Escape to Big Bear, California


Have you heard of The Flight Deal? If not, it is this great website that lets you know when airlines are having sales too good to pass up. Their daily newsletter is probably one of the only emails I open every single day. You never know what will be on sale. Maybe I can afford to head to St Maarten in February when I just can’t take the cold any longer, or maybe off to explore Bogota, who knows?! They tend to be from more popular hubs (LAX, NYC, CHI, etc.), but the deals are really amazing. Jason and I just flew from New York to Los Angeles for $267 each. Yes, we had a connection, but for about half the normal cost of flying to the west coast, who cares. To top off our cheap streak, we booked a midsize car at Enterprise through Priceline and ended up with a brand new Dodge Challenger for a whopping $7 a day. Even the Enterprise guy seemed surprised when he saw our ticket. We took our slick wheels and headed over to Big Bear Mountain where Jason’s parents live. It was a long winding drive that I recommend you take during the daylight hours.

Jason’s mom gets very into decorating for the holidays – no surface is left un-Christmas-ized!
This was my favorite ornament on her tree, but I may be slightly biassed 😉

Once we caught up on sleep, we had a really nice visit. The area is really cute, and has a small town vibe. All the shops in “town” seem to be decked out for Christmas and when someone asks “How are you doing?,” you hear “I’m blessed” as the response. The town is obsessed with dogs, which I totally loved. Three or four of the 20-ish shops were dog stores with cute holiday sweaters and even a set up for puppy holiday photos. Each one had pictures of all their shop visitors strung up on the wall. It was adorable. I did see this cool water bowl/bottle that I think would be really useful when out sailing. We’ll have to grab one come spring. Has anyone had luck with this product?

We were literally up in the clouds!
This guy. I am so thankful to call him mine. Him teaching me how to snowboard was one of our first real dates.

Jason’s parents house is within walking distance to the ski lift, so clearly we spent a day on the mountain. Only half the mountain was open, and visibility was shit, but it still felt so good to get out on the snow again. I tell ya, it sure is nice not to accidentally find a single ice patch going down the mountain. West Coast resorts are so much nicer than what Hunter Mountain has to offer. Sigh. Since we had connecting flights, we opted to rent gear instead of risking the loss of our gear. For me, the gear really doesn’t make a big difference as I’m not good. I mean, I don’t kill myself going down the mountain, but I am not sure I would notice the difference in boards and boots.

Another thing I was really excited we got a chance to do was to head out to the range and learn how to shoot. I still don’t like the way the gun feels in my hand, but I am really glad I finally learned how to operate one should I ever need to. We fired multiple types of guns, and I wasn’t half bad for my first time out. I hit targets, cans and even shattered a beer bottle. The best part was that was exactly what I was trying to do!

Rifle practice
Rifle practice


Once we were done soaking in all the views we headed back to LA to catch our 6am flight but not before I had my first In-N-Out burger. Overall I thought the burgers were really good. I didn’t order anything off menu, because frankly I was a little scared of what I would get if I made my order “animal style.” I got a double cheeseburger and fries. For starters, the fries were terrible. The had no flavor. Luckily the burger was pretty redeeming. I think I would have preferred a little less cheese, but overall it was quite delicious. In-N-Out definitely wouldn’t be a must-stop the next time I made it to the West Coast, but I wouldn’t hate it if I ended up there again.

It was really nice to get away for a few days of relaxation, but after the first day both Jason and I were getting really anxious and wanted to get back to work back at the boat! You can take the sailors out of the boat, but you can’t take the boat out of the sailors’ thoughts.