Thursday, May 1, 2008
How to Beat the Crowds at Legoland
Well, get your popcorn and settle in, because this was one long day of power fun and traveling. We started off dividing into a car team and a train team. Mom, Ann, Will, Jack and I were on the train team, and Justin, Jeff, Katy, Mason and Emma were in the Volvo. The Volvo had to make the trip to Italy, and the trip to Italy started with a couple of detours in Germany, so we split up. We got down to the S-bahn station at Bremthal at 6:45, but had to miss the first train that went through b/c Ann had the Volvo key, so Jeff had to come down and get it. She was bummed to miss the train because it meant the connection in Frankfurt to the ICE train was going to be tight, but at least she realized he didn't have a key before we got on the train. We ended up making the Frankfurt ICE train to Ulm (close to Legoland) in enough time, but it was mildly stressful. At the Frankfurt station (the one plagued with multiple escalators), Jack said, "I'm getting a little bit gooder at the escalators." And he was!
So we get to Ulm and catch the shuttle bus to Legoland with a bazillion German teenagers, which did not bode well for the day. When we reached the entrance to Legoland, the Volvo team had just pulled up, so the timing was perfect. We got our tickets and put on our mittens and hats and scarves and entered the grand land of Legos. The kids were so excited. The first part we visited was a bunch of little scenes built entirely of Legos. It was really amazing. Jack just ran around in circles, he was so excited he did not know what to look at first.
I am so glad we went to Legoland. It was the only day devoted entirely to kid stuff, and they really enjoyed it. Katy and Mason had never been there either, so this was a new experience for them as well. And because it was bitterly cold - at one point, it was sleeting - there were very few people there. The kids got to ride all the rides they wanted, as many times as they wanted to. Emma went on a roller coaster with Katy and Mason and Will, but once was enough for her. Ann and Jeff and Justin and I rode another roller coaster several times. The ride attendants just let us keep our seats, because there was no one in line. We all enjoyed an inside activity center where the kids got to build their own cars and then race them against other people. There were all of these children trying to put their cars together and then there were Jeff and Justin trying to build the first race cars to break the sound barrier. Being inside was nice, just to thaw out a bit. We also got on this ride where you're in a little pirate boat and you turn a wheel to pump water out of a cannon and the people on shore have their own water cannons that they are aiming at you. Jack was not much of a fan, mostly because there were invisible "cannon balls" that would explode next to you and send water flying everywhere - it was loud and wet, two things he did not appreciate. We all went up together on this little revolving slow-moving thing where you could look out and see the whole park and the massive parking lot that was mostly empty. It was nice because it was not a huge park, but there was enough to do there that we got a very full day of it.
Around 5 or so, the car people became the train people and Ann dropped them off at the train station and then came back and got me, Mom, and the three boys. We were driving to Fussen, where we were staying at a bed and breakfast. It was in the mountains close to Neuschwanstein Castle which we would tour in the morning. While we (Ann) were driving, I noticed some snow in the grass of the scenery going by. Then we noticed more snow. Then it started snowing. Then the road went from three to two lanes because it was snowing so hard. It was amazing how quickly the conditions deteriorated. As soon as we got off the autobahn, the snow was pretty much gone, so Ann could navigate the roads again. Fussen was nice. I really liked Suzanne's Bed and Breakfast. It was very clean, each bed had nice big comforters on them and the bathroom looked like it had been recently remodeled. We dropped off our stuff, Ann took us to McDonalds, then went to the train station to pick up Team 2, we all reunited at McDonalds, ate and then went home pretty beat.
Another funny thing about Suzanne's is that she has a squirrel mounted in the guest lobby. We took pictures of the squirrel holding a squirrel heart and thought it was absolutely the funniest thing (granted we were tired). Then after that excitement, we went to bed.