June in Arizona is the hottest time of year and that's our cue to take a vacation out of dodge, especially with little to no water in sight...San Diego has become our family tradition.

We love San Diego for a family vacation because there is always something to do. Now, it is a 6 hour drive from Tucson, which can easily turn into a 7 hour drive with stops and breaks, but if you have plenty of iPads, music and snacks it's quite comfortable. I highly recommend bringing pillows and blankets for kids to sleep in the car. It's fun to see the landscape change from saguaros to lush palm trees in only a few hours and Mom and & Dad are happy to watch the temperature drop on the car gauges.


is a great place to stop and let the kids run around at the Imperial Sand Dunes. You may even want to stop here as your final destination if you're into riding off road vehicles or shooting glamor photo sessions. In June the temperatures are quite hot, so I would suggest climbing them at sunrise or sunset to really get those spectacular views and cooler climates, but no matter when you stop, it's magnificent.

Another great stop in the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. A former prison opened in 1876 and shutdown in 1909, it's rich with history and exhibits. Maybe a little more fun for adults, but worth checking out.

Live Like a Local!

Imperial Beach ...

has a terrific pier and late one night we walked the plank...I mean walked the pier and we found singers, fisherman, vendors, kids, lovers and an array of locals and tourists. Our timing was impeccable as we watched a local fisherman cast his line and draw a 7ft shark from the water. It was no Peter Benchley size Jaws, but large enough to create quite a buzz and stir on the pier. You just never know what's lurking in the water!

Rent an Airbnb!

The best decision we made was to rent an airbnb! Ditch being squished into a hotel room with lousy Folgers coffee. I will say, we had no idea where the heck we were staying. We just picked a random spot in a random location, but we did get lucky. I lived in Los Angeles for over 15 years and know it well, but know very little about San Diego. We stayed in Imperial Beach. It's a cute town, with plenty of bars, restaurants, beaches and things to do. If you're looking for something more upscale, then La Jolla or Del Mar seems to be the place, but you're also going to pay the price.

We rented the most adorable 2 story condo with 2 bathrooms and 2 bedrooms only a block from the beach for about $250 a night. It had a garage and working dryer and washer. Across the street a hip pizza shop with craft beers and ice-cream parlor. How can you be mad at that? We walked to the beach everyday and ate pizza at night. Not bad. No A/C necessary, it was so cool and comfortable, get your sweatshirt out! A nice change from the hot Arizona sun. It looked as though it was been newly renovated. The only con was that Imperial Beach is not the cleanest. So we made our way up to La Jolla Cove on some other days, but for a California condo...we had plenty of space.

The San Diego Zoo

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.” 

The zoo is endless. You could be there for 2-3 days and not see everything. We went for one day and that left us tired, but wanting more. Lots of walking, so many exhibits, bus tours, sky tours, gifts shops...you won't be bored. It's lush with greenery and again, the weather was exemplary which made all the walking tolerable. It's clean, well organized, we never had to wait too long for anything. Just be careful of all the Mommas and their strollers, they are on a mission.

La Jolla Cove

Seagulls and Sea Lions and Pelicans oh my!

First off I will say La Jolla Cove is crowded. Parking is tough and annoying, but if you are patient, you will find a spot. Compared to living in LA...I was well prepared. It is such a cute town though with amazing boutiques and tons of wonderful eateries. We did not however stop in such glamorous places as we were traveling with Arizona kids and they only had one thing on their mind and that was WATER. I have to say, I feel like we hit the jackpot. La Jolla Cove is a tiny beach surrounded by cliffs. It's absolutely stunning and everyone wants to be there. Not only is it stunning, but it's also surrounded by seagulls, pelicans and sea lions. You can actually swim with the sea lions or at least within 20 feet of them. Everyone is there, from snorkelers, kids, locals & tourists. Everyone wants to catch a moment with the lions barking within only a few feet. This is where man and animal truly co-exist in the wild.

Back to the Desert

Saguaro cactus and coyote captures.

After 4 days of "hangin' loose" it was time to head back to Arizona. Head back to heat, routines and air-conditioning. We were sad to leave our quaint beach towns where we could parade in sweatshirts and flip flops, but in the end we knew that Arizona was home. There is nothing that beats an Arizona sunsets, the monsoon rainfall or a simple dunk in the pool. We knew we would be back to San Diego next year and happy to explore new sights and sounds, maybe new critters too. Family vacations are forever memories and we are happy you made it here to view some of our life.

Stay Tuned!!! Los Angeles in October is coming next!