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  • Writer's picture Jana

A Night Away at Bruin Woods Lodge, Lake Arrowhead. What a Difference 30 Hours Away Can Make!

Sometimes just a quick escape from town and everyday life can do a world of good. That said, getting away for a night or for a week amounts to about the same level of preparation when you have four kids to pack for. As you're packing every last pair of socks, underwear, and pajamas, you're wondering why you're going through all of this hassle just to escape town for a single night. The house has to be locked up (light timers set, doors and windows locked; security alarm set, etc.). Suitable care has to be found for the family pet (thank you to Anna and the entire Wisner family for always offering to take in our beloved Fitzy and for spoiling him to bits and pieces while we're gone). It's a lot of work for what seems like a small return.

But the return, as it turns out, is not small at all. That is the startling realization I have come to when we take these tiny trips, lasting less than two days. The sense of escape you feel just from being somewhere else, somewhere beautiful, somewhere new, can be surprisingly restorative. Not to mention that when your trip is so abbreviated you tend to make the most of every minute you have, packing in every last activity, relishing every breathtaking view, delicious meal and moment of serene joy.

It took us less than two hours (door-to-door) to arrive at the elusive Bruin Woods in Lake Arrowhead. Yet we felt like we had escaped to another world entirely.

As we ascended the mountain and got close to Lake Arrowhead, we were literally above the clouds leaving all our troubles behind.

The vast blue lake, brisk breeze and fresh mountain air were intoxicating.

The kids loved every minute of our ride aboard the the Arrowhead Queen.

It's a boat, no it's a car! The captain of the Arrowhead Queen told us that not only did we get lucky with a perfectly clear day on which to enjoy the vistas from the lake, but we also had this rare sighting of a vintage amphibious car that resides in the area and is only seen out on the lake a handful of times each year. The kids (and I) were mesmerized by this strange vehicle.

Our room was actually a cozy cabin with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two stories and a wood-burning fireplace (that we used). It felt like a little home that none of us wanted to leave.

After hearing about the elusive Bruin Woods (only open to UCLA alumni and their families) for years, I can now see why it is such an ideal getaway for families with it's 50-plus acre property and activities galore.

The boys enjoyed a roaring fire (built and tended to by none-other-than Mommy) after dinner in the main lodge of the property.

It was a chilly weekend (for May), with lows at nighttime in the 30's and barely getting above 40 degrees on Sunday. Garin and Graham were bunkmates on this trip.

The brisk weather and misty fog made for perfect hiking conditions on this rugged trail inside the Dogwood Campground.

The dogwoods trees were in full bloom and absolutely glorious with their abundance of white flowers.

The kids had a wonderful time on our nearly three-hour hike through towering trees and blossoming dogwoods.

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