Big Bear

Big Bear
Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains in southern California.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Big Bear Lake, California

Last week I drove up to Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains in southern California. On my way in, I stopped at Green Valley Lake and have vague memories of visiting that small lake as a child. It was all very pretty!
While at Big Bear Lake, I stayed with my long time friend, Nancy. From her cabin, we walked up to Snow Summit Ski Resort, pictured above, to watch the skiers and sit by the huge fireplace. 
I am amazed by icicles, and frantically took pictures of all the icicles we came across on our wanderings. No, I didn't eat any icicles, but could not resist the chocolate covered pretzels and hot coffee down in the village!
 One morning we woke up to fresh snow covering the ground and shaking down off the trees. Always a miracle in my opinion. I quickly grabbed my camera, stepped outside and took pictures!

Freshly fallen snow on a manzanita bush.
My cold little Subee, covered in snow, waiting for the sun to come out. When I saw the snow on my car was going to take forever to melt, I got Nancy's big snow brush and knocked all the snow off. 
We took a walk into town and wandered through the village and down by Big Bear Lake. It was incredibly cold that day, around 20 degrees, and the lake was surrounded by snow and ice. 
The ducks were all gathered together, pecking in the snow, probably looking for bugs. 
That would be me, all bundled up, as we walked through the Village. 
This beautiful lady is Nancy, and her sweet little kitty, who is actually a very old lady cat! The little dog in pic above is Logan, Nancy's most beloved little pet. Logan is blind, but that didn't stop him from enjoying life and all it has to offer. Nancy has taught me so much; how to enjoy relaxing, how to have fun, how to love others, whether they are human or animals, and how to eat Tater Tots. 
On my way home, I tried not to get myself killed as I kept stopping on the highway to take more pictures. God was very gracious and kept me safe and sound, although I was very tired by the time I got home. Thank you Lord for protecting me and thank you Nancy, for a wonderful visit!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Virginia and Washington DC

Over Christmas, I flew out to Alexandria, Virginia to spend time with my family! Here is the crew: David and Lindsay, Eva and Leven on the left, with Ashley, Dylan and Isaac on the right. It was way too much fun!
Before Isaac's crew arrived, we took a walk in the woods behind David and Lindsay's home. Crisp cold air, numerous trees, and fallen leaves everywhere. 3 year old Leven kept warning me not to walk in the mucky-mook, and then as soon as we reached the mud puddle, she wanted to jump right in! 
One afternoon we drove down to DC to the Botanical Gardens. What a treat to wander through the gardens and see so many gorgeous plants. They even had a road show replicating famous attractions that were all built out of natural materials.
Me with Eva and Leven. I miss them terribly.
After the gardens we walked down to the Capitol building and saw the most giant Christmas Tree! It was so pretty running around on the grass with the lighted tree in the background.
So much light and color and shape and form. Made me so happy.
One day I walked down to Mt. Vernon and took this picture in the gift shop. 
Another day we drove down to DC and walked around the art museums. It is so amazing as all the museums are free in DC! A dream of a lifetime that makes me want to move there. That is David with his darling girls. 
This painting reminds me of an assignment I had in my drawing and painting class in high school. My painting was done in orange and didn't turn out quite as nice and this one!
At the museum, I saw the most amazing pieces of art. The painting of Marilyn is an original Warhol. I also saw several original Georgia O'Keefe paintings and was so excited I forgot to take pictures. That is me on the roof next to Big Blue. The legs are an original piece of art I saw at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a naval munitions factory that was converted into a very cool art center on the banks of the Potomac River in Old Town Alexandria. 
It was so thrilling for this southern California girl to wake up one morning to snow. Thank you God for the little things that always make me so happy!
My grandkids and kids always make me happy, and I felt so fortunate to spend time with everyone over the holidays. Dylan on the left is around 18 months, and loves to point and wave at everyone. Eva is so resourceful and has the biggest imagination of any child I know! 
First snow on the changing leaves. So pretty.
That would be me, with my coffee, outside in the yard, loving life.
This is my little sweetheart, Leven, a 3-year old young lady, who has enough fun for all of us. Nothing can stop this little girl. She is not afraid to sled down the hill or shoot across on David's zip-line. Since she did it, I figured I would have to do it as well. I survived!
The one thing I refused to do was get out on a pair of ice-skates. Lindsay is a trooper and is not afraid of anything that I can see. She got both girls out on the ice and they all loved it. 
We spent a wonderful day at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia. It was totally amazing to say the least.
The Curtiss P-40 E Warhawk was a very successful fighter in the first half of WWII.  This particular airplane was delivered to Canada in 1941 and served until 1946. An awesome sight hung from the ceiling as if it were going to fly again.
Gemini VII was a spaceship manned by James Lovell Jr and Frank Borman in 1965, with a total of 206 orbits in 14 days. The purpose of that particular flight was to prove that humans could live in weightlessness for that amount of time; a successful mission that took us one step closer to the moon.
I loved looking down on the planes and grasp the size of things by looking at the size of the people milling about.
Me and my family standing in front of the Space Shuttle Discovery!
The Space Shuttle Discovery flew a total of 39 times from 1984 to 2011, spending a total of 365 days in space. Discovery flew on every type of mission, from satellite delivery to International Space Station assembly. Very amazing to stand beside it and feel a bit of outer space lingering in the air.
This model of the original Tracking and Data Relay Satellite was the one piece that really caught my eye. The TDRS is actually a constellation of three spacecraft placed into geosynchronous orbit beginning in 1983. Pretty impressive stuff. Farewell to one and all, and may the Force be with you.

Monday, January 22, 2018

White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Waterfall Trail in Maricopa County, Arizona

The White Tank Mountain Regional Park is nearly 30,000 acres of desert and mountain landscape, with the majority of the White Tank Mountains within the parks boundaries. When I visited Cara and my grandsons in December of last year, she took us all on a hike through the rugged park.
The Waterfall Trail actually has a pool of water towards the end of the established trail,  and at certain times of the year when rain is abundant, and if you are lucky, you will find a waterfall which is fed by two higher up waterfalls.
That would be me and my beautiful daughter-in-law, Cara, who is the mother of my two grandsons, Ethan and Wyatt. Cara works in aviation as a dispatcher, and never ceases to amaze me with her extensive knowledge.
Wyatt found this bug and of course I had to take a picture.
Ethan on the left and Wyatt on the right, two handsome young men who are very talented, intelligent and rambunctious! Definitely their daddy's sons. 
Very old, interesting petroglyphs are found throughout the park. Most of them are from the Hohokam civilization, but some may be from the Meso-Indians nearly 10,000 years ago.
Petroglyphs are etchings in the rock, whereas pictographs are paintings on the rock.

View over the desert; so awesome. Wish I was there right now.
That would be me on the rocks, happy as can be before climbing up into the waterhole area.
After I climbed up into the waterhole area, I did find the pool of water, but was too scared to climb back down.  Cara, Ethan and Wyatt climbed down like a group of mountain goats, but not me. I was stuck and had visions of crashing down into the rocks like a rag doll. This handsome young man just happened to be there and helped me down the rocks! Thank you!
Wyatt, a wonderful athlete who is extremely strong and friendly.
The boys with their mama.
Me and my grandsons. When did they grow so tall and strong? I remember when they were born. Now I really sound old.......
Bustin' open the bank! Each year Uncle Isaac saves up money in the silver pig, and the boys crack  it open at Christmas and split the pot between the two of them. Cara teased them about getting a counter's fee, as she helped with the counting and making sure it was even. They did not agree with her! Good night to one and all. May God grant you joy and blessing this coming year!

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