Ninety minutes from the fast lane of Orange County, California, with its never-ending competition to see who’s thinner, younger, richer and blonder, and up a meandering mountain road, lays a little slice of heaven called Lake Arrowhead.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA | Lake Arrowhead | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

For decades, Lake Arrowhead has been the weekend and vacation destination for those looking to retreat from the pressures of Southern California. It’s where Orange County Housewives, Beverly Hillbillies, and Valley Girls alike go to escape, to slow down, to enjoy breathtaking scenery, and breathe some fresh mountain air.

#AfterOrangeCounty.com, #Lake Arrowhead

As a lifelong Californian and former resident of The OC, I too used to run for the hills on the weekends. My husband Brad and I would pack up our 5 kids and make the pilgrimage to our little lakeside cabin in the sky. We’d leave our gated community, fight bumper-to-bumper traffic, and finally breathe deep when we reached what the locals affectionately call “The Hill”.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA | Lake Arrowhead | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Like clockwork, almost every Friday night the Rim of the World Highway would deliver us from our stresses, and the weight of the world would roll off our shoulders.

#AfterOrangeCounty.com, #Hwy18

So the idea to move to Lake Arrowhead full-time was always a little inside joke with our family. I mean, no one in their right mind would actually do that, right? But it sure was fun to dream about life at a slower pace. Being in our little cabin, away from our hectic everyday life, our family relaxed. The kids actually enjoyed playing with each other and even with us! The mountain air and lake water seemed to have a calming effect on everyone, including our dog Charlie.

#AfterOrangeCounty.com, #Cockapoo

And then one day, as our oldest son Nathan was finishing his senior year of high school in Orange County, Brad looked at me after a glass (or two) of wine, and said, “Let’s do it! Let’s move to Lake Arrowhead!” Now I can admit that I used to be a somewhat stereotypical Orange County girl, and that at first I reacted with shock and horror, and by the way, so did almost all of my friends! Lake Arrowhead was our escape, not our reality. I worried….. would I have anything in common with the locals, would I make friends, would I ever go to a dinner party again, and what about the schools? Twenty minutes and a lemon drop martini later, I was mentally there… and in a few short months, our family was living in Lake Arrowhead full time, building the Spanish-style house of my dreams.

#AfterOrangeCounty.com, #Lake Arrowhead

ABOUT www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | A Lifestyle Blog in Lake Arrowhead

To my surprise, the kids thrived in the local schools, the locals were warm and welcoming, Brad and I actually had time for each other again, and most weekends came with a dinner party invitation from a new friend! We feel incredibly fortunate to have made our dream a reality, and we enjoy the simple pleasures of being a family in one of the most beautiful places on earth. As my kids will tell you, I stay busy up here… cooking, planning parties, gardening, and making the most of the mountain lifestyle. In the process of building our house I started a “Hand-Forged Wrought Iron” business.

#AfterOrangeCounty.com, #The Hill Ironworks, #Hand Forged Wrought Iron

And I also started renovating and reselling charming vintage cabins in Lake Arrowhead & Big Bear Lake.  Click here for more information on my cabins. Maybe you’ll want to buy my latest fixer-upper.

My Log Cabin Vacation Rental Property VRBO.com/804397 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

THE BITTERSWEET FINALE | The Renovation of The House On Cottage Grove Is Complete | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So, come join me on the mountain…

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA | Lake Arrowhead | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

at the lake…

in my garden…

ABOUT www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | A Lifestyle Blog in Lake Arrowhead

in my kitchen…

ABOUT www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | A Lifestyle Blog in Lake Arrowhead

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 47 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

at my parties…

#AfterOrangeCounty.com, #Food, #Entertaining

at my table…


and on my travels as I share with you my adventures “After Orange County!”

ABOUT www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | A Lifestyle Blog in Lake Arrowhead

If you’d like to know more about After Orange County I invite you to visit my FAQ page here.

Thank you so much for visiting!