The First Snowfall

Posted by on Aug 26, 2011 in Travel Tales | 2 comments

The First Snowfall

First times are always special times. And I always make it a point to remember my first-times in the most fondest ways possible.Some of them are adventurous, some of them soft and subtle and some of them, so beautiful that they should remain undescribed, locked in the alleys of your mind and heart, to be unlocked only to yourself, at times when just that one single thought or memory can bring the long-awaited smile on your face!

Then, there are those experiences, for which you have no one else to thank but the bounty and grace of nature. A feisty first thunderstorm, the first dance in the rain,the first beam of sunshine through the window, on your shoulder, after a dark,deep blue depressing and over cast day..the first sensation of snow flakes that play with your hair,dance on your tongue or rest sensuously on your eyelids.

Big Bear Mountain,California will always be special to me for more reasons than one. Two firsts here!It was my first weekend-trip ever since I landed in San Diego. And two, that was where I experienced my first(believe it or not!) snowfall!

New to my relationship,I wasn’t sure if both of us has similar or different definitions of ‘fun’, and to find a place where it could potentially meet all of our various meanings of ‘having a good time’ could have been a rare opportunity to begin with! But, we didn’t go wrong..ten years, and we still haven’t gone wrong!

We reached LA,first,driving through I-5, along the Pacific Coast.Within fifteen miles of leaving the interstate, LA was all but gone. The scenery only gets prettier as the drive approaches Big Bear City and Big Bear Lake. The culture of the population seems to live amongst nature, so rarely do houses or stores ruin a vista.

It was early December,and winter had not quite set in in California.I was told to expect snow. And honestly, I wasn’t thinking about it much..concentrating more on the scent of pines and the fresh mountain air.

Just before we entered the Big Bear Village, we stopped by a local coffee shop, and jacketed and booted, we sat in the log cabin, clasping in our hands a big mug of hot chocolate. While I was basking in the warmth of the mug, it had slowly started snowing outside.Stranger to this fact, I casually stepped out of the shop…and felt it for the first time. Snow! Soft,delicious snow.On my face, my eyelids, my hair..and my tongue! It was the most beautiful feeling ever. I actually pranced around like a little girl, shrieked in excitement and almost lost balance of my soul!It was one unforgettable moment.

It took me at least ten minutes to regain earthly senses, before we drove to check into a huge palatial wooden log house, in whose backyard was the prettiest lake I had seen. The Big Bear Lake.

An afternoon lunch of some sandwiches,some more hot chocolate and we were ready to stroll through our weekend escapade!

Right off Big Bear Boulevard, there is a wooden walkway that runs over the water, and, just on the other side of the lake, there are year-round walking trials that trace the shore line. If hiking is your thing, check out the Discovery Center, just a few miles down the lake. From there, a number of trails head off into the surrounding mountains, varying in difficulty.But,hiking wasn’t “our” thing for that trip. So, we let it pass!Hiking trails are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to (other)things to do. Big Bear has mountain biking, an alpine slide, and horseback riding. Of course there is also skiing,tubing, and the provision to being able to zip-line down the mountain during a snowstorm!

The same evening,while walking down the main road,I spot this very charming old shop. A wooden log house,again, with trinkets and merchandise decorating every corner,not even leaving out the doors and the windows. And we meet David!David has lived in Big Bear his entire life. His grandfather came here in 1935. Chris tells me the history of the lake from even before it was a lake all the way through to the present day. We chat like friends, about history, food, wealthy Americans and opulent unforgiving lifestyles!And, eventually end up being comfortable enough to share four cups of coffee. Ah, the power of conversation. In short, this is the best history lesson I would have ever received!

We decided on Mexican, for dinner. Why? Because Mexican food is to Americans, what Chinese food is to Indians! What I basically mean by that is that it is the safest cuisine to try, when you are unsure of what dining experiences lie waiting ahead for you! And I learnt this in my early days in America!Passing by Azteca Grill, it seems like a cross between a taco stand and a mid-range sit-down restaurant. With minimal indoor seating, a patio surrounded by white cross-hatch fencing, and very little decor, this is the type of place that either has amazing food or an amazing location- this visit could have gone any number of ways.Fortunately it stood strong on both these reasons! Amazing location..and great Mexican food!

The next day we drove back to San Diego.

I can never forget this rip to Big Bear. It stands out clear in my memory even today.

After all, like I said before,who can forget their ‘firsts’!


  1. Oh this is the trip we used to talk about in GPJ?

  2. Possibly yes,Rahil! Did I talk to you about this trip…? My memory fails me..old age,perhaps! 🙂