I woke the 2 youngest up Monday morning and told them to get on their shoes and a jacket and get in the car. "Are we going to Legoland?" Cannon asked. We were! But I didn't let on yet. Cannon had been begging to go to Legoland for at least half of his life. The night before I had packed their bags and we were ready to make his dream come true. As we drove South I told the kids the clue to where we were going was in the stack of DVD's. They finally found it with the Lego movie but they didn't believe me! When I told them it was for real a BIG smile spread on their faces. It was so fun. They had a bag of candy, gum, chips, jerky and a drink and plenty of movies for the trip. Auntie S came along to finish up some business in California and to provide the awesome hotel discount. It was a win-win.
The afternoon of our arrival we went to Irvine Spectrum Mall and PF Changs for dinner. Then we settled into our hotel for just a while because then it was off to the pool and hot tub.
DAY 2: BEACH DAY AT OUR FAVORITE CRESCENT BAY.
When we first arrived, with all our beach gear in tow, we passed some surfer dudes ready to head out into the waves. Cannon suddenly yelled, "I see a shark fin!! It's a shark!!" I looked out to see a dolphin gracefully diving in and out of the water. The surfers smiled at us, amused. How perfect to have a dolphin welcome us to our favorite beach! We made sandcastles, explored tidepools, splashed in frigid waves, and tried to stay as warm as possible soaking up every ray of sun.
DAY 3: LEGOLAND
! How appropriate that our destination was on the Cannon Road exit! The kids' eyes were big with excitement as we entered. The favorites were the Lego Technic Coaster, the 4-D Chima movie, apple fries with whipped cream, the obstacle course, buying mini figures at the gift shop, and miniland which had re-created many famous sites and buildings in Lego form. The park was definitely for the younger crowd. Rides were very mild and short. Lines were very long but I guess that was to be expected anywhere during Spring Break. In the museum, we learned that Legos were invented in Denmark. Lego, in Danish, means "play well." We were excited to tell Sofie when we returned home. "I've been telling you that for months!!" she said. I guess we know it's real now.
DAY 4: LEGOLAND CHIMA WATER PARK, AQUARIUM, FLOWER FIELDS
As soon as the park opened, we went to the Sea Life Aquarium. Highlights were the seahorses. The kids were also excited to see moon jellies because we saw a lot of these on the beach on our San Francisco trip last year. Next it was off to the water park. We did the wave pool, lazy river, and slides. The kids built ships and raced them in a water obstacle course. This was where we found that our cousins neighbors were there too! As the day continued, so did the crowds. By early afternoon we all felt satisfied that we had accomplished everything at Legoland. It was off to the hotel pool.
If Legoland was for the kids, the Flower Fields were for me. Before heading to the hotel, I took the kids here. It was just 4 minutes from Legoland and so beautiful. Rows of brightly colored rununculus flowers with a view of the ocean on the horizon was spectacular. We took a wagon ride through the fields although, it was easy enough to just walk around. On our way out we treated ourselves to a fresh gourmet strawberry lavender shake. The lavender really brought out the sweetness of the strawberry. It was the best shake we have ever had. Unfortunately, Cannon spilled his all over his seat while we were in rush hour on the way home. I couldn't even pull over to clean it up.
Our hotel for the next 2 nights was in the beautiful sea side city of Del Mar. It was fun to explore a new beach! We spent the afternoon exploring the shops and beautiful beaches. We walked along a sand cliff towering over the beautiful beach below, with the railroad tracks on the other side of us. It was pretty exciting to watch the fairly frequent run of Amtrak and coastline trains. The kids splashed in the water. We watched a beautiful sunset on the beach. For dinner we went to a local favorite, Del Mar pizza.
Our last day we packed up the car only to see that the parking lot was full of classic, antique cars. These were the first of many we would see. Del Mar was hosting a classic car show for the weekend.
I really loved our hotel for the last 2 days, the Clarion Inn. We had an ocean view and the beach was a short walk away. I thought the hotel library was just my style.
Sunset at Del Mar was spectacular. I sent this photo to the beach lovers back at home.
My first "surprise" trip went well. We listened to audio books (Proof of Heaven and Grisham's Racketeer) while the kids watched their piles of movies. Stopped at my new favorite mid-trip stop, Mad Greek Cafe for a gyro. The two kids were excited to be home and tell all about their exciting adventures.