About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Camping Trip

When we left Concord on Thursday it was in the 90's and likely nearing 100 degrees.  We pulled out of our driveway with our children, dogs, a million supplies and the air conditioning blasting.  At some point Jay looked at his phone and said, "According to this, it's only 67 degrees here."  We rolled the windows down and low and behold, the temperature in Santa Cruz was shockingly low.  When we got there, in the hottest part of the day, we were all a little bit chilly.  Jay hadn't even brought a sweatshirt and had to buy one at the KOA giftshop (I am just counting the moments until I can make it mine, as I do with all of his sweatshirts... mwahhahahah...).  I hadn't packed for the cool temperatures and so we had to layer.  I put on every shirt that I had brought (4 of them) and a sweatshirt (but I am always too cold) and I put the kids in sweatshirts till the sun went down... then I layered them in pi's.  

 This is our little camping site!  It was small, but not nearly as tiny as so many of the reviews said that it would be.  Luckily, we had nice neighbors on both sides and I found the campgrounds to be generally quiet (though, if you didn't have children I wouldn't recommend it because the Santa Cruz KOA is really a children's campground paradise.)

They have what they call the "beach zone" that has sand and a really nice playground.  It also has mini-golf, this jumpy thing that is a hybrid between a trampoline and a jump house, banana bike rentals and a huge climbing tree.  They also have an inside video arcade for kids there.  This was empty while we were camping, but I can see how it would be a lifesaver on a rainy day.
In the afternoon we headed over to the beach.  The water in Santa Cruz is warm enough to swim in, but not that day.  It was also very rough with waves (but probably good surfing).

We had to walk down around a million stairs to get to the beach.  The going down was fine, the up admittedly hurt a little bit.  I think it was hardest on Sidney, who is blind and feels the incline with her nose before she jumps up.  I can only imagine how confused she must have been.
 When we got back to the campground, the girls rented banana bikes and zipped around the campground.  Lila was especially difficult to keep up with.  We ended up walking a ton and and finding a great little dog park to unleash Groovy James and Sidney in.

We got back to the site and washed up for dinner.  I put appetizers out and used our new camping grill.  This is the first camping grill that I've ever had. In the old days when I camped I'd just bring cold food and that would be that.  This is the first time that I've ever brought food and supplies for actual meals in a huge cooler.
Funny story.  We forgot to pick up the leftover food from Sidney and Groovy's dinner and when Jay was coming back from the bathroom, late at night, he bumped into a skunk eating and drinking up the remaining food and water.
After dinner, Jay took the girls down the pool.  It was heated and pretty nice for being on a koa campground.  It was also heated and I think was far more comfortable than just being in your pi's.  I wish that I could have gone in, but no pets were allowed and I wanted to clean up after dinner.
 When everyone got back the fire was really going and the sun was coming down, so it was the perfect time for roasting marshmallows.
I don't know how cold it was in that tent but the night was not the most comfortable nights sleep that I've ever had.  I packed blankets for Concord weather, not for Santa Cruz and that was a mistake.  We all survived, and now we know... but... I have never been so glad to have Sidney and Groovy curled up under the covers, one pressed to my belly and the other pressed to my back.  Little heaters.
This is what we look like when we are standing on a beach and taking pictures of each other.

Dorkiest couple ever.


  1. Looks like you had a great time! I learned long ago ALWAYS to pack long sleeves, pants, and socks for all of us because the nights can get pretty darn cold in the mountains. We have the three big dogs now to curl up with, too, which helps. We also bring every blanket, comforter, sleeping bag, and sheet that we own. :)

    Glad you had a good experience at your KOA. We've been to one and would never go back. It was in NH and it sucked! We got stuck next to a bunch of college kids that were drinking and partying late into the night and didn't keep their big aggressive dogs on a leash. They also drove WAY too fast in the campground. We tend to like the campgrounds where we are far enough away that we can't see anyone. the kinds that you have to hike in or paddle to. :)

  2. I can see how the experience of tent camping at a koa could be a disaster if you had the wrong neighbors. It can really make or break the experience.

    I definitely prefer remote camping out in the wilderness where we can't see anyone else. That's what I'm used to. My dilemma is that as I've gotten older I want to camp in comfort. Meaning that I really want my air mattress and enough food to cook real meals. I feel like you have to have your car present or close by in order to have those things because it would be impossible for Jay and I to hike to a campsite with all of that stuff.

    I really want to rent an rv and go to Lake Tahoe for a few days when the weather cools down and the seasons begin to change. I've been trying to research good prices!