Traveling With Kids – Legoland – Highlights

Legoland Highlights

So what were the highlights for people?

IMG_0206The Prettiest Girl in the world– the lego movie stage.

All the lego sets were there, her youngest wandered around like he had fallen into heaven, and the oldest decided on what would love to do for the rest of his life


.The Writer – The Egyptian Ride

–I loved beating everyone at the ancient Egyptian shooter ride. Yes, I am that shallow.

The youngest – The Splash Battle Ride

– He loved being shot with water. He laughed and laughed and laughed and never once complained that his lips were blue and he looked like we’d tried to drown him.

IMG_3425The oldest – the Lego store.

He shopped like a pro. He found the best bargains. He didn’t spend all his money in an orgy of excitement. He kept his head and walked away with some amazing box sets.


IMG_2018 (2)

As a secondary highlight, I loved my new hat. Ok, it was the oldest’s hat, but he didn’t want to wear it so I wore it, at first to keep it safe then afterwards, cuz it looked kinda cool.

Did anything go wrong?

Hey, if I’m part of anything, the chances are pretty good, so, errr, yes.

My worst moment came while standing in line for another water ride with tboth the boys. The oldest and I were watching the log thingee come splashing down while the youngest climbed up and down on the railing. What could go wrong?

Well, the youngest managed to whang his chin on the railing.

Not unusual. If there’s a day he doesn’t get a bruise or a scrape or a volleyball in the head, it’s a pretty special day. But here’s the thing. I didn’t see him whang himself.

The boys on their last wet ride. Even they look cold

A parent behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said he’d hurt himself. I looked down. There he was, head bowed, big tears in his blue eyes.

Long story, short, it was nothing bad, but clearly I need to pay more attention. I would never have thought he could have gotten into any trouble. It was like I hadn’t met him.

All-in-all, though, we had the best time! None of the rides were too scary, none of them were too lame, the crowds weren’t that bad and the toy store, well, that pretty much made up for any deficiencies.

Bye-bye Legoland
Bye-bye Legoland

Compared to Disneyland or Disneyworld or the soon-to-be opened Disney Mars, it was pretty tame, but it was a great introduction to the world of rollercoasters, long lines, greasy pizza, awesome displays and fun, family adventures.

Without the boys, without the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world, this would have been a 2 for me. 2/10. With them, with all the laughs had, the rides tried, the meltdowns avoided, the cool lego bought, I would give it a 9/10. If I had bought that hobbit hole lego set, it might have been a 10.

Now, all we had to do was get home and find a place to eat. How hard would that be with 2 starving kids in the car?


Has the first day of your family trips been as successful? Let me know.

Thanks, again for reading the blog. Thanks to everyone who’s given me feedback or who have ‘liked’ the blog or who haven’t sent me murderous tweets.

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Traveling With Kids – Legoland – Water Wars

Water Wars

seems like a goodOk, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.

How many times have I said that?

We said we would go on a water ride at Legoland.

But it was cold and windy. It was about 4pm.

Still the youngest had so wanted to do something watery. But walking around with wet clothes, for hours and hours, not my idea of fun. It might have been his, however. Despite the weather, he had not given up on his dream. So we waited until the very end when we decided it was time to go play in the water.

Specifically, let’s get in a big water fight.

IMG_3417The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world knew better. No way she was going to get wet. Or cold.

And cold and wet, no way in hell.

I can’t say I was that keen either, but a deal’s a deal. He’d been patient (mostly, at least as much as a 7 year old can be patient), and we’d all done what we wanted to do, so now he got to do what he wanted to do.

The ride he chose was called the Splash Battle. Basically, it involved us boarding ships armed with water cannon and go around soaking the other ships and anyone walking by.

IMG_2061 (2)A super fun experience on any other day, but today, almost no one was on the ride. So, I honestly thought I’d be able to make the youngest happy by taking him and his brother on it AND remaining largely dry.

How wrong was I?

It all went according to plan at first. We boarded the ship. There was only one other sorry-looking dad and his 2 daughters in another boat. No way we’d even get close to them. And, although there were water cannon all along the pathway, aimed at the ships, no one was going near them. I mean, who wants to get wet? And cold?

IMG_2062How smug was I as we rounded the first curve all dry and stuff? The boys seemed happy that they could shoot their water cannon at stationary targets, targets that did not shoot back.


But then,  as we rounded one turn, we came in range of the shore-bound mega cannons manned by evil teenagers who spawned from hell. I sure as heck didn’t see them there when we boarded. I have no idea where they come from. None. One minute it was all fine and the next…

Well, they proceeded to soak us all to the skin. Throwing buckets of water on us would made us less dry. They hosed us down like firemen putting out a blazing inferno.

