Jun 5

Reconnecting at the KOA


I am very much guilty of allowing moments to slip through the cracks.  Because of the exhausting nature of the stay at homer lifestyle, it’s easy for me to bark for compliance when I should be allowing my children to take the 100 years it feels like for them to get stuff done. And with all the energy of my boys, I find myself getting annoyed at the obnoxiousness of it rather than patient with the expressiveness of it.  And the way I’m beginning to see it, is that young boys are like Siberian Husky’s; you have to run them…a lot…or they will act out, howl indoors,  bite your arm and pee on your leg.  Ok, mostly like a Siberian Husky.  And this is why our weekend at the KOA was perfect for the kids. We could catch the moments…and we could run our Huskies!

Tallest rock wall to date! Defeated!

It goes without saying that if you have a rock wall, pedal carts, and a huge jumping pillow, kids will enjoy themselves at your place.  Add a creek with a swimable watering hole, and plenty of hiking opportunities, (especially a guided one that is all about Bigfoot!) and you have a dream getaway for a young kid.  Oh, who am I kidding, it’s a dream getaway for an adult!  Oh, who am I kidding about kidding, a dream getaway for adults has massages and mai tai’s and there are no kids within 100 yards.

Rephrase: we had an amazing family getaway at the Ventura Ranch KOA.

We stayed in one of their “glamour studio cabins.”  With running water, electricity, a bathroom, fridge and microwave….people call it “glamping.”  I really hate that word.  It sounds so snobby and Paris Hilton-y.  I prefer to think of it as lording over the commoners and their piddly little fabric tents.  I enjoyed looking out at all the campers struggling with their lives because their iPhones had died.  But not us.  We spent the evening charging our iPhones with the glorious electricity in our cabin.  Did I mention we had an A/C unit that kept the cabin nice and cool?  We weren’t glampers, we were Mighty Overlords Of Comfort!

I gotta say, I love my home but I soooo loved getting out of this house.  And I got a great opportunity to reconnect with Noble in a one on one, father and son type situation.  How did we do this?  No, we didn’t hug our feelings out and discuss our innermost cupcakey frosting thoughts. We did it with a tandem zipline. They had a zipline!  HELLS YEAH!

Father/son bonding at it's finest!

I was honestly not expecting Noble to go on the zip line.  I mentally prepared for us to be getting hooked up and then Noble wanting to bail out, and I’d be totally comfortable with causing a whole “to do” about taking off the gear and not going.  But he was braver than I was!  And it was AWESOME! Here’s the video (I love this video because you see Noble and I for all of about 3 seconds, but the audio commentary is priceless.  Here was my first question to Alistair – Who is Lula??

I got a chance to have some quality time with my first born Husky and we bonded.  Sure, he was a typical kid for a lot of the trip, whining about stuff, having a behavioral issue or two, but that comes with the territory.   I am glad I got  to check in with him on a deeper level and see some of the changes that are happening with him; like how much he looks up to the older kids.  There were a couple of older kids there, and Noble played around with them and had a blast! He  used to be our little shy guy, but now I’m noticing how he likes the challenge of keeping up with the 7 and ups.  And he has quite a back and forth with his desire for independance.  It’s a struggle to deal with sometimes, but I recognize it’s a part of him growing up. This good stuff gets easily drowned out in the hustle of life, and in my desire to want things done immediately, or to need instant compliance, I can miss the beauty of taking in some of these moments.  This campsite was perfectly set up for us to take in these memorable family moments (especially father/son ones) that can get missed in the city.

My arms will never tire...well, poetically metaphorical-like. I love the tiny man, but I really wanted him to walk. Carry him or have that poor fellow behind us get an earful of "unhappy" Alistair? Decisions...

 It was tougher to gauge Alistair’s reaction to our stay.  I know that he loved all the wild peacocks that roamed freely throughout the campsite.  Alistair called them “help help”s because when they crow, they sound like old ladies screaming HELP! HELP! But nobody helps them, so they just keep screaming. Poor old ladies.

Off to help the help helps.

As for his reaction, when I asked him “what was your favorite part about the KOA” he answered (verbatim) “I didn’t go on the jumping pillow.  I don’t have a phone.  I have a phone.” Where to begin…first of all, he did go on the jumping pillow, and loved it I might add, so that is a total lie.  Basically he lied to my face and then contradicted himself with some nonsense.  A career in politics perhaps???

This KOA was an amazing place.  I spent 18 years of my youth about a 2 minute bike ride from one.  They know how to do it.  It’s not the rugged, hope you make it through the night, there’s no one for 20 miles, good luck if you run out of water, the bears have rabies kind of camping.  This is family camping with choices of comfort.  And it’s good, with plenty of room to let the Husky’s expend their unlimited energy supply.


Jumping Pillow! See?! What a liar!

A huge thanks to the KOA team for inviting us out to experience their campsite.  We had so much fun! If you are looking to pitch a tent, park an RV, or lord over the little people and their measly existences in your comfortable accomodations, and you live around Southern California, the KOA at Ventura Ranch makes for a great family outting.  I recommend!  Definitely do the zipline and the Bigfoot hike.  If you live outside of Southern California, you can still find a KOA nearby in the directory.  Next time I would definitely stay in a teepee.  You lose the electricity and shower, but you get a little more openness and well, it’s a teepee!



I absolutely love watching Noble get to do "being a boy" stuff. Put 2 year old Alistair in that same position, and I'm instant helicopter parent.

Joking aside, it’s great to get opportunities like this to recognize the joy of being a parent.  I took it in, chewed it up, and savored the flavor!

Now back to whining about how much they whine and complaining about how much they complain!  Where do these kids learn all this behavior?!?!!

disclosure: we were invited out for a free night of camping in their cabin, as well as participation in all of their activities as part of their Blogger Night.  What you are reading in regards to my opinions about the KOA is completely true. (the other stuff is true as well, but I don’t think I need to disclose my family life…do I?)  I would not lie, because Santa Clause remembers when we lie, and I really want an iPad for Christmas and I’m trying to be really really really good.  So, there you have it.


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