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  1. #1

    • "I Break Things"
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    Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

    Tink and I had a Disneyland trip planned out. The date had been picked. Old friends were willing to sign us in as a family to enjoy the day in the magic kingdom. But as the week went by the forecast became more and more foreboding. The morning of our planned trip it began to rain. Lightly at first, then the sky opened up. Thankfully we hadn't told the kids "just in case" so to them it was just a rainy day. We made some phone calls to thank our friends for the offer. They understood. As tempting as it may have been to go to the park, we wanted to go when the kids could see it all. And then, out of nowhere, a trip was born. The mountains were forecast to have a "light 3in dusting". Tink made a phonecall to a place we used to go to, they had room. We made a couple stops, bought some chains just in case, and off we went to see the mountains.


    This was taken at the very last stop before you take 38 up the mountains. That is one entire cloud covering the mountains. The entire trip on the freeway was off and on rain, but when we got here it really came down. For anyone heading up the "back way" to Big Bear Lake I would HIGHLY encourage stopping at the very last liquor store before you hit the mountains. You can't miss it... "World Famous Beef Jerky". I don't know about the "world" part but it is extremely good. The building itself has been there since 1910 and was at one time the only gas station on the way up.


    The whole way up was a mixture of clear skies, sprinkles, rain, and slush. It was clear that we were beating the storm up the mountain and I wanted to keep it that way. At Onyx Summit the snows started to fall. I pulled over so the kids could experience the magic of being about when it is snowing... Tink hadn't had that experience in over a decade.


    The girls didn't need jackets as it was a quick "out and in". The van was right there, I just wanted them to see the snow falling. The excitement alone kept the cold at bay.


    Even the "little one" giggled and held her hands out catching the falling snow. The only one we didn't take out was the baby... too cold... and he was asleep!


    One final shot from the van. The girls had snow in their hair and smiles on their faces. Then it was off to town to try and beat the brunt of the storm.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  2. #2

    • "I Break Things"
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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow


    Driving in town was difficult. The rain and slush had started to lay down a thin layer of ice, and the dusting of snow kept that ice cold. I've driven in this before, and I had chains so I wasn't overly worried. But fair warning... in the winter months always carry chains and know how to use them!


    Tink had called Golden Bear Cottages. The Golden Bear had been here since the late 1920's. When we were dating we used to stay here with friends. They rent cabins, for the night, weekend, week, month... a really charming place. It had been over a decade since we stayed there. We didn't know if the place had changed, we were staking this on the previous reputation.


    We were not disappointed. Our cabin had a large kitchen, heater, living room and fireplace downstairs... and two bedrooms each with two beds upstairs. PLENTY of room for our family and then some. The kitchen was fully stocked with pots, pans, cups, plates, utensils, coffee maker, microwave, stove, full size refrigerator. All we needed was food and drinks.


    We made another trip to town to pick up supplies. I hadn't picked up firewood before because I wanted to make sure we had a fireplace first. Once we got back I lined all the shoes up by the fire.


    The cabin had cable tv, but we had more fun as a family doing puzzles. We were supposed to have a DVD player at the cabin but that wasn't working... didn't bother us... but they offered to replace it if we needed one. They rent VHS and DVD, they also rent games. Since we didn't rent I am not sure of the prices.


    Dinner was spaghetti, simple, easy, and desert was rootbeer floats! The only thing keeping the kids awake at this point was pure excitement.


    Even the baby was wide awake, smiling away. A couple small drawbacks to the cabin, the furniture was actually more like patio furniture, and the phone didn't work. So three minor things that to us didn't matter but to others might. In the past I remember comfy couches and chairs, but I had never stayed in this cabin so I don't know if everything was remodeled.


    The next morning our three year old wouldn't wake up... usually the first one out of bed at home... she was completely out!


    This was the view from our window. That "light dusting" wasn't so light and it was still coming down.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  3. #3

    • "I Break Things"
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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow


    This was taken from outside our cabin a few moments later. As you can see the snow continues to fall.


    The older three wasted no time getting out in that snow. It was a brisk 29 degrees but they didn't care.


    I had to pour hot water down the seams to get the doors open. They had frozen shut. The girls had fun using the snow on the hood for snowballs.


    And the snow just kept falling


    His sister got him with a surprise snowball.


    As the girls played, my son and I walked out to the road.


    Covered, in five inches of snow...


    STILL falling (this is an hour after we first woke up).


    The oldest drying off by the heater. This became a ritual. The older three would run out, play for twenty or thirty minutes, run back in and warm up before they did it again.


    Our three year old finally woke up when it was time to head out for breakfast.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  4. #4

    • "I Break Things"
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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow


    No it's not broken, it was 26 degrees.


