We began our last morning in Big Bear with breakfast at the Grizzly Manor Cafe.
The Grizzly Manor Cafe is a small restaurant with a ton of character. The interior of the cafe is covered with drawings, stickers, signs and business cards. Unfortunately, I didn't have any blog cards on me, otherwise I would have put one up on the wall!
I took some pictures of the menu. I like the warning regarding special orders and I heeded it!
Grizzly Manor isn't the only Big Bear cafe that has coffee cups supporting local businesses. I love it.
Dan loves pancakes and we read that Grizzly Manor Cafe had enormous ones. The pancake came and it covered the plate!
I don't normally order waffles, but it seemed like the thing to do here. Breakfast was delicious in this quirky establishment. I highly recommend checking out Grizzly Manor Cafe.
We had about an hour to kill before our Action Zipline Tour, so we drove around to the other side of the lake to check out the observatory. Unfortunately, we found out that the observatory was closed to the public this summer. Hopefully it will be open on our next visit, as it is something that we would love to check out.
Bear art is all over Big Bear and we contemplated buying a piece. Some of the stores had wooden bears that were hanging off window sills, like they were taking a peak inside of a house. I must have one.
It finally came time to begin our Action Zipline tour. The tour began at their office, where we filled out waivers and we were given a short briefing from the office staff.
We were told that cameras and cell phones were not allowed on the tour due to safety reasons. Also, they wanted us to leave all lose articles, specifically car keys, in lockers that they provided at the office. The lockers had a key with a wrist band and felt secure. I don't mind that they wanted us to leave things behind, although I thought that it was funny that they specifically mentioned that we could take our wallets to tip the guides. I was planning on tipping the guides of course, but if things falling out of pants was such a big problem, wouldn't wallets be included in that?
Our group had about fifteen people and they took us up the mountain in two vans. It was approximately a twenty minute drive. At the base of the zipline camp, we were outfitted with helmets and our zipline harnesses. The four guides introduced themselves and helped us get into our gear. We were then taken in two groups further up the mountain in military style vehicles. The bumpy ride was fun!
We did nine ziplines, most of which I found to be completely terrifying.
I was absolutely trembling after the first two lines and nearly backed out when I got to the third. What made me jump off of the third was a rude woman in our group threatening that she would push me, if I didn't get on with it. Nice. She was scared of heights and it was hard to have sympathy towards her after that comment.
The heights didn't bother me. I also trusted the guides and the safety equipment. What got to me was the speed and worrying about having to reach up and use my gloved hand to brake myself. I don't really enjoy fast movement and was completely intimidated by the speed in which I was hurling towards the guides waiting to catch me if I didn't properly brake.
This was 100% outside of my comfort zone and although I am glad that I tried it, I would never do it again. I was actually supposed to go on a zipline tour with my mom in Maui about six months before she passed away. The day of our excursion the winds were too high and it got canceled. My mom was the daring one in the family. I inherited none of her love of adrenaline rushes. She went sky diving for her sixtieth birthday and loved every minute of it! My mom would have been proud that I went through all of the ziplines without bailing.
Action had a professional photographer on the excursion and we were encouraged to let go and wave. All of my pictures were terrible as I refused to relax and had a look of complete fear on my face. They managed to get one good shot of Dan. He looks like he's having fun!
Just like the Segway tour, it was a good idea to wear bright colors. The bright colors really pop in the pictures. Even though we didn't purchase proof of me in action, we did decide to buy a nice picture of Dan and I together.
I'm not going to deny it, I was happy when the tour was over. It was terrifying! If you decide that it is something you would like to try, I would definitely reccomend Action Ziplines, as the guides were fantastic and we thought that it was a good value for an adrenaline packed morning.
After the hot and dusty excursion, we were parched and desperate for a beer. We headed to Village Pizza for lunch.
Oddly enough, our last meal in Big Bear was the only one that we thought wasn't a very good value. The prices were more akin to Los Angeles restaurants, so maybe it was a good way to ease back into reality. We each had a large beer and shared a medium pizza, which was more than enough food for two. Good pizza with loads of tomato sauce, toppings and a thin crust.
On our way out of town, we made one last stop, The Magic Mountain Recreation Area. Magic Mountain, not to be confused with the Six Flags chain, is a small family fun zone with a water slide, horse rentals, an arcade and an alpine slide ride. In the winter they offer snow tubing. Dan really wanted to go on the Alpine Slide, so we bought five tickets for twenty.
Tip- Don't store the tickets in your pocket. We used two tickets and lost the rest. Dan bought a single extra ticket to ride the slide a second time, so that I could record him coming down.
The best part of the Alpine Slide is the ride to the top. The transportation is via ski lift chairs, which gave us great views and made the entire experience last twice as long.
The lift has hooks on the sides that carry the "sleds" back up the hill. The speed of the sled is controlled with a hand brake. I took it slow down the slide, but Dan flew down!
I love this shot that Dan took of the slide. There are two tracks, one for slower sliders and a fast track.
On Dan's second ride, I took a short video of him finishing the track. It looks like he's moving slowly, but it's only because this is the part of the track where he is required to slow down to prepare for stopping.
Dan's 40th Birthday Weekend was a huge success and we were sad to drive home. Hopefully we will return to Big Bear soon!