Traveling With Kids – San Diego – Airport Accidents

Saturday – Airport

IMG_3900 (800x600)First hurdle. The weigh in.

We HAD to make weight, but unlike MMA fighters, we couldn’t toss the bags in the sauna for a few hours to cut the excess. We had to do this old-school. Sort and Throw.

If you recall, we began with a ruthless slaughter of all the liquids and aerosols . That saved about 40lbs. It’s all stuff we’d purchased here so no big loss.  Here you can get a jumbo-hulk-sized tube of toothpaste for $1. And gun for the same price. Sadly, the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world wouldn’t let me get a gun. Not even a short-barreled AR-15 with a folding stock. So, yeah, no need to pack that.

However as much as we threw away, we made sure to pack ALL the boys’ toys. If we got home and found they were missing a sock, the weatherman predicts 0% chance to tears. But miss packing President Business, and watch out. Hurricane warning. Tsunami warning.

IMG_3366The biggest worry was the large bag. It was made in a day where the airlines didn’t care what size bag you had. It was made in a day where they didn’t steal 3” from your leg room to fit in a few more seats. It was made in a day when stewardesses all looked like models and didn’t threaten to have you thrown off the flight if you asked for a foot massage.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell if a bag is 40lbs or 45 lbs by lifting it. However, the oldest nearly blew out an eyeball lifting it, so we could be in trouble. As we lumbered with the bags towards the counter, I was ready to do some repacking.

To our delight, there was no one at the counter. Now, being me, in the old days, I would have waited until someone came, then checked the bags. But this is Joe 2.0 and it ain’t always about the rules, yo, so I took the heavy bag and weighed it on their scale. Sure enough, it was over by about 10lbs.

No worries. We redistributed all our stuff in minutes and weighed the bag, again. 39.9lbs.

Perfect. The boy nearly teetered over backwards with all the extra weight we’d stuffed into their packs, but we’d done it.

airportA coffee later, we checked in. No problems. Then we retired to the waiting area. Planes roared towards the sky. Passengers rushed to and fro most looking seriously late for something. Not us, though. We were in no rush.

Which was good because the boys looked exhausted. But despite that, they were in good spirits (which is to say, they were not hitting each other with their backpacks or complaining about how uncomfortable the seats were or demanding unreasonable things like the airport have video games stations.)

The worst that happened was the oldest managed to spill milk over everything. At home, you spill a glass of milk and the counter or table gets wet. In an airport waiting lounge, fate dictates that it get spilled on everyone, and the seats and the bags. In fact, I’m pretty sure the milk volume tripled the moment it left the cup.

Ah well. Easy enough to clean up.

While the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world sponged milk from my crotch, someone fell in love with the youngest. She was an adorable little thing. Maybe 18 months? I dunno. Young, anyway, and walking, but not much beyond that. Red hair. Pale skin. White dress. Puffy bunny in her arms. She laid her eyes on the youngest and stopped running. She looked at him for a long, long moment, like she had seen a god, then went running back to her parents giggling.

She must have run back to see the youngest about 20 times. Each time she would stop, look deeply into his blue eyes, giggle a bit, maybe fidget, maybe hop from foot to foot, then run back, again.

IMG_3908I think the youngest will have to get used to that. He’s got blond hair and blue-blue eyes and looks like trouble. He’ll have no problem with women. Ever.

At 7, though, he just thought the little girl was annoying. He wanted the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world to make his paramour go away. But his mom was enjoying this far, far too much to send that little girl away.

“Oh, look! Here’s your girlfriend, again.”


“I think she wants to kiss you.”


“Why don’t you go over and say hi.”

“I’m never speaking to you, again, mommy.”

I have to say, it was massively entertaining. The more the youngest tried to ignore the little girl, the more she wanted him to notice her. There’s a life lesson there, if anyone was paying attention. Right now the oldest is the master of ignoring girls and it’s driving them nuts. Will he ever realize the power of aloofness balanced off with good looks? Will his brother?

I suspect one will totally realize it in time.

Eventually, though, we had to board the plane. I think if that little girl had any say in it, she would have sat on the youngest’s lap. If the youngest would have had any say in it, she would have been left behind.

But we got on the plane, the youngest sitting with me, the oldest with the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world. The trip was nearly over.

All we had to do was get home.

Traveling With Kids – Legoland – Bricksburg

The City of Bricksburg.

lego movieThe only thing the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world wanted was to see the set from the lego movie, the place where everything is awesome.

