Sunday, December 14, 2014

Don't Let Go, Do Lego

 Originally, we planned to go to Ohio this weekend, where I had a ticket to the Browns-Bengals game awaiting me (I'm a Bengals fan, my father-in-law has season tickets to the Browns--thanks Pop-pop!). But late in the week, I realized belatedly that I couldn't possibly go to Cleveland this weekend, because of a performance at school. How I didn't put two and two together sooner, I can't explain. Wishful thinking combined with chronic fatigue, I'll posit.

Our second idea was to go up to Chicago and see all the Christmasy stuff downtown. But then Lauren had a better idea: Legoland, out in Schaumburg, plus do a little shopping at Ikea and Trader Joe's, which are a big deal to those of us living in the hinterlands.

The first room at Legoland was a Chicago cityscape, which as you can see, had my girls fascinated and excited. The level of detail was great--really beautiful work. The cityscape also included the lights gradually dimming and brightening to show us night and day in Chicago. I was hoping for icy winds whipping through the Lego city, with mingled scents of exhaust and pizza wafting about.

From the steel jungle of Chicago, we went to a literal jungle, where we got to see a Bengal tiger, the closest I will get to the game I originally planned to attend this weekend, since local TV is broadcasting Green Bay vs. Buffalo. We had a safari guide and Indiana Jones to lead us through.

This was followed by a great Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope room--there was a detailed Tatooine thing with various scenes from the movie, which had buttons that allowed you to animate the scene or hear some of the accompanying dialog. There were life-sized R2D2 and Darth Vader figures, a dueling Vader and Obi-Wan, a Death Star with a stupid  game that didn't seem to work and a bunch more scenes. It was particularly cool for the adults who have seen the films. Our kids were a little less wowed by the whole thing, but what are you going to do?

Not to worry, there were plenty more activities for the kids, including an indoor playground, a couple different rides, and a lot of opportunities to build with Legos. There was a track with a challenge to build a vehicle that could jump off the ramp and hit a target. I spent a lot of time, made many test runs, and did not, ultimately, solve the design challenge. A seven-year-old may have just walked up, dropped a giant wheel, and hit the target on the first try.

Lauren, the physicist, gave up on the car challenge before I did with similar success rates, but she went on to put her time to better use:
At the end of the day, as the picture below shows, I was left with boundless energy and enthusiasm.

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