Winter Wonderland


Winter brings to mind new beginnings — a time to shed the old, be surprised by what’s around the corner.

It signals the end of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere at least). Time to begin with a clean slate as snow melts away previous troubles, fears, mistakes and faults.

To those living in wintry places, no doubt winter brings to mind storms, gray skies, the uniformity after a blizzard, the biting cold. Snow and icicles.


Winter also brings to mind cheer, the Christmas fairy lights and decorations, caroling and bells, trees and menorahs, family get-togethers, passing of traditions from generation to generation.

We don’t have real winters in Southern California, unless, of course, one drives up the mountain. Even then, winter doesn’t always show up when one decides to pop in for a visit.

But this year, it did.

When we drove up to Big Bear Lake (elevation 7000 feet) for Christmas, winter showed herself in all her snowy splendor.

We got two feet of snow. And yes, it was cold (10 degrees, the low), and wild, and we loved every moment of it, even when we got snowed in. With no way to make it to the village, an eight-minute walk from our rented cabin, we spent Saturday alternating between playing in the snow, running inside to warm up, then back outside where the snow kept on falling, quiet and cold and splendid.



At night, inside the cabin, snuggled in blankets, we couldn’t get enough of the snowflakes falling outside the window, the gorgeous images as splendid as those long-ago childhood memories. A true winter wonderland, if I ever saw one; and growing up in Eastern Europe, I’ve seen plenty.


our cozy cabin

Yet, clearly, I’m no longer a winter person. As much as I enjoyed our four days of winter, eventually we installed our tire chains and drove back down the mountain, admiring our winter wonderland as we went, forever thankful for the beauty of the season, the joy that lifted our spirits beyond anything I could’ve imagined. And all of it just a quick two-hour drive from home.


So long for now

May the joy of the season bring you happiness, good health, and fill your heart with love. Happy New Year, dear blogging friend.

24 responses to “Winter Wonderland

  1. I used to go to Big Bear when I was young. Happy New Year, Silvia!

  2. What a lovely holiday, Sylvia. We are trying to find a time when there might be snow to visit some friends in the NC mountains. We went to Lake Tahoe once when we lived south of LA – also had a big snowfall when there and enjoyed cross country skiing. I love snow – in manageable and limited doses! Happy New Year to you and your family!

  3. The mountains are really getting some snow this year. Glad you had a good Christmas in it.

  4. Our mountains up in the NW are blanketed with snow. They are glorious and it is COLD! If you are desperate for snow, come up and visit! LOL!! You had a PERFECT and very Merry Christmas. Congratulations. I hope your New Year is equally as magical. Hugs to my friend for her New Year!

  5. Loved the photos Silvia the first four in b & w with a touch of red! Your winter break sounds great! Here’s to a peaceful and happy 2017 to you and family 😀😀

  6. Happy New Year Silvia … yes those few Christmases where the snow falls and life changes briefly are so worth remembering … I can remember too … it’ll be a great watering when it melts … have a very peaceful, happy and successful 2017 – cheers Hilary

  7. Those big, fluffy snowflakes can create a romantic, cozy atmosphere. Your cabin/experience sounds lovely. We had an ice storm on Christmas Day which cancelled our plans to drive a couple hours to be with my family. Instead, we hunkered down, and made the best of it. I had all four of my big boys here, playing games, watching movies, and eating the Chef’s delicious meal.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  8. These scenes are just beautiful, Silvia. I thought it looked like Big Bear before I read your saying so. Thank you for letting me share your snowy mountain adventure vicariously through you. It reminds me of a romantic, magical interlude I spent there for a few days many years ago — snow, a cozy cabin and a blazing fire in the hearth. A nice feature of SoCal is that on impulse you can change climates via a relatively short drive. Wishing you all things bright and beautiful in the New Year.

    • Samantha, thank you for being here. Indeed, the magic of SoCal is the beauty of all seasons just a couple of hours apart. Warm beaches, cold, and snowy mountains, hot, windy deserts, etc. Why I love it here, plus the absence of real winter where I live. :)
      Big Bear, as you remember is simply spectacular, but driving back down the mountain with snow chains … well, that was some experience. ;)

  9. Hi Silvia,
    lovely post about lovely , albeit cold, times.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Regards. Marie.

  10. How lucky you are to have had a four day winter wonderland! Just enough to enjoy its magic but not too much to get tired of it all.
    Happy New Year, Silvia. May the year bring you joy, success and pleasant unexpected surprises. <3

  11. I guess it’s a good thing you live where you do, given your feelings on winter (I only wish I knew where to go to get two feet of snow on-demand…besides my imagination.) :-) But at least you were someplace where being snowed in wasn’t a huge problem. That’s the one thing I’m glad about, living where the snow comes rarely and goes away quickly–travel is not a big problem.

    Happy New Year!

    • California is different that way. You can find different climates on demand (well, via a long drive, at times). No, it wasn’t a huge problem being snowed in for one day. In fact, we love the newness of it. And it was nice to be able to drive back down the mountain and home, once the roads cleared.
      Thank you, Andrea. Happy new year!!

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