The big event for June was our second annual trip to Disneyland and Legoland. We all got horribly sick at various points on the trip, but other than that we had a pretty amazing time. On the first night at the hotel, Sam lost a tooth while we were walking back to the room from the hotel pool. For the rest of our stay, he joyfully pointed out the exact spot where he lost the tooth every time he passed it.
The first night at the hotel, the boys realized to their joy that they could see the fireworks out the window of their room. Dad and I were at the airport picking up Ryan, but Mom said that she was almost crying to see them so excited.
Our first day at Disneyland was our magic morning where we got to get in an hour early. This probably wasn’t ideal because we didn’t get to ease into the Disney experience. But Sam did get a pass to go to the front of any line because Autopia wasn’t open right away and it made him cry. But he was too overwhelmed all day to want to go on anything but Luigi’s Flying Tires, which had no line anyway, but he still enjoyed having a special pass.
Nathan, Mom, and I were the first people sitting down to wait for the first Jedi Academy of the day and Nathan was rewarded by being the first kid chosen to participate.
Sam preferred to sit on the sidelines.
Note Jedi Elsa next to him.
Nathan fought Darth Maul, with the assistance of the same Jedi Knight from last year. I love how committed this woman is to her role.
Sam enjoyed a moment where Darth Maul picked him out of the audience and growled at him. Later, he also enjoyed Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.
We got Fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers at about 8:15 pm, later than the boys usually go to bed, but Sara had told us that it was really cool after dark. It was amazing. The boys were thrilled. We got back to the room just in time to watch the fireworks from the window.
The next day, Nathan and I got in line right away to get to Radiator Springs Racers first thing. He met a girl in line and told her all about the ride and waiting in line last year. Lat year when we did this, the line was still 45 minutes, but this year, it was more like 5 minutes, which was terrific.
Later in the afternoon, Nathan and I went on Indiana Jones. He refused to open his eyes. Apparently still a little scary for him, though he enjoyed walking through the line to get to the ride.
Other highlights of the day included a visit to this amazing Toy Story zoetrope.
And we saw baby ducks while waiting for the raft to take us to Tom Sawyer’s pirate island.
Pirate island was great, though the boys were too tired to stay too long. The boys braved the scary cave with the skeletons. They did OK until we found a window where a skeleton arm popped up a couple of times when we pushed a button. The skeleton arm was fine, but the third time, a scary skull popped up and Sam was done with that cave. He spent the next several days explaining how it thought it was going to be arm-arm-arm, but really it was arm-arm-head.
Nathan also went on Goofy’s Flying School, the only roller coaster he’s ever been on other than the little dragon coaster at Santa Cruz. He loved it and we really proud of himself. There aren’t really any big hills, but it did go around a lot of corners really fast.
After a break at the hotel, we came back to ride Radiator Springs racers, since it was such a hit the day before. This time our Fastpasses were even later, at 8:55. On the way, we ran into DJ giving a dance party in the middle of the street. Nathan was the craziest dancer there, trying to do handstand breakdancing moves until they asked him to stop for the safety of the other kids.
Radiator Springs Racers was as magical as always.
As we were walking back to the hotel, the fireworks started, so we stopped to watch. The boys were exhausted but entranced.
The next day, our last at Disneyland, Nathan got sick in the morning and spent all day at the hotel feeling awful and wanting to go home. Ryan, of course, stayed with him.
Sam and I went to the park and spent all morning back at pirate island. We got there so early that we got a private raft ride over to the island. Sam discovered that this capstan raises a treasure chest with a skeleton hanging from it.
Then we explored every single cave, with the exception of the scary one with the head that pops up. We sat in a couple of nice alcoves for a quite a while eating brownies, talking, and blowing bubbles with a light up bubble gun.
Then we had to leave out last cave because Sam put down his water bottle with the lid not closed and his butt got wet. He sat up and said, “I’m sitting in something wet!” which is exactly a line from the MST3K Space Mutiny. So Nathan would have found it really funny had he been there.
After a train ride through the dinosaur section, Sam and I went back to the hotel. We told Nathan about sitting in something wet, but he was too sick to really enjoy it. Sam and I went swimming in the hotel pool, where he had a great time playing with a little girl his age and her grandpa. He was totally happy until suddenly, right after his friend left, he told me that his tummy hurt. I was in the process of getting him out of the hot tub to go back up to the room when he threw up in the hot tub. So I bundled him back to the room and sent Mom back to tell the hotel staff and gather our pool stuff.
So then we had two sad sick boys, so Mom and I took a couple trips to Star Traders to get Star Wars toy to try to cheer them up. They were moderately successful. We also read a great deal of My Weird School Daze on Mom’s iPad.
The next day, I was sick, but at least Nathan and Sam were much better and we were able to make the drive to Legoland. Fortunately, we had reservations at the magical Legoland hotel, so everyone was thrilled to arrive at our Traditional Pirate Suite. The boys immediately completed the scavenger hunt to find the combo to the room safe that contained some small Lego sets.
We even went into the park in the afternoon, though mostly what we did was buy the boys lego sets for them to build in the room while they continued to recouperate, though we did try out a few attractions.
The next day we spent all day in Legoland. The boys desperately wanted to go to the water park, but we didn’t yet have two grownups confident enough in our own health to take them there. Fortunately, there are lots of other things to do in Legoland.
Nathan and I stopped by the Lego Movie set, where they had the entire actual basement set from the Lego Movie, complete with lots of Emmetts and several Lord Businesses.
Lego Star Wars land is always popular, of course.
