The kids reactions when we drove into the San Diego area made Scott and I laugh and then feel a smidge bad about all the time we made them spend in the desert. Only a smidge though. It’s very hard to feel bad for these kids right now. #DREAMLIFE

They were thrilled to FINALLY see green! And their reaction when we got to the beach was even more over the top.

Despite our requests, they simply could not stop themselves from getting more than their feet wet.

It was a full time job for Scott to keep Wallace from launching himself into a wave. 

And by the time we left, they were ALL absolutely CRUSTED in sand and salt water. The floor of our truck still has a good 1/2 inch of sand covering it. It was a great introduction to all the incredible experiences San Diego was about to show us.

We stayed at the San Diego Metro KOA in Chula Vista, and we wound up loving the RV park and San Diego so much that we extended our 1 week stay to 2!

We are in love with KOAs, as I’ve mentioned on our videos in the past. While most people probably stay at KOAs to full-on unplug and relax, we find that they are the best option for us when we really need to get work done. So far, they’ve always had reliable internet, and they have a ton of fun activities (both free and some for a small fee) for the kids. Their playgrounds are top-notch, and who doesn’t love jumping pillows!


So while I knocked out some work, and while I traveled to NYC for a couple days, Scott was able to keep the kids entertained right there at the KOA with all they had to offer.

I have to add that we were SO impressed with this location’s proximity to the city of San Diego in combination with it’s cleanliness and, well, beauty. I guess that’s another way to say we were a little worried what an RV park in a major city would look and feel like, but it wound up being so much better than we even hoped for. And a sidenote for those of you who don’t have RVs- Their cabins are so nice, and the Deluxe cabins have their own bathrooms and kitchens, and sleep up to six for a much lower rate than most area hotels, especially if you are family of 6 who would normally need to rent two hotel rooms. Also, KOA offers gift cards! They actually gifted us one to cover the cost of one of our weeks there, and it was so easy to use. We are definitely asking for KOA gift cards for Christmas gifts from here on, so take note, fam!

Of course, it’s not a trip to San Diego without visiting the San Diego Zoo. While I fully expected it to be a thought out tourist experience, I was not expecting it to blow me away with all of the very important work they are doing for animals and for our planet, and what strong champions they are for acknowledging climate change and working to combat it.

The hippos were a family favorite, though the tigers at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park our 2nd week there wound up ranking right up alongside them.

The SD Zoo and the Safari Park are both owned by the SD Zoo, but they are at 2 different locations. A lot of you asked me which one we’d choose if we had to pick only one to visit…

And that is SO HARD because they are very unique and offer different experiences. But if I had to only choose one, I think I’d stick with the classic SD Zoo because there is so much to see there that’s included in the price of your ticket. The Safari would have been a lot more fun if we could have spent the extra money on a Behind The Scenes Safari (starting at $89/person ages 3+) or a Cart Safari ($54/person). We did still get to experience the free Africa Tram, which was a wonderful way to take in the park, but there was also a lot of walking required. Much more than at the SD Zoo.

The San Diego Zoo gave us media passes to both the Zoo and the Safari Park.

As if that wasn’t already enough fun to pack into our visit, we bought some tickets to Belmont Park on Groupon and spent nearly 7 hours there the day before we left.

 After all, one of Kendall’s favorite parts of this trip is getting to visit amusement parks (holding out hope National Parks will crack his top 3 by the end of the trip), so we knew this would be a fun family day, and we didn’t make them learn a single thing while they were there.

(We usually try to squeeze in some kind of roadschooling lesson everywhere we go, and yes, there are so many at an amusement park, but it’s ok to take a day off of conscious learning.)

There was a perfect mix of thrill rides for Kendall and rides that Lowell and Leyna could enjoy there. We did end up buying the combo tickets that included the laser tag and ropes course and a few other things. Worth it.San Diego really stole our hearts, and we weren’t expecting that. We’ve visited Northern California and are already fully in love, but I guess the whole darn state is just that lovely.

Fun thing we like to do: I keep the Zillow app on my phone and we check houses for sale near us as we drive through neighborhoods around the country. California is beautiful and the weather is perfect and we will only ever be able to live in a house here if we discover a long lost great uncle left us a whole lot of money. But that’s ok! Because we have an RV now. And the KOA’s pretty awesome.

Thanks again to KOA for hooking us up with a week at their San Diego Metro Area park, and to the San Diego Zoo for tickets to both the Zoo and the Safari Park. 

San diego zoo, san diego koa, san diego, california beach, family travel