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Archive for the ‘Monday Musings’ Category

The Annual Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club “Fun Run” revs into town this weekend in beautiful Big Bear Lake. This annual classic car show has been going on since I was a kid and it just gets better every year!

Back in the early 80’s, my parents owned an ShowandShineice cream parlor in the heart of The Village so I spent a lot of time there – especially in the summer months. This was back when we had a full three months off of school for summer break (which by the way I loved as a kid, but was thankful for shorter breaks as a parent! 😉 ) so I was always looking for something to do. I remember spending hours at the Fun Run, looking at all of the cars, listening to the owners rev the engines. All of the bright and shiny colors the cars were painted fascinated me along with all of that chrome! It was something to behold!

Many years later, when my son was 5, we took him to his first Big Bear Lake Fun Run. We put on our best representation of ’50’s clothes’ and spent the afternoon ooh-ing and ahh-ing all over again. Of course we funrun99008each had our favorite hot rod and had many debates on why ours was the best. The car owners were happy to tell ‘the boy’ all about the car, rev the engine and honk the horn for him. All in all, a great afternoon spent making family memories.

The weather this weekend looks to be right around 80° so why not head up to Big Bear with your family to cool down and make some ‘Fun Run’ memories of your own?

RS Vacations has some fantastic deals going on right now so check us out at www.RSVacations.net. We have a great 3 for 2 Special going right now that will make your Big Bear Getaway even more affordable than ever! Book today!!

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BigBearXeriscapeWater. The most important element in all of life. No living thing can survive very long without it and yet in many parts of the world, including here in Big Bear, drought is an ongoing concern. As humans, we use water without thought; to wash our bodies, to cook and drink, to clean our clothes, wash our cars, and to irrigate our yards. We take it for granted because it is always there when we turn the faucet. Although we often hear about conservation and water shortages, it is hard to change our habits and believe that the situation is as serious as we are told.

While there are many areas of our lives where we can use water more wisely, one of the best ways to conserve is to change the way we think about our landscaping. Now, I will admit that I love a nice, lush lawn. Grass is beautiful and nice to play on and picnic on, and it certainly has its place in backyards and parks, but I believe that there is a lot of beauty in natural landscaping as well, when done right. I am not talking about just letting the weeds take over your yard. 🙂 There is a way to use native, drought-tolerant plants and materials to create a landscape that is beautiful, interesting and water smart. It is called “Xeriscaping”.

“Xeriscaping was a term coined back in 1970s in Denver, CO, to mean water wise or water efficient landscaping. The term xeriscape is derived from the Greek word xeros, which means dry. Don’t let that mislead you into thinking we’re talking about deserts and cactus or even a drought plagued, barren landscape. Xeriscaping is a method of gardening that involves choosing plants that are appropriate to their site and creating a landscape that can be maintained with little supplemental watering.

Xeriscaping is not a style or category of garden design. It is basically some common sense guides to gardening in harmony with your site and can actually be applied to any type of garden design.” (About.com)

