Archives for posts with tag: San Diego

Fall is my favorite season.  Once a young lad, I spent many an autumn raking the fallen leaves, sipping chai tea in the brisk evening air, and baking apple pies for my family.  Just kidding.  I was shooting rabbits with my bow and arrow, planning out ‘Mischief Night‘, calculating my trick-or-treat route, and making traps in the woods and covering them with leaves for unsuspecting victims.  I lived in New Jersey.  The bar of morality and righteousness wasn’t very high and I was damned if I was to trip over it.  So, I crawled under.

Now that we live in San Diego, we don’t get the big weather changes that strongly signal the closing half of the year.  So to imitate the fall season here, we decorate the house in orange and brown, turn on the air conditioning, and parade around in turtlenecks.  Hooray!

To further the charade…at this age Worm will believe anything…we drive out of the city to pick pumpkins from a fake patch on the side of the freeway.  Just like the pilgrims used to do!

A little bit northeast of us (you can’t really go anywhere except for north and east of San Diego) is a little town called Ramona.  Yeah, that one.  The former “Turkey Capital of the World”.  It’s been a long time since the feathered kind of turkeys have been spotted there, but you’re sure to run into a few of the human variety.

If 70 Degree Autumn Weather Disgusts You, LOOK AWAY!

Ramona is home to Mountain Valley Ranch, a nice little stop off the 67 highway, near the edge of town.  Mountain Valley Ranch delivers the goods with pumpkins by the truckload!  Pumpkins as far as the eye can see, which from Worm’s 34″ of elevation, is only about 20 feet off into the distance.  So, the Ranch was perfect for him, and for us!

Worm decided the patch was a bit too ‘natural’ and went for the easy kill, the peck of pre-picked prepared pumpkins in presentable propriety.  This was an area where white collar children could pick the pumpkin (or supervise a parent picking the pumpkin, as in our case) without expending too much energy or leaving the comfort of his/her dry-cleaned and pressed clothing.

Mom, I Think This Is the One!

Then it was daddy’s turn.  And I wanted to do the real deal.  Let me forage through the patch and find myself a pulchritudinous specimen.  For this, we needed a wagon.

Worm, I Feel Like I’m Doing All The Work…BTW, Does The Earth Seem More Tilted To You?

A few hours later and deep into the isqoutm squash patch, I found the cucurbit of my dreams!  It was the finest pumpkin 2012 had ever delivered and I laid eyes on it first.  Quickly, I kicked the little monkey out and used his shirt to provide a cushioned wagon ride for ‘Pepita’ all the way to the cash register.  (In case you’re going for a visit, Mountain Valley Ranch only takes cash!)

Where Fore Art Thou, Pepita?

Worm, exhausted from the extra walking effort on unpaved ground, fell asleep on the hour long ride home.  And I spent that quiet car time basking in the thrill of the hunt and relishing in the glory of my find.  It was as if Tebow shined brightest upon ‘Pepita’ for mine own eyes to see.  Now that I’ve found you, I cannot wait to gut you, carve out your eyes, and light a match inside of your head…


As a side note, Mountain Valley Ranch also has: petting zoo, corn maze, corn cannon, and more!  It’s a fun, memorable place to take little ones!  You can check out their website for more information.

I have recently had the opportunity to interview for a TV series that is going to be based on stay-at-home dads.  Since I have a burning desire to walk the red carpet and have people pay me to wear clothes, I decided to try out.  What the heck, right?  What’s the worst that could happen?  One problem is that Gavin may not want to be on TV.  At this age, he has no say.  (We vote on things all the time, but he never asks any questions or says ‘Aye‘ or ‘Nay’.  So, 85% of the time, I win!)  How do I know what Worm wants?  Does he want everyone in the universe to see what he’s doing and how he’s growing up?  Does he want to be famous?

I thought about all of the great things that could happen if we were on TV:

  • My friends and family could watch us every single day on TV.
  • Gavin could become a reality TV star.
  • It would take my blog to another level.
  • I could get paid for changing diapers and brushing baby teeth.  (Gavin would get paid in jujube’s and jellybeans.)
  • I could eventually have my own talk show!
Then, I thought about all of the bad things that could happen if I was on TV:
  • My friends and family could watch me every single day on TV.
  • I wouldn’t be able to see myself on TV because I don’t have cable.
  • We would have to watch everything we say and do in public.
  • We could get negative press from the media.
  • We could be stalked by the paparazzi.
  • We could end up like the Kardashians.

Things I learned that day:

  • It takes 4 hours to get to L.A. (from San Diego) on a weekday morning.
  • It takes 1 hr and 50 minutes to get home from L.A. (to San Diego) on a weekday at lunch time.
  • I can’t drive more than 2 hours without having to pee.
  • 50 minutes of my camera interview will be condensed into 2-3 minutes.  Therefore, 95% of what I say is worthless.  (Have they been talking to my wife?)
  • There’s a lot of if’s in show business.

