Category Archives: Legos

Legoland: The Good, The Great, and The Well…

The Good

The “good” category is for things that, depending on your viewpoint, are either “great” or “well…” (i.e. not so great).  Riley often says, “Well…” just before confessing to peeing on the bathroom floor or smacking Dylan in the face.

Behavior modification via wine.  On our first night in Winter Haven, we tried to have a leisurely dinner at the Outback Steakhouse, but the kids had other plans.  I told them I’d take them back to the hotel if they let me finish one glass of wine.  Then I told them if they were good, I’d finish my wine quickly, but if they misbehaved I would drink it very slowly.  (Judge me if you must, but it worked.)

Froot Loops.  I don’t serve Froot Loops in my house, but I follow a “When in Rome…” food policy when we’re traveling.  On our last morning, the boys found the Froot Loops at the hotel’s breakfast buffet.  Six mini Froot Loop cereal boxes later, they transformed into actual Froot Loops.

“Close but no cigar” Crocs.  Riley insisted on wearing these mismatched Crocs the whole trip.  The boy beats to his own drum!  Or, he’s a stubborn pain in the butt!  I’ll let you decide.

The Great (in no special order)

Televisions with Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network at every table at the hotel restaurant.

Warm and friendly service.  Everyone we met at Legoland was wonderful, including the woman who gave the boys ponchos (for free) when it started pouring just as we were walking to the car.

Amazing Lego figures and models, like this wolf:

New York City:

And the White House:

Hello Obamas and Bo!

Clean bathrooms.  Nuff said.

Cool playgrounds:

Complimentary coffee in the lobby of our hotel starting at 6am.  (This is a must when your children are roosters and/or Froot Loops.)

Taking pictures of your napping child with signs written on napkins.

When your kid hugs Lego Dude and says to Lego Dude, “I love you.”

Lego play zones in restaurants.  Parents can sit and eat in peace and kids can play, except for when the mean little boy took Legos from Riley and then told his mom he didn’t and then called Riley a liar!  [Insert dramatic music.]  More on this in a future post.

Finding an owl for sale at Legoland…

…and exhibiting amazing impulse control by not buying it.  But then buying these Lego coasters a few minutes later:

No lines!  Hint: Go during the week.  We heard weekends are a lot busier.

The boys’ travel journals!  Crafty Mama success!

Lego Driving School.  The kids got to drive real Lego cars on a real raceway.  Fun!  (Dylan is actually a good driver.  Riley…not so much.)

And for $14.99 each, the kids got driver’s licenses.  Pricey – like the teeny-tiny bucket of popcorn that cost $4 but included unlimited $1.50 refills! – but adorable.

The “Well…”

The food.  Maintaining a low-carb/high-kale diet in the middle of nowhere (sorry Central Florida) at an amusement park isn’t easy.  For comparison sake, I found eating healthy far easier at Disney World.  Suffice it to say, a kale salad is on the menu for dinner tonight.

The Super Star Destroyer.  3152 pieces.  $399.99.  This should be illegal.  Even Dylan knew I would never allow that in my house.  It would be me or the destroyer.  (I wonder which he’d choose?)

The rides had age and height restrictions, which was mostly a good thing because the roller coasters were no joke.  Still, some height/age restrictions were confusing.  One ride said you had to be 36 inches tall and 4-12 years old.  Riley is easily 36 inches tall (and perfectly capable of sitting on a Lego horse with a seatbelt), but they wouldn’t let him ride because he was three.  Boo.  Thankfully, the carousel was for everyone.

Legoland has a water park attached to the amusement park.  There are water slides for all ages, a wave pool, and a lazy river.  It’s fun and the kids had a great time, but it required a lot of packing and schlepping to go from dry to wet and back to dry clothes.

THE VERDICT: Thumbs up from the whole family.

If you can get there by car (our drive was about 3 ½ hours), go for it.  Go during the week if you can and bring plenty of sunscreen.  The Holiday Inn Winter Haven was lovely (there are no resort style hotels nearby…yet).  There’s not much to do in Winter Haven besides Legoland, so if your trip requires air travel, I recommend adding Legoland as a side trip to an Orlando or Tampa vacation.  The park is about 45 minutes from both cities.  With small kids, two days was a perfect amount of time to spend there (considering weather, naps, meltdowns, etc.).  With older kids, you might be able to do it all in one day.

p.s. Legoland is an alcohol-free property (for now).  For this reason, Mike wanted to give it a “thumbs down” on principle, but I convinced him to turn his thumb around.

Next stop…San Francisco!

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Filed under Crafty Mama, Legoland, Legos, shopping, vacation

Word Problems

If you ask Dylan what he likes better – letters or numbers – he’ll say numbers. In honor of Dylan’s blossoming love of math, here are some Runaway Mama word problems.

If Dylan has two race tracks and then receives three new race tracks for his birthday and one new race track for Christmas, and then Mommy hides three of the race tracks in a closet (and fantasizes about setting the closet full of race tracks on fire), how many racetracks does Dylan have to play with?

(Three.  Until Mommy hides another one while Dylan is sleeping.)

If Mommy buys five containers of Play-Doh and Riley opens all of them and refuses to let Mommy put them away and then Mommy realizes the next morning that the Play-Doh was left out all night, how many containers of dry, useless Play-Doh does Mommy have?

(Five. Mommy hates Play-Doh.)

If Mommy buys one box of Dora & Diego paper cups that contains 40 cups and Riley uses 10 paper cups every time he attempts to brush his teeth, how many times will Riley brush his teeth before he runs out of paper cups and Mommy realizes that buying Dora & Diego paper cups for tooth-brushing was a bad idea?

(Four. No paper cups for Riley until he’s five.)

If Mommy sings three songs to Riley at bedtime and then Riley cries and Mommy sings one more song and then Riley cries and Daddy sings one more song and then Dylan asks why no one is singing a song to him and then Riley cries and Mommy sings one more song to each kid, how many total songs do Mommy and Daddy sing while their Chinese food take-out gets cold.

(Seven. Bedtime is a bitch.)

At 6:30am, Dylan decides to build a Lego truck that has 449 pieces and promises to follow the 37 step directions all by himself.   Riley “helps” by putting three rubber tires in his mouth and throwing four teeny, tiny Lego pieces on the floor where they roll under the oven.  Then Riley stinks up the kitchen with a poop while Mommy is on her hands and knees with a flashlight looking at a lot of crumbs but no teeny, tiny Lego pieces under the oven.  Mommy stops looking for the missing Legos to change Riley’s diaper (and to escape Dylan’s whining about the lost Legos), and when she returns to the kitchen, she discovers that Dylan has skipped steps 3-9 in the directions and can’t figure out why the first 18 pieces of the truck don’t fit properly.  At 6:47am, he asks Mommy to take the truck apart so he can start all over again (all by himself) and she chips a nail in the process (Lego nails).  How many cups of coffee does Mommy need to drink to keep her head from exploding?

(At least three.  And if Dylan wants to build Legos after school, with “help” from his brother, coffee will be replaced by Pino Grigio at 5pm).

Math sure can be fun.

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Filed under bedtime, Legos, math