Seven Principles of Xeriscaping

  1. Planning and Design – Have a Plan. Take a look at your garden’s topography, exposure and soil. Don’t try to fight your site. Create planting zones and group your plants by their needs. For example, groups tough, drought tolerant plants in areas exposed to full day sun, give less tolerant plants some partial shade and keep the more delicate or demanding plants for a spot near your water source.
  2. Choose Appropriate Plant Material – You may choose to incorporate a few plants that will need to be coddled, but for the most part, selecting plants that thrive in your area during low water conditions will give you the best results. This often includes native plants that we so often take for granted. The choice of plants will vary by region, even within a single yard. You may also be surprised to see how many plants are considered xeric, once they have established themselves and when properly cared for.
  3. Soil Improvement – The old adage that if you take care of the soil, the soil will take care of the plants, is very true here. The key, as always, is incorporating generous amounts of organic matter. This will improve water penetration and retention in any type of soil. Rich, loose, water holding soil will encourage good root development and lessen the plant’s need for supplemental water. It is best to amend your soil before planting and to regularly use organic mulch, as mentioned in Step 4.
  4. Mulch – Mulching is a naturally occurring process, but as gardeners we tend to want things tidy and we rake away all the leaves and debris that coat and decay into the soil. So we have to bring in more aesthetically pleasing mulch, such as shredded bark and compost.However it gets there, mulch adds a great deal to your garden. It moderates soil temperature, holds moisture, slows erosion and suppresses weeds that would compete with your plants for food and water. It also gradually decomposes and feeds the soil. Apply about 4 inches of mulch at the initial planting and check it each season to see if it needs to be replenished.
  5. Practical and Appropriate Turf Areas – Most of us still want some areas of lawn in our landscape and many of us want way too much lawn. Think about how much water, fertilizer and gasoline it takes to keep your lawn green throughout the summer.Where to place the lawn should be part of your initial design plan, taking into consideration what you plan to use your lawn for. If you are using grass as a ground cover, there are other options that would be less labor and water intensive.Choose an appropriate grass seed for the lawn’s exposure. Different seeds do well in different regions. Kentucky Blue grass is beautiful, but it can also be a water hog where it’s not happy.
  6. Efficient Watering – Not all plants need the same amount of water and those needs may change with the seasons. If you’ve followed the steps above, you have your plants grouped by their water needs, including your lawn, and can water only where it’s needed.Drip irrigation systems are often recommended for efficient watering. These systems allow you to control when and how much water a plant gets and to direct the water only to the plants that need it.Base your watering schedule on the needs of the plants and not on an arbitrary schedule. All plants will require more supplemental watering for the first year or two that they are becoming established. However after they have acclimated and developed a good root system, supplemental watering should become much less frequent.
  7. Appropriate Maintenance – Yes, even a xeriscape garden will require some maintenance. Watering, weeding, pruning, deadheading and sensible pest management will all factor into the quality of your garden.

This coming weekend, our local “Sierra Club” will be hosting its annual Xeriscape Garden Tour of Big Bear Valley. You will get information about Xeriscape Gardening and will tour local yards where it has been put into practice. This event is FREE and I will share the details in tomorrow’s post.

If you are looking for something different to do this weekend, why not join us in Big Bear? The Xeriscape Tour is only one of several special events happening around town and it will give you a chance to get away and beat the heat! Head on over to RS Vacations.net and take advantage of our 3 for 2 special. Book your Big Bear Cabin today!

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Whether you have already booked a cabin with us for the coming weeks in Big Bear, or if you are still making plans (visit us at RSVacations.net for some great cabins!), you may be wondering what there is to do in December in the mountains when there is no snow on the ground. Don’t worry, there is more to do than you might think! Today I will talk about just some of the fun things to do here in beautiful Big Bear Lake-with or without snow!

Snow Summit boarderSkiing and Snowboarding

No matter what mood Mother Nature is in, Big Bear Ski Resorts take matters into their own hands. With a world-class snow-making system in place, you can hit the slopes even when the snow is not falling. As a bonus, it is much more fun to ski and board when temps are in the 50’s than when it is freezing! STAY TUNED FOR OPENING DAY INFORMATION!!

Snow Tubingsnow tubing 1

Just like our Ski Resorts, Big Bear’s Snow Play Areas have the ability to make their own snow, and boy have they been busy at it! The coverage is great and with their “Magic Carpets”, you can enjoy an entire day of tubing fun without all the climbing!

Biking

Do you feel more comfortable on two wheels than on two planks of wood? Another positive of the mild weather is that you can take a bike ride – IN DECEMBER! Choose a comfort bike and take a leisurely spin along the lake or rent a mountain bike and hit the trails.

Horseback Riding

Enjoy the beauty of the mountains and explore the back-country from horseback. You will have some terrific photo opportunities as well when you get to the top and see the gorgeous, panoramic views of Big Bear Valley.

Off-Road 4×4 Tours

Get off the beaten path and see and learn about Big Bear’s rich history when you take an Off-road Tour. Several different tours are available.

Helicopter Big Bear

See Big Bear Lake from a whole new perspective – the air! Enjoy the stunning scenery of our beautiful Valley, Lake and surrounding Forest. Bring your camera!

Hiking

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Another benefit of the fall-like weather we are experiencing is that the trails around our forest are clear and accessible for hiking. Grab a trail map from the Discovery Center and set out on a nature hike with the family. From beginner to expert trails, there is something for every level of hiker.

Ziplining

Experience the sensation of flight as you zip through the forest. A real adrenaline rush for the whole family!