Stay tuned.  If I know something, you’ll know something.  If you’ve got any thoughts, feel free to comment!

We’re Just a Couple of Character Actors!!!

We did!  Our world-famous San Diego Zoo passes arrived in the mail, so off we went to see the animals today!

Boy, did we miss the zoo!  (Ok, I missed the zoo.  Worm can’t tell the difference between stuffed and live animals yet.)

Today was the perfect day to visit the zoo.  It was cool and overcast outside and you know what that means?  If you get to the zoo early enough, you can see the creatures out and about doing their thing (i.e. stretching their legs, eating breakfast, reading the paper).  We got to see them up close and personal doing their morning routine!

Since the San Diego Zoo is so large and the time between Gavin naps is so small, we can’t tackle the entire park in one shot.  So, we choose where we want to go the democratic way! By a show of hands, who wants to see the leopards? My hand goes up ecstatically.  By a show of hands, any oppose?  Worm is picking at the Vel-cro on his shoes, which, incidentally, negates all voting privileges!  Hooray!  We are going to see the leopards!

I’ve got about 90 minutes to find the leopards, see everything else along the way, and get back to Eleanor (my faithful Land Cruiser).

As we pass through the zoo, I see: capybara, kopje, elephants, rattlesnakes, condors, zebra, giraffe, secretary birds, peacocks, flamingos, leopards, wow!

As we pass through the zoo, Worm sees: something furry, zooworker sweeping up trash, something furry, metal sign, something huge and not-so-furry, cable railing, something slithery, sprinkler head, something feathery, a baby, something stripy and not-so-furry, a tour bus wheel, something super tall and not-so-furry, a zooworker equipment truck, a zooworker pushing a large trash bin, a machine that presses pennies into zoo pictures, silicone sealant between two pieces of glass, wow!

It’s amazing how two people can go to the same place and see it so differently, eh?


How do I explain to Worm that you can see things like sprinkler heads, babies and tour bus wheels outside of the zoo?  Instead of going to the zoo, we could have just taken public transportation through downtown San Diego.  He probably would have been more interested…

Maybe next time, I’ll drop him off at the bus stop with an all day transfer pass and I’ll go to the zoo!

The San Diego zoo is awesome! There’s so much to see!

I finally got out of the house!  By myself!  As I said before, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been able to really mountain bike.  It used to be my favorite way to start the weekend.  For the first time in a long time, the opportunity presented itself.  My lovely wife told me that I could break away this Saturday morning to go ride as long as I was back before breakfast.  She didn’t have to tell me twice.

The View of the Grasslands From Above

I set my alarm for 5:30am and was out the door by 6.  The sun hadn’t even come up by the time I hit the trailhead and I was the second one there.  (The first guy looked like he slept in his car.  Awesome idea!)

There’s something about being on the MTB trails in the early morning…like the lack of people!  The air is fresh, crisp, and unadulterated.  If you’re lucky, you can see rabbits, coyotes, and even deer (like I did today!)  Although if luck broke my arm or leg, I could come across some wildlife I’d rather not see.  Falling lame in the middle of this terrain could quickly turn you from biker to breakfast for SoCal‘s largest land predator, the mountain lion.  I crossed my fingers that I was too skinny for any cougar to waste his time on.  I definitely wasn’t too fast for one.

Ahh, No One Around For Miles

As I rode today, I reminisced about my past.  Years ago, well before baby and wife, I would ride for hours on the weekends and do nothing more important than find my next meal.  Those were the days before I met responsibility.  Obviously, things have changed.   Responsibility and I have every meal together now.  Like the skin on my body, we know each other well.  But, this morning I left the house before responsibility arose.  My reward?  I got to reenact a portion of my previous life for a brief couple of hours.

2 hours alone on my bike was just the ticket for me to recharge and put things in perspective again.  I cleared my head as quickly as the trees blurred past.  Afterwards, I felt like myself again.  But, not like my old self sans responsibility.  Like my new self, complete with obligation and duty.  Because in truth, my previous life that I experienced this morning was a likeness in emotion only.  Nothing more.  I can’t turn back time, nor do I want to.  I love my wife.  I love my son.  I love my commitments and occupation as a husband and a new father.  And I couldn’t wait to get back to them and share a nice family breakfast together.

If you are in the San Diego area and you enjoy nature, the Mission Trails Regional Park is a nice place to visit.  There are tons of hiking, biking and horseback riding to do.  The visitor center is kid friendly and if you’re teaching your little one to mountain bike, the Grasslands part of the park is a great place to start!

For more information about the park, see the link below.

Mission Trails Regional Park

For more information about mountain biking in San Diego:

Mountain Bike Bill’s Website

San Diego Mountain Biking Association

Steph and I try not to waste money on baby stuff that we only use a few times and/or don’t really believe is worth it.  That said, the BOB is worth every penny we’ve spent on it.  That says a lot, because it doesn’t come cheap.

