BIG BEAR, LITTLE SISTER

As I sit down to FaceTime my sister, I am situated in my usual spot in front of my computer. I am wrapped in a blanket and wearing sweats. Trust me, there is nothing assuming about the look that I am rocking. I suppose I could have put some blush on for her, or some deodorant on for me. Suddenly, my sister’s face pops up on the screen. She has just gotten home from work and she looks effortlessly beautiful. Two little ones are bustling around in the background both excited to see each other and to spend the rest of the day playing.

Watching those two small girls is surreal on many levels. It is exactly what it must have been like to watch my sister and I growing up. The oldest is, well, the oldest, the over-driven, sometimes bossy, and always protective one. And, the youngest is the more harmonious and sometimes passive one. She is calm when she needs to be, but more vocal in other ways having to carve out her own path with an older sister in tow. In more ways than I can count, this sums up my sister and I as children, and maybe even as adults.

“Kristi, Kristi…. can you hear me?” I am drawn out of my childhood daydreaming to see my little sister. She is grown now. At times, much more grown up than me. She has a house, a 9-5, a dog, a backyard, and two children under the age of 5. I have a one bedroom apartment and I can barely keep our succulents alive. “Yes, I can hear you. I wanted to chat about this interview idea I have for COH°. I want to give readers a different voice, and maybe interview you about our recent road trip allowing you to share you thoughts and tips. Would you be interested?” 

“Sounds great” she says. “If you have some questions, we could start now. The girls are playing together and entertaining themselves so its perfect timing.”

I wasn’t planning on conducting my first interview ever today. I think for a moment and then say, “Ok, let’s give it a go." I search around in my head for a minute to come up with the first question when out pops: ”What is it like to have such a cool sister?” She looks at me and smiles as if she wasn’t expecting that, but without hesitation, she responds, “I wouldn’t know.” Before she said anything, I knew this would be her answer. As long as I can remember, we have always poked fun at each other. 

“I knew you were going to say that!” I said, as I let out a big laugh. “But, I was looking for something more along the lines of ‘amazing… she is so awesome.’ ” She looks at me completely satisfied with besting me at my own joke and says “I know, but I couldn’t resist.” “Well played,” I say. “But, we will have to edit that part out, now back to the interview.”


Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?

I'm a young, working mom who lives in Southern Louisiana and loves the outdoors and spontaneous adventures. Any given weekend, you’ll find me hauling the kids and husband and all their necessities to our local fishing spot, the woods for a camping trip, or just a drive through the country cane fields.

Literally, nothing you just said is my life. We are so different. Well, except for the spontaneous adventure part that I can identity with. And, also you left out the part about being my little sister which is obviously a big part of your life.

Yes, I am ohhhh so lucky to be your sister. Our lives are very different. When I walked into your house and saw that everything was white and light grey and glass, I thought: this is the most non-child house I’ve been to in a while.

I hadn't thought of it like that, but that is so true. Sooo what brought you to California?

California is one of my favorite places so it didn't take much convincing. All I needed to hear was Girl Trip, and I was ready with a credit card in hand to book my plane ticket.

And you wanted to see me... I think you accidentally left that part out, but I read between the lines. How did you end up in Big Bear? 

You! You wouldn't stop talking about Big Bear. I was like OMG! Fine I will go.... whatever stops the text messages! You had me at snow. I was excited to explore a part of Cali I hadn't explored yet. But, I also felt that if I didn't say yes, then you would still keep talking about it. You have to stop texting from your laptop. You text paragraphs! You are a writer. 

I just know how much you like to read. So no, I wasn't going to let up. I have this deep love of taking people on adventures, and I knew you would love the snow! And was I right? Or was I right?

As much as it pains me to say this, you were right. Big Bear was absolutely incredible. Even the drive up to the lake was amazing.

We basically stopped at every scenic vista point along the way.

Yes, but you do that all the time, so I was used to it.

I do love a good vista. 

Tell everyone a little bit about our day there. 

Growing up in the south, I never truly experienced snow as a kid so I wanted to start simple. We spent the day snow tubing down the slopes and enjoying the beautiful sites and landscapes of the mountain. I absolutely loved it.

The slopes. You sound like a professional snow boarder already. We also made snow angels together for the first time. That made for some really hilarious boomerangs.

Yeah... we won't be sharing those. 

That is why you have to love me forever. Not because I am your older sister, but because I have those babies in my blackmail arsenal now. 

Trust me, I have plenty of blackmail on you too. You aren't exactly free of embarrassing moments.

Nope, thats for sure, but enough about that. 

Anyway, did you need your own equipment to snow tube?

We found a small little place that wasn't over-packed with tourists. Your entry fee paid for your snow tube. It looked slightly intimidating at first, but when the 6 year old next to me went for it, I figured what the heck let's do this. So is this the part where we mention how I won every race against you?

Paaallllease, nice try. You know I won.

You suffer from motion sickness. You once made me pull over at the top of a very high ramp to throw up down the side of a mountain. TMI?

Yeah... that wasn't the best moment of my life.

We have had better. Did you get sick on the what did you call it, “the slopes?” Oh, and, how was my driving this time?

Like I said, 6 year olds were snow tubing, so no motion sickness there. And, your driving, well, it is always as free spirited as you are.

Touché. Touché. OK... better question: What are some tips to helping with motion sickness on a long drive?

Motion sickness is a hurdle I always have when traveling. No matter where I go, I keep ginger ale, high protein snacks, and non-drowsy dramamine on hand. Driving up to Big Bear, all of those items really came in handy.

So what was it like traveling with me?

Traveling with you has always been my favorite. With you, food and music are always first priority! When I saw you packing for this road trip, I never saw clothes, you just spent hours packing food. I have never seen someone pack so much food to travel. I have to say watching you pack was like watching my children "pick up" their toys. Everything just gets thrown into a pile. And music, well you always have music on which is fun, but once we lost service and had to listen to John Mayer circa 2008 on repeat, I was honestly considering putting on the Frozen soundtrack.

Yeah, I am not a detailed oriented packer. I am more of a 'throw everything in there and just see what happens' kind of packer. I like to be surprised. I do always make sure to download music, and I forgot. It was John Mayer or Jay Z; and, well, I don’t know if Jay is really meant for an inspiring mountain drive. And, I have travelled enough to know that things happen, restaurants close, tires blow out, etc, but you can survive anything with bag of chips in hand.

What was your most memorable moment of the road trip?

You mean, other then pegging you with snowballs? I enjoyed the drive more than anything. There's something magical about going from sunny California, to rolling green hills, to gorgeous white covered mountain tops. It is why I love California so much. In a matter of moments, we went from snowy mountains to the desert of the Yucca Valley. Cali is just ridiculous. I see why it fits you.

Well, I can be ridiculous at times. 

"At times?” She looks at me and lets out a big laugh. My sister, my soul mate, my everything... she knows me ohhh so well, maybe too well. 

Thanks for chatting about Big Bear, Little Sister.

xoxo

Need to know what to Bring to Big Bear? Read More on Mountain Escape Essentials for Her.