Friday, December 28, 2012

Idyllwild Christmas Trip, Day #2

Today was a slooooowww day that started out mid-morning. Nobody was moving fast in the chilling cold. Our friends, the Wrights, were on the hook for breakfast and we finally managed to arrive about 10:30 - only an hour late! ;-)

This was followed by a quick trip to the coffee shop in town and the purchase of a Forest "Adventure Pass," which is basically a parking pass for parks. They call it an Adventure Pass to "sex it up" but it's nothing more than paying for something that we've already paid for through our taxes. You can call it a "fee," but like putting lipstick on a pig, it's still a tax coming from our inefficient government!
3 Amigos on a rock...
We later tried to go hiking along the Ernie Maxwell trail, but the road to the trail head at Humber Park was icy - cars were slipping and sliding all over. So, the decision was to hike up the road from the Wright's cabin to Humber which we mostly did. It was cold and uphill all the way, with cars spinning out around us. After about 45 minutes, we turned around.

Got some exercise in before shopping down in the Village though, so that's good! Emily got yet another cute hat that is a beacon of her personality, Kim picked up a cool hand-made jacket & scarf, and I made out w/ an Aussie-sourced vest.

All in all, a relaxing day that ended w/ a delectable spaghetti dinner at the La Rue cabin, a cribbage game (damned you Jon!), and a goofy movie with Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz. ;-)  Tomorrow, we pack and slide back down the hill towards the coast!

Random pics from the day...

Graffiti - Idyllwild style.  (me likie!)

Etho - ready for action w/ Lily the Labrador

Amazing twig

Finnegan the Mighty!

Frozen twigs

Kim and Bella

Ethan, Bella, and Mom

Misty Mountain Majesty

Mountain Mike's Curio shop

The no-nonsense Big Guy!  ;-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Idyllwild Visit, Part #1

Liam & Emily, pausing briefly from Snowman making
This year after Christmas, Kim and I decided to take the family (the entire family including dogs!) to Idyllwild, CA. It's a charming little town that I've visited many times on the bike and even a few times on trips similar to this one.  We again rented a cabin from "Sparky's Cabins," a quality outfit run I think by a former Airborne Ranger. As we climbed the mountain out of Hemet, the fog lay thick. By the time we got up to the "Hill" as the locals call it, snow flurries were swirling around the Expedition.

We'd split up from our traveling companions, Jon, Sheri, and Liam Wright back in Hemet when Ethan needed a pair of jeans (he was wearing shorts heading to snow flurries - that's my Boy Scout!).  After checking out our cabin, we caught up w/ the Wrights and did a little shopping in town.

Tunes from the past...
 The boys went one way, and Kim, Emily & Sheri went another. Eventually, Jon and I invited the girls into a wine & beer bar that we found called "Idyll Awhile." Cool place, made even cooler by the sounds of a blues record playing on a turntable!  While the kids had to make due outside (it was a 21-year and older place; who was I to argue?), I had a Hefewei├čen, Kim her customary Chardonnay, and Jon had this amazing Christmas ale whole alcohol content made him loopy. ;-)

Suave Jon
We retired from the bar and ventured over to the cabin that the Wrights had rented for dinner. The kids played outside in the snow, a rarity.  Theirs was a smallish place, but way quaint with a better build than our larger joint (think of a "double-wide" if ya know what I mean. ;-)

After macking down on some Frito chip "taco" recipe that Sheri's aunt had invented (which was delicious), we motored home in the continued snow flurries.  We came upon an AMG Mercedes having trouble getting our of a shallow ditch, so I pulled over and Ethan and I gave a hand. With no small effort pushing from the rear, we helped the couple drive it a few meters up the road to park for the evening. A friend came and picked them up.

Once back at our cabin, with the dogs fed, we settled into a movie ("Four Brothers") and a reasonably quiet night. As I write this, my eyes are lidded with the long day and Fat Tire ale I'm drinking.  More to come... ;-)

Cool wine selection

Kim, happy to be on vacation!