Erin and Adrian Go To LEGOLand (Photos)

We brought the kids to southern California for the last week of summer. Although we don’t usually make it any further south than Disneyland, we decided to use this time to go to San Diego. Emily and I lived there for many years before the kids were born, but Erin and Adrian have only been down a couple of times, and they have almost no memories of those trips.

We left home late on Saturday, driving almost straight through while the kids, eventually, slept in the back seat. Because she’s the best, Emily drove the whole way. We finally arrived some time after midnight, then slept for a long time.

After waking up in the morning and realizing I hadn’t packed any shirts for Adrian, I took the kids to a nearby Target to pick out a few. Because I’m the best, I let Emily sleep the whole time.

We spent the rest of the day at the beach in Oceanside, swimming, burying kids in the sand (our kids, not kids who happened to walk by), boogie-boarding, and eating the best tacos we’ve had in years. Sorry NorCal, tacos at the beach are better than anything from a food truck. We walked down to the pier and got some ice cream and gelato. The ice cream vendor had MAPLE WALNUT ice cream. I’ve looked in every ice cream shop in California and have never seen maple walnut ice cream out here. I had given up ever encountering my favourite ice cream flavour outside of the St. Lawrence River valley. But then, this miraculous ice cream vendor at the pier in Oceanside! Whence this cone of wonder, Ice Cream Man? “Oh, my brother makes it all. He’s from Upstate New York.” Please send me all of your maple walnut ice cream.

We spent the evening visiting family in town (after rinsing the ocean off our surf-beaten bodies). I ate a lot of spaghetti and watched the kids play with cousins they haven’t seen for years (and so have no memories of) with that kind of instantaneous bonding family creates: Wii games, basketball, scooters; sitting at the kids’ table and giggling all through dinner; bonding over musical instruments and scooping their own ice cream. Emily’s mom came down too, since she wasn’t too far away, so it was family all over the place. (My side of the family was inadequately, but tastily, represented by the maple walnut ice cream I’d had earlier.)

After sleeping a goodly while again, we woke up and went to LEGOLand. This park was built while Emily and I lived in San Diego, but we never went there because we didn’t have kids. And after the kids were born they were either too young when we came to San Diego, or we didn’t think it would be worth a trip down for its own sake, or we got distracted by Disneyland (we are always distracted by Disneyland). Right now the kids seem to be the right age, and we were making the right trip anyway, so we tried it out.

Cool LEGO building guy.
Cool LEGO building guy.
Charm.
Charm.
Adrian won ten races in a row, he says.
Adrian won ten races in a row, he says.
Adrian's spider face is a lot like his pirate face.
Adrian’s spider face is a lot like his pirate face.
A fitting punishment for goofballs.
A fitting punishment for goofballs.
You know what to do, king, bust a move.
You know what to do, king, bust a move.
Tiny Washington.
Tiny Washington.
Start spreading the news.
Start spreading the news.
This is Adrian's impression of how paleontologists work.
This is Adrian’s impression of how paleontologists work.
How low can you...ow.
How low can you…ow.
Cool girls don't look at water explosions.
Cool girls don’t look at water explosions.
Blue Steel.
Blue Steel.
I feel the need...the need for speed.
I feel the need…the need for speed.
Sit like an Egyptian.
Sit like an Egyptian.
Adrian's pirate face looks a lot like his spider face.
Adrian’s pirate face looks a lot like his spider face.
Photobomb.
Photobomb.
"Dodged it."
“Dodged it.”

It’s not Disneyland, but it involves more creativity and detail than a Six Flags. A lot of the rides are unique, and the LEGO displays are amazing.

Tomorrow, we are going to the San Diego Zoo, then we leave San Diego. We have somewhere to go before the summer is over and the kids are back in school.

It rhymes with “Isneyland”.

The Traditional Easter Pirate Battle

Gray Harbor Historical Seaport Authority has a couple of ships in town at the moment: The Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain. The Lady Washington is better known as the H.M.S. Interceptor from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. The organization hosts tours and does excursions on the old ships, and some of those excursions are mock sea battles.

This seemed, to us, to be a good way to spend a holiday afternoon. And we were not wrong. There were canons fired, ropes pulled, sails hoisted, rigging climbed, sea shanties sung, t-shirts sold, and complicated sailing maneuvers performed by the crew of our ship against the crew of the other. We were on the Lady Washington, since once the kids found out about the Pirates connection the Hawaiian Chieftain might as well have been made of poop, and not of the deck variety.

