The first real Towne family vacation!
We came, we saw, we hiked, we didn't sleep one bit, we drove jeeps up the mountain, we fished, we biked, we had a lot of fun.
I didn't have any expectations as we left for our four day vacation in Big Bear. I knew we would be in cabins (and was pleasantly surprised when I saw bathrooms inside!) and I knew we'd be in a ski resort town in summer. That's pretty much it. As someone who likes plans and planning and doesn't really do well just going with the flow, this was a challenge. It wasn't easy. There were times where we'd all be sitting around and I'd start to feel anxious about our lack of activity. Shouldn't we have something to do right now? What's the plan? Where are we doing? How are we going to keep the kids entertained?
Luckily, the mountain was all the entertainment we needed. Honestly, we spent most of our time in the Jeep driving up mountain trails, getting out to explore a bit, and driving around some more. With kids so small, it really helped break up the more active activities of hiking and biking and also allowed Theodore and Charlotte to get in some naps and Brad had a ton of fun driving on those dirt 'roads'. Roads being a very VERY generous term for what we were driving.
We stayed in the Marine Corps Cabins which were in the perfect location (especially in the winter! right next to a couple of ski resorts!). The clubhouse had tons of movies and games and puzzles to check out as well as tennis courts, basketball, and a pool table inside. There was even a pretty good-sized playground right in the middle of everything for the kids as well as a really tough 1-mile hiking trail up and around the campsite which Brad and I took turns backpacking up with a kid. I wish we had been able to go up together or at least remember to grab the camera for some photos because a few times, climbing up the steep hill, I'd stop and turn around and be greeted with the most beautiful view of mountains and the lake below and the trees above and it was truly breathless.
If you're thinking about taking a wilderness vacation with little ones, I say go for it! Be prepared to be a little bored, not sleep a wink, and get creative with cooking (the little kitchen we had left much to be desired). But it's an adventure we won't soon forget. I'm sure William and Charlotte are old enough to remember our time in Big Bear (on? at?) and while Theodore won't remember any of our trip, I sure will!