February 28-March 3, 2018 San Diego, CA & Joshua Tree National Park During our winter stay in Yuma, we took the time one weekend to drive the 3 hours west to San Diego. I have wanted to visit the San Diego Zoo ever since the Disney Channel taught me at age 4 that it’s the best zoo in the world. To maximize our time at the zoo (I mean, at those prices if you’re buying 4 tickets you’d better be there from open ’til close!) we did a very un-Fitzgerald thing and got a hotel for 2 nights. We were excited about swimming, but it ended up being too chilly.
I had a blast visiting the zoo of my childhood fantasies. I didn’t even let the 5 year old complaining, “I’m tired of the zoo…I want to go home,” starting at 9:30am ruin my mood.
The next day we drove a few hours north and east to visit Joshua Tree. (We had intended to visit this park in December before arriving in Yuma, but an ill-timed stomach flu had derailed our plans.) We had opted to leave Stumbo in Yuma because San Diego RV prices were insane, so at Joshua Tree we opted to tent camp. The four of us hadn’t slept in a tent together since before this grand adventure began for us!
Our campsite was lovely, but we hardly ventured out of our tent because it was CRAZY WINDY! We huddled inside our tent, reading and playing games, and went to bed early. But sleep was elusive because the wind battered against the sides of our tent, pressing the walls down against our heads. It was a bit of a rough night. The next day was lovely, so even though we were pretty exhausted, we had a great time exploring and playing at the park. Some people had told us it wasn’t that different from the surrounding deserts, so we hadn’t expected to be very impressed. We were delighted to find bizarre stone playgrounds, fascinating natural gardens with thousands of cholla cacti, and forests of the biggest Joshua Trees we’d ever seen.
We wished that we had planned more days to explore this incredible area, but it wasn’t the “glamping” we’re used to now…so we were eager to get back to Yuma and get some sleep!