard. We unplug, unwind, and truly spend our time together. Our dog can run the yard with reckless abandon, and Marcus and Julia can play outside with nary a care. One of the weekend highlights for Marcus was collecting as many pinecones as possible from the yard and creating a massive pile out of them. It's the little things...

Back to Friday. Though the skies were gray and somewhat gloomy, with scattered sprinkles on and off, we weren't deterred. In fact, the rain was quite welcomed. It had been ages since we'd seen or felt rain. We simply added a few layers and went for a brief "hike."

This wooden footpath goes along what was once the northern most part of Big Bear Lake. The drought has impacted this lake severely, and left this portion of the lake totally dry.
While the fresh air, the short hike, and the craziness of my people was fantastic, the condition of the lake was eye-opening and devastating. I can only imagine what the views must look like when the lake is full.

Post hike we headed to our favorite little pizza joint, indulged in some deliciousness and a few refreshments. After filling our bellies to the brim naturally we stepped into the adjacent chocolate/candy/fudge shop before heading back to the cabin.
Julia has never stepped foot inside such a store, but girl friend knew what it was all about.

Friday was a wrap, and thanks to fresh mountain air, sleep was pretty sound for us.

Saturday morning, though up early, was spent lazily sipping coffee, snuggling by the wood burner, and getting ready for our day. A second, longer hike was on the agenda.
The trail was marked every half mile or so with these cute little bear footprint markers, which kept Marcus focused on the next number at hand. It was like a little scavenger hunt we didn't have to plan!
Every downed tree was an obstacle and adventure that required climbing and balancing and jumping off. This was repeated no less than a half a dozen times per each tree trunk we came across (and we encountered several).
Marcus dabbled a bit in bouldering, and thought it was the coolest to reach the top of such large rocks.
And Julia was along for the ride, and seemed to enjoy every minute of it.
Had we not run low on our water supply I believe we could have hiked much farther than we did. There's always next time!
Marcus was very interested in my camera as we hiked, and asked to take a few photos. I cautiously obliged. This is one of his shots, and I'm kind of impressed.
Immediately after our hike we headed just across the road to let Julia stretch her legs a bit by the lake.
There were ducks, Julia's current favorite thing ever. So, she wanted *in* the lake to get to the ducks. Her stint by the water was short lived.
Marcus thought tossing rocks would entice the ducks. That plan worked exactly one time, and then the ducks caught on that food wasn't really involved.
We attempted to walk a path around the lake, with Julia out of the Kelty. She wanted to be everywhere except the actual path. It was at that time we decided it was time to head to back to the cabin to snag some food and a nap. 

Saturday evening we attended an Oktoberfest for one hot second. It wasn't quite our style, and both kids were running on short-lived naps. Our last stop of the trip was to the cutest little Christmas store. As with every adventure we go on, I hunt for Christmas ornaments to remember our experiences. The Christmas store did not disappoint, and I found the perfect ornament. 

Sunday morning we were back at home before 10:30a.m. and planning our next adventure into the mountains. I have high hopes that the next mountain escape will include snow, and tubing, and snowboarding, and hot chocolate.

While we're still a bit aways a way from Christmas, our time at Big Bear got me into the Christmas spirit - I mean, the intoxicating smell of pine trees! Fresh, crisp, chilly mountain air! A Christmas store! A Christmas ornament! It was the perfect way to get us in the holiday mood. That said, I'm hoping you're getting into the holiday mood as well. I've teamed up with some pretty great ladies for a holiday cash giveaway. There is $150 PayPal cash up for grabs! All you have to do is enter the drawing via the super easy Rafflecopter below. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What a gorgeous place! I understand why you didn't want to go home and are ready to go back. The kids looks so happy and you and Scott look relaxed. Such a blessing. Love Julia's face in the candy store. Smart girl!! :)

  2. What a memorable time with your family! The picture of the lake just blows my mind. I can't even imagine it while staring at the picture, I can't imagine how you felt actually being there.

  3. Oh man what an awesome time for y'all. The perfect little get away to just be together, relax and explore. So glad you had this time together.

  4. That looks wonderful! I love how Marcus's yellow shows up!

  5. This trip looks INCREDIBLE and just what you guys needed! I've been dying to go up to the mountains for a weekend also but we just never plan it. I need to! I don't know the first thing about finding a cabin or where to stay or anything, so I think that's the main problem. I'd love to go up when there's snow! Though I'm sure it's insanely busy and super expensive lol. Sigh.
    On a side note: that poor lake! Seriously. We need some rain!!!

  6. What a perfect little getaway! That cabin sounds so dreamy! And friend, can we talk about your photos? You are getting so good with that camera. I adore all of these!

  7. Desiree, these photos are fantastic!! I'm obsessed. How absolutely gorgeous and what a lovely little relaxing getaway. I'm all kinds of jealous over this! We really need a weekend in the woods soon!

  8. What an awesome getaway! You captured some fabulous photos!

  9. A surprise mountain getaway!!! Scott! Please talk to Conor! I want in on this. And I simply love the picture of just you two.

  10. Good Golly Miss Molly. Luv ur splendid photos. Divine. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. :)

  11. 4:30a?! Please tell me you drink coffee... That, or tell me your secret to rising early. Big Bear looked like a blast! Favorite photo, hands down is the one of Marcus, Scott and Julia in the trees. So good.

  12. What a fun getaway! I love that it's not too far away too. This has me thinking of when we can do our next little escape... :)