Saturday, November 9, 2013


Well now that I am severely behind on posting....

Yes. in worse than normal. (And you thought it couldn't get any worse, Christi....Ha!). September was a busy month for us! Fortunately, our October was fairly slow, so right about the time I become inundated with holiday pictures, I will be ready for them and all caught up over here in blogland!

Just over a week after returning from our Oregon trip, we packed up again for a surprise (at least for the boys) combined birthday trip to Legoland with Grandma. We told the boys absolutely nothing until Grandma and Grandpa popped in for a "surprise" visit and suggested that we head out to that very moment. I wish I had caught their faces. They were shocked to find out that our car had somehow already been packed and that we were ready to lock up and head out with Grandma right then and there. We left around dinner time, so most of the drive was spent with the boys sleeping (read: easy car ride!). Unlike last time we visited Legoland, this time the Legoland Hotel had opened, so imagine the boys' surprise when they woke up to not only having arrived, but to having arrived at a hotel with a huge Lego clock tower with a Lego dragon coming out of it.....and that was just the beginning. The hotel itself was quite the experience! My favorite part? Hands down the "Discovators". Discovators instead of elevators. The discovators would play boring elevator music until the doors shut and then the disco ball would turn on and the disco music would start until the doors opened again....then back to the regular, old, boring elevator music. Drew's rule was that you had to dance. So, each and every elevator ride we would dance...and then pretend that nothing had happened once the doors opened. So fun!

We checked into our rooms (we were on the Adventurers floor) to find a room decked out in a Lego explorers theme. Our room was divided into a kids' "room" and a parents' room. The boy's side had bunk beds...

...their own TV, games and dozens of Lego creatures all over the walls (See the parrot in the top center? Entirely made of Legos.)

The bathroom...

....complete with Lego Indiana Jones hat, scorpion...

...and spider on the ceiling. Do I even need to tell you that the boys ate all this up? 

Our side

The rooms also came with a treasure box that had a hunt for clues throughout the hotel to find the code that would open it. Grandma took the boys around to find all of their clues and then Drewski got to open the box.

Inside the chest were Lego mini figures for each of the boys, a Lego magazine, and chocolate gold coins. Oh, and see those Legos all over the floor? Those were provided by the hotel in all of the know, just in case you get the crazy urge to build Legos after coming back from being immersed in Legoland all day.

Breakfast attire Day One....Lego Knights.

This was the castle down in the Lobby. Legoland left no detail unaccounted for and the castle was no exception. The castle drawbridge had a pulley that you could pull and the green troll sitting up there would tell you various things.

 There were Lego pits and building tables all around.

And the ship on the side of the castle had a steering wheel that turned things on the ship. 

When we very first walked into the Lobby, this Lego dragon is what greeted us. 

And when we walked out, this Lego guy is who bid us farewell.

As if all of that wasn't enough, they built the outside of the hotel to look as if it had been made of Legos too (I didn't even get a picture of the front and the tower!).

The first day we were visiting, Legoland itself was closed. However, Legoland's Aquarium (which I didn't even know they had!) was open, so we took a trip over there and what fun! Seriously! 

I love Monterey Bay Aquarium, but in terms of being geared towards kids, this aquarium won hands down. Each exhibit had a portion of the tank that tunneled or popped up into the tank so that the boys felt like they were actually in the tank itself.

As guests of the hotel, the boys got VIP passes as their tickets into the park.

One of the first rides we went on once we were at the park was the roller coaster (the one that Drew rode last time we visited but Coll wasn't big enough to). Well, guess who was tall enough to ride the roller coaster this year??

Can you see them? Grandma, Drew, Collin, and Nathan in the center car between the trees :)

Tanner took the wait while the boys were riding the roller coaster, as his own personal nap time.

Star Wars! (a favorite exhibit for the Littles)

One of the new things in the Star Wars exhibit was this crazy model of a ship
(X-wing Fighter, sweetheart, X-wing fighter)

If you can't read that it says: "This Lego Star Wars X-Wing is made from more than 5,335,200 Lego bricks. The model weighs 23 tons and took thirty-two model builders more than three months to build. This is the largest Lego model ever constructed."

Grandma and her boys

Saying hi to Darth

Collin and Drew-sized R2-D2 and Chewbaca

Daddy got roped into riding quite a few rides with Coll-brother

but Drew has grown a ton and could surprisingly, ride quite a few rides all on his own (weird!).

And in all that growing, Drew was finally tall enough to ride this....dun dun duuuuuuuuuun!!!!

A real, honest to goodness, big kid rollercoaster

...with a huge drop!

...and a classic picture when it was all said and done!

While Drew rode the roller coaster, Grandma and Collin headed off to ride a different ride and Tanner took advantage of the wait with another nap. Thank goodness he can sleep just about anywhere!

At the end of the day, the boys had their faces painted. Drew got a dragon, and Coll a tiger.

When we got back to the hotel that night, the Lego pirate was visiting! Collin was super excited to spot him but wanted nothing to do with actually getting close to him and taking a picture (in this sense, he is so my child!). Drew however, was all for it!

We also spent a night up at Auntie Ann's house for dinner while we were visiting. So fun to see her and Aubrey and Nic!

Since Auntie Ann's pool is heated, the boys spent a portion of the night swimming, which they loved.

Big fun!

Upon our return home, the boys had souvenirs that needed to be built. Usually I would find no reason to post a picture of their Legos, but--I. built. these. Yep, in not Nathan! He had a football game to be at the night we returned, so the boys and I had a date night building Legos. Hours, upon hours of building Legos.

And of course my fourth child also brought a souvenir home to be built (I played no part in building this one though!)

 A huge thank you to Grandma and Grandpa for a really great trip, and although we all had a blast, the thing I'm most thankful for is the time itself that we spent with you Grandma!