Daily Archives: August 17, 2008

The Straight Route to LEGOLand

Last week I took some time off of work and we took our last trip of the summer. We packed up the new Honda CR-V and headed down to San Diego to visit my sister, see the zoo, and, most importantly, go to LEGOLand!

The directions to get down there are pretty simple from our house. Drive east until you hit Interstate Highway 5, turn south, drive about 350 miles, and you’re there. For those of you into detail, we went from exit 403 to exit 48.

Give me a good long audio book and I would make the drive without stopping. Since this was a family vacation however, we had to stop once or twice for the bathroom, lunch, and to check the car for damage.

Damage?

We had a bit of excitement on the way down south. In Los Angeles a truck carrying what looked to be framed glass doorway units for office buildings hit a bump that caused 3 x 5 panel of glass to pop out of one of the units and drop on the road… about 20 feet in front of us.

At 60 miles per hour there isn’t a lot you can do at that point but take the impact.

Fortunately, the panel appeared to be made out of tempered safety glass, so rather than smashing into guillotine blade like shards, it broke up into thousands of small chunks. Of course those thousands of small chunks were aimed at us like a cloud of low-flying hail.

The driver of the truck was completely oblivious to glass panels dropping off of his rig (we saw another one fly off), to my lights flashing, and just about anything else it seemed. We pulled off the highway to check the car (and have a bathroom break) and I was surprised to find not a mark on it, nor anything wedged into the grill, radiator, tires, or other nooks and crannies.

Down there we stayed at the West Inn & Suites in Carlsbad, a very nice little hotel that costs a bit more than the Ramada, but which comes with some perks, not the least of which was being only a few minutes from LEGOLand itself.

While down there we had a lot of fun. LEGOLand was a hit as usual. The only disappointment was that the one kit we were looking for (set 7904, the King’s Castle Siege… our minifigs need a place to play) was not in stock. Fortunately, a friend runs the LEGO store up here, so I can probably get it for less if I ask him. It is just fun to buy a kit while we’re there.

We saw my sister and her kids one evening, but due to some bad (or good?) planning, her clan was traveling up to Santa Clara to visit while we were down there. Timed right, we could have just swapped homes for a couple of days.

The last day though, there was a heated discussion about whether we should go to the San Diego Zoo or SeaWorld. My daughter really wanted to feed the dolphins at SeaWorld again, while my wife and I wanted to go to at least one place we had not been to before. I had to promise that, if my daughter did not like the zoo, we would never, ever go there again.

Of course she had a good time and at the end of the day she did not want to leave. We got to see the pandas and the three tiger cubs and quite a lot more, though not all of the place. It is bigger than our local zoos in San Francisco and Oakland, so we will have to go back another time to see the rest.

Okay, technically, the San Diego Zoo is not bigger than either of the zoos up here, but the San Diego zoo has the Wild Animal Park and other off-site facilities that take care of things that have to be done on premises with our zoos, so more area seems to be dedicated to exhibits. And, having walked all three, it just feels a lot bigger. Maybe it is all the hills?

And while we were down there, the SOE people were readying things for FanFaire in Las Vegas. I am waiting to see more details for the next EverQuest II expansion, The Shadow Odyssey so I can compare it to what I predicted back in December. I already know I was correct in at least one detail.

But now we’re back home. For me it is back to work tomorrow and for my daughter it will be back to school in a week.