Archive for October, 2012

RS Vacations appreciates the bravery and service of First Responders. To show our thanks, we offer the following exclusive discount:

To view the pdf version with links, download and/or print this flyer, please click the following link: First Responder Flyer

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Here at RS Vacations, we want you, our visitors, to experience everything our Beautiful Big Bear Lake has to offer – and that’s a lot! We are truly a four-season resort with activities and adventures for all types of folks. Whether you’re looking for a serene escape or a true, mountain adventure, we have it all.

Think that you’ve seen Big Bear from every angle? Looking for a new view? Check out Big Bear – from the air! Helicopter Big Bear is the newest and most exciting way to experience the entire Big Bear Valley – and more! They offer several different tours – from the exhilarating 7 minute ‘appetizer tour’ to the 45 minute ‘tour echo’ – there is truly something for everyone. Check out their video for a sneak peek at what awaits you.



Visit us today at www.RSVacations.net and choose from one of our wide range of cabins to start planning your Perfect Mountain Getaway!

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This past week I watched the movie ‘The Avengers’ with my family. It was a great movie and had all the action you could want in a superhero movie. As my husband and I were discussing it afterward, we talked about how we had the most respect for the characters ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Hawkeye’, because they were the only two of the heroes that had no superpowers. They are merely highly trained and skilled humans fighting against the forces of evil. They serve humanity because they are courageous and because it is the right thing to do. Having recently commemorated the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedies, I also began to think about what really makes a hero – in real life.

I still remember getting the phone call from my mother-in-law that September 11th morning. My husband and I were both off that day and were enjoying a rare ‘sleeping in’. The phone rang, and when I answered, she was clearly upset and said “We’re being attacked, turn on the TV”. So we did, and like millions of others, spent the entire day watching, horrified and saddened by the terrible images we saw. The thing that struck me the most that day was not that this had happened (evil is alive and well in this world), but watching hundreds of first responders – firefighters, police and paramedics – rush INTO the destruction while everyone else was running out. They were not running in to save their family members or loved ones. They risked, and in too many cases sacrificed, their own lives to save complete strangers. That is my definition of hero.

The brave men and women from New York and Washington are only a handful of the hundreds of thousands of paid and volunteer first responders that serve us every day in this country. Homes are saved from wildfires, families pulled from wrecked vehicles, dying people saved, violent criminals are hunted and captured, making our cities and towns just a little bit safer; the list goes on. I for one, am thankful for everything they do, every day, to make my life safer. And by the way, just because these people are ‘everyday’ heroes, doesn’t make them any less ‘SUPER’!

We, here at RS Vacations would like to say “Thank You” to our heroes – not only our local Big Bear heroes, but all First Responders around the country and around the world.

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La Cerena Chalet


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Play in the Snow with the Kids and Walk to Shops Nearby

Family mountain home in lower Moonridge that is less then a mile from Bear Mountain and SO close to the Golf Course and nearby restaurants. Catch the shuttle bus to the slopes just across Moonridge Rd. The kids will love the extra room to make snow angels and build a snowman on the large level lot.

Warm up near the wood burning fireplace in the cozy living room with lovely mountain decor and relish the tastes and smells of mountain home cooking in the adjacent kitchen with table that opens to seat 8 people (with table under the stairs). There is a full bath downstairs and handy laundry room/mudroom with full size washer and dryer at the back of the house. Internet and DVD/VCR under the TV in the living room.

The downstairs bedroom has a comfy queen bed and VCR with TV. Upstairs, the spacious master bedroom has a king bed with TV and DVD, and the third bedroom has 2 queen beds and a twin bunk bed. The bedrooms share another full bath. A twin bed and TV for games and VCR player in the roomy alcove allows for more sleeping versatility and game playing.

La Cerena is perfect for winter mountain memories. Give us a call or book online today.

Parking for 3 Cars and Good Pets Allowed!!

View more photos, check availability and book La Cerena Chalet online at RSVacations.net today and treat yourself to a luxurious Big Bear Lake Vacation.
To view and print a flyer of La Cerena Chalet, please click the following link:
La Cerena Chalet Printable Flyer


  • Sleeps: 9
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2

Close to Bear Mountain Shuttle
Large Level Yard for Snow Play
Wood Burning Fireplace
King in Upstairs Master, Queen in Downstairs Bedroom
2 Queen Beds and Twin Bunk Bed in Upstairs Bedroom
Twin Bed in Alcove
Full Bath Downstairs and Full Bath Upstairs
Laundry room/Mudroom with Full Size Washer and Dryer
Internet and TV’s
Parking for 3 Cars

Good Pets Welcome! Woof!

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Coming to Big Bear to enjoy the mountain wildlife?  Set out some of these homemade treats and you’re sure to attract some furry and feathered ‘locals’.

