San Diego is known for its miles and miles of beaches and 70 degree weather. Essentially, there is plenty to do with not a cloud in San Diego’s sky. That being said, raising kids here for the past two years has been an exceptional experience. Bobby and I just love the great outdoors and San Diego doesn’t fall short with outdoor adventures for us and the kids.
I remember when Bobby was in Dental School at NYU, and how he loved to just walk around the city with me. He’s always been an “outdoorsy type of guy”and always seemed to gravitate towards Central Park (A.K.A New York City’s largest outdoor space). But during the winter months those walks through the park diminished. In San Diego, however, winter is virtually nonexistent. I guess that’s why it’s called America’s Finest City.
While New York City may be great for skyscrapers, pigeons, plenty of street food, and our nations cultural epicenter, my backyard in San Diego is home to 36 miles of hiking trails (all within a few steps). It’s really hard to believe that we are four miles from the ocean with all of the beautiful untouched land right at our back door. It’s a truly amazing feeling to watch my kids explore the various nooks and crannies of the trails, while the dogs run free. As I passed another family on the trails the dad said to me, “isn’t this liberating, watching all of the kids explore in this great open space?” I said yes so loud you could hear my voice echo in the distance.
This beautiful serene land is called The Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. It attracts people today as it did in the past. Remains of prehistoric artifacts can still be found dating as far back as 7000 years ago. There are over 500 plant species, more than 175 types of birds, and a great variety of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals that emphasize the canyon’s biodiversity. One of many perks of having this beauty at our disposal, is reaching the waterfall that cascades through volcanic rock.
The kids loved it and were actually feeling quite zen. It was fun watching them explore, talk about the Native Americans, and think about their experiences at the waterfall.
As a family we are making it a priority to explore in the great outdoors (that we can now call our backyard) at least 3 times a week. To me, having the kids explore Mother Nature’s unpaved paths is vital part of their development, NOT an extra curricular activity. As a parent, I love seeing my kids immerse themselves in something bigger than a computer screen, since we have our screensaver at our fingertips.
I have found that nature is not only fun for my kids, but also very therapeutic for myself. It is always good to get outside and enjoy what has always been in front of you all along: nature. If you haven’t already read my post about disconnecting from your virtual world and plugging into your real one, you could read about it here.
What you do during the winter months to try to stay in touch with the great outdoors? I would love to hear from you.