I already posted some pictures to Instagram, but since I took 500 and only posted 8, maybe you want to see some of the others. So here: I’ve curated a special collection just for you.

Emily takes selfies just in case I don't take enough pictures. She hasn't actually met me.
Emily takes selfies just in case I don’t take enough pictures. She hasn’t actually met me.
I take selfies because I can.
I take selfies because I can.
Erin belays while hoisting.
Erin belays while hoisting.
Ship stuff.
Ship stuff.
"So many fish to impress with my rendition of "Part of Your World...so little time."
“So many fish to impress with my rendition of “Part of Your World”…so little time.”
"You know who's stupid? The people on the Hawaiian Chieftain! What dorks! What  imbeciles! What...they're sailing right behind me, aren't they?"
“You know who’s stupid? The people on the Hawaiian Chieftain! What dorks! What imbeciles! What…they’re sailing right behind me, aren’t they?”
Sweet dance moves.
Sweet dance moves.
The enemy.
The enemy.
The captain regales Erin with a story in rhyme. She bails after 10 stanzas.
The captain regales Erin with a story in rhyme. She bails after 10 stanzas.
Erin was probably the crew's favourite passenger, against their will.
Erin was probably the crew’s favourite passenger, against their will.
The Captain and Tenille.
The Captain and Tenille.
Erin belays more hoists.
Erin belays more hoists.
She is legitimately helping the crew hoist a sail here.
She is legitimately helping the crew hoist a sail here.
She is not-so-deliberately wondering what would happen if she just let go when they weren't looking.
She is wondering what would happen if she just let go when they weren’t looking.
Adrian was hopped up on Drammamine, so was not nearly as active as First Mate Erin. He kept a low profile and mostly hugged Emily. Adorably.
Adrian was hopped up on Drammamine, so was not nearly as active as First Mate Erin. He kept a low profile and mostly hugged Emily. Adorably.
More ship things.
More ship things.
Enemy ship, spotted through the ship things!
Enemy ship, spotted through the ship things!
This is Tarzan. He was in charge of firing all of the guns. He was awesome.
This is Tarzan. He was in charge of firing all of the guns. He was awesome.
"Oh no! There's no way for me to get to that ship and charm them into submission!"
“Oh no! There’s no way for me to get to that ship and charm them into submission!”
The enemy, through more ship things.
The enemy, through more ship things.
Now they're just playing. Ooh, look at me sail by you. Ooh, can't catch me.
Now they’re just playing. Ooh, look at me sail by you. Ooh, can’t catch me.
Sneaky little bastards.
Sneaky little bastards.
Adrian was not impressed with Tarzan's accuracy, or decibel levels.
Adrian was not impressed with Tarzan’s accuracy, or decibel levels.
But Tarzan was pretty great at using that stick thing to light the powder.
But Tarzan was pretty great at using that stick thing to light the powder.
Captain Cool As A Cucumber.
Captain Cool As A Cucumber.
Captain Skeptical.
Captain Skeptical.
Did you forget the enemy, or ship things?
Did you forget the enemy, or ship things?
Here. I've made the ship things the focus of this picture of the enemy. On purpose. This is art.
Here. I’ve made the ship things the focus of this picture of the enemy. On purpose. This is art.
Dingbat.
Dingbat.
Proof that I'm not on a boat called the Hawaiian Chieftain.
Proof that I’m not on a boat called the Hawaiian Chieftain.
Seriously, Erin was like an extra hand on this boat.
Seriously, Erin was like an extra hand on this boat.
Super interested in whatever is going on up there.
Super interested in whatever is going on up there.
Tarzan. Because shut up, that's why.
Tarzan. Because shut up, that’s why.
Emily has jokes.
Emily has jokes.
Adrian has adoribosity.
Adrian has adoribosity.
And they both have adoriquadiquacity.
And they both have adoriquadiquacity.
This guy is about to jump on the ship, all swashbuckly.
This guy is about to jump off the ship, all swashbuckly.
"SWASH!"
“SWASH!”
Captain Dork Hat. Sorry, Battle Hat. He called it his Battle Hat.
Captain Dork Hat. Sorry, Battle Hat. He called it his Battle Hat.

Erin has already asked how old she needs to be in order to join the pirate circus.