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Archive for the ‘Monday Musings’ Category

You may have heard that due to the California drought, the water level is down on Big Bear Lake. While that is true, there is NO shortage of beauty or fun on the water in Big Bear this summer! Bob has spent quite a bit of (well deserved!) time on the water this past month, and I thought that people should see just how gorgeous it is up here!! All of these photos were taken during the past month on Big Bear Lake. Enjoy!!

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Why not join us at 6700′ and see the beauty of Big Bear Lake with your own eyes? Visit our website at RSVacations.net and take advantage of lower, off-season rates and specials on the perfect cabin for you and your loved ones. We have exclusive, FREE discount coupons for several lake activities and other fun amusements in Big Bear. Simply request them at booking and they will be waiting at the cabin when you arrive. Book your Big Bear Cabin today!! See you on the water!!

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As we have been enjoying spectacular, spring weather the last several days, I got to thinking how very much I love springtime in Big Bear. It brought to mind a post of mine from last year at this time and I decided to share it once again. Yes, Big Bear is a beautiful wintertime destination (the slopes are still open so come on up!), but it is not only a wintertime destination. Enjoy!

As winter (if you want to call it that this year 😦 ) in Big Bear Lake winds down, I can’t help but look forward to springtime in the mountains. I love the warming days and cool nights, the flowers and trees blooming, the blue skies….truly beautiful.

Big Bear SpringOne of the most surprising things to me is that most people believe that Big Bear is strictly a winter destination – no more than a ski town. I can’t even count how many guests this year asked me what we do up here the rest of the year. Or, when I suggested that they visit us in spring or summer, they asked “but what is there to do?”

I guess I take it all for granted because I’ve lived here since I was 7, but truly, winter is my least favorite season in Big Bear. Don’t get me wrong, the snow is beautiful and I do enjoy skiing, but there is just so much more to do in the other months. Lake activities such as kayaking, fishing, boating and more, golfing, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, the zoo, the alpine slide and waterslide. The list goes on. Not to mention the shopping and restaurants in The Village, art shows, wine walks, car shows, music events, theater offerings and the Independence Day fireworks show.golf in the mountains_0

While ‘June gloom’ gets you down, we are enjoying sparkling blue skies! When you are sweating it out in July, we are putting on a light sweater for our evening walks. Seriously people, it is GORGEOUS up here in the spring, summer and fall!! And guess what? It is less expensive to enjoy Big Bear in the “off” seasons as well. Do yourself a favor and come up to explore Big Bear Lake in the warmer months. You will be amazed at our perfect weather and how much there is to do up here.

RS Vacations offers cabins of every size and location. Whether you are planning a romantic getaway for your sweetheart or want to have a fun weekend with family and friends, we have what you are looking for. Do you want to bring up the boat and need a lakefront with a private dock? We can help you. Looking for something close to the National Forest to do some hiking? You’ve come to the right place! Plan to do some shopping in The Village? We have cabins within walking distance. Golfing or Mountain Biking? A whole bunch of cabins close by. We also offer discount coupon packages on several activities and are adding more all the time. There are some great specials going on right now as well,so check out our packages and specials page.

FeathernestUpstairsDeckView-DockKeep an eye on this blog (subscribe!!) for what’s going on and visit our website at RSVacations.net to check out our wide selection of cabins. Book your Big Bear Cabin today!! See you soon!

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Phil 2015“Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most beloved and furry seasonal prognosticator, saw his shadow on Monday morning (despite overcast skies), portending six more weeks of winter.

The groundhog’s predication came around 7:25 a.m. in Punxsutawney, Pa., with overcast skies and scattered snow and rain showers moving through the region from the latest winter storm — conditions that are likely to continue if the plucky marmot gets his way.

Last year, Phil also saw his shadow — the final nail in the coffin for what was one of the most brutally long winters in the U.S. The unrelenting winter dragged on through March in many places in 2014. Around D.C., many locations accumulated more than 30 inches of snow last winter, and Phil chalked another one up in the “verified” column.”

