Last year, I somewhat foolishly plunked down the bucks to buy my not-quite two-year-old a snow suit and snow boots. I planned a surprise birthday trip to Big Bear for dad.
It was a memorable trip--but for the wrong reasons. Our pricey, so-called lake-view room abutted the main thoroughfare, which lit our room, unflaggingly, through the night.
A large storm left the town so snowy and icy, my son couldn't walk in his over-sized boots without slipping. The waterproof gloves were too big; the smaller gloves not waterproof. The sled was too scary. The visitor center was closed. The ski resort barred people from all snow recreation but skiing.
So we did the only thing our toddler enjoyed: drove the streets looking for snow plows.
This year, I was determined to use all that mini REI gear one more time before it was too small. Plus, our son had been asking for a mountain trip.
New Year's eve, we hastily packed the car and drove up Mt. Baldy (Yes, I know it's officially named Mt. San Antonio, but folks have been calling this highest peak in the San Gabriels Mount Baldy for more than a century.) There was far less snow than I'd expected (welcome to our warming world), but it was a gorgeous day atop the mountain.
The plan was to try out the Mt. Baldy Monster Tubing Park. But our son missed the (36") height cut-off by one inch. Still, he enjoyed the ride on the ski lift, and the cocoa at the lodge. I was grateful the Mt. Baldy Ski Resort management was relaxed about letting people play in snowy areas around the lodge.
After lunch, we headed back down the mountain to the Mount Baldy Trout Pools. My son enjoyed catching two rainbow trout. It was so quick and easy as to be anti-climactic for mom, but perfect for a toddler.