Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Big Bear Lake, California

Today is a good day. We just came back from our much needed vacation. Pretty much our first one since 2001. We've been busy running the studio for all these years, and for the first time in 10 years, we don't have to get up at 8 am to go open up the store!

We just spent the last 3 days and 2 nights in a cozy little cabin at the Three Pines Lodge in Big Bear. Those of you that are not in the area, it's about 2 hours from downtown Los Angeles, up in the San Bernadino mountains.

We drove up the mountain, and went straight to the Big Bear convention center, where they just happened to be holding their annual Oktoberfest.
We drank beer, (which we both hate, but did it anyway) listened to music, watched them do the chicken dance, ate Bratwursts, heavy potato dumplings with rich gravy, and one of us, (we'll leave it up to you to guess who) passed out in an alcohol and starch-induced coma. Next, we headed to the lodge to check-in.

The folks at Three Pines Lodge were great. If you are ever planning a vacation to Big Bear, we recommend this place. We arrived a little late in the day, and they had our key waiting, with a nice little letter saying that they had upgraded us for no additional charge.
We had booked a one-room cabin, but they upgraded us to a one bedroom, cabin with a separate living room and a kitchen. It was pretty chilly up there, and we built a fire with the endless pine cones we found just steps from our door.

We didn't want to do anything during this vacation. The only thing we had planned was to relax and nothing else. We just wanted to eat and sleep like bears going into hibernation. What we learned during this trip, was that Big Bear businesses close pretty early. Since we just wanted to stay in and watch tv by the fire, and everything was closed at night, we found a Big Kmart and bought some ramen noodles. The cold weather was such a contrast to the temperature below the mountain that we were thrilled with the MSG filled hot soup packet.

The second day, we headed down to the Big Bear Discovery Center. We learned some interesting info, but it was not very big, and we didn't spent too much time there. We then headed down to the lake for some sightseeing. We took a long walk along the water, watched the boats, and picked up some twigs to use for firewood at night.

The other reason for our trip, was October 2nd is our wedding anniversary.
And after a day of walking around, shopping in their tiny little "Village" twice, buying some sourvenirs and a pack venison jerky, we headed over to Cowboy Express for what we had been looking forward to all day: a big Texas steak dinner. As usual, Eddie's eyes were bigger than his stomach, and Julia polished off this steak...

The third and last day, we decided we had seen all there is to see in Big Bear, and decided to head over to the neighboring Lake Arrowhead before the drive home. There was a big shopping center in Lake Arrowhead, and also a boat tour, which we happily took. It was interesting to see the lakeside homes of the rich and famous, including one big house with two boats parked in the water, one of them called "California Girls".
If you are thinking Beach Boys, you are right. The home is owned by Brian Wilson. An interesting fact we learned during the tour... The owners of the homes were tired of being regulated by the government, so they all got together to pitch in and buy out the land from the government. So in a way, one could say that Lake Arrowhead is private property!

In short, Eddie's thought on Lake Arrowhead: a very nice and luxurious resort town. We might head back for a weekend there some day in the future. Julia's thoughts on Lake Arrowhead: looking forward to that weekend there some day in the future.

So, it may not sound like the most interesting vacation ever to some of you out there, but after 10 years couped up in a studio, this was a much needed rest, and a time for us to get our sanities back! Three days may be a bit much, but Big Bear would be perfect for a regular weekend getaway. There's skiing in the winter, and water sports during the summer. But, we were too lazy to do anything but lift our forks to eat steak. So there you go.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

It's finally here!

We've been thinking about doing this blog for a long time, and finally got around to doing it. Some customers asked about posting comments online about their thoughts on our service, and this blog will allow them to do so.

It is also a place where we can share some of our experiences, and the wonderful people we've met. This blog will be not only about our work, but to those of you who may be interested (or not!) a peek into our everyday, non-work related lives.

Hope you enjoy!