Thursday, May 1, 2008

The 100 Mile Vacation

We have always loved to travel.  We're lucky to live in a state with so many wonders to see ~ we have deserts, beaches, mountains, and more, all within 100 miles.

In fact, we're thinking of our travel time now in terms of the 100 mile vacation.  Our options within a 100 mile radius are staggering.  Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, miles of beaches, Joshua Tree National Park, San Diego . . . we live in the middle of it all.

This weekend we're heading up to Big Bear for our first deliberately chosen 100 mile vacation (or weekend getaway). Oh, we've vacationed within the given radius too many times to count, but this year we're specifically thinking of lower-impact travel.  We're only thinking of one trip outside of our radius (and it's within 150 miles), and our plan is to take the train and go car free when we are there.

We're staying at a timeshare condo; we happen to be owners with the opportunity to choose a resort in Big Bear, but a lot of timeshares do rent out to non-owners.  Why a timeshare?  Well, the biggest reason is that we can cook all of our own meals, and because we're traveling locally we can take our CSA produce and grassfed beef with us.  Also, with a timeshare, the unit isn't cleaned daily, saving cleaning products and electricity (no need to vacuum daily; we have a carpet sweeper in our unit).  They don't change out the towels or bedding until after we leave.

What are we going to do?  Well, hike for one thing.  We are firm believers in getting out in nature, both to preserve our sanity (and our humanity) and to keep our children connected to the earth.  We also plan to visit the little Moonridge Animal Park.  I'm not a huge zoo fan, but I appreciate that there are places that care for injured animals and those who may have been illegally taken when young (and thus be imprinted on humans).  It's another chance to connect, this time with the animals we share the mountains with.

We'll connect with each other as well; making music, playing games, and doing crafts.  My goal is a TV free weekend (not all that hard for us, but we usually do watch DVDs on vacation).  I suggested that we leave the laptop at home as well, and Papa was all for it.  We have some planning and dreaming to do, but I'm guessing that we can manage it with a pencil and notebook.

We've never considered Big Bear more than a day trip, but we're not thinking the way we used to.  In the past we've been known to drive up and stay as few as four hours.  Now we realize that we should make the most of it if we're going to use the gasoline to get up there.

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