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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Big Bear, Bridal showers, and Birthday shopping

Last Saturday my hubby, in-laws and I spent the day in Big Bear Mountain. We were all gung-ho about going on this particular day since the weather forecast predicted that it would snow. And since we are all from the tropical islands of the Philippines, and now sunny Southern California, snow for us is a welcome change and something to look forward to. (I know many people, especially those who live in areas where snow is a part of life, may think otherwise – but we were really excited about getting to see falling snow). So there we were, dressed in our winter appropriate clothing, driving up to Big Bear.

Big Bear reminds me of Baguio City (the summer capital of the Philippines). The drive up the mountain is similar with the beautiful views and the winding roads. The atmosphere of both places are quite similar too – very crowded, log cabin type buildings all around, small town feel, and a narrow but bustling Main Street. The similarities made me feel almost nostalgic for many of my childhood summers spent in my grandfather’s vacation condo in the Philippines’ City of Pines.

Our first stop was brunch at a tiny cafĂ© called Blanca and Pierre’s. We did not get to meet Pierre, but Blanca was almost single-handedly running the place (she was maitre’d, server, coffee refiller and hostess all in one – she even took out maps and brochures and showed us interesting places to visit). I never found the phrase “handsome woman” appropriate, but I must say that Blanca certainly was quite a handsome woman.

The rest of the day was spent visiting ski resorts (Magic Mountain and Snow Summit), the kids (and the adults acting like kids) whooping it up with mock snowball fights, hiking up and down the trails. I thought it was hilarious when my precocious 2 ½ year old niece, Meredith, who had only seen snow on television, lay on the ground and flapped her arms about claiming to make her very first snow angel (too bad there was only about an inch of snow where we were standing at that time). The highlight of our day was when we were sitting by the ski slopes and snow actually started falling. It was the best part of the day and really worth the 2-hour drive from home. The rest of the day was spent browsing shops in downtown Big Bear (witnessing our second snowfall of the day), slowly driving down the mountain in very dense fog, and then ending the day with dinner at my in-laws' place.

Sunday was my friend, Ann’s, bridal shower brunch. Her theme was “Old Hollywood” and it was really nice the way they set up her sister’s apartment. I know Ann from grad school and have many happy memories of study groups, dinners out, working on projects together, phonecalls, and preparing for tests. But since graduating 2 years ago, I’ve not been as in-touch with her as I would have liked. So, it was really great seeing her again and just catching up.

Ann’s Bridal Shower: 15 women + lots of food + party games + free flowing mimosas = a rocking good time!

My hubby picked me up afterwards and we went to Del Amo shopping center where I shopped for shoes while he picked out my birthday present (what could be a better way to spend an afternoon?). We went to mass and had dinner at home and sat back to enjoy Vin Diesel’s “The Pacifier” on cable – we did not have high hopes for the movie, we just wanted an evening of light, “no thinking required” entertainment. Well, suffice it to say the movie was A-W-F-U-L! I can’t believe Mr. Diesel did that movie after doing blockbuster action movies like xXx and The Fast and the Furious. And what was Brad Garret thinking, acting like a mentally-deranged vice principal?

So all in all we had a pretty good weekend – it would have been great – but watching the scene between Vin Diesel’s Navy Seal turned babysitter character wrestling with Brad Garret’s vice principal / psycho wrestling coach character is seared in my brain and is just too, too awful.

1 comment:

jol said...

Your narration of your experience at Big Bear Mountain is vivid and makes me want to visit the place. I like watching snow fall and playing with snow balls. But I will not want to stay in a place full of snow for more than a day.