Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Legoland: City of Dreams (for kids, anyway)
Our trip kicked off at 4:21 a.m., when Thing One walked into my bedroom while pulling his wheelie suitcase behind him, and asked, "Is it time to leave for Legoland yet?"
A few hours, a breakfast, a shower and a lost tooth later, we were on the road heading to the Promised Land. I planned the half-term adventure because Mr. MarathonMum had a business trip to China, and I thought a mini-break would be fun for the rest of us. Thing One and Thing Two thought that Dad had the short end of the stick, since he only got to go to China, while we got to enjoy two days at LEGOLAND! and stay at a HOTEL! with a POOL!
Before we left, I did my due diligence by checking the Internet and asking Legoland veterans for tips and advice. If you ever go, an impressive 11-year-old created a site full of advice here. I tried my best to devise a strategy, but in the end I decided to just go with the flow and enjoy it without military-like precision.
As a 10-year-old, when I first read about Legoland in Denmark in National Geographic for Kids (then called "World") it seemed so amazing and foreign and exotic and far away. I also thought at the time, I'd never be able to experience the wonder of seeing an entire city built out of Lego, because Denmark was so far away from New Jersey. How wrong I was. Now in addition to the original Legoland, there are parks in Windsor, where we went, California and Germany. The miniature cities and towns made entirely out of Lego, especially London, were amazing. The boys loved them. But I couldn't help but wonder: How do you get a job building cities out of Lego? What sort of degree do you need?
Aside from the Lego cities and sculptures everywhere, Legoland basically is an amusement park for children. The top attraction for both Thing One and Thing Two was Driving School, where they got to drive a Lego car around-- without the benefit of a steering track underneath. If they successfully finished the course-- all the kids did, even the ones who were hopeless at it (read: Thing Two)-- they got a driver's license.
On Friday morning, I had the good luck to read that my friend Laura also would be there. My mother-in-law is convinced I could find a friend anywhere, so I suppose the fact that I found a friend at Legoland (not to mention seeing two more on Saturday), confirms her theory.
Laura and I used mobile telephony techonology [we sent texts to each other] to rendevouz at the park. It was great to see her. Our friendship is one of the more unusual ones that I have. It started as we both trained for the London marathon, we first met each other in person at about mile 17 in the race, and we have remained friends since via e-mails and our blogs. But we are very similar in our outlook and approach to life and we keep finding unusual things that we have in common (shoe size, the fact that we both rowed starboard). The kids had a fantastic time together, and I was happy to have a friend to talk to in the midst of all the child-centric fun.
By the end of the second day, Thing One and Thing Two had become a bit jaded about the wonder of Legoland. "Look!" I'd say, "A giraffe/tiger/zebra/dinosar."
"Oh," they'd say, disappointed. "It's just made out of Lego."