Monday, May 21, 2012

Big Bear

A few weeks ago, when it was way too hot for a winter's day, Jeremy and I decided to head for cooler climates. As we headed up the mountain to Big Bear, I delighted in watching the temperature on the dashboard drop a steady 30 degrees. We scored an awesome tin table from an antique store that was set up like an old-west town, complete with a hidden cassette player playing some warped old-timey piano music. We saw the pirate ship from the movie Time Bandits, which, when weather permits, you can take a ride on it-AND they shoot the cannon.
We took a drive around the lake and during lulls in the conversation I would stare out at the cutest little cabins and imagine having a vacation home out there.  Jeremy would interrupt these reveries by looking over and saying, "Wait, are you cabin shopping?!?  We can't afford cabin shopping- stop that!"
On the way back down the mountain we stopped for a quick drink, lured in by this bar's awesome signage.  It was even better inside.

 Stepping in, there were a handful of locals who, if they weren't already drunk by 5pm, they were well on their way towards it.  Sinatra's My Way was playing in the background while a lady lovingly put her arms around a bemused looking man and said, "You're the blonde I asked God to send to me," then she shoved him and spat, "but now you're with HER!"  Later on I heard her hitting on another guy by explaining the mating rituals of lizards to him.  The coffee maker had a handwritten sign on it that said, "How about a nice cup of shut the fuck up," and when Jeremy asked the bartender if she had any restaurant recommendations, the entire bar chimed in, basically breaking down the local eateries into places that will give you gas and places that won't.

It was a really, really good time.

The Magic Lamp Inn

We finally made it to The Magic Lamp Inn.  Located on old route 66, the decor is kinda Madonna Inn-y but with reds instead of pinks, the patrons were all over 60 years old, and the roadside sign is a neon magic lamp that SHOOTS OUT FIRE.  The dining room had a fake village facade and a model ship in the glass windowed wall next to us.  I know that sentence doesn't make much sense, but stay with me.  There's a giant fire pit in the restaurant that you can lounge around on the red leather upholstered circular seating and in the evenings there's karaoke in the bar.  Again; everyone is over 60 so the karaoke choices and the crooning are at full force awesomeness.  Jeremy sang some Johnny Cash and I took a video- my favorite part of which is when a guy in a walker slowly scoots in front of the camera.  Anyways, this place is a historical gem- visit it while you can.

Garlock, Randsburg, and the 14 East

This weekend we took a rainy drive through the Mojave and ended up at the ghost town of Garlock and the, "living ghost town," of Randsburg.  I'm just gonna say it; Pioneertown wishes it was Randsburg.  It was picturesque, creepy, and very lost-in-time.  We both agreed that we wanted a little vacation home out there.  This was an easy agreement because we totally buy vacation homes, like, ALL THE TIME.  Randsburg, an old mining town, has a number of abandoned buildings but also a number of antique shops, a couple of bars, an inn, a general store, and the Santa Barbara church (Barbara is the patron saint of miners).  I wish I would've headed out there before our wedding because there were amber bottles aplenty and the cheapest fool's gold I've ever seen.  I also wish we would've brought cash because nowhere in town takes cards and the woman who owned the only ATM in Randsburg was, "out".  We had to drive 20 miles away to the nearest ATM and, by the time we got back, the shops had closed up.  We did, however, get hand stirred sodas (gross) at the General Store and went to a bar where we were the only customers.  The sweet and welcoming bartender showed us pictures of her parents, told us the history of the town, and talked to us until our cold urban hearts got uncomfortable with too much hospitality and friendliness.  Upon leaving...K: "Ugh.  She was a talker!"  J: "Yeah, she talked me out of getting a second drink."  Social soulmates.
Totally recommended if you're in the area or even if you're not.  Here's 500 photos if you're still not convinced.

Sister Mary Corita

Prominent 60's pop artist, teacher, activist, and rebel nun.  She's got quite an amazing story, and I won't get into it here but if you're curious to learn more about her, here's a short writeup from Studio of Style which also mentions a current Corita exhibition at Otis College.  I just realized that the Corita Art Center is just down the street from me at the Immaculate Heart school - and they have visiting hours today.