Sam especially enjoyed the scenic boat ride that went past such great attractions as Lego Sydney Opera House, Lego Mount Rushmore, and a Lego band of sea creatures playing The Octopus’s Garden. The first time we went on the boat ride, Nathan and I were in line and Sam was with Ryan. They arrived just in time to pass Sam over the fence to me. So Ryan didn’t get to go the first time, but we went on several more times over the next few days.
Sam always enjoys pushing the buttons in MiniLand that make the Lego people move around and such. One special highlight of MiniLand this year was our discovery of the Lego guy using the bathroom in the New York City subway system.
That night, there was a jester performing in front of the Lego pit in the hotel lobby. Nathan spent a while careening around the courtyard with some other boys shooting at each other with Lego weapons they had made. Later he came in to watch the show. Sam stood shyly on the side, built some stuff with Lego, and at one point took a header into the pit of Lego.
Nathan, of course, was the craziest, floppiest kid in the limbo line.
The next day I was finally well enough to take them to the water park with Ryan. I got no pictures because I couldn’t carry my camera around, but it was amazing. The water park was twice as big as last year because they built a whole Chima section with a wave pool and another pool full of slides, water guns, and waterfalls. We also spent a good deal of time in the old section of the water park, where there is a great shallow pool with low slides, a bigger pool with big fast slides, and a little river with floating huge Lego bricks that you float along on in inner tubes. Nathan and I went around that so many times that I got a pretty bad sunburn on my back.
On our last day we went back to Legoland proper and rode so many rides. Last year we barely made it to any rides, so we had no idea there were so many. The Sky Copter where you pedal along a track in something that looks like the Cat in the Hat’s Thingamajigger (or whatever it’s called) was probably the most popular ride in the park, but we got to go on it a half hour early because we were staying at the Legoland hotel. Another favorite ride we got to go on early was the Kid Power Tower, where you sit in a little seat and pull yourself up a tower with a rope and then freefall (almost) when you let go. Sam loved it. Nathan enjoyed it too, but maybe not as much as Sam. Nathan did make a friend in line. I overheard him telling the boy that he had a girlfriend. I later ascertained that he is apparently in love with Addie, the girl Pily also babysits sometimes. A.J., in My Weird School Daze, thinks it’s gross to be in love, but Nathan assured me that was not the case. I was unable to ascertain Addie’s feelings for Nathan, especially since I don’t think he’s actually seen her in months. He did tell me that there is another boy who is in love with Addie, but this other boy hadn’t hugged her and apparently Nathan has.
Sam’s absolute favorite ride was called Safari Trek. You ride in little cars and see Lego jungle animals.
We also spent a lot of time playing in this really cool play area. There were lots of ropes and nets to climb as well as slides to go down.
Sam and I spent a good 20 minutes chilling out first in this tube then in a slightly different tube.
This is a silly jousting ride.
Then we found this magical room full of little plastic balls that you can shoot out of various air cannons. Of course, this rapidly became children shooting balls at any adults unwary enough to venture into the target area. Nathan was having so much fun shooting balls at me that I couldn’t stay out of harm’s way and soon Nathan had all the children in the place aiming at me. At one point Nathan shot me directly in the nose, to much hilarity.
Ryan let them both play a game where you pull rubber ducks out a pool and win prizes. Nathan won and stuffed frog and Sam a stuffed duck. They are both the brightest fluorescent stuffed animals I’ve ever seen.
The big excitement of the day, though, was that Nathan decided he likes roller coasters! We started with Coastersaurus, the smallest roller coaster, which isn’t much bigger than the little dragon coaster at Santa Cruz. We did get a picture of Dad, Ryan, Nathan, and I riding it printed onto Lego, which is pretty cool. Then we moved up to The Dragon, which goes through a castle where there are lots of fun Lego sculptures and then down a fairly large hill. Flush with his success, Nathan decided to try the biggest roller coaster at Legoland, the Lego Technic Coaster. It’s still not a huge coaster, but it’s definitely bigger than anything Nathan has gone on. Dad, Ryan, and I went with him while Mom and Sam waited on the ground.
Nathan took this picture of us ready to get on the roller coaster.
It was even faster than I expected it to be, but Nathan did great! He’s now convinced that he’s a roller coaster guy and than he can come up with a plan to get Grandma to learn to like roller coasters. I don’t think that’s going to work, but I’m excited that now I get to go on roller coasters with Nathan. We’re going to Santa Cruz later this week so we’ll have to see if he’s brave enough to go on those roller coasters.
At the end of a long day, Nathan took a break inside this dinosaur egg with his frog.
While Sam took a farewell lap in Safari Trek with Gramps.
We drove back to Anaheim to get a jump start on the drive home where we stayed in a very ice suite, built more Lego sets, and Ryan had her turn to get sick.
We drove home the next day, just in time for Nathan to attend Matt’s birthday party the next day.
Obviously nothing else this month compared to that, but Nathan did get to shoot some videos for a local startup that has a Netflix model but for Lego sets. Here he is holding the amazing Imperial Star Destroyer set.
He didn’t build it, but he was introduced to the Lego Master Builder who did. Nathan told him he wanted his job. At several points in his videos, where he was supposed to explain the features of the Lego sets so that other kids will be able to see what sets they want to put in their queues, Nathan critiqued the construction of the sets, and noted snidely that he didn’t build them.
Sam and I folded a lot of paper airplanes out of our Family Creative Workshop books. He enjoyed it so much that he apparently told his friend Liam at school all about it and then he came home and folded a set to give to Liam.
Sam also made himself this great dinosaur hat. He later showed it off with great pride at Matt’s Fourth of July party, but that’s a story for another post.