Early yesterday morning I weighed the options of staying home and doing laundry and other housework while the neighbor kids were over for hours and hours and blowing all my free time on the computer while listening to the 11 millionth game of Mario Kart, or taking the kids on a surprise trip to Legoland Discovery Centre in Schaumburg. I opted for the latter :) Gene had a horrible, long week at work and opted for a day of relaxation in an otherwise empty house.
We arrived at Legoland at 10:30am and walked right to the admission register. Last time we visited was shortly after the grand opening and the line just to get inside was horrendous. I was happy to find that there was no more line to get into the jungle area, you get to just walk in and go through at your own pace. We checked out all the sculptures, rode the dragon ride, saw the 3-D movie and took the factory tour. They have a new ride since our last visit; sort of a hang glider "Dumbo" type ride that you pedal or don't pedal to go up and down. The kids loved it and rode several times. They spent a couple of hours building cars and racing them down various tracks. Kaylin's racer kept either breaking apart or flipping over partway down the track. She revised it and revised it until she finally got it to roll all the way down, jump off the end and land in a spectacular explosion, breaking into a zillion pieces. Logan really liked the earthquake plates where you build skyscrapers out of Duplo blocks on a "shaker plate" and then can shake your building at various speeds until it crashes over. Both kids played endlessly with the giant foam Legos, building towers, staircases and a Kaylin-sized mermaid. It was a good time!
Legoland has a huge shop, but being a tourist trap they don't carry the smallest, least expensive sets or have sale or clearance sets like the regular stores. We looked around, but decided to do our Lego shopping at the Lego store at Woodfield Mall. Man, I love Lego stores! We once again found tons of great deals and got several of the tiny sets rarely found at Target or Toys R Us. The Lego stores (other than the Legoland one) also sell everything for retail so their prices are actually cheaper than Toys R Us and their selection is obviously huge compared to Wal-Mart. We had a good old time shopping! I think this is about the only place Logan truly enjoys shopping. He actually gets excited seeing all the different sets.
The kids really wanted to eat at Rain Forest Cafe, but it was still too early for a big meal. We opted to go for dessert and got a Sparkling Volcano, a huge brownie and ice cream concoction topped with a lit sparkler. Amazing! And gooooood. We could have used Gene to help us finish it off. The three of us couldn't do it. It was fun trying, though.
Today I'm going to play with Legos and do all the laundry and bill paying and checkbook reconciling I've been putting off the past two days. If the weather cooperates, I'll spend Tuesday and Wednesday at a couple of zoos in Indiana. I'm also planning a trip to Ohio in two weeks to spend several days at a keeper exchange at The Wilds, somewhere about an hour east of Columbus. It should be an interesting month. I just hope the weather cooperates with all of my planned driving!