A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Snowcreek Resort to check out their properties and enjoy a weekend in Mammoth Lakes. The timing was perfect – it would be right around my anniversary, and what an awesome gift - the opportunity for my husband and I to celebrate our 17th year of marriage amongst the majestic Sierras and towering pines. Besides, the official gift for the 17th anniversary is furniture, which doesn't sound very romantic to me. It's like, "Happy anniversary! I love you, and here's a desk to show you how much."
I grew up going to Mammoth Mountain to ski – it's only a five hour drive from Los Angeles – but they offer lots of warm-weather activities as well like hiking, biking and fishing. Sure, you wouldn't describe me as an outdoorsy person, but I do love getting away to the mountains and especially taking my kids there. It's great to get out into nature and feel the fresh air and hear the birds sing. So what if that singing is often interrupted by the clicking of my 14-year-old text messaging or the faint strains of 'Beat It' coming out of my 12-year-old's iPod – we're getting out into the great outdoors and that's all that matters, and I've got the iPhone pictures, the Flip video and my Twitter posts to prove it.
Snowcreek is a development that's actually been around since the '70's, but they've been developing it in stages. We stayed in a home that is part of a newer area called The Lodges. I love the architecture and design – a beautiful, clever combination of rustic with modern touches, which defies the whole image of the mountain condo. You won't any find orange shag carpeting, oppressive wood paneling or musty old sofa beds filled with pork rind crumbs here.
Our house was a 3-bedroom (plus loft), 3.5 bathroom house with a huge living room with fireplace, dining room and two balconies that overlooked the 18-hole golf course. Also, a state-of-the-art kitchen that made me want to cry with its beauty. (It was the first time that I actually wanted to cook and do the dishes while on vacation. Well, sort of.)
My girls were especially thrilled with the flat-screen TVs in every room, and of course the free WiFi – because it was important to be able to watch Hulu and update their Facebook status while taking in this view:
(Another huge perk – anyone staying at Snowcreek gets free access to their impressvie Snowcreek Athletic Club with tennis and racquetball courts, two pools, fully-equipped weight rooms, classes like yoga and spinning and a day spa [for a fee] that includes massages, facials and manicures. Perk!)
While we really hated to leave the comforts of our luxurious home, we were also given tickets for a gondola ride, so we headed out to the Mammoth Adventure Center located acorss from the main lodge at the ski area. Here you can try a little zip lining or practice your climbing on their rock wall, or do what we did - take a breathtaking gondola ride up the mountain and take in the amazing views. Many mountain bikers and hikers use the gondola to access the numerous trails available, which you can check out here. There was snow at the top of the mountain when we got there, which thrilled my 12-year-old to no end – she even put down her iTouch long enough to make a snowman.
Another event we were invited to was the Children's Fishing Festival, which takes place at Snowcreek Ponds, right on the Snowcreek property. The pond is stocked for the event, they provide reels and supplies for the kids and experts are there to give instruction and guidance. Unfortunately, it was the day we had to check out and leave to get to our next vacation destination so we didn't get to fish, but we stopped by to check it out. As expected, my jaded tween and teen were more interested in scoping out the food truck and hitting us up for Diet Coke money, but it looks like a great event for kids.
We were treated to a couple of great meals while we were there – lunch at an inventive, locally-owned place called Publik Square, and an amazing upscale eatery called Petra's that was to die for. Our dinner at Petra's was the night before our anniversary, but we consider it our official dinner since it was so fabulous and Sonny Carter was there. You can find out who that is, and read my reviews of Publik Squre and Petra's HERE.
We're planning on coming back soon to Snowcreek – my family of 30 gets together every other year or so for a big vacation getaway and I'm going to talk them into making Mammoth our destination. Besides, next year's our 18th anniversary and the official gift is porcelain, and I'd rather splurge on a Snowcreek getaway than a new toilet.
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