24 Jun 2013
Eric knows that I love to travel, and he does too. Exploring new places together is one of our all-time favorite things to do. Each year we try to take a few little trips together to see new things and to have a little time away to reflect and talk about the big things as well as the little ones. It is just so good to do that. For our two year anniversary we headed east to Big Bear Lake, a mountain retreat and adventure playground. And, as a side note, Eric has really long arms and is thus very good at taking these shots. It’s one of his many talents.
We arrived Friday night, but as we were approaching Big Bear, traffic just stopped. Everyone was trying to see what was happening up around the bend, and soon, amidst all the lights from the sirens, I noticed a helicopter flying low. I realized it was trying to land on this curvy mountain road. And I knew that was not good. It was a terrible wreck, terrifying to imagine, and all we could do was pray. Eric and I talked about the prayers that had been most meaningful to us as children, and we sent ours along, hoping for the very best. (I haven’t been able to find any news reports about the accident, so I hope that is a good sign of a positive outcome). Needless to say, moments like that remind us that life is so precious, and so fragile. That every minute you’re laugh-singing to Ace of Base in the car with someone you love is a gift, not to be taken for granted. In an ideal world, it wouldn’t take an accident like this to remind us of that truth, to draw our minds back to gratitude. It’s something that I try to do every day, but every day is a fresh experience, with as many opportunities to be grumpy as to be grateful. There isn’t anything in the world I’m more grateful for than Eric, and this weekend we made every moment count.
Eric found this very aptly named street for me. In the afternoon we kayaked around the lake, which was such awesome fun, but I have zero pictures of it because we decided to leave our phones in the car in case the whole thing tipped over. Thankfully, there was no flipping, but we did get a lot of splashes of perfectly cold ice water from the oars, so we probably made the right call. I don’t think I had ever kayaked before, but it was so much easier than paddling in a canoe or paddleboat, and I have already told Eric that wherever we should stumble upon a kayaking adventure in the future, I’m on it.
Big Bear has a wildlife rehabilitation center (which we hit up right after the kayaking), where they nurse injured or abandoned animals back to health so they can release them back into the wild. There were mountain lions and grizzly bears (one. thousand. pounds.) and owls and bald eagles and pelicans and wolves and deer. It was glorious. I also have zero pictures of that, since I was too busy oohing and aahing, but I will never forget it.
The village is really quaint and charming, even though it was under some kind of heavy construction. I hear they’re putting in heated sidewalks and fire pits along the walkways. Fancy. Can you see the bear on top of the sign?
We found these hand chairs and, of course, could not stop ourselves from making one hundred Arrested Development jokes, but I am telling you: I did not know Eric was doing this Buster pose until I loaded these pictures onto my computer. He is always making me laugh.
Big Bear has the most impressive fudge and ice cream shop I have ever seen. We spent such a long time deliberating! Eric says that, for the record, it turns out that a quarter pound of fudge is too much for one person to eat. So, I pass this knowledge on to you.
For our anniversary dinner we went to a tiny Italian place, tucked away under a bowling barn. It was way more elegant than that sounds. And I wore a new secret dress, which was lots of fun, since Eric always notices when I wear something new.
On Sunday we rode the chairlift up to the top of the mountain for lunch. This one operates year-round; when the final snow melts for the season, mountain bikers take over, sending their wheels up on the lift and then riding down. It looks awesomely scary.
After lunch and our ride back down the mountain, it was time to hit the road. We had such a beautiful weekend, and I’m so glad we crammed as much fun into it as possible. But the things I think I’ll really remember about this trip are the conversations we had, the smiles we shared, the laughter and the ease we have with each other. We had such a great time talking about our favorite memories from the last year and talking about our hopes and goals for this coming one. We came up with so many fun things that I had to rush to write them down when we got back to the hotel. Having a partner who is also your best friend is just the greatest joy in life. I can’t wait for all that year three has in store for us.