Thursday, December 18, 2014

Everything was Awesome


One of our family goals for 2014 was to save money for a Disneyland trip. At the very beginning of the year, we found a jar to hold our money and started collecting our coins. If the boys finished all their chores for the week or did extra chores we added coins to the jar. Whenever we had random change we tossed it in. If the boys found pennies on the ground they added those, too. We sold a few toys and our lawnmower and added all that money to the jar, too. I was actually really, really impressed by how much we had saved.


We knew that Disneyland was quite expensive--and we'd scored a few buy one get one free vouchers to Legoland--so we started thinking about Legoland. The boys have been on a Lego kick lately and I had heard good things about Legoland, so I thought we'd enjoy it. Reed and I spent a Mommy and Buddy time checking out an interactive of Legoland and he was sold. Asher was a harder sell, but eventually he bought in, too. 

When we found out Reed had a five-day weekend over Halloween we knew we'd found the perfect dates for our trip. We spent Halloween in Simi. We planned to drive to Carlsbad on Monday morning and go straight to Legoland--but after a chat with Kent and Steve on Sunday night, we decided that traffic would probably make that a stressful and horrible idea. So we quickly packed up, grabbed our sleeping babies out of bed, and hit the road. Driving that night was so much better than driving in the morning would have been. The kids were sleeping, so we didn't hear any complaining or are-we-there-yets from the back seat. The traffic was minimal. And I luckily had 3G the entire drive so I could register Kayla for BYU classes via phone.

The next morning, we were up early and ready--but Legoland didn't open until 10! So we ate breakfast, killed time at a store, and finally it was time to go!

Legoland was originally our Option 2. We wanted to go to Disney. But guess what? We had the best time, ever. I seriously think it was the most perfect day we've ever had. I think we had more fun there than we would have at Disneyland. Reed and Asher were both tall enough for basically everything, no one fought, Lila was super patient about not being able to ride a lot of stuff, the weather was perfect, and the lines were tiny. Legoland is brilliant and has lego play areas dispersed throughout the lines--so the kids could go play while we stood in line. We could see them the entire time, so we didn't have to worry and they didn't have to complain about the wait.

We went all over the park. We rode almost every single ride, got to see a cute show, and got to have a little down time during lunch. At the build-your-own minifigure store, the boys got pins, birthday bricks, and a birthday serenade (we were celebrating both of their birthdays with our trip--their birthday gift was cash to spend on lego sets). Asher was too nervous to ride the roller coaster at the beginning of the day, but tried the roller coaster at the very end--and loved it! And the nice employees at the roller coaster let me ride with the boys while Ryan waited with Lila, then let Ryan ride with the boys while I waited with Lila--so they got to go twice in a row. At one point, Lila and I were bidding farewell to Ryan and the boys at one ride and she was upset she couldn't go. The person working at the booth pointed out a ride across the way that was geared for little ones--any age could ride it. Lila and I went three times in a row because she was in love with the ride.

(Ryan is in front in orange)

At the end of the day, we were riding a train in the Duplo town. The conductor told us we had five minutes left and if we hurried we could probably make it to the Storybook Jungle Cruise. We hurried and made it as the last people in line! The cruise was perfect because we could all ride it and all sit in the same boat. After the cruise, we headed to the Big Store to buy our legos. The boys had been anxious about choosing their sets all day and were SO worried that we wouldn't make it to the shops before the park closed. Luckily, the big shop stays open late so we joined the 100 other people trying to buy legos, too! Each boys chose out one Star Wars set and one small Lego city vehicle. Ryan surprised them by getting them the Legoland bracelets they'd been eyeing but had run out of money for. He also bought a Chewbacca minifigure magnet to hang on the fridge so we could all remember our fantastic day.

When the park closed, we were tired and happy. We grabbed a quick dinner, tried to find a place we could see the beach at night (no luck), then went back to our hotel.

The next day, we walked along the pier nearby. The boys were super impressed by the surfers and the pelicans. There happened to be a playground on the beach right next to the pier, so we spent some time playing there, too. The boys wanted to go in the water, but we convinced them otherwise (it was FREEZING!). They were quite excited, though, when they discovered that the beach was dotted in unbroken shells.

After the beach, we went to the outlet malls, where the children were less than pleasant. Finally, we grabbed lunch and headed home. We had a wonderful vacation!

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