Sunday, April 1, 2012

San Diego–Day 2

Normally on vacations, I’m not much of a planner.  But, I normally don’t take my kids with me either.  So, I did do a bit of planning for this trip.  Part of that plan included purchasing a 3 day Go San Diego card for each of us.  With this card we had a list of over 50 places that we gained admittance to.  The clincher is that you only have 3 days (you can buy 5 or 7 day cards too) and they have to be consecutive days.  So, starting Saturday, we ran the kids ragged trying to visit our top picks of places.  Saturday brought us to Legoland.  Warning: LOTS of pictures.  Go grab a cup of coffee before you get started.

It was about 40 minutes from Carrie’s apartment and we got there right when it opened at 9am.  This place was much larger than I thought it was going to be.  It boasts 60 some rides, but the waits for these rides was fairly ridiculous considering how short in duration the rides actually were.  Rob and I have always said the downfall to an odd number of kids is that when you go to places with rides, one kid is always going to be the odd one out.  The other two will each have a parent with them.  And, until the girls reach a certain height, that odd one is almost certainly going to be Austin.  I wasn’t sure how he was going to feel about this, but he took it like a champ. 

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We hit a few rides, but then the kids didn’t really want to wait in any more lines.  I guess they weighed the con of waiting in line with the short duration/excitement of the rides and decided it wasn’t worth it.  Which was fine.  Even without rides we stayed busy all day.

They had a giant outdoor park that made chutes and ladders pale in comparison.  Rob posted himself on one of the higher levels and I made camp at the bottom which we thought was the only exit (we learned later it was not….what a dumb design for a park made for kids).  The kids had a blast running around in there!

Being Legoland, as you can imagine, there were Lego statues everywhere.  Some of them were quite amazing.  Ellie took it upon herself to get her photograph with almost all of them.  Here’s just a few of the snapshots she requested:

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The other two requested their fare share of photos too, but not as much as Ellie.

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I think Ellie would say the highlight of Legoland for her was getting her driver’s license.  Both Ellie and Riley (and Rob) waited in line to drive cars in the Tot’s Driving School.  It wasn’t a terrible wait, but once they got to their turn Riley chickened out.  Not Ellie.

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These little cars were completely controlled by the kids.  Ellie spent her first lap figuring out the gas pedal and steering and then breaking away from the pack of other drivers.  She spent her remaining laps singing “The Wheels on the Car” and zig-zagging all over the place.  When her time was up, she was awarded her driver’s license.

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Since returning home, we haven’t had a day yet where she hasn’t bragged to someone (Target cashier, neighbors, teachers, librarian, etc.) that she has her driver’s license.

Although Austin really enjoyed seeing one of his Hero Factory guys (and yes, Ellie also had her picture taken with him):

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I think it’s safe to say that his favorite part was all of the Star Wars lego attractions.

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I swear Riley was here with us.  Looking back at the pictures it doesn’t seem like it.  She must have been enjoying some downtime in the stroller.

Back to Star Wars.  Legoland has a whole section called “Miniland”.  They have amazingly detailed scenes from various cities around the country.

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This was DC.  Everything (except the trees) is Legos.  It was really cool.  All throughout the miniland, they hid little Darth Maul figures.  It was a special scavenger hunt they were hosting the day we were there.  I think this was Riley’s favorite part.  She was pretty good at spotting him….no easy task sometimes!  But, I digress once again, in addition to the Miniland USA, they have recently unveiled a Miniland Star Wars.  Actually, part of it is still being constructed.  But, what they did have available, Rob and Austin were enamored with!  Rob played the part of the proud dad whose son knew EVERYTHING about the scenes they had constructed.

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We ended up leaving Legoland around 5pm.  A full eight hours there, and we didn’t even go on 90% of the rides, or venture into the water park, or aquarium (both were extra).  If you’re headed to the area, Legoland should be on your list of places to go.  Especially if you have a lego fan in the family.  But, even if you don’t, there is something for everyone:

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Even princesses and stuffed animal junkies enjoy it.

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