    The nice thing about the Golden Bear is that it is far enough away from the crazy tourist spots to be quiet, but close enough to reach almost anything within five minutes. In this case the Log Cabin is right down the road. This place IS history. It was built in the late 1800's as an ice house. In the early 1900's it was remodeled as a diner. It specializes in German food, but is known as the best breakfast in Big Bear Lake. I have never eaten anything but breakfast here... so I will only say this... if you are hungry the breakfast can't be beat.


    we started with a round of hot chocolate


    someone had to make up for lost time!


    All I had was a penny, but even with a penny you can clearly see how large these pancakes are. They cover the plate. We didn't even bother with a kid's meal. We simply got each kid a pancake and then ordered what we wanted. Tink and I both shared some of our stack, we still had leftovers, and we all left beyond full!


    Getting ready to head back outside. I didn't get shots of the walls but this place is history everywhere you look. In the entry are signatures of various famous people throughout the decades. On the walls are old photos of Big Bear Lake and various antiques. As I said before this place IS history. I was my son's age when I first ate here. Tink and I ate here when we were dating. Now, almost a decade later, we returned with our family to renew the tradition.


    The whole time we were eating it continued to snow. The rain and slush from the night before had laid a thick layer of ice on the roads. Chains were required, and in some cases it was near white-out conditions.


    At times the road disappeared under a blanket of white. That "light dusting" was anything but light.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  5. #5

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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow


    Outside of town I found a favorite spot to pull over for some snow play. Tink and the baby stayed in the car (which I left running with the heater on) and off we went to play.


    A year ago I made the decision to buy a second sled. For the longest time we had just the one, but then it became an issue with four kids wanting to share it. This is easier.


    Sledding with her big brother


    This road is closed in the winter, which is why it is perfect for them to sled on. No worries of bushes or branches getting in the way.


    The car was close enough that if someone was cold they could run up and jump in. The warm car was perfect to warm them up before they would head right back out.


    Big Sisters at play


    You can see the excitement on her face! Last year she was barely old enough to sled, this is going to be the "fun" year with her.


    It's not steep because they don't like to go fast, not yet anyhow.


    Our beloved van. We have to baby it, but she's been able to make it everywhere so far!


    And this is how a three year old convinces her dad to give up his beloved 50th Jungle Cruise jacket. Tink usually doesn't even get to wear my jacket.


    One last picture before heading home
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  6. #6

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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow


    Tink loved to see the snow dusting the trees


    Sometimes the skies were a deep gray and the snows would fall


    just as quickly the clouds would pass and the sky would be a deep blue with sun shining down.


    everywhere you looked it was covered in snow!
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  7. #7

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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

    What the kids didn't know, what Tink figured out at the last minute, was that dear old Tech had one final surprise!


    Bass Pro Outdoor World is transformed each holiday with free crafts, games, and pictures with Santa!


    That's right, snow and Santa in the same trip


    BIG hugs for the man in the red suit!


    hey... a boy can dream!


    and so can three little girls!

    * Happy Holidays from Tink & Tech *
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  8. #8

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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

    awsome trip report very cool

  9. #9

    • will-o-the-whip
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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

    Totally awesome TR. You should seriously consider writing a book about things to do with young families in SoCal. There is a book like this but it's more like a perfunctory listing of places with summaries, and all of them are "wonderful." Your reports have heart and a fair critique.

  10. #10

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    • Chicago Gal
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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

    Another great outing, and trip report. I love the Santa pictures. Were those real reindeer? They sure looked real. Your little ones are sure growing up fast, and it's nice seeing their smiles.

    Thanks again.

  11. #11

    • Cars Land Rocks!
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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

    Great trip report. That certainly beat going to Disneyland in the rain. Loved all the pictures. I always remember how much fun we had as kids going up to the snow in Northern, AZ. Thanks for sharing.





  12. #12

    • Goofy
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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

    awww. awesome trip report thanks.

  13. #13

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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

    A very nice trip report, looks like fun! Sometimes the simple pleasure of playing in the snow can be more fun than visiting a theme park, go figure.
    My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

  14. #14

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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

    Awesome trip report! Another reason i love SoCal! 30 mins to a sunny beach and 2 hours to a snowy mountain!

  15. #15

    • "I Break Things"
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    Re: Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

    Quote Originally Posted by Dlandclub33 View Post
    Awesome trip report! Another reason i love SoCal! 30 mins to a sunny beach and 2 hours to a snowy mountain!
    I will post the pictures when I have a moment. Since Christmas was on a Saturday my work gave everyone Friday off. So we made a day trip to see the snow on Christmas Eve.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


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