I find that many of our trips, while adjusted to a degree for the boys (trips to aquariums, childrens museums, etc), they are not necessarily for the boys in the sense that they could care less about where we go and what we do. I know I just said in my last entry that we do a lot of this travel for them and yes, it’s true to a point. We know they don’t really appreciate it at their ages but hopefully someday they will look back and recognize how lucky they were to have these experiences and to see some of the most amazing places in Europe. But we are also doing it for Josh and I. WE also want to see the world. We just adjust ourselves for little children and their needs. But every now and again we try to plan something that is just for them. Hence, Legoland.
Originally I had wanted to go to Legoland Denmark as I’d wanted to go to Copenhagen and I’m pretty sure that legos originated in Denmark as well. But flights were pretty cost prohibitive and it turns out Legoland is a good three hour drive from Copenhagen. With only a 3 day weekend we decided to stay a little closer and head to Legoland, Windsor (UK). However, knowing that Legoland would not take all three days and Josh was going to London at the end of the month for the Patriot’s game, I had to come up with a plan for the rest of the long weekend. And so with lots of recommendations from friends, we decided to combine Legoland with a trip to the Cotswolds. Don’t worry, you’ll get a post on the Cotswolds too 🙂
Like our trip to Ireland last summer, in England, as I’m sure you know, they drive on the wrong side of the road. So after an already stressful flight (kid-wise), we hit the road in the dark and rain to Legoland, about a 45 minute drive from Gatwick Airport. The car was an automatic so in fact, I would have driven it but I’m going to call it… I totally was a wimp (not my original choice of word but this is a family friendly blog afterall) and not once did I drive the car. I just couldn’t bring myself to drive on the wrong side of the road!!!
And yet, I felt the need to constantly backseat drive Josh (god love his patience) the entire ride to Legoland. I’m sure his high speeds were a result of his need to get to Windsor as quick as humanly possible in order to make me stop. I’m surprised he didn’t pull over to the (wrong) side of the road and kick my ass out the door. As with Ireland, as the days went by, I stopped pressing my imaginary break constantly, though I did tell him every time he crossed into another lane.
We got to Legoland slightly worse for the wear. Tired and hungry but as Liam mentioned, puke free. Woo hoo!! Always a bonus. The kids ran right into the hotel and were immediately mesmerized by everything Lego. And that included the Lego store (and clepto Liam tried to take stuff from the store!). Aidan was demanding the green ninja from Ninjago. Of course, not thinking of the fact that we were going to Legoland, I had already purchased said ninja on Amazon and had my in laws ship it here for Christmas. In the end I had to come clean and say it was for a special occasion I probably could have just held on to it since eventually they will lose the ninjas that they got (the next day, not that night).
We came back to the room to do our treasure hunt (a bonus to the premium room that we paid extra for) only to find our treasure chest… Empty. Yes empty. I’m still annoyed by it. Liam and I went downstairs and said something to the receptionist who gave us a small Lego gift but I suspect not the premium gift. I ran into the housekeeping people the next morning and mentioned it to her and she apologized and said she’d leave a gift that day – and it turned out to be the same mini set that they had gotten the night before and she didn’t put it in the treasure chest either – just left it on the desk for them. No the kids don’t need more Legos, but if I paid for it, then I expect to get what I paid for and dammit my kids wanted to go on a treasure hunt, after all we were in a pirate room!
Since we got in late on Thursday night we didn’t actually make it to Legoland til Friday morning. Guests of the hotel get to go into the park 1/2 hr earlier than everyone else. By that they mean the 2 rides that are open 1/2 hour earlier as there were barriers blocking everyone else. But honestly, the longest wait we had during the entire day was maybe 15 minutes. So it wasn’t too bad.
The park was pretty much what I expected since I had looked at the website. I was hoping the website was wrong. The park was clean and fun to look at but there wasn’t a ton to do. There weren’t as many rides as I had hoped and definitely not a lot of rides for an adventurer like Aidan. And yet, the kids were perfectly content. They loved looking at all the sculptures made of Legos – from small replicas of cities around the world to huge dinosaurs and rocket ships, everything was made of Legos. One sign I read said that there were 25,000,000 legos used in the building of Legoland, Windsor. I believe it!!
The “highlight” of the day was when we accidentally took Liam on a rollercoaster. Now, like me, Liam is not a big ride person. Especially since he gets motion sick. Wild he’s our wild child, he’s not adventurous when it comes to this stuff – that’s Aidan. So when we were in the Knight’s Kingdom part of the park, we went inside a castle. The name of the ride didn’t specify what it was. So we just kept walking through the castle. We got to the top and there was a row of cars for us to get into. Yes, they looked like rollercoaster cars, but they also looked like the same kind of cars we were in for a much more tranquil ride earlier in the day.
Now mind you, I HATE rollercoasters. HATE THEM… with a passion. You can’t pay me enough money to go on them. So when we first got on I had an oh shit moment. But then we started to go thru an area that reminded me of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride – more visual than anything. So not sure why we are locked in to these seats. Then… then I saw sunlight and I knew. And I’ll admit I said the words Oh Shit out loud. I was seated with Liam who immediately started to scream as though his life depended on it. He was terrified! And so it was my job to calm him. Like with flying, this is my moment to push my fears to the side and focus on his needs. I keep telling him he was safe and it was ok… I think I was trying to convince myself of the same. After we got off he tried so hard to be brave and told us that “those were crocodile tears” – but then Josh asked him if he wanted to go again and the poor kid had to admit that they weren’t crocodile tears but real and “please don’t make me do it again!”. In the end, the rollercoaster was a short ride and not as bad as I thought it would be. Poor Liam was fairly traumatized though and every ride after that he double checked if it was a rollercoaster first. We told him how proud we were of him and what a big boy he was for doing such a big ride.
Because the park was relatively small in size, I’d compare it to Tibidabo here in Barcelona, we were able to do it in under a day. The kids really enjoyed it and Aidan said he’d like to go back but this time he’d like to play with more legos, his only disappointment on the trip. He seemed to think there would be more creative freeform construction at Legoland and not so much about the rides. Since we were done early, we decided to go visit the Queen at her weekend home at Windsor Castle…