For the first time in a long time, we woke up before the sun. The birds were still sleeping, there was no morning EDM beats softly blaring through our neighbor’s walls, and I was in a terrible mood from lack of sleep. After dragging our bags to the car, we began the early morning drive to Big Bear Lake in Southern California. 7 hours and 19 minutes, Google says.
As the sky began to lighten, we both started to enjoy this road trip down south. We whisked through the scenic route 152, through the pungent garlic aromas in Gilroy, and pass the San Luis Reservoir and the “$1 for 10 avocados” signs along the dirt roads.
We worked our way down through central California. Really nothing but dry grass, some cows, an oil plant… We made a stop halfway at Kettlemen City to get breakfast. We opted for Denny’s and ordered a ginormous breakfast of bacon, eggs, pancakes, and hash browns. We looked over at the couple next to us with a vegetarian omelette with a side of avocado, and we immediately regretted our breakfast choices. Should’ve gotten the vegetarian omelette with a side of avocado.
We soon reached San Bernadino and started winding up the mountain roads to Big Bear Lake.
We planned to meet up with some of our Boston friends who had moved to California, a little reunion for the Boston crew on the west coast. It seemed like just yesterday when all of us were renting a house in New Hampshire for the long weekend, floating down the Saco River, playing poker until the early morning, and making midnight nachos. It was just like old times, except now, there was a curious toddler running about, everyone passed out by 11 p.m., and we got sick of grilling hot dogs and steaks pretty quickly, opting instead for some gourmet pizza, veggies, and some Indian curries.
Big Bear Lake was a nice getaway, but frankly, the once frequented vacation spot was a little sad. The surrounding mountains and lake just didn’t compare to the high peaks and crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe. Everywhere we turned, there was a “For Sale” sign on every other lake side property. The water levels have fallen so drastically that boating docks stood empty and abandoned, no water surrounding it but tall dry grass in its place.
We did a little kayaking and some biking, but we spent most of our time together in our big house by the lake, catching up, playing games, soaking in the hot tub and of course, eating. It was an amazing time with these folks and I can’t wait until our next reunion!