The Big Bear Alpine Zoobaby-raccoon

View and learn about over 180 animals at our local zoo. Check out our Grizzly Bears, Wolves, Mountain Lion, Deer and more. Feeding tours and special presentations on most days.

Bowling, Laser-Tag, Arcade & Ice Skating

Head over to the Bowling Barn and Big Bear Funplex for hours of family fun. Go Ice Skating on real ice, get competitive at Laser Tag or just enjoy the arcade. Have a blast going Glow Bowling at night!

Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Have you ever wanted to be on ‘The Amazing Race’? Now is your chance – sort of! Set out on a 1.5 hour walking adventure in and around The Big Bear Village. Using your smartphone, you will solve clues and complete challenges while learning local history and fun-facts.

Shopping, Eating and Music

Stroll through the Big Bear Lake Village and enjoy the unique shops and quaint atmosphere. Catch a movie at the local Theater, dine at one of the many delicious restaurants, take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride around town or enjoy a live concert at The Cave. When the sun goes down, grab a cup of hot chocolate and sit by one of the fire-pits or check out one of the night clubs for some live music.

The Discovery Center

If you want to find out where to hike, bike or otherwise get in touch with nature, the Big Bear Discovery Center is the place to start. Get trail maps, learn how to be prepared and take an interpretive tour through the forest. Special presentations and celebrations are happening all the time.

 

As you can see, Big Bear Lake has so much more to offer than just snow! Come on up to our sparkling blue skies, crisp air and stunning forest. You will love it!! Do you need somewhere to stay? RS Vacations has cabins for every group and budget. Check out the “Our Homes” tab at the top of this page to see what we have to offer, then visit our website to book your perfect Big Bear Cabin. See you soon!

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fathers-day-tie-ABFather’s Day is coming up this weekend and with it, the age-old question: What does Dad really want for Father’s Day? Answer: Many different things, but I guarantee it is probably NOT another necktie. 🙂

Most dads work full time, and on the weekends are kept busy with chores and a honey-do list a mile long. This doesn’t leave much time for Dad to relax and enjoy the things he really loves. Father’s Day is supposed to his day – a day to celebrate him and all that he does for the family. The problem is, dads can be pretty hard to shop for, which is probably why they end up with a new tie every year…

Here’s an idea: Surprise Dad with a quick getaway in Big Bear Lake. What better way to celebrate the dad in our life than to share a weekend with him doing things that make him happy and relaxed? We have so many different activities up here, there is sure to be something the dad in your life would love!

Tomorrow, I will highlight a bunch of dad-approved activities that you can choose from that will knock his socks (and tie!) off!! In the meantime, head over to RSVacations.net and check out our available cabins. No matter the size of your family (and/or if your family has some 4-legged kids), we have the perfect cabin for a last-minute Father’s Day getaway. Book your Big Bear Cabin today and celebrate Dad!!

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Exercise should be fun! Well, that’s what ‘they’ say, right? I’d really like to know who ‘they’ are and how they know so much about everything anyway. But I digress…..

Getting enough exercise has always been an issue for me. I never played sports in school nor did I play recreational team sports as a kid. I sit in a chair at work and have hobbies that strain my brain more than my body. I try to get on the treadmill or stationary bike, but it is so boring! I do enjoy skiing every now and then and I finally took up mountain biking 5 years ago (not so fun riding up, really fun riding down!), but I really wanted to find a lake sport that the hubby and I could enjoy and get a workout to boot. We found it: Kayaking!

Kayak groupWe first tried kayaking four years ago on Big Bear Lake and we both absolutely loved it!  The view of the mountains? Spectacular! Nice cool water gently splashing you (or soaking you if you fall in like I did!), and a wonderful sense of peace and calm. Outdoor sports and activities really are a great way to get a workout because it is really more about the fun – the exercise is just a perk. I know that when I get back from a few hours on the slopes or a bike ride in the forest, I don’t feel like I just had a ‘workout’. I feel like I had an adventure that just happened to be good for me.  🙂 The same holds true after getting back from paddling.

One of the great things about Big Bear is that there are so many different ‘active’ things to do – all four seasons of the year. Just take your pick as to what you and your family enjoy and go do it. The bonuses of doing things in the mountains are the beautiful blue skies, sparkling blue lake, majestic pine forests and four-season weather. And of course the great workout!  If you’ve never experienced Big Bear, we invite you to come up and experience this one-of-a-kind locale for yourself.

