Life in a minivan
Kids’ summer break has officially started in mid June, and that means a family trip is mostly likely to happen sometimes! This year we started off with a family camping at Ventura Ranch Koa in Paula, California. This would be a continuation of my lastest blog, and after a half day visit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library we checked into our campground later that day.
If you are new here, you’d easily guess that my blog is all about a guy Jeepin’ with kids. Well, for this guy, however, when I say “family trip,” no Jeep will be in the picture any where. For having to own 2DR Wrangler with 5 family members (do the math!), my Jeep stays home when all 5 of us hit the road. It makes me nut to see all these awesome pictures of Jeep family adventures that other people are having. If you have missed it, please see previous blog from Jodi, for example. It is a shame to say that I do Minivan with kids sometimes, but I gotta do what I gotta do to enjoy outdoor with whole family! Just whatever it takes to bring them out there, right folks? 🙂
KOA campground offers more than just a camping. It is glamorized. It is civilized. It has Teepees and Cabins along with traditional tent and RV’s sites. It offers plush toilets and hot showers. It is loaded with cool play areas for kids, and it also has zip lining and rock climbing that you and your kids can enjoy (with extra $$$ if you can afford.) Swimming pool is available in some locations, but the one we went was currently under construction.
We rented the Serengeti tent for 3 nights. The Serengeti tent is like military tent or the ones you see in African safari. It covers 275 sq feet of ample space and has 7 large meshed windows (3 on each sides and 1 in the back) that you can roll up and down for a cool breeze and a view. The tent kept us warm at night and cool during a day.
Inside there you can find 1 queen bed, 1 twin bed, and 1 bunk bed that accommodate 6 people. It has an electric line that powers lights, refrigerator, and other electronic equipments that you might bring. That meant for us to charge our phones, iPod, laptops, and even Keurig (for easy coffees and hot chocolates) that I brought from home. We were never going to camp the same way again! 🙂
Other than that it was just a good old-fashioned family camping! We did BBQ on a grill and campfire with S’mores! We did hiking, fishing, and watching The Lego Movie DVD from laptop. Everything was awesome! 🙂
This is now turned to Fishin’ with Kids. I picked up fishing really quickly early this year. I’ve never owned a fishing rod before and knew very little about fishing. I spent a lot of after hours on Google by studying fishing thoroughly though. I bought an annual fishing license and two fishing rods for kids. I now own a fishing tackle with hooks and lures. I hoped nothing but a fun day of fishing with kids, and kids were ecstatic!
Lake Casitas was only 50 minutes away from the camp site. It has water park and a camping ground. I thought I’d come back here to camp. We would have to go back to tent camping but we are not spoiled yet. 🙂
It would’ve been an epic experience if we caught any fish, but we weren’t going to let that ruin our day! Patience is a virtue they say, but for little ones having to spend 2 hours of fishing without any action was a constant challenging. I spent half of my time by replacing hooks (snagging) and untangling lines (backlashes) for my kids. I had to finish one and rush to anther sometimes. It got frustrating at times because I wanted some reel action of my own, too. The moment I thought to be the best way to teach patience to my kids turned out to be a test of my parenting skill. It was C- for the skill and B+ for an effort. In overall, it was A+ day! Are you kidding me? 🙂
We came back the next day for more fishing, and after reeling nothing but an old beer can we decided to rent a pontoon for an hour.
After 3 nights of camping fun, we checked out to head to Santa Barbara. This wasn’t our first visit to Santa Barbara, so we didn’t spent much time here. We ate at the restaurant on the pier, rode a surray (a family beach cruiser,) and spent a little time on the beach.
That wraps up our first summer trip of the year. My wife might be wishing something more civilized, I wouldn’t mind spending a half day Jeeping and a half day fishing with my kids before summer break ends! 🙂
Oh, yeah, one last thing! Before you plan your next camping family trip, make sure you visit Altegra for the perfect canopy gazebos and marquees! Jeep With Kids approves! 🙂