what family travel really looks like

A recent three day trip for a cousin’s wedding and a sojourn to Legoland gave us red cheeks and smiles.  Well, my husband’s whole body became red.  I think I’m faking it as a white person as I never burn.  Perhaps my cousin’s genealogy digging that says we are part Cherokee has something to do with it.

I honestly enjoyed our trip.  But, it never quite looks like the brochure.  For instance, here is us eating out.eating out with kids

I’m happy he ate almost half of his grilled cheese.

waiting at lego water parkThere is my family cold in the wind waiting for the big slide at Legoland water park.  While I enjoy the water park I had changed into my clothes at this point.  The have a pretty laconic system for getting people on rides there.  Isn’t there a former Disneyland staffer they can hire to consult?

lego land hotel restaurantThe happening scene at the Legoland hotel bar.  The staff was kind as we coached them how to make a good Manhattan. But, they are handicapped as there is no rye or proper Maraschino cherries Kept thinking a good sketch would be someone accidentally coming to this lounge thinking it was a good place to pick up a woman.

jousting ridelook over here Vivien!, Over here.

jousting rideRex, over here, look at mommy.  Look at mommy.  Oh, forget it.knight tourney ride

Um, are we sure that’s safe?

legoland hotel

The second day was well capped with face painting and photo op with Captain Beard heart… or something like that.

In the brochure version of amusement parks they look like this

fake familyUm, they look mighty unencumbered.  Does that mom have a sherpa?  Because I had a back pack, purse, hat, sunglasses.  Mark carried towels and a clothes line.

Here is our real action shot:awkward family photo

I think Mark fares best here.  He looks like a politician.

Always nice to come home and shower after marinating in pee warm water with the masses.  Besides, even pirates need a rest.sleeping pirate

A Little Jaunt to San Diego

Action-packed weekend. 1) I worked for Fox.com at Comic-Con (freaks), shooting 24 Inside (and no, even though we taped Kiefer Sutherland talking on a panel, I still didn’t get to interview him and tell him I had a vaguely erotic dream about him). Fox kindly footed the bill for the hotel all weekend so 2) I had our babysitter, Dolly, take the train down with Vivien Friday afternoon so we could have a fun weekend. (No dad; he was working.)

Vivien on the train to San Diego

After making it clear to the concierge that I was a food snob, she set us up at dinner at Laurel. Pretty good, a little too fusion for me, but fresh ingredients.

Then the San Diego Zoo Saturday morning. It’s vast but nice, and we took the sky tram and saw the pandas. Check, please. Put Dolly back on the train to LA, and then Vivien and were in need of a nap meltdown. After a mediocre club at the Sheraton (the Marriott’s was much better), we napped hard.

Vivien in a butterfly

We also went to Balboa Park, which rocks!! It’s like Golden Gate Park, but not freezing. We went on the big carousel and the kiddie one and the train ride. Who knew SD was so fun? I didn’t, and I used to visit relatives there, but they were in Chula Vista, which is not an entertainment hot-spot (I remember something about a double murder there).

We had dinner in La Jolla with my cousin Margo and her husband John, at George’s. Great view of the water and Vivien was sweet and spent half the dinner under the table, so it was a breeze.

Sunday we hit Legoland. It’s kind of spendy. Take the kids before they are 3 and they can get in free; after that, it’s 50 bucks! Sixty for adults! (Bring the AAA card for a $10 discount.) At first, I was overwhelmed and thought, “Why am I doing this on my own?” But if I wait for for Mark’s schedule to clear up in order to do things, I would complete my shut-in status.

Vivien at Legoland

Legoland is great. Not too crowded, and unlike Disneyland – and far worse, Knott’s (gross) – they have decent food. Espresso, and fruit and yogurt parfaits. I think ’cause it’s owned by Swedes. I naively thought we would spend 2 hours there. Ha ha. Vivien and I said “one more ride” five times before I got her out, way past nap time for both of us. And only because we started to find rides that she was too short to ride. I am not an amusement park fan, as I get tired, but this place I can do. Well, the cool breeze and double espresso helped.

On the way home, I called Mark and asked if he could please figure out dinner, since Vivien and I were not our most pleasant selves in the car.  And he did, happy ending!