Thursday, April 20, 2006

Legoland or bust

As I have been rather busy over the last week or so thanks to that lovely Mr Inverdale, I haven't got round to posting an account of our merry trip to Legoland, which was one of the highlights (at least for the children) of the Easter break. Me, I am soooo not a fan of theme parks, but hey, it kept the kids busy for a day, so what the hell...

We set off fairly early with Pyrtotechnic Builder Mate and his family. Being Legoland vets they knew that otherwise we would be stuck in a huge queue. They helpfully provided us with vouchers to get one kid in free, which given the prices was just as well. Even saving £46 we still managed to spend over £100, and that was just on getting in...

Negotiating my way through the least-child friendly entry gates I've ever encountered, with the littlies, I managed to lose the others when I came out the other side. I started walking down the hill, thinking, buggers! They've gone on without us, before I realised that I was more likely then not to lose them in the vast hordes swarming all over the place. Shades of my start to the marathon sprang to mind, when queuing for the loo I managed to lose my twin sister and then spent 3/4 of an hour frantically looking for her before the start. Luckily as I returned to the entrance I spotted Spouse in the crowds, so we managed not to waste a whole day looking for one another. Which was just as well as he was carrying lunch on his back...

We had a quick look at the models to start with. Now, while I am all very impressed by the dedication of someone who puts thousands of pieces of lego together to create Big Ben (and it is clever, I grant you), I have to say, my overwhelming thought when I saw it was - why???? What on earth possessed the first employee of Lego to say, I know what I want to be when I grow up, a professional lego builder. Imagine telling that to your careers teacher. I dunno, it's all Scandinavian to me...

Mind you, someone at Legoland at least has a good sense of humour. In the London section in a corner, there is a building site, which represents... you've guessed ...it the Olympics site. It's a bit empty at the moment, but I presume they'll be adding to it as they go...

Models duly admired, it was on to the first ride, a rather gentle affair which took us through Legoland's equivalent of Fairy Tale Land, which was quite sweet, and no 4 was entranced enough to be quiet and well behaved throughout.

Which helas, cannot be said for our next ride. This should have been another gentle boat ride around a lake. We had to split up into threes, so Spouse went witn nos2&3, while I go nos 1&2. The boats had steering and an accelerator, and that was about it. No1 was keen to drive, so I let her, but the accelerator was on my side. No matter how hard I pressed it to the floor, nothing much happened. And no1's steering was pants. So as a result we ended up hitting the bank on the first corner. No4 promptly burst into hysterical sobs and demanded to get out. Don't worry, I said between gritted teeth, this is fun... Apparently not. No4 kept up the wailing all the way round, no1's steering improved not one whit, and everyone else beat us home. Not even the promise of lunch was enough to stem the floods, and by the time we got out no1 was saying, I quite see why being a mum is such hard work. At last, the shoe is on the other foot...

After we had lunched on sandwiches provided by Spouse (lunch out anywhere with four sprogs is pretty much out, but at Legoland? It would have been a definite no-brainer), the boys decided they had to go on the rollercoaster. Luckily sprogs were content with boring things like the merrygoround and a big wheel. We had one or two hairy moments on the big wheel when various of the children tried to look over the side. The worst culprit was no4s wild and excitable male twin (he was born on the same day as her). His poor mother spent most of the ride clutching onto him for dear life. Sometimes I am so glad I only have girls...

By the time we had done that and lost all the children a dozen times in the fort, the boys had caught up with us. Spouse looked vaguely green, so I guess that is one experience he won't be repeating in a hurry. Then it was time to go on a version of the spinning teacups. Remembering their previous experience of this on Brighton Pier, when no2 wanted to go faster and then screamed so loudly when she did that she banged her head and had to come off the ride, she and no1 wisely opted to stay put. Spouse sedately went on the ride with the little ones, while PBM and his family flew wildly round, making me very very glad I'd stayed where I was.

The day ended with us watching the show - I was actually quite in awe of these amazing stunt people who kept leaping merrily off a tower into what looked like two inches of water, but I presume was somewhat deeper, visiting a jungle exhibition (no4 and I had to make a hurried exit as she started screaming again), and going to look at the Lego workshop, where it transpires there really are people who make lego models for a living. Can't see that giving you many work opportunities...

Sprogs all had a great time, and ended up knackered. Spouse and I had an okish time and ended up knackered and potless. But at least we've ticked that off the list of Things To Do With The Children...

We got home to two phone calls to tell me that this very blog had been mentioned on Radio 2, which I have to say was probably the best part of the whole day...

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I have to admit that I would be just as almost under-impressed with Lego builders as you seemed to be. I just can't imagine spending that much time building something out of little blocks!

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