My family flew in for the holidays and true to tradition, we rented a cabin in the mountains. Or as my NYC sister would call it, "camping." It wasn't the white Christmas we were hoping for and the unusually dry and warm winter here in Southern California felt like such a stark contrast to other parts of the country where it seems winter has descended with full force. (Did you know that it's colder in South Dakota than it is in the South Pole today? Yikes.) But on the bright side, the Spring-like weather was perfect for hiking plus we didn't need to put chains on our tires or battle the usual snow-seeking crowds. It was peaceful, rejuvenating and all the good things that come with getting away from the Christmastime hustle and bustle of the city.
As the temperatures dipped into the low 40's at dusk, we enjoyed a cotton candy cloud show on the deck before retreating indoors to warm up by the wood-burning stove. We ate hot pot (my favorite cold weather food), played mah-jong, and made Hong Kong-style egg waffles. In a nutshell, Asian glamping at its finest.
On Christmas Day, we woke up early and hiked up to the Keller Peak lookout, passing by only one other hiker and his pup. The lookout tower is usually open to the public, but was sadly closed that day. We hopped along the giant boulders around the lookout and took in the amazing views of the San Gabriels to the west.
↑ That's my dad!
Couldn't have asked for a better way to end the year. Here we go, 2018!