Big Bear LocalA Bird’s Delight

  • 1 1/4 lb. suet
  • 1/2 C. sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 C. crushed peanuts
  • 1/2 C. cracked corn kernels

 Melt suet in the oven or saucepan (yields about 2 cups liquid fat). Stir in peanuts, sunflower seeds and corn. Spoon into a        4-cup heart-shaped mold (or two 2-cup molds); insert a drinking straw at the top (for rope). Cool in the refrigerator until solid.

Unmold; remove straw. Thread with string and tie to a shaded tree branch.
(recipe from budget101.com)


           Bird Goodies

  • 4 C. suet
  • 1/4 C. millet
  • 1 C. cracker or bread crumbs
  • 1/2 C. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C. dried fruit: raisins,
  • currants or dates
  •  1/4 C. peanuts or peanut butter

Melt the suet or solid fat in a large, heavy saucepan until it is liquid. Remove from heat and allow it to cool until slightly thickened.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl, then pour the cooled suet over the mixture. Stir thoroughly.  While the mixture is warm and pliable, you can spread it onto tree trunks or tree limbs for easy feeding. You can pack it into the spaces in pine cones and hang the pine cones on a tree. Or you can spread it in a 1-inch deep baking pan and refrigerate overnight. When the suet is hardened, cut it into squares to fit your feeder.
(recipe from budget101.com)

               Homemade Squirrel FoodBig Bear Local

  • 1 cup crunchy-style peanut butter
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups corn meal
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1 cup whole corn kernels
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • 8-by-8 foil pan

Melt the peanut butter and lard together on the stove or in the microwave. Add 2 cups of quick oats, 2 cups of corn meal, 1 cup of white flour, 1 cup of unsalted sunflower seeds, 1 cup of unsalted peanuts and 1 cup of whole corn kernels. Mix thoroughly into a peanut butter-like consistency.

Pour the mixture into an 8-by-8 inch foil pan and press firmly with the spatula. Set it aside and allow it to cool completely. Remove the hardened mixture from the pan and slice it into quarters. This quartered size should fit most suet-style squirrel feeders.

Store unused slices in plastic bags in your freezer.
(recipe from ehow.com)

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Raccoons are so cute! and smart…and sneaky…and destructive…Well, we all have our dark side, don’t we? Here is an in-depth look at one of Big Bear’s most loved (and hated) critters.

The North American Raccoon gets its name from the Algonquin word arakun, which means ‘one who scratches with his hands’ and its scientific name is Procyon lotor, which means ‘washer dog’. They got this name because it was once thought that they washed their food before eating it -which, considering what they eat, is probably not a bad idea! Raccoons are omnivores – they can and will eat anything – plants, fruits, insects, rodents, garbage, roadkill, and the occasional bowl of dog kibble. They have very nimble fingers that they eat with and have no trouble opening trash cans, jars or doors and even have the ability to unlace a shoe. (So that is who keeps untying my shoes!)

These masked bandits are nocturnal (active at night) and are considered ‘generalists’, which means that they can adapt to nearly any environment and food source. Raccoons do not construct their own dens. They live in tree holes, abandoned dens, chimneys, attics and under the house or deck. They are squatters! During the autumn months, they pack on extra weight to get them through the winter. The largest animal on record weighed in at 60 pounds! They do not hibernate, but they sleep a lot during the cold winter months and do not want to go out in the harsh weather. (I know how they feel!)

Raccoons are good swimmers, can run up to 15 mph and they are great climbers – they are one of the few animals that can descend a tree head first. They can even drop from a height of 35 – 40 feet and be unharmed. They can make a wide range of sounds including purring, whistling, growling, hissing, screaming and even whinnying. (So if you hear a horse at your door, make sure you check the peephole,  it might just be a sneaky raccoon doing his Mr. Ed impersonation! )

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(Weather courtesy of BigBearWeather.com)

(Info courtesy of BigBear.com)

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Book with RS Vacations today to take advantage of this great deal!

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Grizzly BearLions and Tigers and Bears….Oh my!  Okay, well maybe not tigers, and the lions are a smaller variety, but we’ve got bears! Black Bears and Grizzly Bears. There are also Bald Eagles, Bobcats, Wolves, Owls, Bison and many, many more. Did you know that Big Bear has a zoo? The Big Bear Alpine Zoo to be exact. It is filled with animals (many of them rescued) that are native to this area and even a few that are not; but every critter has a story and the wonderful folks at the zoo are happy to share them with you.

In addition to just meandering around the zoo at your own pace, the zoo offers daily programs that enhance the experience. Each day you can take the feeding tour – follow along as one of the zoo keepers feeds the animals and shares interesting information about each one. A great way to learn about wildlife! There is also an animal presentation each day (weather permitting) where an animal is brought out onto the grass and you can have an up-close and personal look and learn all about the featured furry or feathered (or fanged!) friend.

