Blake chose to go to San Diego area for his 8 year old trip. I think it was a perfect fit for him and we had a great time together.
Our first day was supposed to be a beach day. Mother Nature had other plans. “Sunny San Diego” did not apply to our trip. It was chilly! “June Gloom” as it’s called in Cali. We went to La Jolla and had a blast looking at all the seals and sea lions. We saw birds, seals, sea lions, crabs, chipmunks, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. We walked for a mile or so along the beach and got a glimpse of baby sea lions too! They were so cute!
Blake even braved the cold water for a little bit and splashed in the waves and had fun in the sand. This kid was born to live by an ocean.
As we were walking along the boardwalk we passed a man flying an awesome kite. Blake stopped to watch and he was kind enough to let Blake fly it for a bit. It was so fun and it made Blake’s day.
We also went into a sea cave. This was one of Blake’s favorite things! We entered inside a store and then down 145 slick and cavernous steps to enter the cave. There was such a beautiful view of the ocean from the cave. The contrast of the dark rocks and the muted blue of the sky and ocean were really lovely. We had fun finding lots and lots of little crabs scuttling along the rocks. After we had left Blake asked if we could go back again.
After we had our fill of the beach we swung by the San Diego Temple. Blake said it looks just like a beautiful ice castle. We loved to discover a giant bird’s nest nestled up in the spires. We also loved all the beautiful landscaping at the temple. I’m glad we made the stop!
Now on to Carlsbad. And some gnarly traffic getting there. So, Blake had a nap.
We checked into our hotel. The Econo Lodge. The name didn’t lie. This was bare bones stuff. But that’s ok. We were only there to sleep. After we got settled we went in search of In and Out because Blake had never been. I just don’t understand the hype. The burgers are good, but the fries are gross. I even tried them “well done” hoping that would help. It didn’t. No matter, it filled our tummies and Blake really liked his milkshake.
Blake was excited to swim in the pool at the hotel. Until he jumped in and discovered the water was ice cold. He lasted like 45 seconds. I don’t blame him! We got a treat from the vending machine and then snuggled up in bed.
The next morning we lazed around and watched Teen Titans for a bit. We had hotel breakfast and then we made a quick stop at Target on our way to Legoland. We need to buy some pants! Shorts just weren’t cutting it. I think we were both much happier with a little warmer clothes.
Now on to Legoland! We were both happy to see that the parking lot was pretty darn empty. Hopefully the threat of rain was keeping people away.
Our first order of business was to purchase a Legoland hat. We walked through the gates and straight to the gift shop. It didn’t leave his head for the whole trip. We also bought some mini figures to trade with Model Citizens throughout the day. Next, we got “1st visit” badges and then we were ready to hit the rides.
Coastasarus was first. Fun ride, loooong line!
Now on to Ninjago World. Blake had been really looking forward to this. But the ride was closed! And it stayed closed for the entire day. We still had fun wandering around and getting pictures with all the characters.
We really liked the 4D shows. We saw one both days we were there. Today we saw a Lego Movie one, and tomorrow we saw a NexoKnight one. We loved getting splashed, smelling funny things and having our favorite characters pop out at us.
Next up we grabbed a quick lunch at a pizza joint. Blake REALLLY wanted to get a collectors cup, and since this was his special trip I splurged and got it for him. Now on to Miniland. It was fun for him to see NYC and San Francisco made out of Legos. Notice the Collectors cup in the San Fran pic. This will become important.
But his favorite part was when he got to build and race boats down this fun little water contraption.
Next we walked to all the Star Wars stuff. And he got his picture with EVERY character along the way.
He was kind of burned out from standing in lines at this point so we were trying to do all the things that didn’t require waiting 🙂 Also because it was his special trip I gave him some money to play some of the carnival games. He was so proud when he won this donut!
We went and watched how legos get made, put together and boxed up in the lego factory and then we discovered the Adventure Club. Blake LOVED this. It might have been his favorite thing. There were 3 separate rooms–a rain forest, and Egyptian temple, and an arctic cave. In each room you had to search for hidden keys. It actually took us a really long time to find all the keys. Apparently we aren’t good at hide and seek. Blake scared me to death with this mummy. I didn’t see him and then all of the sudden the mummy’s arms moved and his eyes blinked. Pretty sure I screamed.
