Weekend Escape: Snowy Mammoth Mountain Fun

Thinking of taking the family for a weekend getaway to Mammoth Mountain? Everyone knows LAX airport parking is somewhat of a nightmare, especially when planning a winter getaway. There are so many people coming and going every weekend, most people just simply wait in an aisle for another vehicle to depart so they can snag their spot. Here are some other options to save you time, energy, and money on a ski trip:

  • Keep in mind the Valet services
  • Pre-pay and reserve your spot
  • Utilize the complimentary shuttle

Winter travel involving extreme sports usually involves a more cumbersome amount of luggage. Why haul all of that down aisles of a parking garage when you don’t have to? Leave it to the parking pros—the valets! Many garages, for a slightly higher fee, will take care of the parking for you and help you haul your luggage to the check-in desk. What better trip to let them assist you on than a ski trip? Upon your return home you can even call the valet from the plane to have your vehicle waiting curbside for you at your selected terminal.

If valet is too pricey and you do decide to self-park, there are many secure lots that you may use. Most of the options are listed online where you can even check for short- and long-term pre-paid rates. This is an excellent way to plan your budget for parking ahead of arrival, as it also includes a hassle-free cancellation policy.

When choosing your specific lot, be sure to keep the essential needs for your vehicle’s safety in mind. Many of the parking options also provide either a secure location, or at least a covered lot for your vehicle. If you are leaving valuables inside and are concerned about who might have access, check for a structure with security service or cameras. A select few parking companies even offer an insurance policy for lost valuables. Bottom line is to reserve your parking spot in advance so you don’t worry about arriving early enough to secure a spot or be surprised by parking rates.

When self parking, keep in mind to check for a complimentary shuttle service provided at the lot. This will give you a safe and convenient ride straight to your terminal. If you’re coming from a more northern location, like OAK Parking or San Jose Airport Parking, keep in mind these same tips as they still apply. Now, go have a great ski vacation!

Finding California’s Best Winter Camping

The RV lifestyle is one that promises more freedom than most others, but it is important to know which camping spots are available and affordable during different times of the year. This is especially true during the winter, as campgrounds close and those that remain open offer limited amenities. You may have even thought about giving up the lifestyle and listing your RV for sale because of the lack of winter camping options. Fortunately, there are many terrific spots in California that offer winter camping for the RV enthusiast. Whether you have a brand new or used RV, these five camping destinations are perfect for getting through the harshness of winter.

  1. Slab City near Niland, CA: It has been featured in movies and television shows, and it is one of the most unique camping destinations in the world. There is no fee to stay here on the slabs, but there is also a lack of electrical and water hook ups. Though this destination may not be for everyone, it is incredibly affordable and free from the harsh winter weather that exists elsewhere.
  2. The San Diego Metropolitan Area: Though Arizona RV dealers will tell you that the Arizona desert is the best place to camp during the winter, San Diego offers terrific weather and close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. There are many RV parks from which to choose in this fabulous California city and its surroundings.
  3. Hemet, California and Surrounding Areas: If you are looking for warmth and quiet during the winter, you might want to consider the community of Hemet, California. The area experiences some of the finest year-round weather, plus it features numerous RV parks and resorts from which to choose.
  4. The San Francisco Bay Area: If you are less concerned about staying warm during the winter, you may want to consider the many RV parks and campgrounds in the San Francisco area. These campgrounds are not as busy as those located in desert regions, which is good news if you are looking for some elbow room. Also, there is no shortage of things to do while in the bay area.
  5. The Borrego Springs Area: Located on the opposite side of the Salton Sea from Slab City, the Borrego Springs area features great winter weather and many opportunities for nature lovers to experience the outdoors. If you are looking for a more naturalistic winter than what a resort can offer, consider the many RV camping sites in this region.

