The Road To Big Bear


A couple of months ago, I had my photography cover debut for 1859 Oregon’s Magazine. I am still in awe of my good fortune every time when I look at the magazine; which I have a copy on all the tables and shelves around the house. And today, I have another debut. Today I finally opened the doors to my grand project — Big Bear Rest Stop.


A few months ago, after my long and winding road of employment rejections; a real estate developer saw my diverse work experience as positive qualities and he decided to hire me as the general manager to turn an old chalet into a rest stop that contains a restaurant, beer and wine garden, and a gift shop. It was the perfect project tailored for me. I knew there would be many challenges ahead to turn an old, dilapidated building into the grand vision I had in my mind. But it’s exactly those kinds of challenge that drives me — the kind that brings out my passion and creativity.

After countless construction delays, dealing with vendors, health department regulations, broken kitchen equipment, sampled more hot dogs than I ever had in the last 5 years but it was all worth it. When I see what I have accomplished in such short time I feel very grateful and proud — which is not something I usually feel about myself. However, with each challenge I overcome; I am learning to not be so hard on myself when things don’t work out the way I want. That’s why I was able to remain calm when I was driving up the beautiful highway 2 to Big Bear this morning, all excited about the grand opening when I got a call from my assistant, Billie. Right away, I knew from the tone of her voice that it was bad news. She told me the walk in refrigerator failed over night and while the fan is running, the temperature in the fridge reads 60 degrees (16c) Calmly, I told Billie we are going to open today regardless. Good thing the extra refrigerator that broke the week before had been fixed. I told her to throw away all the perishable foods, move everything else into the other fridge and work with what we have left that was usable. We might not be able to serve everything on the menu but I told her we will open and we will just have to deal with whatever that comes our way. In the end, all was well and we had an amazing opening day… my road to Big Bear is complete. πŸ˜€

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(These last four photos belongs to Billie Preston)




Emily, Shannon, Malia, April and Billie


23 Comments on “The Road To Big Bear

  1. I’m SOOOOO HAPPY I met you!! I love your blog!! I am going to write the best article I can about Big Bear and CROSS MY FINGERS that my editor publishes it! πŸ™‚

  2. Thank you everyone for your support and congratulatory wishes. It has been a very busy year for me getting my life back on the right path. Hopefully, work will slow down a bit once Big Bear goes into hibernation next month until Spring. And I will have more time to read and comment on your blogs.

    Wishing you all “Happy Blogging!”

    • LOL… I was wondering when someone would ask me about the German flags. I’ve been asked that question at Big Bear so many times. People would think we are either a German restaurant or we are associated with some kind of German club. My boss got the idea of all German flags because the colors match our building and decor. He also thought it would be eye catching and make people stop. I think the idea works to catch some customers but it also repels some potential customers because they just assume it’s a German restaurant or something. Though for the most part, the FREE RESTROOMS sign is what gets people in. πŸ™‚

      Thanks Suze for stopping by and the comment. I look forward to reading your blog. πŸ™‚

  3. Emily, what a beautiful place ! It’s so inviting and I love the decor. You’ve done a great job, congrats !

  4. Emily, I’m so glad you stopped by….I’d lost you! I’m delighted to learn that good things are happening for you.

  5. Emily, I’m so happy to read this post’s good news! I wish you every continuing success with this venture- good luck!!! πŸ™‚ Adrian

  6. George and I, are so happy to have a place like “Big Bear” to go to, for great food and atmosphere! Love it! Your pictures, are great too.

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