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Family selfie at Pfieffer Beach, Big Sur

Family selfie at Pfieffer Beach, Big Sur

I’m a single dad living in Pasadena with my two kids, a 5 yo girl and a 8 yo boy. I grew up in Upstate NY fishing, camping, exploring, and getting lost in the woods with my family. My dad led us on some nuts trips in the Adirondacks and Montana, and I loved it. I’ve spent some time going on adventures myself. In my previous life, I was a marine biologist living in Hawaii. My job was to scuba dive and go on research trips. Now I’m a marketing director sitting in an office all day, far from the ocean.

I’m restless and I’m a daydreamer. I’m a scientist and explorer at heart, and as cliche as it sounds, I love to learn. And since I’d rather put a sharp stick in my eye than sit through a little kid soccer game on a hot So Cal day, I take my kids on adventures instead. Beach, mountains, museums. Surfing, fishing, kayaking, camping, whatever. California is amazing, and there’s no end to things to see and places to go.

I never thought I’d live in LA. I’m not a city kid, and I don’t want my kids to be city kids. Despite living in this sprawling metropolis with horrid traffic, I’ve learned that there’s no excuse not to just get up and go. To unplug, get out of the house, get outside. Within a two-hour radius, there is so much to do and see. Within an eight-hour radius, there is a lifetime of discovery.

Roadtripping with Betty the one-eyed Boston Terrier

Roadtripping with Betty the one-eyed Boston Terrier

I’m a bad writer and I’m not a perfect dad. My kids do not eat organic food every meal or play exclusively with handmade toys. My kids watch movies and a bit of TV and they own too much plastic crap from Target. They have iPads that I let them watch on long road trips. I’m not here to preach about how to raise your kids or how to treat the planet. But I think it’s possible to strike a balance between the reality of modern culture and the natural world.

When and where I grew up, it was “Go outside and play”. It’s just not that easy in LA. There are dangerous streets and crazy people out there. You gotta make an effort to keep yourself and your kids connected to nature. Going to the park doesn’t count in my book. There’s no excuse. And it’s important. I’m starting this blog to document the day trips and the road trips that I drag my kids on and all that goes along with it. Maybe it will inspire a few people to get out of their comfort zones, take some risks, and create some real moments and memories with your family.

Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree

Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree


Add yours
  1. Stuart Merida

    Great blog. I have some trips planned that you are ahead of me on in your blog which is awesome. I am trying to keep my kids connected to nature too. I appreciate the great ideas! Happy trails!

  2. Claudia

    Totally share your mentality in just getting outside and having children enjoy what Mother Nature has created ……you should create a meetup and have others join in 🙂 I know I would enjoy it very much !!!!!!


    I told you I would look up your Blog.. It is awesome. Way to go Dad Wonder. Keep it up, it looks like you have a special bunch there!
    Your friend, @Wanderlust63

  4. Carolyn

    Hi there,

    We love your blog! Would you ever be up for an interview about spending time outdoors with yor kids on If so, please email me. And thanks so much for your great trip reports!

    All the best,


  5. Kate (@AdventureMumma)

    Hye Ralph. Love your work, your detail that you put into your blogs & the effort you put into getting out with your kids. And particularly love those pics you post on Instagram. I’m visiting your stomping ground this year in March & are keen to do a daytrip into the mountains or coast – my partner & I will be staying in Santa Monica (& kid free which is a bit of a shame BUT means we can choose an Adult adventure this time!!). Let me know if you have any recommendations & don’t forget I’d LOVE to feature you on my Outdoor Family section on my Blog.

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