Unlike any other time I can remember, the Goldsworthys have been solidly booked – we were in Pismo two weekends ago and last weekend we gathered with my Kiwanis family for a weekend getaway in Big Bear.
Being fairly new to the Glendale Kiwanis family (I signed on a year ago), I was eager to head up to Big Bear to hang out with some of my fellow club members. Thankfully, we have generous family members who allowed us to use their gorgeous “cabin” (I use the term loosely) so Steve and I didn’t accrue a hotel bill plus we were able to invite our friends “Big Vin” and Toni Espinoza to join us.
The magic started while we were still on the road, leaving cloudy overcast skies, going through a fog bank then wham! We popped out into sunshine and clear skies as we neared the resort city. After settling into our home-away-from-home, we made our way to the cabin of fellow Kiwanian Jen Schwing who hosted a taco night that will not be soon forgotten. Delicious food and adult beverages were capped off with karaoke (hopefully those adult beverages dulled people’s memories of some of the performances – my own included).
On Saturday afternoon, Steve and I (with fellow Kiwanians) boarded the Time Bandit, a ⅓-scale replica of a 16th century Spanish galleon, for a 90-minute tour of the lake. At the helm was “Captain Spectacular” (aka Don) who, with wench Tina, gave us an overview of the history of Big Bear. Don has been a longtime resident of the area and showed off some of the architectural gems and historic buildings that line the shores while sharing stories of growing up in Big Bear. At one point, we tucked into a cove where we found the house “that Bugs Bunny built” – it was the vacation home of voice actor Mel Blanc known as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, among many others.
When the boat settled, we were instructed to holler out, “Hey, Bugs Bunny!” and lo and behold out came Noel Blanc, Mel’s son. With bullhorn in hand, he answered us back in the voice of Bugs, then responded in the voices of other characters to various questions shouted out to him. What a swell guy!
Soon after we were heading back to the dock at Holloway’s Marina serenaded by Mel Blanc’s recording of his song, “Big Bear Lake.”
A catered dinner at the lakeside home of Bruce and Debbie Hinckley and a Sunday morning brunch rounded out our weekend getaway.
I am forever grateful to my fellow Kiwanis members who organized this unforgettable weekend and am thankful to those who were also able to travel “up the hill.” Steve and I had a great time, learned about my fellow Kiwanians and gained some history of a place so close to home.