The youngest laughed and laughed as we were doused. The oldest did his best to hide from the deluge. I thanked the stars I’d given the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world my camera and phone to protect. She, sitting all dry and cute on a bench, just smiled at us. And waved.

If it had been hot out, it would have been amazing. We would have had epic battles with other ships, soaked passers-by, gotten wet and been happy to do so.

IMG_2064 (2)But as the wind started to blow, as we got off so wet that my clothes were basically a second skin (and believe me, that’s not a good look for me), the boys dying to do it, again, as I shivered and shook and I dripped on the shoes on anyone who stood near me, I realized that deep down, I knew there was a chance we’d get soaked on this ride and I did it anyway. That’s parenting, my friends. That’s love.

Or stupidity.

Is there a difference?


Has anyone else had an experience like that? Riding a ride that would make you sick so your child could have an amazing experience?

Has anyone ever refused to do that?

And hey, if you like this blog, please share it. Or print it out and hug it. Either is good.


Deeper Into the Land of Lego

Legoland pt 2

IMG_0099With all the things to see and do, the youngest chose to go into the video game building and play xbox 360 games with his brother. A game they could have played at home. Oh sure they got to sit about 2” from a 40” screen, but the prettiest girl in the world and I had to shake our heads.


A video game they could play at home?

The prettiest girl in the world put a 5 minute mommy limit on that!

So we went to … the very next building beside us. A place where robots are built. Wait, not robots, Joe!!!! It was the Lego Hero Factory. Where they, ah, build robots. No matter what the boys call them.

IMG_2024 (2)We all gathered around a round table. Inside a deep box built into the table was all we would need to create a ‘robot’ that could crush the world. No one seemed interested in building one that would save the world. No. First order, build one that would beat everyone else at the table. Next, crush the world.

The oldest built his with incredible speed. Like a master builder. Like he should do this for a living. And, if you think about it, it doesn’t make any difference if I built the world’s greatest robot (and I totally did!), if it was destroyed in the factory by a lesser, but more quickly built bot. This is a lesson the Russians taught the Germans in WWII.

IMG_0101The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world built, well, a pretty one. Color coordinated. Balanced. Good use of contrasts. The youngest, well, he ended up not building anything. He went over and took a completed one from another table.

It was then that I realized, I was far from the smartest one at the table.

Then we were off to the park, proper. We spun in the spinny ride while the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world took pictures. It was sort of like the Disney teacups so naturally I said we’d go so fast and spin so much that we’d make everyone else sick.

IMG_2030 (2)It never occurred to me that I could make them sick as well until I stumbled off the ride like a drunken frat boy, all dizzy and trying not to fall on my face.

God help me if I’d have made them sick!

But it was a good test ride. If they could survive that, then the others wouldn’t be so bad. Or so scary.

IMG_2033 (2)I think we were all a bit dizzy with what to do next. The oldest wanted to hit the rollercoasters and DEFINITELY go on the mummy ride. The youngest wanted to get wet in the worst way. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world wanted to see the set of the lego movie and me, I wanted this to the best adventure ever.

People blurred around us as we stood debating –  A large family dressed all in the same t-shirt. A little one bundled up in stroller like it was winter in the Yukon. A dad walked by with his young girl wrapped around his leg and clinging on for life. A mom held her too-young-to-go-on-that-ride son and pointed to their dad on a roller coaster. He waved widely as he zipped by.

Smells wafted all around us as we made our way through the park. Popcorn that I can no longer eat, buttery and all popcorny. Fried onions and hot dogs. Cheezy warm pizza. Charring meat. Coconut sunscreen. All things I can no longer eat.

Then we hit the first real disappointment.

IMG_2032 (2)See, in all the videos and ads, they don’t show the lineups. We’d talked to the boys about this, but seeing one, standing in one for a half hour, well, that’s a whole other level of realization.

It’s frustrating to inch along while other people shriek with fear (or glee) on a ride you really want to ride. Like now.

It’s worse, though, when, after waiting 20 min in line, the ride breaks down.

That’s exactly what happened on the project X rollercoaster. I stood by, waiting for my camera moment, (not cuz, like, I was scared or anything… I’m not scared, really, I’m not), but when they declared a technical difficulty, that the rollercoaster was out of commission, the Prettiest-girl-in-the- world decided it may be time for food.

It was now noon.

We’d been there for 2 hours and basically done 2 rides, built some robots (ok, ok, Hero thingees!), played video games and gone beserk in the toy store.

We only had 4 hours left. 3, after food.

Things would have to change if we had any hope of seeing what needed to be seen. And doing things that needed doing.