Thursday, June 20, 2013

#oertlefamilyvaca: Big Bear Lake, CA

Last night Danny and I returned to our very warm abode after a great family vacation. While vacation was everything it should be, there is just something so nice about returning to your own home and your own space. I am realizing more and more that I have really adjusted to my home here in Tempe. I love it. I love pulling into our neighborhood, seeing our home in the distance, and hearing the sound of the key unlock the front door as I re-enter our little sanctuary of family life. Anyway...back to the great vacation!

We left on Saturday morning and drove the 5 or so hours to the San Bernadino Mts., eventually arriving at the cute little city of Big Bear Lake, CA. Danny and I arrived before the rest of his family, so we walked a long the lake a bit and grabbed a coffee. Once his parents arrived, we went to the house. From the outside, it looked awesome! It was very cabin-like and looked like it would be spacious. As we spent more time in the house, we began to realize it had some major shortcomings, the main one being an ant infestation. And I mean infestation. Ants in beds, ants all over the kitchen, ants on the couches. So Danny's dad, after some major arm wrestling with the rental agency, was able to get a new accommodation. And let me tell you...IT WAS AWESOME. To give you a taste, here was our view for the last few days:

We were up pretty high and had the most beautiful view of the lake. Since that was the best part of the house, there was a huge deck with plenty of lounge chairs. We spent a good amount of time out there just reading and talking and spending some good quality time together. And in the evenings, this view lent us wonderful sunsets! 

We had some good celebrations up there, too. Father's Day was on Sunday and my 25th birthday was the following day. I had already given Danny his gift before we can't exactly bring a gas grill wrapped and ready to give, so I opted to let him have it before. 

For my birthday, we happened to choose that day to rent a boat and take it out on the lake. Even though I couldn't do any of the major activities like cliff jumping and tubing, it was still great to just spend a few hours on the lake with the family. It was fun to see our little nieces (4 and 2) conquer the tube with out a second thought and to see Danny goofing off with his sister Carrie when it was his turn! 

It was a little windy! 
Stella chowin' on some oranges and giving us a funny smile! 

Norah behind the wheel!
The man I love! 
 One of my favorite parts of the whole vacation was seeing Danny play with his nieces. He is going to be the best dad to our little love. He is so gentle and loving, fun and goofy, all while being such a man. I love him and I can't wait to see him thrive in his fatherhood! Here he is playing with Norah...helping her float in the doorway.
Before heading out yesterday, we stopped at one of Big Bear's tourist attractions: Alpine Slide. It is basically a huge luge that you slide down. I couldn't go for obvious reasons, but it was still fun to see the family come down the mountain with a little speed and huge smiles! Even the little girls got to go!
Alpine Slide
Danny going up the ski lift and coming in (top left to right)
Candyce coming in with Norah and Smitty coming in with Stella (bottom left to right)
The drive home wasn't too bad, but it is always a little sad leaving family vacations for reality. This morning Danny woke up early and left for work and I am back to home projects. In fact, I should be leaving to head up to Restoration Hardware and West Elm! Time to conquer the AZ heat!

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