We chose to go to Oceanside, CA because a couple of the friends that we had made on the road were staying there prior to our group trip to LEGOland. It wouldn’t have been our first choice but since friends were there we thought it would be worth it.
The campground we stayed at was called Oceanside RV “Resort.” I put the resort in quotes because it was a stretch to call it that. It did have a “heated” pool and a green hot tub so, there you have it. Close to a fancy resort, right? The entire place was also undergoing a renovation unbeknownst to us when booking or arriving at the place. They painted everything white one day without informing anyone staying at the campground or putting up signs. This resulted in me setting my laundry bag down next to a freshly painted pole which then led to painted dirty clothes. It was a mess! The entire time we were there there was loud construction taking place from early morning into evening. They ended chopping down dozens of beautiful shade providing trees throughout the campground to “make room for” newly purchased palm trees. My guess is they wanted a more tropical feel so they could charge more for guests. However, on a hot sunny day I would much rather have a large shade tree than a scrawny palm tree to camp under. Obviously I don’t recommend this place. 😉
However, despite the drawbacks of the campground itself we had wonderful friends to hang out with and were a semi-short walk to a number of things. After crossing a fast moving 4 lane road there was a cute little walk to the beach where the kids could play and we could enjoy the sunset. On the beach path there was also a large playground that our little one enjoyed.
The day after we arrived in Oceanside it ended up raining, which was quite a change. We hadn’t experienced rain for a while now on our trip. We took the rain as an opportunity to take the train into San Diego and go to the Children’s Museum. The train station was a little over a mile away from the campground and we made the girls a little rain shelter out of the wagon and sarongs.
Train Into the City
Most of the walk to the train station we could use a bike path which made for an enjoyable walk. When we’re all on bikes again this would be a fun area to go back to as you can get to lots of fun places via bike path.
We ended up buying round trip train tickets that were good for both Amtrak and The Coaster, a commuter train. We took the Amtrak train on the way into the city and were surprised with how roomy it was. The comfy seats all had a ton of room in them and the bathroom was bigger than our bathroom in our Portland house! Our car even had a downstairs cafe! We all shared a pretty pricey cheese and crackers pack for fun. We had a lot of fun and the hour train ride zipped past before we knew it.
On the way back we took The Coaster which was nice as well but not quite as cush as Amtrak. We did end up choosing to sit across from a sweet little boy and his Mama. The kids interacted a bit while we chatted with the Mom who was traveling from Mexico to visit family in CA. There are so many different lifestyles in this world and it’s so interesting to hear other’s stories.
The last time we had been to the New San Diego Children’s Museum it was when our 6 year old was a year and a half, so as you can imagine some things had changed. It seemed as if every other family had the same plan to visit the museum on the rainy day. It was PACKED!! I’m talking shoulder to shoulder parents with some trying to sprint through the crowd to run after their rogue toddler. Ooo!
We made the best out of it and the kids didn’t seem to be too bothered by the crowds. There was a new exhibit which was a giant crocheted net made of rope with various sacks and swinging balls for the kids to play on. It was very well done! The girls weren’t sure about it at first. I wasn’t sure about it at first! There were 4 different layers to the net each one leading to the next through hidden holes not much bigger than a kid. To give some perspective, Justin’s shoulders couldn’t fit through so if a kid got stuck they were really stuck for a while.
The layers laid on top of one another therefore a kid in one layer was essentially climbing on the kids below them in the layer beneath. I know this was a bit over the top but I was so nervous when our oldest went in. I was so worried another kid would unknowingly step on her healing leg sideways and re-break it! And once the kids are in anything but the outermost layer you can’t see them anymore. I was a bit distraught inside but our oldest had a blast climbing through the maze while our youngest used the hanging balls to swing from.
Another one of the girls’ favorites was the mattress room. The museum filled a large room with bed mattresses on the floor and walls for the kids to jump around on. There were soft pillow car tires to play with in there as well. Justin was a good sport and played in this room for a while with the girls as they covered him in the pillow tires and then knocked him down. It was pretty funny!
There were also a lot of other very well built wooden structures made from found or reused materials. It gave me some ideas for creating things in our own home.
