As a surprise for my birthday, Jeremy planned a quick getaway trip to Big Bear. I’ve never spent much time up at that particular mountain lake and was relieved that we’d be getting out of the blistering desert heat, however briefly.
The drive up the mountain is both terrifying and beautiful. We caught the last bits of the smoggy California sunset with only the slightest tinge of motion sickness and vertigo.
We stayed at a little mountain cabin, which included the requisite rock-clad fireplace / spa-tub with just a sprinkling of dusty fake flowers and ivy to add fire to the romance. Forest green valances = sexy time!
It was actually really fun. After almost nine years together, big J understands my deep love of kitschy crap and objects of questionable taste.
I attempted to do a little thrifting, but the mountain won. Something about the isolation of these mountain communities brings out the crazy in residents and their local shops. I rounded a sharp corner and actually yelped out loud when confronted with the life size sculpture of E.T. peaking through a window.
A small perk of Jeremy’s job is getting a little bit of access to watercraft. One of his super nice clients let us borrow their little pontoon boat for the day to cruise around the lake.
It was beautiful, but extremely cold out on the lake. Beforehand, I was super psyched about swimming around and enjoying the water – but upon arrival? Hell no. We wore sweaters and sat in the sun to survive.
There was an awesome solar observatory and some brave person oblivious to the cold and fear that decided to go parasailing.
Look how high you get! Also, have you met the crazy people operating these things? Way to intense for me. Plus, you have to land in that cold-ass water. I bet it’s a beautiful view, but I can barely handle the drive up looking down the sheer mountain cliff from the safety of the car window.
My favorite thing on the lake is the S.S. Relief (serious, that’s what the floating toilet is called). I kept wondering who had to come out on the turd boat and empty this thing. Whoever it is, they are not paid enough. I bet they haze new employees by sending them on “relief” duty.
Of course there was also a pirate ship on the lake. OF COURSE.
On the way home we stopped by Lake Arrowhead and had some brunch and yelled at ducks.
We watched kids learn to ski in the subzero lake water and laughed and pointed when they inevitably failed and face planted into the water. Then we drank hot chocolates and snuggled in our sweaters and asked them how the water felt as the shivered and cried. (None of that happened, except the failing part)
I also found my little fantasy boat. Apparently, I don’t dream very big – just keep it simple and retro.
Then we descended back into the delicious lung-enhancing smog of southern California. Good thing, because all that crisp fresh mountain air was making me feel way too good and I needed to be put back into my place. Thanks pollution!
It was a fantastic little trip and a great birthday treat. I’m already ready for another little vacation…something a little beachy perhaps…