Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Sunrise

Big Bear Lake was awesome for many reasons—we had our own hot tub (I could probably stop there), the scenery was gorgeous, and the karaoke bar was full of *interesting* characters. But I also loved camping this weekend because it reminded me of home—minus the rain I usually experience while camping, and plus the mountain view. Great trade. 🙂

Big Bear is about two hours from Pasadena. We headed out Friday night after a necessary burger stop. My backseat car buddy:


That's right. They're not going anywhere without me. Get used to it.

Friday night, we sat in the hot tub chatting until we pretty much turned into prunes. The weather was perfect, even though the hot tub took about an hour to reach the desired temperature. Note: next time turn it on before getting in, to avoid turning into Popsicles.

The next morning, I dragged Dave out of the cabin at approximately 5:45am for some sunrise photos. With no coffee beforehand I wasn’t particularly lively. But the view was definitely worth it:

Big Bear Sunrise

We drove around aimlessly for a while and may or may not have stumbled on some private property to snap a few photos.

Big Bear Sunrise Branches at Big Bear

The light was so pretty. It was worth the early wake-up call! Note: this photo was taken on my first private property of the day. Whoops.

Big Bear Sunrise

After sleeping for a few more hours (5:45am is no easy task) we headed out for a late brunch on the water. There was a boat show going on, and in the parking lot we came across this fantastic limo:

Big Bear Limo

Fun story: Every time I see a limo, I think Dean Cain might be in it. Why, you ask? Just a holdover obsession with the show Lois and Clark and the firm belief at the time that Dean Cain was the most amazing celebrity to ever walk the earth, thus he had to spend a majority of his time in limos. Are you in there, Dean?

We may never know.

The restaurant we had brunch at featured a Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar for $3, or they would make you one for $6. I think the choice was obvious. I had no idea what I was doing, but I think I built a very nice Bloody Mary:

Bloody Mary Me and Bloody Mary

Brunch was followed by mini-golf, where the Bloody Mary gave me superpowers and I won. (This has never happened before, and will most likely never happen again.)

Mini golf

Afterward, we headed out to relax for a couple of hours, and Kelly and I decided Winston needed to experience water (other than bath water) for the first time. We took him out to a spot right on the water:

Trees on the lake at Big Bear

He was absolutely hilarious. At first, he didn’t want to leave Kelly’s side:

Kelly and Winston for blog

Mom, where are you going? Mom?? Mom?!?

And then, gradually, he got a little braver. He was absolutely determined to get that toy out of the water, even if it meant facing his fear (and getting really wet and muddy in the process).

Winston and the lake

I'm doing this thing if it kills me.

So close yet so far

So close, yet so far.

Winston in the water

I'm coming in. Where is that *!?!* ball?!

He was so cute. Eventually, victory was his and out he came, where he promptly jumped on some guy who then informed us that not only were we on private property, but dogs weren’t allowed. Party pooper. Good job getting him all muddy, Winston.

Winston coming out of the water

I'm coming for you, buddy. Be afraid.

It was incredibly cute.

Winston was worn out from his lake adventures, so he took a little nap in the cabin while we explored some more. We visited Big Bear Mountain brewery:


And watched a gorgeous sunset.
Big Bear Boat and Sunset

Big Bear Sky and Clouds Big Bear Sunset on the Bridge

It was fun 🙂

Me and Dave at Big Bear

After some pretty weird karaoke (the highlight was a group dressed in full gladiator-style gear “just to mess with people”), we called it a night. (It should also be noted that Kelly performed “Baby Got Back” to thunderous cheers and applause.)

The next morning, we rode the sky lift, where Dave not only jumped around in his seat to shake the car and make me even more scared, but he also could throw empty Gatorade bottles down into designated trash cans below purely for that purpose (he missed). He was in heaven.

Ski lift

It was a little scary. And then I felt like even more of a wimp because the mountain bikers were all going up WITHOUT using the bars across their laps. Apparently I missed the memo that it makes you awesome to risk falling out of a ski lift. Their bikes followed behind them:

Bike on ski lift for blog

Kelly lifted the bar a little at the end and it’s possible that I freaked out. I’m not the bravest person in the world.

The view at the top was nice (apparently LA is down there somewhere):

Top of mountain

(Photo credit goes to Dave on this one—I wasn’t tall enough to see over the glass. The trials and tribulations of being five feet tall.)

That wrapped up our trip, and we headed home after a trip back to retrieve Winston’s dog bed that almost didn’t make it home (and we STILL managed to leave Dave’s crutches there. Whoops. They are now Big Bear property and can hopefully be used by the next torn ACL victim who camps there.) Luckily, he is walking pretty well without them now. Sorry Dave. 🙂

I loved Big Bear Lake and hopefully, we can go back in the winter and I can conquer my fear of the ski lift (although to say I will actually attempt to ski may be going a little too far).

Big Bear Lake, California, Sunrise, Camping, August Break



  1. Gorgeous!!! And Winston is adorable.

    LOL about Dean Cain. I was kinda obsessed with him in high school. Damn he made a good lookin’ Superman!!

  2. I just want to pinch Winston’s wrinkles!!!!

    Your photos are beautiful, m’ dear 😀

  3. shirley Brackney says:

    I loved this. I laughed all the way through. I remember Dean Cain and I still say that when I see a limo.

  4. Oh my goodness what a beautiful post and your pictures….wow! The hot tub, yes I stopped there for a second 🙂
    You are gorgeous girl!

  5. Your posts are always so beautiful!! I love your photography.

    I would not have set one. single. foot. on that lift. Don’t feel like a weenie….you’re braver than me. 🙂

    I want Winston. I want him. 🙂

    I thought Dean Cain was an absolute studmuffin as superman. ha!

  6. Isabelle@cheesymiteapples says:

    Lovely photos and wonderful recap of your weekend!
    Build your own Bloody Mary what a bargain & you got to visit a brewery. This would have been my ideal getaway 🙂
    I hope you go back in winter and conquer your fear of the ski lift! Skiing is so much fun + think of all the amazing photos you can take.

  7. Your photos are incredible! I’d love a build your own Bloody Mary. Most places make them too peppery and strong for me. I’d add extra olives for sure. 🙂

  8. Your pictures are so beautiful! 🙂

  9. What a nice trip. Winston is such a cutie? Can I snuggle him for a while?

  10. What a nice trip. Winston is such a cutie. Can I snuggle him for a while?

  11. I LOVE bloody mary’s! I’d love to create my own. I love that they served it in a mason jar!

  12. Omg, Big Bear Lake looks gorgeous!! I’m jealous. We were supposed to go there when we went to California but plans fell through for that part of the trip. Boo! 😦 Next time!


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