Watch a video taken by Kim this New Years day morning, showing you the beautiful fresh snow that arrived last night!
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads…
A average December morning begins with the alarm beeping a tune that still sounds annoying no matter which ring tone selected on the phone. It is ok – because most of us were dreaming about the work anyway. Next the coffee maker hisses and the squawk of the news fill the room. Checking email…perhaps dressing kids….pouring cereal….bus stops….commute….traffic….darnit! Clocking in 1 minute late. Thinking about Christmas presents, a performance, gotta put gas in the car, why does the phone keep doing that? Oh. Its ringing.
There is just one thing in your heart at the end of the day. It would be nice to getaway and have a perfect Christmas for once. Is there any way to do that anymore without buying a plane ticket?
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash…
Not far away snow is falling on 11 little cabins and twinkling lights of every color dance off the surface of the Lake. The Guests there are with family and friends and the muffled sounds of laughter and a too loud tv interrupt the scene in a gentle way. Wood smoke from a hot fireplace tingle the nostrils and someone is barbecuing nearby. One of the larger cabins have the sounds of little feet pattering here and there and children whispering about Santa.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
It is time to make a wish come true. A short journey to a mini North Pole is just a phone call away. Santa’s Village Big Bear Lake is waiting for you to come visit. Every cabin filled with Holiday decor inside and out. Santa and Mrs. Claus have been making visits on the weekends, listening to children’s wishes and handing out candy canes and cocoa.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.
At the end of the day there is a small part of Holiday magic in each of us. Sometimes we can be so busy we forget the wonder of the Holidays and the true meaning it holds. It is not about the gifts, or the bling. It is about making memories with the ones we love.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
I myself can attest there is a little magic in this place. Not long ago I was a Guest at cabin #109 nestled in front of the boat dock at the edge of the Lake. I had spent the day in the desert where hot palm trees flitted in a dust storm offering very little shade. That evening I forgot all about the desert as I looked at the glass like water reflect the mountains and felt a chill in the air causing goose pimples on my arms. It is hard to believe the relief I felt as I watched my children sneak down towards the water to get a closer look at a blue heron standing there. In the morning I woke just in time to see a mighty sunrise. I carried my son onto the patio wrapped in his blanky; watched his tired eyes get wide as the horizon turned colors and painted designs on the clouds.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
This Christmas, come to Big Bear and be part of the Big Bear Vacations family. We are not in the Vacation Rental business, we are in the business of making memories that last a lifetime. Make Big Bear your home away from home. Bring that big coat at the back of the closet and the kids winter gloves. Plan on an adventure that recharges and rejuvenates you, making you ready for the coming year. Maybe that will mean a stroll through the Village where shops faces are toting elegant or unique wares, a lovely dinner at the restaurants nearby, or perhaps tasting the samplers at both breweries and deciding which one is the best! Your perfect Holiday getaway might happen on the mountain with skis or snow boots on, sliding down one of our tubing hills, or ziplining through the woods. The plethora of options tucked away in Big Bear make designing a perfect Christmas an easy task.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”
The other evening I was watching a movie that has become a Christmas tradition: The Polar Express. It is about a young boy who goes on a journey of the heart to the North Pole that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. A small reminder he carries with him is a bell Santa gave him, the ring of the bell can only be heard by those who hold Christmas in their hearts.
When I am lucky enough to visit Santa’s Village, especially after a fresh snow, I can tell you I hear the bell. It is one of those magic places that remind you to Believe.
You are invited to come spend the Holidays with us.
This weekend Big Bear Lake is having its first ever comedy festival. It’s kind of a big deal. Two nights, lots of comedians at three different venues that are all within walking distance of each other. I’m not really a stand up comedy kind of girl. I have an odd sense of humor that doesn’t seem to align with what comedians think is funny. And I feel guilty if I don’t laugh. I mean this is how they make their living and I’m just sitting there like please don’t look at me because you are going to be disappointed in my lack of enthusiasm!
That being said it’s going to be a really fun event for people that like stand up comedy – don’t let my weirdness dissuade you from attending!! I will probably give it a shot myself! I’ll just sit in the back where they can’t see me!!
The summer really did seem to go by in the blink of an eye. This weekend we fall back to standard time, it gets dark too early, but it’s light earlier in the morning. I have a love/hate relationship with the time change; I’m all about getting as much sun as I can in one day, but the smell of pumpkin spice everywhere is lovely and generally only happens around this time.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s actually the only one I really care about. No worrying about buying gifts, decorating trees, hanging lights, just family and friends getting together to be thankful for each other. As you well know by now I’m originally an Idahoan turned Californian – but the tradition of our family lives on and I’m excited to go see my mom and do the same things we do every year.
At Big Bear Vacations we have a really fabulous Thanksgiving special for those of you that want to experience the holiday in Big Bear. Stay three nights and get the fourth night free! We are already starting to fill up so don’t procrastinate!
Very soon it will be snowing and ski and snowboard season will be upon us! And then Christmas and the New Year will be right around the corner. Stay tuned for my next blog where I will discuss surviving the cold winter season!!!
Fall Brings a Big Bear Scarecrow Invasion
Picking a favorite season in Big Bear can be as hard as choosing a favorite flavor of ice cream, however Autumn is very hard to beat. Right now Fall colors are bright and the Village is full of fun little stops to make your day.
A highlight of this time of year is always Scarecrow Fest.
The Big Bear Lake Village Scarecrow Festival, sponsored by the Village Business Association, is a friendly free-of-charge competition between merchants, non-profit groups and other community-based service clubs and organizations. All participants display their version of a Scarecrow in the Village for passers by to enjoy – and vote for their favorite!
The winners will be selected by ballots cast by visitors and residents.
