When people think Southern California they don’t normally think SNOW!!! However, just a two and a half hour drive from our hometown of Oceanside, California is the beautiful winter wonderland of Big Bear.
This was our first Christmas at home since six years ago when we were in California for language training. Usually, we come home during the summer when the kids are out of school, but the international school here in Rio has two long breaks one summer, one winter. Since the seasons are flipped, we took advantage of my son’s summer break to fly north and spend the holidays with family and our daughter (miss her so) who is in her first year of college.
My husband found us a great A-frame on airbnb.
The snow battle began immediately. It was our great-nephew’s first time seeing snow, his reaction was priceless!
For dinner we drove the short distance to downtown Big Bear, which is always quaint and charming, but even more so with its Christmas decorations. The slushy sidewalks were crowded with vacationers (Big Bear is popular with skiers and snowboarders) and all the restaurants were jam-packed. We entertained ourselves exploring the fun shops for two hours while waiting for our table at Saucy Mama’s Pizzeria. 🙂 Instead of shopping, the guys preferred waiting outside in the cold.
The next morning we arrived early at Big Bear Snow Play for tubing.
So much fun! I’ve missed snow! Christmas in Rio is too hot and humid to feel very festive.
Another snow battle back at the house.
Video footage below
Brrrrrrr!!! Time to warm up and dry out.
My mother-in-law, niece B and her family, and niece G left to drive back to Oceanside.
Our remaining 4 headed to the Big Bear Bowling Barn for some blacklight bowling and arcade games.
In the morning, we coerced our groggy teens out of bed, rented snowshoes, and hit Cougar Crest Trail for some communing with nature.
We noticed a sign of the times message carved into a trail marker.
We couldn’t have wished for a more beautiful winter day.
Frozen Big Bear Lake
After working up a bear of an apetite in the great outdoors, I highly recommend stopping for sandwiches at Grizzly’s Bear Belly Deli. Yum Yum!!!
Our final morning, the forecast was snow. We left for Oceanside early to stay ahead of the weather – all of us wishing for one more night in Big Bear so we could cozy up to the fire and watch the snow fall.