Courtesy of WashingtonPost.com

This is fantastic news for you skiers and snowboarders looking to head up to Big Bear Lake over the next couple of months! We snowmaking14bgreceived several inches of new snow over the weekend and are hoping for more soon. In the meantime, Big Bear Mountain Resorts keeps things ‘white’ using top of the line snow-making equipment.

Here at RS Vacations, we have cabins of all sizes available and most are only 5 minutes or less to the slopes! Check out our Specials Page for discounts and packages, then book your perfect Big Bear Getaway!

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This post is from a couple of years ago, but I couldn’t help but think of it as the ski season is getting into full swing. Enjoy!

blue_letter_bWhat color is your ‘B’? If you grew up in Big Bear, you will give the answer to that question with either pride or shame. Sadly, my answer is a rather depressing ‘blue’. Sigh….All of the other kids had yellow or orange. A few even had red. Well, at least I don’t have to answer with ‘green’. I’d never be able to call myself a local again. 🙂

What am I talking about? The Big Bear Parks and Rec has a learn to ski program for local kids. Every year in December and January, school aged kids hit the slopes to learn to ski. (when I was a kid snowboarding didn’t even exist as a sport yet. :/ ) As we progressed, we were given a different colored felt ‘B’. You had to sew them to either your beanie or jacket and this showed the instructors (and everyone else) what level you were at. Everyone got a green ‘B’ on their first day so long as they could click into their skis by themselves.

The ‘B’s progressed in color like so: Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Red. So green meant that you were a total beginner and red showed that you were an expert skier. I was cruising along with my blue ‘B’ when I found out that my sister, who was visiting relatives, broke her leg while skiing in Tahoe. (Later to find out that she was standing still and her ski slipped out to the side. What a spaz! I mean, who breaks their leg while standing still???) That was it. I was totally paranoid to continue in the sport so I quit going to class, destined to be branded with an embarrassing blue ‘B’ for the rest of my life. (At least I grew out of that jacket by the following winter – my shame could then be private.)

Fast forward about twenty years and my husband finally talked me into giving it another go. He had gotten into snowboarding and really wanted me to be able to go with him. (I did try snowboarding myself, but that is a memory that I try to forget 😉 ) So we hit the bunny slope and off I went. What a blast!

I progressed off of the beginner chair and got better every time we went. I still like to ski conservatively, but I always have fun. Skiing is great exercise and the views from the top are amazing! If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it! You can take group lessons or private ones and be skiing from the top in a day or two.

Many of our cabins here at RS Vacations are within walking distance to the slopes or to the shuttle, making your ski weekend that much more enjoyable. Both resorts are making snow and we are expecting some of the real stuff later this week, so book today at RSVacations.net and hit the slopes!!

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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 last-minute special. Book your Big Bear Cabin today!

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memorial-day2014

RS Vacations thanks you!

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This is a post from last year, but every year at this time when Big Bear Lake opens for boating and fishing, I think of my grandparents and all of the memories I have of spending time with them on the lake. So in case you missed it, here it is again.

Miss you Grandma and Grandpa…

When I was a kid, my grandparents loved to take myself and my siblings fishing on Big Bear Lake. They had a pretty nice boat that they had named ‘The Jennifer Lynn’ after my oldest sister. Sometimes they would take all of us kids, sometimes we would go with them individually – but a good time was always in store.

Now my Grandpa was a kind and sweet man, but he was also pretty stubborn about things. We always had to use proper words around him – no slang was allowed. He was a bit fussy and liked things just so. I guess he was a bit of a perfectionist (hmmm…I guess I got that from him 🙂 ) so I was always a bit on guard around him.

Grandma on the other hand, ACTED that way around him, but she liked to be silly and ‘naughty’ on the sly. My mom told me stories about how when she was a kid, every once in awhile her mom would let her hide in the closet until Grandpa went to work and then let her play hooky from school and they would go do something fun.