Lastly the girls enjoyed some fresh air, after baking in the mattress room, creating clay sculptures.
Our goal was to have our oldest walking from the lines to the rides at LEGOland which we had tickets for on Valentine’s Day. We knew bringing her walker, Rosita would be impractical and also saw that she was ready to move forward in her recovery. Our oldest does NOT like change and anything new is very scary to her. The very idea of getting a cane to replace Rosita was very unsettling for her.
We found out really quickly that kids canes are not available for the general public. I looked in several thrift stores and shops only to find that the canes were all impractically high because they were designed for adults. We ended up going to a Walmart and figuring out which style worked best for our daughter. We found that the one legged cane was a bit too wiggly but that the 4 legged one worked much better.
While the girls and I were getting out decorating supplies and coming up with a plan, handy Justin cut the cane down to size and put it back together to a nice 20” height. Just right for a 6 year old! By the time we decorated her new cane, Goldie, she was excited to use it, thank goodness! She ended up decorating it with an old gold helium balloon they had found on the ground, some scrap fabric and some yarn.
With positive momentum toward Goldie we drove to a nearby library with the goal of finding a quiet spot in the library for our oldest to practice walking. The idea was to have reading in the children’s section a reward for making progress toward walking on her own again. It was a struggle but after distracting her with books about quilting she did it!
Fort Cross Old Time Adventures
One of our travel friends found a really neat pioneer style forest camp. The entire group that attended for the day were homeschoolers. It was a fairly long drive totaling 3 hours round trip time but it was worth it! Our sweet friend let us carpool with her and it was so nice to get some chatting time in. My oldest and I went together while Justin and our youngest had a daddy daughter day back at camp.
The outdoor camp started with visiting their farm animals including goats, sheep, a pig and some chickens. This wasn’t our daughter’s favorite part as the animals kept knocking her off balance. I caught a chicken and got to pet the pig for a bit so that made me happy.
They also had a reptile talk where the kids were able to touch tortoises, a snake and a bearded dragon. Our oldest found that the spikes on the bearded dragon that were used as camouflage among the cacti were not sharp at all. They merely bent under the light touch of her finger.
The kids and some parents used slingshots with paint-balls to shoot various kitchen items and walls in their paintball area. It was trickier then it looked to aim those things and challenging for the younger ones to get enough pull back on the slingshot to pop the paintball. We all had fun none the less.
There was tomahawk throwing that our oldest was firmly opposed to but enjoyed watching me throw them. I think only by luck did I get those things to stick in the logs I was throwing at but it was satisfying when it happened.
Our oldests’ favorite thing that day was the archery range. I didn’t expect her to like it so much but she stayed at the station shooting arrows for about 45 minutes. She was actually a pretty good shot and got some good distance! It was fun watching her figure out her technique and repeating the steps of form under her breath as she took her stance.
The kids then had a blast making fire, making rope, creating a fort and playing house in it. It was so sweet to watch and the parents got in some time to talk.
On our way home we stopped at the delicious Julian Pie Company set in such a beautiful landscape. We checked this place out last year and loved it so I was hoping we would have time to go back this year. They sell an out of this world no sugar added apple pie. My oldest and I ended up splitting a piece of pie at the shop and bringing 2 whole pies home to share with the family.
I thought me buying two was excessive until Justin and I almost ate the entire first pie that same night! Ha!
While our oldest and I were away for the day our little one and Justin checked out the awesome playground near our campsite, Buccaneer Beach Park.
There is a weekly Thursday market within walking distance of the campground we were staying at. The daytime market is from 9am-1pm and then it starts up again in the evening for a mood lit night market. The evening market was out of our reach due to the kiddos bedtimes but the day market was really fun!
At the market there was a blend of crafts, plants, produce, local fishermen and food carts selling goods. We ended up getting an overflowing wagon full of delicious fresh produce and two growlers full of kombucha. I really need to start making kombucha myself again! It would really save us a bundle :P.
The girls even found a woodlouse aka pill bug which they were thrilled about. These things are basically their only pets in Portland. They play with them for hours making little homes for them and feeding them.
It was a lovely fun packed day and I would highly recommend going to the market if you’re ever in the area.