Winter Cabin Necessities

Alpaca fiber is made from the coat of an animal of the same name native to South America that is closely related to the llama. Alpaca garments are lightweight and hypoallergenic and yet have unique thermal qualities. Each hair has a hollow core that offers a layer of insulation. The result keeps wearers warm in chilly weather while caressing the skin with a soft and silky sensation. The soft texture of the fabric stems from the lack of natural oils in the fiber, although alpaca does contain a resinous substance that helps it resist wear and repel dirt. Luxurious alpaca is very durable, resistant to pilling, tearing, stains, odors and static electricity. If any single fiber is a necessity in a winter cabin, it is alpaca.

Alpaca throws

Offering a unique combination of handling ease due to its light weight and warm comfort as a result of its insulating qualities, alpaca is a perfect material for throws and light blankets. Whether for additional warmth in the bedroom on cool nights or for snuggling with a book, alpaca throws provide the ultimate in cozy comfort. The fiber comes in over 22 natural shades, and can be dyed in countless more, allowing it to blend with the decor of any room.

Alpaca shawls

The ultimate in apparel luxury may well be a shawl made of soft, warm alpaca fiber. Traditional in the Andes where alpacas originated, these shawls are also seen in the world’s fashion capitals. Ranging from bold and sporty to intricate lace so fine as to be nearly transparent, wraps made from alpaca make a fashion statement unmatched by other fibers. Warm alpaca wraps can function as outerwear, or more luxurious designs may perfectly complement formal wear for a special night out.

Alpaca scarves

The fiber is also quite common in accessories. A scarf made of alpaca can complement any ensemble from serious winter outerwear to feminine office clothing. The feeling of alpaca against the skin provides an experience of warmth and luxury unmatched by lesser fibers. A small article like a scarf provides a touch of upscale fashion at a relatively small cost, and so can make a delightful gift for friends or relatives without breaking the budget.

Alpaca is a natural material with unique qualities that make it very well suited for home decor and apparel. Attractive to the eye and to the touch, fabrics with substantial alpaca content are fashionable and adaptable. Alpaca makes the perfect finishing touch to a room or a wardrobe.

Winter Road Trip Road Signs

Winter is here but that doesn’t mean you want to sit inside every weekend. Most people are still hitting the road, especially during the holidays to visit relatives, or when the fresh powder hits the ski slopes and everyone races up the mountain. Unfortunately, California drivers generally have a horrible reputation when it comes to driving in adverse weather conditions. The accident rate quadruples with a little bit of rain and if by chance there is ice around—watch out! When you take off on your road trip this winter, keep an eye out for the vital warning signs that will keep you and your passengers safe.

Slippery When Wet

Slippery When Wet

The curvy lines behind the wheels on yellow warnings signs do not mean that you are driving on a curvy road. It means that the road you are on is especially slippery when it is wet. The worst time to drive on wet roads is just as the rain has begun because all of the oils and dirt add a film to the surface that can cause your car to slide around uncontrollably. 

Chains Required

Chains Required

We all know these either temporary or permanent traffic signs and fear them when the time comes for you to put chains on and realize that you have none. If you are heading out on a road trip and there is even a slight chance you will be traversing an area where it snows, do not forget chains. Be responsible and make sure your friend’s car has chains in the trunk if you are heading up the mountain for some fun in the snow.

Icy Road

Watch For Ice / Icy / Black Ice

Black ice is extremely dangerous for drivers because you can’t see it, and all a sudden you have absolutely no control of your vehicle. If you see icy road signs or black ice signs, drive extremely cautiously and leave more than enough room between the cars in front of and behind you. There are plenty of places in California susceptible to black ice, and you won’t be expecting it if you missed the warning signs.

Stop Ahead

Stop Ahead

The traditional stop signs are vital during the winter months. Not that you would ever think about running a stop sign, but stopping is much more complicated when the roads are slick, icy, or covered in snow. Be aware of “stop ahead” signs so you can begin slowing down and not have to depend on hitting your breaks last minute. Make slower stops a habit—it’s better on your car anyway.

If you happen to see this sign, you probably went the wrong way. Turn around!

You Went the Wrong Way

About Me

Hansen Hunt

I'm a backpacker passionate about sustainable tourism. After backpacking around Europe, Mexico, and South America, I started my personal travel blog at to share my adventures and travel tips. On any given day, you will find me playing frisbee or attending craft beer festivals.