Legoland Deutschland and a 3 Year Old

We decided last year to start a tradition of taking trips for birthdays instead of hosting a party.  The money we would spend on presents, plates, napkins, decorations, food, favors, etc, we put towards a fantastic day (or days) instead.   Last year, we went to the Denver Aquarium  and toured the museum, ate in the restaurant, rode the train, and did the petting zoo.  This year, being in Germany, we picked Legoland!!  I mean, what kid wouldn’t like a theme park and legos 🙂
Birthday Girl!!

After walking in, there were a lot of exhibits like this at the front of the park.  This was for their new lego collection.  It was pretty cool – you can see the people in the background to get the size of the scene. The others were pretty fascinating and were predominantly recreations of different cities in Germany.   We didn’t spend too long looking at them because Madelyn wanted to go play!

 First stop – The Aquarium!
This submarine was made of legos!
 Touching the shark in the underwater tunnel
 Bubble with pirahanas(!)
Olivia missed most of it…
 Safari jeeps with dad… all the animals were made of legos
Soccer busts – all made out of legos
 Flying the airplanes
 Finally figuring out the ‘stick’ made the plane go up or down 🙂

Jon really wanted Madelyn to do the ‘Junior’ driving school.  She will need to go back as she didn’t even make it a quarter of the way around the track. Pay attention to the background and you can see how much progress she didn’t make 😉

Rescue #1
Rescue #2
Rescue #3
 Rescue #4

Meanwhile, the little German kids are passing Madelyn on the Junior track like their parents pass us on the Autobahn.  I think Germans must be born knowing how to drive or something 😉

Rescue # 5 and she caused a traffic jam.  By this point, the attendant is ready to just pull her off the ride and the other parents are laughing like crazy at her.

Accident clears up and the ride ends.  Poor Madelyn thought her car was broken.  She was a little disappointed.  Maybe next year her ‘car’ will be better 🙂
We left the park for a bit to check into the hotel.  I don’t think I will ever get ‘used to’ this being a hotel. I am always looking for what we think of in the States as a hotel, not some super cute inn 🙂  We also decided to get two adjoining rooms instead of one.  Madelyn literally needs it pitch dark and no stimulation before she will fall asleep.  Her room now has a bed, dresser, and hang-up clothes.  Everything else had to be taken out and it will still take her on average an hour to settle down and sleep.  She’s not crying or anything during that time – she just tosses and turns and makes little puppets out of her fingers – you know… all the stuff to avoid falling asleep 🙂  But, that means Jon and I would have to go to bed when she does in order to get her to sleep.  We usually want to stay up a little bit past 8:00 😉
This was the entrance to our rooms.  It was one of those wide double-door entrances! Fancy!
Entry way.  Madelyn and Olivia’s room was to the left, ours to the right.
Madelyn watching the ipad.  There is no AC, so she is hanging out in her pull-up 🙂
From Madelyn and Olivia’s room through the entry to our room
 Our room
Olivia enjoying her bed 🙂

It was REALLY hot, so we showered and changed before heading back to the park for dinner.  The hotel had a really nice menu, but when the ‘cheapest’ meal was 16 Euros and most appetizers were 12 Euros and up, we figured that was NOT the place for an almost 7 week old and 3 year old.  Plus, there was a wedding reception going on.  Yeah…we went back to the park 😉   After dinner, we wanted to go up the observation tower.  This was my view.  Olivia and I got grounded 🙁  Something about if the ride were to not work properly and suddenly get stuck, it wouldn’t be good for the baby.  Jon and Madelyn are on there somewhere.  What was MOST disappointing, was I threw away half of a 3 Euro 7 Up because no drinks were allowed, and then didn’t GET to ride.  Jon said it was neat to see the park 🙂

We then took Madelyn to this playground.  The U.S. needs to have more playgrounds like this.  It was challenging, but safe enough.  The slides were metal and steep, but covered with awnings so they didn’t get too hot.  Everything required balance, determination, critical thinking in order to succeed.  It was awesome! She had a blast, and that was all that mattered 🙂

These were the ‘steps.’  They are planks of wood suspended over a ramp on chains so they swayed.  Madelyn got nervous on them and would step between the planks onto the ramp.  Took her twice as long, but she did it and figured out how!

Olivia didn’t get to play, but was stuck hanging out with mom
We went back to the jeep safari since Madelyn liked it so well and I got to go with her this time.
Lego monkeys sitting on the log

This was a mild version of the boat ride at Kings Dominion.  It would rock back and forth and rotate as it came back down.  Madelyn LOVED it!   Jon and Madelyn rode it again on Sunday and Madelyn actually lifted her hands a few inches off the lap bar and screamed a bit.  She’s gonna be a thrill seeker!

There were supposed to be fireworks at 9:30, so we decided to grab some ice cream and find a good spot.  At 9:45, no fireworks still, so we headed out.  We saw them start as we got on the highway at 10:00.

 Olivia was tired by the end of the day 🙂

Sunday we went back to the aquarium exhibit.  That is Madelyn trying to catch Dorrie and Nemo.

Jon and Madelyn trying to see the octopus.  She looked at Jon and asked him “How do we open it?”  She wanted to get into the tank with the fish 🙂

 Pirahana bubbles again
She always puts her feet up on things.  She is weird.

This little ride was ‘supposed’ to have a paddle.  Madelyn lost hers before the ride even left the boathouse.  She is SOOOO her mother!!

The airplanes were a big hit Saturday, so we decided to try again.

Literally, as the ride was finishing up, the wind started blowing and we barely made it to the store next to the airplanes before it started pouring.  We waited for about 30 minutes before we could head to the car.

We had a wonderful trip and Madelyn did really well waiting her turn and trying out the rides.  Her favorite place was the kids water park.  She kept asking to go back there, but it was really hot to sit there as an adult because there weren’t any shaded areas.  I would have taken pictures, but Madelyn was the ‘most clothed’ kid out there!  She was just wearing a swim shirt and the bottoms that went with it.  About a quarter of the kids weren’t wearing anything.  Europeans have a different view of nudity than Americans.  I have never considered myself a prude, but I totally am when compared to Europeans.  No one else seemed to be taking pictures of their kids playing in the water, so I refrained.   Overall, I think this is a tradition we are going to keep…. at least until Madelyn starts asking us for a party 😉