Luckily in San Diego we have a few national and state park areas that are close enough to reach in under 45 minutes but still placed just far enough or are just deep enough to escape the urban reality.
Yesterday, the boys and I as well as a fellow SAHD and his two boys headed out to Torrey Pines State Park. Hands down it is one of the best spots to go in San Diego county. If you love the beach, it's there. If you love trails, they're there. If you want history, you can find it there. And if you want to experience a section of the great La Jolla Half Marathon known only as "the hill" (a one mile long ultra-steep grade switch back paved road leading from the beach to the trail heads), you'll find it here.
The trails are always in great condition and even with the overcast and marine layer you still have the beautiful and aptly named Torrey Pines. The trails offer a little bit of everything from steep stairs, to smooth dirt trails, to rocky tops (not like West Virginia) and steep switch back descents. Just get yourself a map and pick a route.
We chose an almost 2-mile loop and the older boys (almost 3 and 4), were able to handle the whole loop with little to no fussing. We took our time as both Dads were strapped with an extra 15-20 lbs of sub-1 year olds, and the older boys wanted to stick sword fight, dig in the dirt and generally horse around. We had a great time, and though I can't speak for the Big Guy's friend, I can say that the Big Guy crashed for 2.5 hours as soon as we came home. Even the Little Man was washed out by the time we got home...or as you'll see below...he was done when we reached the car.
The only downside is that I was shooting with my D80 and left the ISO at 500...the D80 doesn't shoot much without grain over 400 so the pics weren't blow up keepers, but they'll do for the ol'blog.