san diego blackout

Last weekend, SDGE& had a major electrical failure that resulted in loss of power to 1.4 million customers throughout San Diego, parts of Orange County, Imperial County, Arizona and Mexico. It lasted 12 hours. People were up in arms about potential looters and health issues. Dozens of flights were grounded. Roads were jammed. School was cancelled. It was announced that we should “enact our family emergency plans.”

san diego blackout family

Our family? We had the best time ever. We were all forced to break away from the TV, computer…even the phones weren't working for awhile. I couldn't blog (I know, the hardship!). So what did we do? We talked. For hours. We went outside and looked at the stars. There was a barbecue, candles, actual in-person interaction with neighbors. I even suggested we do this every week (minus the hundred-degree weather and food melting in the freezer, of course).

To encourage other families to spend some old-fashioned bonding time together, Nate and I are taking part in Shout's Unplug & Play weekend later this month from September 23-25. The company is challenging people everywhere to take a break from technology and get outside with their family. We think the initiative is the perfect reminder to spend more time with your loved ones – and it's definitely gentler than a city-wide blackout. We'll be taking a picnic in one of our favorite spots: Balboa Park.

To celebrate their Unplug & Play weekend, Shout is giving my readers the chance to win an autographed copy of Unplugged Play by Bobbi Conner. Unplugged Play features over 700 old-fashioned games and activities for everyone from 10 months to 10 years old. So if you – like many of those 1.4 million Americans who lost power – aren't sure what to do with your kids without video games and TV, this is the answer. No batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun.