San Diego is a lovely place to live and play. It has mostly moderate weather and a number of things you can do around the county. I can't help myself. Every single time I say “County of San Diego,” I'm somehow driven to follow up with the fact that San Diego County is the size of Connecticut.
There, I said it.
One thing that San Diego doesn't have is a super-winning football team. But we San Diegans don't really care. It's not what we're all about. For most, it's about getting together and enjoying a beer with friends and family while the Mediterranean climate shifts smoothly into night as we watch a nice game.
Now, as an overlanding adventurist, I have come by a number of tricks that help me come out on top in the tailgating game. Spending a lot of time in the middle of nowhere has helped me hone my ‘out of truck' skills. Not the long game or the short game. It's about how it all comes together. The atmosphere.
El Niño may be responsible for a heat wave in the San Diego region with temperatures holding in the 90s for weeks. That' s a tad warm for us. It's also a front we're ready to fight . . . with experience.
A great way to start a comfortable family tailgate is to find a space. It's important to always pay attention to passing cars and make sure the kids know not to run too far. Bring a portable crib if you have crawlers and a packing blanket to soften the asphalt for everyone's feet. Double chairs with cup/can holders are great and a portable camping fridge . . . well . . . this ain't the Ritz Carlton, but its getting close. The fridge may be a “wham bam thank you ma'am,” kinda deal, but these next two take us to resort status.
First, it's nice to have a place to get away. Our CVT rooftop tent – Mt. Thielsen model – opens automatically and is a great way to get the kids away when a meltdown requires a nap. It also makes it easy for anyone to find you at a distance. “You brought a tree fort to the game!” someone commented as they walked by.
“No, it's on a truck. Empirically, it cannot be a tree fort for there is no ‘tree.' It is a truck fort, good sir!” I replied to the gawking man.
To keep everyone else from melting down outside, we deploy our mobile favorite: Arctic Cove. A fine, cool mist makes our tailgate seem like we're sitting just yards from an Arctic shore with crashing waves. One thing I can count on is the insta-waterpark feature.
We know to bring an extra dry shirt for the boys, but it's worth it just to watch them play.
The baby, who is not yet fond of fine mist in his face, gets a head wrap to himself. He's like a cool little pirate with his baby booty.
We may be in an open parking lot, but we've cut out our own little cove.
And I'm king of the cove.