Tuesday, December 24, 2013

SoCal December 2013: Travel Day & Legoland

We picked Clayton up from school on December 11th and left our ice covered town to head to sunny Southern California!  Wade cashed in a bunch of points (airline, hotel, and rent car) to take us all on a Christmas trip to Legoland, the San Diego Zoo, and Disneyland.  We were headed for the Happiest Place on Earth during the most wonderful time of the year!!!  Wade and I planned and packed for weeks after the boys went to bed - we were determined for the trip to be a surprise.  We knew they would be soooooo excited!

Our elf, Nick, was posed on one of Daddy's model airplanes and left a cute note for the boys.  They still had no clue that they would be boarding a plane in mere hours.  ;)
  The boys assumed, when they saw the suitcases, that we were headed to Houston to celebrate an early Christmas with my parents.  We just listened to them speculate and didn't correct them.  When we got close to the airport, they got more suspicious.  We told them in the car and their reactions were priceless.  They were stoked!!!
I had worried about the poor passenger who would be assigned the seat next to us.  I just wasn't sure how Owie would do - 2 year olds are always the wild card.  ;)  Thankfully, a sweet college girl had the seat next to us.  Miss Max brought her own coloring books and stickers that she shared with O - score!  She was so sweet to our baby.  We teased that she should just come along with us for the rest of the trip.  Ha!
 Homeboy got his own Sprite and goldfish.  I'm pretty sure he is a fan of flying. :)
 Before long, three of my four traveling companions were sawing logs.  Zzzzz.....
 After a short drive from the airport, we arrived at Legoland Hotel.  The boys could not believe that we got to stay there.  Their little brains were in overdrive!
Our room was awesome!  You can choose from different themes for your room.  Wade and I chose the Knight themed room.  Judging by the boys' reactions, I think they approved of our choice.

 Legoland Hotel does a great job with all of the little details.  Drew and I were cracking up that our ice bucket was a mini-figure head.  ;)
 The kid side had bunk beds and a trundle - perfect for our little crew!
 The King and Queen had pretty sweet digs as well.
When we checked in, the concierge gave us a scavenger hunt that would reveal the code to unlock the safe in our room.  Our boys were chomping at the bit to complete their hunt.
The code unlocked the safe and the boys each got a mini-fig, chocolate coins, and copies of Lego magazine.  So fun!
The boys figured out that the safe was just the right size for Owie.
We got a good night's sleep and then walked a few steps to the park entrance.  Staying on property was ah-mazing!  We got to go in the park an hour early, also.  It was greatness!
 Safari Trek

 Sky Cruiser - Clayton and Drew thought they were big stuff getting to "drive" by themselves.  ;)
 Owen was happy to hang with the 'rents.  :)
 Kid Power Tower

 They had a HUGE model of the T65 X-Wing.  Made with over 5 million Lego bricks, it is the largest Lego model ever built.  Pretty cool!

The Lego Technic Coaster was my favorite of the whole trip.  It was smooth, but had some fun dips.  Clayton is as fearless as they come, and even he said, "I'm too young to die!!!" at one point the first time that we rode it.  Ha!

 The Bionicle Blaster was similar to the Teacups at Disney.  Always a crowd pleaser with my fellas.  :)
 Cargo Ace
 The little boys were showing off.  They are such characters!
 Lost Kingdom Adventure - Egyptian themed ride where you shoot a laser gun at targets.  Very cute.
 The Beetle Bounce - We all five rode it the first time and poor O was terrified.  He and I got off and watched the others ride it a couple more times.  Drew declared it to be his favorite ride at Legoland.
 Owen LOVED The Royal Joust.  He rode it three times in a row on our first day and was in hog heaven.  On day two, the attendant pointed out the rule that the kids had to be 4 years old to ride.  Ooops!  We didn't see that the day before.  Owen was pretty bummed that he couldn't ride again.
The Knights' Tournament attraction was really neat.  It was a robot arm thingy that spun you around and turned you upside down.  You chose your level 1, 2, or 5 (5 had a height restriction that knocked Clayton out of the running, much to his dismay) and that determined how wild your ride was.  Wade talked me into trying the 5 and I thought that my teeth were going to shake out of my head.  Yow-sers!

 Miniland USA was adorable.  Soooo much detail in each building!
 I loved the Capitol Building decorated for Christmas.

There was a little area where you could watch the Master Builders work through a window.  All of the Legoland employees wear a mini-fig on their badge.  If you want the mini-fig they are wearing, they will trade you.  Clayton motioned to one of the workers to ask him which mini-fig he had.  Mr. Matt came out to talk to him and answer all of his questions.  (It really is true - they build each and every model brick by brick.  They glue each and every one.  Talk about a tedious job...)

 The Millennium Falcon

Daddy took one for the team and took the boys on Splash Battle.  When the attendant warned us that you get pretty wet, Mama said, "No thank you!" and bailed.  ;)
Owen and I were paired up for the Skipper School ride.  I had no idea that the driver actually controlled the boat.  I thought for sure that it was on an underwater track.
I was snapping away trying to capture my cute little skipper.  Meanwhile, he turned our boat completely 180 degrees the wrong way.  Ha!  I didn't realize it until Clayton passed us and shouted, "See ya!"  ;)

O and I rode Flight Squadron together.  It was like the Dumbo ride, but with planes.  Fun for my little guy!

 We saw Santa as a mini-figure.  :)
Sky Patrol

 We stayed for the tree lighting and then we headed to the hotel.
In the kid area, they had nightly activities.  This particular night, they were having a contest to see who could build the best ornament out of Legos.
Clayton and Drew teamed up with some sweet kids from Australia to build a gigantic Christmas tree and presents.  I thought they did a great job!

We woke up the next morning and headed to the park again.  We rode the Technic Coaster again.  Drew was tall enough to ride, so he decided to be brave and give it a try.  I think his face speaks for itself.  Bless his heart.
 Speaking of faces....  A little self humiliation for your viewing pleasure.  Ha!
Drew rode the Knight's Tournament on Level 1 and loved it!

 Clayton rode a level 2 and was begging to ride the 5.  He is crazy!

Our tickets included admission to the Sea Life Aquarium, so we explored that for a bit.

Clayton is completely obsessed with Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.  My bestie, Leah, got him hooked and now they talk to each other about Megladon like it is totally normal.  He wanted a picture with "Lego-ladon" for Mrs. Leah to see.  ;)

We headed back to Legoland for the rest of the afternoon.

This picture of Owen in 3d glasses makes me chuckle.  He's so darn cute.
Aquazone Wave Racers

 Mount Rushmore out of Lego bricks - Clayton found it amusing that they were cleaning George Washington's ear with a Lego Q-tip.  Those Master Builders... they are so witty!

 One last picture before we went back to the hotel...
 Santa was in the lobby.  Fun!
We decided to explore the other floors of the hotel - all with different themes.

Adventure Themed
 Pirate Themed
 Knight Themed
In between floors, the elevator had a disco ball that would light up and spin.  They also played dance music.  We had the best time having mini dance parties when it was just the five of us.  I have some awesome videos, but I had to swear that I wouldn't put them on the blog.  ;)  It was a fun way to end our time at Legoland.  :)

I absolutely LOVED Legoland!!!  It was my very favorite part of the trip.  Our boys were at the perfect age to go!  (I think their target audience is the 12 and under crowd.)  It was not crowded at all.  We never had to wait in line for longer than 5 minutes - often riding the ride again without even getting back in line.  Staying in the hotel on-site was awesome, too!  Two thumbs up for sure!  I can't say enough about how much fun we had those first 3 days.  We were excited to see what adventures awaited us next, though!