Each Saturday night in October and the first two Saturday nights in November, the Big Bear Alpine Zoo hosts a Flashlight Safari. This is a tour of the zoo’s nocturnal animals – critters that are active only at night. Bundle up, bring a flashlight and enjoy!

One of the most anticipated events of the year is coming up – this Saturday night, in fact. BOO in the Zoo!  Bring your children (and yourself) dressed in costumes to this special afternoon of Tricks ‘n Treats – Visit The Graveyard, Pumkin Patch, Electric Dungeon of Doom, Witches Brew, Scarecrow Land, Witches Lair, and Goblins throughout the zoo. Enjoy seeing the zoo animals receive their Halloween treats! Win a prize for best costume in several categories. Fun for all!!

More information on all of these programs and events, hours, prices, as well as detailed information about the animals can be found at the zoo’s website: moonridgezoo.org

By the way, several of our homes here at RS Vacations are within walking distance to the zoo, including this week’s Spotlight Property, Bear Peek Inn – which is right across the street! Join us in Beautiful Big Bear Lake and enjoy all that the forest has to offer!



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I am sure that most of you have a story or two about those masked marauders of trash cans and fish ponds that have adapted equally well to the city and the woods.  They are intelligent, curious and surprisingly fearless in most situations.  And I must admit I can’t help but admire those traits that have made them survivors.  They are also cute little pests who are known to carry rabies and roundworm.

RS VacationsWhen we decided to move our RS Vacations office last December, we loved the visibility, large parking lot, curb appeal, and space to plant flowers that 436 W. Big Bear Blvd. offered.  A spring project to beautify in the planning stage involved removing the large juniper bushes on either side of the office front doors and replace it with a deck.  The junipers were unsightly and  we also thought that feral cats had been marking the bushes creating a very pungent scent.   We soon discovered the source of that scent.  We were unpacking late into the night of our move-in as we heard Toby, our 15 lb. Boston Terrier, barking at the windows.    A mama raccoon and her two cubs were emerging from under the front wooden porch,  with one of the cubs coming nose to nose through the glass with Toby.   We hoped that this trio was just visiting and would take the hint that the humans had moved in.  Unfortunately, we discovered that they were long standing and very current basement tenants.  With their reputation for being nimble and fearless varmints already established, we now knew that we had a job before us.  Our mission was to humanely vacate the current basement tenants, thereby protecting our visitors and our pooch who would be no match for Mama raccoon.  This was December in the mountains so we also knew Mama was just trying to keep her cubs safe and warm.

Time to Google “How to humanely get rid of raccoons”.  Raccoons are nocturnal omnivores and will eat insects, mice, fish, eggs, trash etc. and their dexterous paws also allow them to pry open and hold on to anything.  Just ask Bob who had a large “must have been 50 lbs and 4 feet tall”  raccoon grab the broom he was nudging it out of the yard with a few years ago.  Bob decided the raccoon had won that round and backed off.  Or ask  our unfortunate friends  who were traumatized by the raccoon who had been nesting in the attic during their absence and decided to tear through the kitchen ceiling and rummage around in the upper kitchen cabinets the night they returned.

First we tried digging out under the porch to remind our tenants that WE, the humans had moved in.  Well Mama was not phased and proceeded to just cover up the work we had done.  Next we dug a bit further to unearth the entrance, blocking it with rocks and adding Toby’s “presents” to remind them that yes, a canine was also part of the human pack ( I was assured by some of our friends that raccoons hated dogs and would do anything to avoid them).  Who was I fooling?  Mama had seen our cat sized pooch and must have been laughing her raccoon head off as she once again cleared out her space and the rocks and continued her midnight scavenging with her cubs. We clearly had our job cut out before us and wanted to avoid trapping which presented several problems that we did not want to deal with.

A little more research and we found several “fool proof” trap doors that would let the raccoons out but not back in.   We needed the heavy duty version and Bob, Kenny and Fred soon came up with a plan to dig out the area under the porch yet again and install heavy wood planking and heavy wire barrier and then install the trap door.  We knew Mama would have to come out to scavenge for food and hoped she would find another safe and warm home for her family that did not involve basements or attics and cupboards in our neighborhood.

Well it you will be glad to know the plan has worked.  Mama and cubs left their basement den and have finally found a home elsewhere.  It doesn’t mean they didn’t try returning as we would occasionally see paw prints around their former entrance.   To our neighbors…..I hope that are former tenants haven’t taken up residence with you:-(……maybe, just maybe Mama has decided to return to the woods!

Do you have a raccoon or mountain animal story to share?  Would love to have you post it during “animal week”!


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