2:45 PM, Saturday, July 23rd, 2022:
So busy, about to head out to a wedding gig, but needed to make the place holder for the Legoland entry... which may actually be two entries since we spent two days there. Not sure yet...
Hmm, maybe I should be sure...
OK, I'm sure - it'll be two entries - so I'll save my ending thoughts for the next entry. Here's part one:
So the lead-up. Talya has always wanted to go to Legoland as she was too old when it opened in 1999 for it to really HIT as a kid. 14 ain't 7 and without kids, this place really doesn't hold your interest like a Disneyland does. We talked about it a bunch in 2019 but I was soooooooooo busy, so 2020 it is! Kids would be 6 and 7, absolutely perfect ages.

Well fuck.
So when we finally booked this with the kids being 8 and 9 I was a little concerned but I can say that it was easily the best two days we've spent together as a family and their maturity may have just...actually hang on. I'm buying tickets to Disneyland now.
Done. August 11th, that's how good this trip was.
Adventures with kids, at least for our family, is a whole lot of dipping your toe outside comfort zones and if it goes well? Pushing a bit more. It's why most of our family excursions have been so amazing: we worked up to it. We didn't take them places before they were ready. Now in the case of theme parks we had the in for free tickets at Disney when they were infants but those days had ZERO pressure. We could go for 3 hours and leave. That's not real life. No, when you're actually PAYING? Now it had better be GOOD and it had better be all damn day. We would've waited until 2019-2020 for Disney too if $ was involved.

But it's this balance of the kids actually appreciating the experience and having the intestinal fortitude to push through uncomfortable shit without whining. Let's just say they both knocked it the hell out. So much so we're happy to keep adding more shit to this ridiculously packed summer.

Day one at Legoland was a complete blur and doing the themed hotel package was so fun. And again, there probably would've been a BIT more wonder a couple years ago, but what we lost there? We gained in maturity to tackle everything without whining.
Oh jesus the whining. I know it annoyed my mother to no end and it is absolutely my achilles heel as a parent. I am patient through SO MUCH... but when either of our kids whine? My patience fuse DIS-afuckin-ppears. Now I do understand a good deal of it is because their life is so good. Like, they have very little discomfort or struggles outside of school and just dealing with each other. So relatively speaking, I get why they whine at what I'd consider slight hardships...
...did that sound convincing? Because that's what my head is trying to achieve. In reality: "Dude, shut the fuck up already, you're at a goddamned amusement park - STOP WHINING that you're hot." Ha. I mean, the reality is in between those two extremes. But THAT is what we've been working on all these years. THAT is why we go camping and really do usually "rough it". And this Legoland trip was the culmination of that. There was no whining, they were appreciative of EVERY, FREAKING, RIDE. Every experience. They were like store-bought children you only see in movies. I can't even begin to explain how enjoyable the experience was. The last time we went to Disney was their first time without strollers and it was... it was tough. They were too young. 2018 they were 4 and 5... it really is a chore and they can't actually comprehend how lucky they are at that age. 8 and 9 however? Perfect.

Damn, I'm really doing the wrap-up now in this entry when I said I wouldn't. GRRRR.
Takeaways from Day One were we did SO much, we closed the park and we adored having the hotel RIGHT THERE so we could just walk on over and get to sleep. Kids loved the theme and my dogs were most definitely barkin' because my dumbass decided water shoes were the best way to do the park since we were going from water to dry back and forth. Great for not having to put on socks... BAD for the support of my feet. I was a wreck by the end of day 2 which SHOULD ALSO BE TALKED ABOUT IN THE NEXT ENTRY.

OK, I gotta just get to that entry already. Probably Monday.