This coming weekend hosts the 10th Annual Paddle Big Bear Event. I will have more information on this event throughout the week. If you’ve never paddled before, I highly recommend that you give it a try!

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Romantic BedIt’s that time of the year again. No boys, not Superbowl Sunday…..Valentine’s Day! Have you been giving your special someone the same old thing year after year? Flowers? Chocolates? A stuffed bear with a heart on the tummy? If the answer is yes then you need to step up your game, my friend. We here at RS Vacations Big Bear can help you make this Valentine’s Day one that she (or he) will never forget.

Some people think that this is a silly holiday created to sell cards, chocolate and flowers. I actually think it is important to celebrate romance. Our lives are so filled with work, stress, kids and activities that we don’t have time to give our all to our significant other very often. We need to remember that ‘spark’ that we had for one another way back at the beginning and rekindle it every so often.

The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to do spontaneous things like the ones that you did when you were dating. How about a helicopter tour over a beautiful mountain resort? A zipline ride through towering pines? A segway tour through a quaint village? Skiing or snowboarding on fresh powder? A couple’s massage? Later, a candlelit dinner. A romantic soak in an inviting spa. Snuggling in front of a roaring fire. All of these things are waiting for you in Big Bear.

Because Valentine’s Day falls mid-week this year, there are some amazing deals on all kinds of activities here in Big Bear designed just for couples. And RS Vacations has great mid-week pricing on all of our cabins. This is the perfect time to surprise your sweetheart with a romantic mountain getaway! Recapture the spark!

Be sure to visit www.RSVacations.net today to book one of our beautiful cabins. Surprise the one you love and make memories to last a lifetime! She (or he) will never forget it!

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BigBearSunsetWarm sunny days, crisp starry nights, leaves changing color….Fall has arrived in Big Bear and I for one am thrilled! I love cozy sweaters and boots; the sound of leaves blowing in the breeze; the smell of burning fireplaces…autumn is my favorite season.

Many people vacation here in the summer to escape the heat and enjoy the lake. Whether its boating, kayaking, parasailing or jet skis, Big Bear Lake does offer a multitude of options for summer fun.

Winter is also a popular season, with folks renting cabins to enjoy the holidays skiing, snowboarding or sledding with family and friends. There is no doubt that winter in Big Bear is magical.

Autumn is that time in between the two that seems to be forgotten. People are busy getting back to school, settling once again into their routines and thinking about the holidays coming up in a couple of months. Many people have never experienced Big Bear in the fall and if that includes you, let me tell you what you’re missing.

I love waking up early on a crisp, fall morning, grabbing a blanket, slippers and a warm cup of tea or coffee and watching the sun rise from a chair on the deck. I can hear the birds singing and the squirrels frolicking. I can smell the pines and the homey scent of fireplaces burning. Amazing. Later in the morning, I can take a walk or bike ride with the family. If we’re feeling adventurous, that would take the form of a hike or mountain bike ride in the forest, but if we wanted something relaxing, it would be a leisurely stroll through the Village or an easy ride on the pedal path along the lake shore. Either way, we are bound to see plenty of wildlife preparing for winter. In the afternoon, I might bake some cookies or a pie with the kids. I love the aroma of baking goodies – it just makes me smile. After dinner, either home-cooked, barbecued or at one of Big Bear’s manyfall-leaves restaurants, we would enjoy those goodies we made with a warm mug of hot chocolate either snuggled up in front of the fireplace watching a movie or while star-gazing out on the deck. After the kids settled into bed, the hubby and I would enjoy a soak in the hot tub under the stars. A perfect autumn day.

This coming weekend in Big Bear will have perfect fall weather and something for everyone, including the opening weekend of the Big Bear Oktoberfest, the International Film Festival at the PAC, the Village Fall Wine Walk, Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails at Bear Mountain, and so much more!

If you would like to experience your own perfect fall weekend in Big Bear, visit RSVacations.net now to book one of our beautiful cabins. Enjoy low, off-season pricing, no crowds, and the beauty of the mountains in the fall. Book your Big Bear Getaway today!!

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