Archive for December 29th, 2010

My family loves Big Bear Lake. My in laws have a vacation home in Big Bear Lake and we visit a few times of year during the winter months. We love visiting and playing in the snow for hours. It is the perfect daytrip and there are so many fun places to visit , play and make special memories with the family. I’m going to do a little mini-series featuring fun adventure for the family in Big Bear. This first post is all about having fun in the snow and not paying a penny to do so.

One of the best things to do when heading to Big Bear is to pull over and find a good spot to partake in good old fashioned snow play. There are my great spots to pull over on the way to Big Bear.  We usually head to Big Bear along Hwy 38 or the “back way” as many locals call it. It is a pretty smooth ride and not windy. We usually  Orange Ave exit 10 fwy in Redlands when heading east. We make a left turn on Orange, go for a few blocks to Mentone Blvd and make a right.  Mentone Blvd is Hwy 38 and you will take that road all the way up to Big Bear.

One of the first great places to stop off along the way is  Whispering Pines  Nature Trial just past Angeles Oaks.  There is some parking and plenty of room for romping in the snow.  You can also park alonside the road. The second spot is between mile 26 and mile 27. It doesn’t really have a name but it is right past Whispering Pines and you can’t miss it. There is plenty of open space and not many trees. A perfect place to sled and for a good snowball fight.  The area surrounding the Greystone Amphiteater is also a great place for snow play. Just pull off the side of the road and be prepared for some fun.

Make sure to check for weather and road conditions.  You are  required to bring chains with you in the winter when traveling to Big Bear. We always bring ours  but have yet to use them since we have a four wheel drive vehicle with a snow setting. If there is weather or ice be prepared for a bit of a long ride up. We drove up Sunday morning and it only took us about two hours to get up. It just depends on the weather. For up to the minute weather reports  and  road conditions head here. Have fun!

Categories : Big Bear
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Dec
29

Rose Parade viewing tips

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Rose Parade Viewing tips

If you are thinking of heading out to Pasadena to view the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade- here’s a list of tips to make it a fun and comfortable experience

 1. Layer up- The high for New Year’s Day is supposed to be in the high 50’s.  Dress in layers so that you can easily remove a layer or two when it starts to warm up. If you’re bringing little ones I would also bring scarves, gloves, a blanket and mittens
. 2. Overnight camping is permitted only on the night before the parade. Do not arrive before noon the day before the parade.
 3. If you plan on camping – bring plenty of blankets, sleeping bags and pillows. You are also allowed to bring a small barbecue. You may not bring tents or start any form of bonfire.
 4. If you are camping be prepared for a sleepless night. I’ve camped out a couple of times with my family and didn’t sleep a wink. The crowd also gets a bit rowdy. I really wouldn’t recommend camping out if you have small children.
 5. If you would like to view the parade in style and be as comfortable as possible- splurge on grandstand tickets. For more info click here- Tickets are still available.
6. If you are light sensitive make sure to sit on the west side of the street
 7. The Tournament of Roses Parade follows the same route every year: Starting on Ellis St., it heads north on S. Orange Grove Blvd., then east on Colorado Blvd, north (left turn) on Sierra Madre Blvd., and ending at Paloma Street.- Plan ahead to determine where you would like to seat- also there is no public, curbside parade viewing on Orange Grove Blvd. from Del Rosa to Colorado Blvd. and on Colorado from Orange Grove to Terrace. Grandstand ticket holders only.
8. If you would like to see the parade live in person, but have small children or the idea of camping out seems like a nightmare- this might be for you- head over to the end of the parade – on Sierra Madre blvd. Plan on arriving at 830am.  You can easily find a spot without having to camp out.  
9. Parking can be a nightmare. You can park in residential areas but be prepared for a walk. You can also pay anywhere between 10-25 dollars and park close up to the parade route in any of the private lots. If you are planning on this make sure you bring cash.
 10. The parade starts at 8am sharp and is approximately 2 and a half hours long.
11. Bring plenty of water and snacks. If you have little ones- bring them along in a wagon and store your supplies in the wagon.
12. If you would still like to view the floats close up but can’t make it out to the parade don’t worry- Buy tickets for the best and most interesting part of the Rose Parade: float viewing. You can get closer to the floats and talk to their builders here. Crowds will be smaller if you can arrive immediately when they open on the morning after the parade. Use an area park-and-ride lot, or if you have a carful of people, try for one of the paid lots near Pasadena High School. I will be covering this in a later post.

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