One of the most amazing things about living where we do is how close we are to different landscapes. Big Bear is roughly 3 hours away, but worlds apart from the scene we're used to. Nearly every year since we have been together, John and I have made our pilgrimage to the mountains---never alone but always with his family. It's our time to bond with nature and with each other, which sounds painfully cliche but so true. In fact, I credit our past mountain trips (Graeagle CA from 2006-2010, and then Big Bear in 2011 and now 2014), as the primary reason we are all so close. The last time we were in Big Bear, Jack was only about 8 months old! I just love it there. It's easy, breezy, and beautiful. The streets of Big Bear Village are beautifully manicured and primed for leisurely strolls. You'll find a vintage French Country-esque home goods shop alongside with sweet shops and coffee delights like Dutch Apple Pie Latte with Carmel Sauce. The air is fresh and the lawns are lush. We spent a day at Lake Arrowhead, which is equally as pretty as Big Bear Lake, but can be very tricky to navigate around because it's private and limited to residents. Our highlights included Jack fishing on Nana and Pops' boat---oh, I should mention that he rather adorably practiced on our cabin deck for a good hour before, ah-mazing BBQ meals and Nana's slow-cooked pork, seeing a pirate ship, Jack riding a carnival train in Lake Arrowhead Village with a breathtaking view of the water, giggles and laughs everyday that echoed through the majestic pine trees, and the number one favorite memory, The Chili Cook-Off! If you haven't been to one of these before, go! We had the best time. I would love to spend a whole week here with the lake and mountain peaks as my view. As an added bonus, right before we left to head home, my two fidgety, distracted, and refuse-to-pose-for-a-picture-unless-treats-are-involved-boys gave me the best most endearing portraits I've had all year. My cherry on top of my sundae!
*To see more of the this view I'm dreaming about, visit my last post on Big Bear nearly 3 years ago, back when I only had just one quiet and happy-all-the-time baby, and plenty of opportunities to stop and take pictures of the scenery ;)