Mammoth Mountain Musts


Every good vacation, whether it’s short or long, deserves a good round of pictures, don’t you agree?  Well, the past couple of days provided a good amount of action shots in the mountains and I thought I’d prolong the relatively relaxing ambience.  We allowed ourselves to sleep in on Sunday, all the way until 8am.  My dad had been up for awhile watching golf and continued to do so as my mom, sister, dog, and I set off on a quick walk to the other side of town.  You might be able to guess our destination…Looney Bean.


I’ve made it pretty clear that I’ve gotten hooked on coffee, but when in Mammoth, do as the locals do and that means a trip to Looney Bean Coffee, regardless of what you order.  Yesterday my mom and I ordered the frozen vanilla latte, which really turned out to be a milkshake in disguise.  No complaints here, but Sunday I was looking for a bit more of a caffeine punch to start my day.


First let me say, these are NOT milkshakes.  I perused the menu and decided to go for an iced coffee.  I’m still trying to figure out my drink that I could order whenever and wherever I go.  It’s a pretty good order given the fact that I can customize it with all sorts of flavors and creams on the side.  Well, my mom decided she would do the same, but was a little taken aback when it came out  I told her I wasn’t finished and to hold her horses.  With a little bit of cream, cinnamon and whipped cream (I think that’s what my mom really was hinting at…it was our vacation after all), we were ready to go.  I’ve never tried putting cinnamon in my coffee but really liked the creation.  I picked up the trick from my friend Laura when we went to Urth Cafe the other day.


After breakfast, which consisted of another delicious berry + yogurt parfait, we selected a moderate hike to one of the local lakes and were soon on our way.  It’s a running joke in our family that my dad likes to select the death march hikes, the ones that are rated “more than strenuous,” climb vertically up the mountain, and go on for miles.  We actually haven’t completed one of these hikes in a few years, probably due to the vigorous training schedule my sister is on and the insistance we not do anything out of the ordinary.  So, a hike to Crystal Lake (off the Mammoth Crest trail by Lake George) it was.  According to Meghan, we were hiking for about 1 hr 45 min, and this was not counting the time stopped to gaze longingly at the cool, crisp water, wishing we had packed swimsuits.


Back down, around around Lake George, and home for lunch.  I mentioned earlier, our “relatively” relaxing ambience.  Among some other issues we ran into, we happened to be surprised by an impromptu rain storm on Sunday afternoon.


Just as we made it up our first hill to Twin Lakes, we could hear the clouds rumble.  I had thought they might subside as they had yesterday, but alas, as we rounded the corner of our second hill, the drops started to fall pelt us from above.  I knew my dad would say at the end, “well that was fun, wasn’t it?”  Let’s just say it was quite the adventure and never a dull moment in our household.


As I had mentioned previously, a trip to Mammoth is not complete without a stop by Schat’s bakery.  They are known for their shepherder’s bread but I HIGHLY recommend the cheesy bread.  Paired with some spaghetti and meat sauce in the winter and it’s quite delightful.  Maybe it’s just my obsession with cheese or maybe it truly is the magic of the mountains.  You’ll have to decide for yourself.


Ah and one thing we could NOT have left without doing…celebrating National Ice Cream day and indulging in an ice cream cone.  When we were in the United Kingdom, our tour guide told us that a vacation is not complete without an ice cream cone.  Well, I guess I’m on vacation every day then. 😉 But really, after battling the wet pavement and hills of the sierras in the rain, Meghan and I were more than happy to stop by the Village on our way home.

IMG_3277My mom had spotted this beauty (Liz Lemon – lemon frozen yogurt with blueberry swirl) the other day and it had to be sampled.  Yes, a perfect blend of summer flavors – tart lemon with just the perfect amount of berry sweetness.  Frozen yogurt also provides the perfect amount of creaminess without being too heavy like some ice creams (though I don’t discriminate) and without being too tart like some sorbets.
IMG_3279Dinner on Sunday was not nearly as gourmet as our feast on Saturday.  My mom had made taco carne asada in the crock pot, which gave way to unbelievably tender meat, perfect for tacos, tostadas, or a quesadilla.  Instead, I settled for a KIND bar, apple, cherries, and carrots.  Followed up by some milk and coconut-chia pudding once we arrived home.  But because the later really doesn’t sound too picture perfect (and it wasn’t) I’ll leave you with this. 
IMG_3259I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and are avoiding the heat wave.  It was certainly warmer than expected and normal in Mammoth.  A trip to the mountains is always a classic in our family, but I’ve found a list of the top 10 trips you must do in your 20’s.  It’s prepared by Buzzfeed and it’s pretty neat.  Take a look 🙂 


“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi