A little while ago, I won tickets to the ENMN Conference through my friend Mindy who blogs at Budget Fairy Tale. I was so excited for a couple of reasons. First, I feel like I never win anything! And second, this was going to be my first ever blogger conference!
Fortunately, this conference was going to be in LA, so I didn’t have to make any travel or hotel arrangements. I knew I’d be driving a bit around town, but I’m used to that. But to have my first blogger conference to be where I live made things much less stressful for me.
The first day of the conference was actually going to be off-site. We were going to take a bus about 90 minutes outside of LA to Ventura Ranch KOA. We were going to have some time to explore there, have some lunch, and have our first session. At first I was pretty nervous about this being the first event. It was going to be very hot out there (and I don’t do well in the heat) and I’m not really an outdoorsy person. But I wasn’t going to miss it so this past Thursday morning, I was at the meeting place at 7am to get on the bus!
I only knew a few people at the conference before it and the bus was pretty big, so I ended up sitting alone for the ride. I listened to what the conference founder, Erica, had to say and spent a lot of the ride checking out the view.
As soon as we got to KOA, I knew that this wasn’t going to be what I had expected.
Our first stop was the pool to learn a little about KOA and the Ventura Ranch KOA.
KOA is all over the US. There are some locations that are mainly for people who want to camp in a tent or in their RV and then there are some locations (like Ventura Ranch) that have much nicer and less rustic accommodation options if you are looking for those. This location in particular has the RV or tent options, but you can also stay in a teepee, a glamour tent, or a cabin (which has bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and my new favorite thing a/c). There are also a ton of activities that everyone in your family can take part in there. There’s the pool (they are working on adding a huge water slide right now!), a climbing wall, crafts, and a zip line. But the first activity that KOA wanted us to see was the jumping pillow.
The jumping pillow was so much fun! It’s like a giant trampoline that is filled with air and you can bounce really really high! Toward the center you are off the ground quite a bit so I had a bit of trouble staying standing. But then I discovered (like my friends in the picture) that the best thing is to sit down while everyone bounces around you!
After that fun (and it was like a workout too!), we toured one of the teepees they have at Ventura Ranch.
It was really nice inside and pretty spacious too! It’s hard to tell in the picture but there was more than enough room for 4 of us to be standing in there. The teepees are all on raised decks so you don’t have to sleep on the ground. While there aren’t bathrooms inside, the bathrooms are pretty close by.
After that quick tour, they asked to see which of us wanted to go zip lining. I have zip lined a few times in the past, but it’s been years (or decades) since I’ve done it. I decided that this was the perfect time to do it again!
There were two sets of zip lines we could do. The first (pictured above) was a less scary zip line because there wasn’t really a drop off at the end of the platform, just a slanted drop. I was one of the last ones to go down this, but it was amazing! I wish I could have done it again.
After the first zip line, there was a second one that went farther and had a real drop off at the end of the platform. It wasn’t really that scary on the zip line, but I turned around during the ride and ended up coming in for the landing backwards so I couldn’t see when I was going to stop! Even with that small amount of scariness, all of us who chose to go on the zip lines had so much fun!
While we were zip lining, others in the group were checking out the Glamour Tent option at KOA. I sadly didn’t get to see the inside of those, but from the picture on their website they look pretty amazing!
After zip lining, I was able to check out some of the cabins that are available at KOA. I think that these look amazing and I’d love to stay in one!
These cabins are seriously incredible! They are even nicer (and probably bigger) than my house! They are decorated really well and they made as many of the walls windows as they could. Why wouldn’t you if this was the view from the kitchen?
After touring the cabins, a couple of us went back down to the pool to cool down a bit (it was pretty hot out) before heading back to where the nice cabins are for some lunch and our first session.
We got to learn a lot about travel blogging and how to approach different PR people to help you with your posts. I don’t really do travel blogging so this was very informative to me. I took a lot of notes and hopefully I’ll have some great travel posts to share on here in the future.
After lunch, it was time to head back on the bus to try to beat the LA traffic back to the host hotel (where the bus got us). The ride back was pretty quiet since a lot of people took naps. We did a lot of activity in a little amount of time, so we were pretty exhausted.
I never thought that I’d have fun at a campground, but obviously I’ve been going to wrong types of campgrounds. I’m already thinking about going to KOA for a fun weekend sometime soon. We are lucky here in LA because our KOA is open year-round (some of the locations where it gets cold and snowy are only open seasonally). Maybe I can organize my friends for a weekend adventure. I know that they would all love the zip line and pool and it would be fun to camp (in a cabin) and have s’mores by the fire.
Thank you so much Ventura Ranch KOA for hosting us for the day! You’ve converted this non-camper into someone who is dreaming of going camping soon!