The layout of Legoland, I swear, is designed to confuse and disorient people. I won’t say we got lost, cuz, you’re never really lost, but we sure got turned around a bit. It was after striding past the same weary father sitting on a bench, his eye twitching, his stroller of twins wailing, that we realized we needed help.

So we found an employee older than us. Older than the boys grandparents. Older than the park and lego itself, I think. Anyway, he led us to the location, kinda slowly. But it was right by where Legoland had their only mascots posing for pictures.

Now, you have to understand, the boys are terrified of mascots for some reason I cannot fathom. Clowns, I get. Zombies, I get. James Woods, I get. But mascots?

The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world took the youngest by the hand, while I pointed out how pretty the sky looked to the oldest. I don’t think he was fooled at all, but we all made our way past the monsters that looked like Emmet Brickowski and Wyldstyle (have I spelled that right?) No meltdowns occurred.

Plus, unless I’m mistaken, the boys were kind of ok with it all.

Hmmm. Maybe the mecca of Disneyland can be in our future!

IMG_0204 IMG_2059 (2)Inside the sound stage, they had set up the whole of Bricksburg and oh, momma, was that a site to see. It’s “more than 1200 LEGO models made out of more than three million LEGO bricks. It took a team of ten Model Builders more than 2000 hours to assemble and a team of four Model Builders six weeks to reassemble.”

All glued as God and President Business intended (I assume, cuz I kinda rooted for PresBiz and I know he would have wanted it that way.)

IMG_0218The guide gave us a quest, too. To find Batman, Wonder Woman. That goof, the Green Lantern, and Superman. We found them all.

IMG_0203And saw Emmet dancing, saw the micromanagers battling the inhabitants of Bricksburg, saw the bunk couch that Emmet built, … OMG so much was in there.

IMG_0205The youngest ran around and around the display like I used to see the Indians do when they attacked John Wayne. Don’t see much of that anymore. He looked mesmerized by all that had been done.

And the oldest, he went to every dIMG_0197isplay, every world, and told me about who was in it, what was interesting about it and why I should care. He seriously needs to be a guide some  day.

IMG_0208 However, he said, as he stared wide-eyed at the great ship the Sea Cow, “I want to be a master builder. I wish I could do this as my job.”

Hey, anything is possible,IMG_2056 (2)

But I think the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world enjoyed it the most. She marveled at the Bricksburg bridge, the life-sized workshop set up where every brick had a place, the way this place made her boys’ eyes light up. If you go to Legoland for any reason, see this exhibit.

Then, we were almost done.

It was time to make the youngest’s wish come true.

Heading Towards Where Everything Is Awesome

Heading Towards Where Everything Is Awesome

IMG_0600It was the goal of the whole trip. Legoland. So, first day, we geared up to see that wonderland.

We buttered ourselves from head to toe in sunscreen. We put on shorts and short sleeved shirts. We packed swim trunks. We were ready for the hot SoCal weather.

Only one problem.

The sky was grey. A heavy grey. And surprisingly cold. Like Vancouver cold.

It didn’t really matter. The boys were excited. I was excited. We were going to legoland.

mormon templeWe hopped into our less-than-speedy Galant, and drove north. Along the way we spotted a shining Mormon temple impressively rising towards the sky, all white and full of pointy bits. The youngest said he was happy God made him alive.

I thought that was a pretty deep thought for early in the morning.

We discussed what heaven would be like. Apparently, according to the oldest, I can have a cloud island. Kinda cool. I told them I thought heaven would be where I’d meet everyone I’d ever loved and lost.

prez businessAs we puttered along the highway, we played ‘what would you rather?’… to be able to read minds or predict the future? To be invisible or to fly? I love playing that game. I love hearing how the boys’ minds work. Would you rather be a lion or a tiger? Why? Would you rather be President Business or Batman? Oh, really?

We drove past two horse racing tracks. Past a lagoon of some sort. Over a lake that had no water whatsoever. Into valleys and beside great hills and ridges.

For some reason, I thought San Diego would be flat like a pancake. For some reason, I expected it to be developed and suburbanized all the way to LA. I was wrong on both accounts.

rainHowever, as we took the road to Legoland, the road called, wisely enough, Legoland rd, a bit of rain began to fall and it occured to us that we didn’t have any rain-gear or warm clothes with us.

Who needs such things in SoCal?

Apparently, we do.

Was this a horrible start to what HAD to be the best day ever?