The scarecrows must fit into one of six categories:
1) Best Reflection of Big Bear,
2) Most Traditional,
4) Best Use of Recycled Materials,
5) Most Reflective of Business or Organization
6) Most Humorous.
Of course Halloween is the main event and when the Winners are announced. It is a weekend to remember with a plethora of entertainment options to choose from including:
Oktoberfest German Spooktacular Halloween Contest
Oct. 29th is a German Spooktacular! The final day of Oktoberfest features both an adult and children’s costume contest. The contest begins at 3:00 p.m. and every child wins a participants’ prize, as well prizes for the top three best costumes. Admission is FREE on Saturday, Oct. 29th for all children in costume.
Trick or Treat in the Village in Big Bear Lake!
Date: Monday, October 31, 2016
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: The Village in Big Bear Lake
Bring your kids to the safest place to Trick-or-Treat this Halloween! With 50+ places to stop for candy you are sure to fulfill your sweet tooth. Take a walk through the village seeing all the horrors that it has to offer! Don’t forget your costume or you’ll miss out on the trick or treating!
Big Bear Vacations Scarecrow – Meet Fred and Annie
This year the Big Bear Vacations team took making a Scarecrow display for Fall Fest to a whole other level. Our category is “Traditional” and the display is located outside of Action Tours in the Village, to the right of Whiskey Dave’s. All our signs are hand painted, the scarecrows were carefully made from scratch after researching what it means to be a traditional scarecrow, and it is interactive (psst, that means you can win a prize too!).
Hand Painted Signs
Annie’s Face – Before and After
Meet Fred and Annie
Interactive means “Take Photo Here”
Big Bear Vacations is synonymous with Making Memories. Everyone is encouraged to make some memories with your family and friends while posing for heirloom photos with Fred and Annie. Make it a Autumn you will never forget with us in Big Bear.
Enter Our Photo Contest by posting your photo with Fred and Annie on Instagram and Facebook with #makingmemories.
So, why is Fall one of our favorite seasons? Because Fred and Annie are here, there are prizes to be won, fun to be had, and memories to make in Big Bear!
By Destiny Carlton
First, a bit of personal history. My name is Ali and I’m from Idaho. I lived there my entire life until I moved to Big Bear in June. I’ve been asked countless times, “why on earth would you move from Idaho to California?” The reasons were simple: 1) I hated living in Idaho; 2) I wanted to be closer to two of my sisters that live in SoCal; and 3) I was thirsty for a new adventure.
I immediately began my quest for employment. Luckily for me, it didn’t take long and I now have a great job working at the front desk at Big Bear Vacations. In addition to my coworkers being welcoming and supportive, they are also very involved in the community. It’s refreshing and well, quite frankly, impressive.
Even before I moved here, I kept hearing tales about Oktoberfest. I mean we are talking about a HUGE yearly event in Big Bear. And it lasts for eight weekends (mid-September until the last weekend of October). I knew what I had to do – find a way to be involved in this epic event that is labeled by locals as the biggest Oktoberfest in southern California. I have been a bartender for a very long time, so it seemed clear to me that I should sling drinks at Oktoberfest. I applied, I interviewed and I got the gig!
Don’t worry – I’m getting to the good stuff. St. Pauli outfits and traditional Dirndls, Lederhosen, German beer, bratwursts and. OY! OY! OY! Let’s not forget the chicken dance either. It has been a long time since I’ve seen that many happy people in one place. I’m serious; people are joyfully dancing like chickens. And not just one time – every time that song is played people are dancing – there are even people dancing in their seats! I was astounded and could not contain my giggles. Did you know wearing a chicken hat is common place? Neither did I, but trust me it is the hat of choice when attending Oktoberfest.
I have worked in just about every type of bar you can imagine. From beer and wine to full liquor bars, but this is by far the most fun I’ve had bartending. It’s also the first time I’ve worn a traditional Dirndl (dress). It’s a treat to dress up and participate in an event like this. It’s about pride, tradition and family. It is also all about crowd participation! Don’t be surprised if you are pulled out of your seat to dance, laugh and enter many of the competitions held throughout the day.
Take it from the new girl in Big Bear, this is an event you want to attend! Get in the spirit of things and dress up! Wear the chicken hat and the Lederhosen, or a Dirndl and Pinafore! And stop by to say hi to me while I pour you a yummy German beer. Stay tuned for more stories of the shenanigans I will be participating in during Oktoberfest 2016! Cheers!
The Big Bear MTB Gran Fondo joins the ranks of premier Southern California endurance mountain bike events with rides for all levels. Riders will be able to challenge their personal abilities with distances of 100/70/50/30/20k. The 20k allows intermediate riders to take the Snow Summit Sky Chair to the ridgeline to begin their ride, while other rides begin in the Village and may include 3,500 to as much as 10,000 feet of climbing.
The Big Bear Grizzly 100 is a National Ultra Endurance Race series event. Professional mountain bike racers will be visiting Big Bear from all over the United States and other countries tocompete for points and prizes in this national series.
When: July 30, 2016
Time: 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Contact Info: Phone 909 878 3456 | Website http://bbvrace.com/
View our Gran Fondo lodging special!
Tour de Big Bear is coming to town!
Cycling enthusiasts will enjoy a spectacular mountain ride in cool mountain air during the blazing heat of summer! Outstanding signage with law enforcement at all major intersections. With the thin mountain air, you will enjoy LEGENDARY AID STATIONS for hydration and refueling. Feeling competitive? 70 and 100 milers automatically entered into “King/Queen of the Mountain” with 7-mile climb to the top of Onyx Summit for cash and prizes.
Whether you select the 25, 50, 70 or 100-mile stages, you will be treated to some of the most spectacular cycling scenery in Southern California!
View our Tour de Big Bear lodging special!