Last Tuesday began my very first paid vacation as a working girl. As many of you know, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with my six days off since I was, and still am, low on funds. As luck would have it, one of the members at the golf course my boyfriend works at owns a cute little cabin in Big Bear Lake and offered to let us stay there, for free.
Unfortunately, the serious and painful sunburn I received from my day at the air show slowed me down a bit at the start of my vay-cay, and for that reason we didn't head up to the mountains until Thursday morning.
Not all was lost those first two days off work. Tuesday I enjoyed being lazy, my chest slathered in aloe, and Wednesday night the boy and I went out for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, followed by a walk around the mall (where I swooned over pretty things at Anthropologie) and some amazing gelato, followed by Julie & Julia. Which was pretty amazing as well. The boy was skeptical and gave me side glances at every mention of blogging, but I think he came around toward the end. As everyone else has said, Meryl Streep was fantastic and funny and fabulous. The movie left me with a newfound love for Julia Child and a newfound desire to go to Paris immediately, if only for the tantalizing cuisine.
Anyway, Thursday morning we were off to the mountains. Big Bear Lake is a pretty sleepy town but we took advantage of most every activity we could that didn't involve renting a boat or me putting on a bathing suit (bad sunburn = no sun exposure!). Here's a rundown of what we did:
- Played a round of putt-putt golf at a rundown miniature golf course called The Hot Shot. The fact that the greens were held together with duck tape, pine needles acted as hazards and Cher was playing through the speakers made the game that much more fun—and hilarious.
- Went cosmic bowling at the Bowling Barn and kicked the boy's butt in the first game with a score of 140 (I got two strikes in the 10th frame!). Unfortunately, I must admit that my skills went downhill from there and the boy beat me in the next two games. Still, I'll always have 140 to 114. Boo yah!
- Window-shopped the kitschy boutiques at The Village. Found it easy to resist the urge to buy woodsy souvenirs.
- Took a scenic drive around the lake and through the town of Fawnskin, taking in the sights.
- Introduced Hazel to the lakeshore. She loved it. So much so she became fearless and wanted to jump into the cool blue water from a pier!
- Climbed a mountain. Yes, you read that right. We hiked the Cougar Crest trail. We didn't quite know what we were getting ourselves into. We were told it wasn't that difficult and that it had amazing views. The second part of that statement proved true. But it was challenging because it is all uphill, and steep, rocky hills at that. It took us two and a half hours to complete the 5-mile roundtrip trek but the feeling we had when we reached the top was worth the huffing and puffing!
- Went for lots and lots of walks with Hazel. To the park. Along the Alpine Pedal Path, which hugs the lake's shoreline. Oh, and to the grocery store parking lot because it was the closest place to our cabin that had grass for Hazel to go potty at night!
- Discovered that there is a town called Sugarloaf. Yep. We took Maple Lane to get there. No joke.
- Caught up on my magazine reading. Well, some of it anyway.
- Ate tons of yummy food. Finger-licking good barbecue (We shared a combo plate of pulled pork, grilled chicken, creamy coleslaw and honey butter biscuits). Classic Italian fare (I devoured the Paoli pasta, which is a Alfredo-pesto hybrid named after the popular local eatery). Old-fashioned home cooking at the Teddy Bear Restaurant (I dove into a huge, made-from-scratch turkey pot pie). A late night ice cream cone (cookies & cream) and lots of candy.
- Climbed a mountain. Oh, did I mention that already?
No more words. See for yourself:
Even though I didn't win—I was playing a golf pro after all—this was the best time I have had playing miniature golf. We laughed a lot.
After putting her paws in the water, Hazel thought the lake was the greatest thing ever. She kept barking at "daddy" while he was fishing because she wanted to go back down to the beach.
Midway through the hike up Cougar Crest I realized that my water bottle and T-shirt were giving off mixed messages. Oops. Please forgive the awful, baggy shirt. I bought it in the gift shop before the hike to cover my sun-burned chest.
*Also known as, the post with many pictures! But trust me, it was hard narrowing it down to just these!