We bought our BOB Revolution SE to fit our lifestyle.  We like to take long walks, run, and hike.  In San Diego, we see sidewalk, grass, sand, dirt, and sometimes a little water.  The BOB Revolution SE handles the varied terrains well.

NOTE:  This is the 2010 model that  I am reviewing.

The SUV of strollers. BOB Revolution SE

The SE (Sport Experience) differs from the CE (City Experience) because of the larger wheels.  The SE has 16″ rear wheels, while the CE has the smaller 12″ wheels in the back.  The larger wheels provide a longer wheelbase and more stable platform at the cost of maneuverability.  Don’t get me wrong, this stroller still turns easily, just not as easy as some others.  (There is also a fixed front wheel model for hardcore runners.)

We love our BOB Revolution SE.  It’s pricey, but we use it almost every day and the build quality is great.  We can fit up to a 70 lb baby in there, so it’s useful for at least a few more years.  The tires have plenty of grip.  It’s easy to roll over bumps in the road and on the dirt trails.  It doesn’t take much effort to get up and down curbs.  (We don’t jump off the curbs yet, but the solidly design of the BOB looks to be accepting of a lot of abuse.)  We’ve gone trail hiking with the BOB Revolution and it’s been great.  The large wheels roll nicely and the suspension does its job.  There are two settings for the suspension, so there is some adjustability in the design.

The front wheel has a tracking adjustment to fine tune the steering of the stroller.  When it’s dialed in, I can literally use one hand to control the stroller, while I sip my mocha-chino half-caf double espresso, skinny latte with nonfat whipped cream with the other.  This feature is a big plus for me because I usually walk two dogs with one hand and hold the stroller with the other.  (I try to get everyone exercise at once.  Multitasking!)

Two large pouches (one behind seat and one underneath) can carry some gear for you.  We shove blankets in the compartment behind the seat and put the diaper bag and/or purse in the underneath pouch.  We had to purchase the cup holder accessory separately, which should be included with the BOB at this premium price.  It provides a small zip pouch and two cup holders for water bottles, etc.

Steph and I are fairly tall people (above average) and the stroller still feels nice for us to push around.  We don’t have to walk like hunchbacks of Notre Dame in order to control the Revolution.  So, it’s very comfortable for us during our long walks, and that is a huge reason I give it a 9 worm rating overall.  But if we were any taller, the handlebar would need to be raised…and BOB doesn’t offer that feature.

The stroller is one of the most manly looking strollers on the market as well.  I don’t feel like a sissy pushing it around.  In fact, it’s less a stroller and more an engineered SUV (Strolling Utility Vehicle) for babies.

If you need the car seat adapter, it is sold separately and there is no universal one.   It’s something to think about as the baby grows since your car seats may change.  The car seat adapter also requires tools to install and remove.  (I think this is changed on the 2011 model.)


Overall Rating:  9 Worms   

Ease of Use:  8 Worms 

Performance:  9 Worms 

Features:  7 Worms 

Durability:  9 Worms 

Manliness:  10 Worms 

Retail Price:  $469.00



High quality build.  Stable over many types of terrain.  Easy to maneuver.  Durable.  5-year warranty.  Quick release wheels (for easy cleaning).  Large canopy. 5-point harness for securing baby.


Occasional squeaking.  It can be a pain to get to the valve for pumping up tires.  Design could be more aesthetically pleasing for the price.  The BOB could also use a cup holder within arms reach of Gavin  (I think this is remedied in the 2011 model).  When folded up for travel, it would be nice to be able to secure it closed.  (I believe this feature has been added to 2011.)

Things I would modify:

There’s a Low Boy cargo pouch underneath the stroller.  It would be nice to have some open/close fasteners that allow me to cram large items into this Low Boy compartment (like a full diaper bag and/or Steph’s purse).  A different location for the stroller  clips.  A telescopic handlebar…not much, but something like an inch or two.  A cleaner way of securing the top view window curtain, since it tends to flap in the wind.  I would add drop down side curtains to block some cross wind into baby sitting area.

The BOB Revolution SE can be found here:

So all of a sudden, I’ve got a sense of humor. That’s right. Steph thinks I’m funny now. (When did I ever stop?) I’m funny like we’ve just started dating funny. We’ve known each other over 6 years and I’ve seen thousands of rolled eyes and breathy sighs about my lack of seriousness. But, the new Steph laughs at everything I say. Everything. When I say “Honeybaby, I’m going to take out the trash.”, she giggles as if she’s hearing “Honeybaby, I’m buying you a Gucci handbag in cash.”  So now she finds me incredibly hot.

What a difference 5 days and a daddyblog makes. Let me tell you how it’s spiced up our love life. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t.

(Beer brings people together.  Shameless plug for what is one of the best breweries in San Diego: The Lost Abbey)

Do you hear fireworks?

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