Yep, it's come to this, people. LEGOLAND. Mike has long been threatening a trip to Disneyland, but I said no freakin' way. I can't stand that Disney shit and besides, I hear the place is full of birds. But I softened on LEGOLAND and so last Friday afternoon we packed up and began our journey toward San Diego with his two kids and my grandson in the back seat. Connor's iPad kept the boys entertained the whole way while the little one watched Netflix on my iPhone. All were wearing ear buds--thank you, sweet baby Jesus. Anticipating the 5-hour trip, all I could think of was a comic friend's line that he asks a girl on a first date: "Does this smell like chloroform?"
Thankfully, the drive was relatively quick and painless. We found our hotel no problem and it was a gem; we got a two-bedroom suite at the Marriott Townplace Suites in Vista. Marriotts are always of consistently high quality. This one offered a continental breakfast and a complimentary shuttle to the park, so it worked out really well. I highly recommend.
LEGOLAND is in Carlsbad, CA, and we woke up to some perfect southern California weather. But during the shuttle ride my sunny mood darkened when I realized, This place is gonna be full of kids. You'd think I might have put that together beforehand, huh? Of course I love the children in my immediate circle, but how many times do I have to tell you I have the patience of John McEnroe in five o'clock traffic? Not exactly a kid person.
We walked through the aquarium when we first arrived at LEGOLAND. Overall it was pretty uneventful. Our first stop once we got into the actual LEGOLAND park was Miniland USA, which I actually dug. There were all these reproductions of areas of the U.S., all constructed with LEGO bricks. Like my reader Jazzy Cazy, I am fascinated by miniature replicas.
I posted a few of Las Vegas earlier this week Check out this one of the Venetian.
In addition to the New York, New York casino in Las Vegas, they also built a mini Manhattan.
Here we are in New England.
I absolutely loved LEGO New Orleans. Check out this Mardi Gras parade!
How freakin' cool is that? I took a million pictures of these little places.
Unfortunately, the most interesting part was over in the first half hour and I spent most of the next 7 hours waiting for Mike and the kids to go on rides.
There was a 45-minute wait for some of those rides, which gave me plenty of time to think. At one point, I was sitting next to a row of about seven empty baby strollers parked against a wall and thought, man, I remember when I used to hang out in places with a row of Harley Davidsons parked outside. Wasn't it just last month that I was dancing on the bar at Hogs and Heifers? Has it really come to this?
The people watching was interesting. As the kids romped in the water, Mike and I observed the families that walked by. Almost without fail, the mother led the way, pushing a stroller with another kid at her side as the dad dutifully followed along a few paces behind, wistfully remembering the days when he'd spend a weekend afternoon watching the game and drinking beer with the guys. Back when he still had some testosterone flowing through him.
Our kids had a ball, though. There's plenty to keep them busy. Here's Connor climbing a rock wall.
He's gotten so big since I last saw him in April. And I gotta say--the only thing worse than having a kid screech, "GRAAAANNNNNY!" in a crowd of people is hearing that from a really tall kid whose voice is changing. (How many times do I have to tell you, it's "Aunt Linda" in public, sweetheart?)
LEGOLAND really is a beautiful park--it's very well maintained and there are hardly any birds. At one point while the gang was in line for a ride I ducked into a cafe and serendipitously asked the cashier where I could get a beer. I figured there had to be some kind of saloon somewhere, but alas, there is no alcohol in LEGOLAND. So if there was one place for improvement...
The next day we stopped at Carlsbad Beach before hitting the road back home. Again, it was a gorgeous day.
The kids were equally awesome on the drive home. It's great that they all get along so well.
So I survived LEGOLAND and 10 hours of driving with three kids. I'm as surprised as you are. Mike still wants me to go to Disneyland, but I said there's no freakin' way. I'll make the arrangements and do all the navigation, but I'll be at the hotel poolside with a cocktail while they visit Mickey and his friends. Yep, that's where you'll find me.