It was about this time that Blake realized that his collectors cup was missing. Oh no! He was so sad. I didn’t even know where to begin to look. Practically everyone in the park had that same cup. We started retracing our steps and then I got an idea. Consult the pictures! We’d taken a picture about every 5 minutes, so I thought maybe by looking at the pictures we could at least narrow down what part of the park to start looking. We scrolled through and saw that he had it in MiniLand near San Fran. He had it as we started down the row of Star Wars Characters. But….after Princess Leah, the cup didn’t appear in any more pictures. Back to Star Wars we went! We searched high and low, hoping someone had set it on a post, or just left it on the sidewalk. No such luck. Even with my brilliant sleuthing skills we never found the cup. 😦
After all that hunting we were ready for a snack. Apple Fries for the Win! This was a tasty treat we had both been looking forward to. I’d give them 3.5 stars. Totally worth getting once, but I wasn’t dying to have them again.
Right next to Apple Fries was a super fun playground. I’d say this was Blake’s 2nd favorite thing. He played on it for at least an hour and I enjoyed a little downtime finishing off the apple fries.
We decided to ride the Dragon Coaster for our last ride of the day. And, as luck would have it, Blake finally saw a mini figure that he wanted to trade for. It was a tennis guy that he was sure Josh would love. Trading is so much fun!
Blake was a little nervous as we started the Dragon Coaster but by the end he was all smiles. We raced through to see if we could ride again before the park closed. We were able to ride 2 more times right in a row. So much fun! But, do you notice anything missing in this picture? Something I said never left his head all day? HIS HAT! It was gone. Not again! We aren’t the most responsible people with stuff.
We did the camera sleuthing again and this time we were able to track down the hat. Apple Fries….hat. Playground…..no hat. We found the hat (and my water bottle) sitting at the table where we had eaten our treat. Whew…..
I let Blake choose dinner that night and he picked McDonalds. He had seen an ad on TV that Happy Meals had Beanie Boos for the toy and he was SOLD. Luckily there was a delicious taco join next door for mama.
Day one was a success!
After more Teen Titans Go, a quick trip to the grocery store to grab lunch and another hotel breakfast, Day 2 began with a plan of action. Be early and be one of the first in line for the Technic Coaster. Side note, why is hotel breakfast like the worst, lowest quality food on the planet?
The Technic Coaster always had a super long line the day before. We were waiting at the rope drop and we raced over. It was perfect. We only waited about 5 minutes. This ride was probably my favorite. I tried to convince Blake to go again, but once was enough for him.
On our way in we noticed that the Ninjago ride was fixed. So we raced over there. This ride was super fun. We had to use our Ninja powers to defeat the bad guys. We liked it so much we came back and did it later in the day too!
Other favorites included:
The Aqua Zone. We did this one in the 2 hours that the sun actually came out.
River Cruise. This Lego Mt. Rushmore was pretty impressive!
I have no idea what this one was called, but Blake loved it. It was so fun for him this trip to not have to worry about the older kids and just be able to do whatever he wanted. I think sometimes I forget how little he still is! I loved seeing him play and laugh and enjoy all the things, both for bigger kids and littler kids.
After we’d done it all at LegoLand we decided to head over to the Aquarium for a bit. They had a fun little map where in each different room you got to stamp your map and then show it at the end for a little prize.
We enjoyed seeing the Rays, octopus, jelly fish, and sea horses. It didn’t take us more than an hour to get through the entire thing. It was a fun little diversion and Blake loved the funny diver hat he earned as his prize.
Now it was time to head to the airport to catch our flight home. Both of us were sorry to see the trip end. Blake was a great travel companion. He never complained about walking, carried on great conversations and was a cute night time snuggler. I cherish this time I got to spend alone with him. I know it’s a trip neither of us will ever forget!
When we had left for the trip we were tight on time to get to the airport (surprise, surprise). I was dismayed to see that we only had about 25 miles left in the gas tank. We made it to the airport at 0 gallons. So, I was a little worried that we might not make it to the gas station after we flew back into Denver. I was coasting as much as I could to the gas station that’s about 3 miles from the airport parking lot . It was late at night and I REALLY didn’t want to run out of gas. By some miracle, we made it. I was so relieved.