As most men are, my Grandpa was pretty competitive and really didn’t like to lose. Unfortunately for him, my Grandma was a very lucky fisherwoman. Very lucky. He would use all of these fancy lures and specialty baits and catch maybe one little blue gill. Grandma would slap some velveeta cheese on a hook and catch so many trout she would have to throw them back. Grandpa would get so mad! He just couldn’t figure it out. And when he wasn’t looking, she would look over at me and just giggle and giggle. Those were fun times and wonderful memories.

The lake is open for the season and the fishing is great! Come on up to Big Bear and make your own special memories. Visit RS Vacations online and book your Big Bear Getaway today!!

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As winter (if you want to call it that this year 😦 ) in Big Bear Lake winds down, I can’t help but look forward to springtime in the mountains. I love the warming days and cool nights, the flowers and trees blooming, the blue skies….truly beautiful.

Big Bear SpringOne of the most surprising things to me is that most people believe that Big Bear is strictly a winter destination – no more than a ski town. I can’t even count how many guests this year asked me what we do up here the rest of the year. Or, when I suggested that they visit us in spring or summer, they asked “but what is there to do?”

I guess I take it all for granted because I’ve lived here since I was 7, but truly, winter is my least favorite season in Big Bear. Don’t get me wrong, the snow is beautiful and I do enjoy skiing, but there is just so much more to do in the other months. Lake activities such as kayaking, fishing, boating and more, golfing, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, the alpine slide and waterslide. The list goes on. Not to mention the art shows, wine walks, car shows, music events, theater offerings and the Independence Day fireworks show.golf in the mountains_0

While ‘June gloom’ gets you down, we are enjoying sparkling blue skies! When you are sweating it out in July, we are putting on a light sweater for our evening walks. Seriously people, it is GORGEOUS up here in the spring, summer and fall!! And guess what? It is less expensive to enjoy Big Bear in the “off” seasons as well. Do yourself a favor and come up to explore Big Bear Lake in the warmer months. You will be amazed at our perfect weather and how much there is to do up here.

RS Vacations offers cabins of every size and location. Whether you are planning a romantic getaway for your sweetheart or want to have a fun weekend with family and friends, we have what you are looking for. Do you want to bring up the boat and need a lakefront with a private dock? We can help you. Looking for something close to the National Forest to do some hiking? You’ve come to the right place! Plan to do some shopping in The Village? We have cabins within walking distance. Golfing or Mountain Biking? A whole bunch of cabins close by. We also offer discount coupon packages on several activities and are adding more all the time. Check out our packages and specials page.

FeathernestUpstairsDeckView-DockKeep an eye on this blog (subscribe!!) for what’s going on and visit our website at RSVacations.net to check out our wide selection of cabins. Book your Big Bear Cabin today!! See you soon!

 

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The past several weeks have been rough ones – for myself and many people I know and love. Friends lost, mothers lost, a wife lost and a daughter lost. There was suicide, accidents, heart attack, massive infection and cancer. Death has a way of rearing its head when we least expect it and we are left with nothing but memories and often times, regrets. We rarely know when it is coming and can we ever be truly prepared even if we do?

The best we can do is to ‘live like we are dying’ – be grateful for each day and try to live life to the fullest. Let go of fear and take some risks. Do something that truly makes you happy as often as possible. Take time to be silly. Give hugs. Say I love you.

But even more important, treat others as if it is their last day as well – make sure those you love KNOW you love them – by telling them and showing them every day. Be kind. Forgive. Do nice things simply to be nice. Strive to make those around you happier. Accept and love who they are. Don’t let ‘little things’ become ‘big things’.

People say “there is always tomorrow”, but that is not always true…

Appreciate every single day.

Sunrise - Danny Enger

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It’s our Birthday here at the RS Vacations Blog. One year ago, we began this blog to share with you all of the wonderful things Big Bear Lake has to offer. Each week we spotlight our homes, I muse about memories, we keep you up to date on things to do, you get special deals on homes and packages, find out about the weather and events, learn a fun-fact, and even pick up a recipe or two.

We would like to thank all of our readers for supporting our blog, our home owners for trusting us with your homes and our guests for letting us find you the perfect cabin for your mountain getaway. We look forward to the coming year in beautiful Big Bear Lake! Keep reading and visit us at RSVacations.net!!

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