It’s Been Awhile

Yep, it sure has. While I could have expanded on the Captain EO entry, I just never got around to it. So let’s go back a few weeks and take things from there.

Tax Time came and went and we were fortunate enough to get a decent amount back, some of which we used to take Anthony to LEGOLAND for his birthday, even if it was a month ahead of time. In fact, we were in Carlsbad the weekend of my birthday (Valentine’s Day) but being we are involved in his t-ball league, scheduling a trip during his actual birthday would have been a pain and disruptive to the games.

So we spent three glorious days at the Ramada Inn in Carlsbad where we got free wi-fi and free breakfast each morning. Awesoma power! (In fact, I wrote a quick blog entry on my iPod Touch on Saturday night when I couldn’t get to sleep.)

During our stay, we checked out the Carlsbad Premium Outlet, LEGOLAND, the Sea Life Aquarium, and came home on Monday after stopping at the Rainbow Sandals store. (Note: Rainbows, while pricey, are the best freaking flip-flops you can buy. Trust me on that.)

Here is an assessment on all.

Friday: Carlsbad Premium Outlets. Wow, wow, and wow. There are stores up the yin-yang and great prices on just about everything. There was also a watch store and that’s bad news indeed if you know about my little problem and as you might have guessed, I couldn’t control myself and ended up buying two Times Ironman watches and one Timex Expedition watch. One of the Ironman watches came with a sensor that goes into your iPod port and lets you control the volume, FF/REW, play and pause functions, and the Expedition has a built-in LED flashlight. Yeah, I’m a sucker for things like that on a watch and yes, I’m very happy with them all.

LEGOLAND 007 Saturday: LEGOLAND. While fun, I can’t see myself going back any time in the near future. The rides are all slow (as you might expect at a kid’s amusement park) but also low capacity, which means lines can get unbelievably long and very tiring. Also, their selection of LEGOs sucks major ass and, of all things, this is the ONE place where your LEGO VIP card doesn’t work! Are you fucking shitting me? I can buy LEGOs at Downtown Disney and use it but can’t at LEGO-fucking-LAND? How stupid is that? I later learned that LEGOLAND is not owned by the LEGO company but some other amusement conglomerate, thereby voiding the validity of the card. God bless corporate America.

Another thing that sucks about LEGOLAND is their closing time, which is 5 pm. When you take into consideration the wait times on most of the rides, there’s no possible way to ride all of them by 5 pm. And it wasn’t even very crowded when we went so imagine how the place must be during the summer (when the hours are extended to 8 pm).

The highlight of the place was definitely the mini LEGO cities: New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Francisco, etc. It’s a shame, though, that they are not in better condition. After years of being exposed to the elements, a lot of them are broken or falling over, they are dirty, etc. Either way it was cool stuff, and Anthony seemed to enjoy this more than any ride they had there. You can see a select number of shots at this Flickr gallery.

21548_302409924117_748264117_3464927_2535026_nSunday: Sea Life Aquarium (next door to LEGOLAND). Definitely worth the trip even if very small. I think Anthony liked it even more than LEGOLAND that I can appreciate that. I’m not saying we all enjoyed it, but I shot numerous videos on my Flip camera and took many pictures as well. One of the most unique features of the Sea Life Aquarium is that some of the tanks have domes underneath them, allowing visitors to sort of crawl inside the tank and get a 360-degree view.

The good thing? We had free tickets to both places, with purchase of a full-price ticket. To see more shots from the aquarium, click here. Not only that, I was refunded $7 of my parking fee since it was my birthday. Yay!

Monday: Rainbow Sandals Store. We figured that since it was in San Clemente and on the way home, we would stop by the Rainbow store. And if you think flip-flops are just flip-flops, then you’ve never owned a pair of Rainbows. Seriously.

Already the proud owner of two pairs for many years, I picked up yet another at the store/manufacturing facility for $22. How reliable are they? The store has numerous pairs with accompanying letters of praise in shadowboxes from people wore theirs for years. They are kick-ass and worth every penny. Aside from all that, there’s a really big sandal outside the store:

legoland 361

Wow, I think that sums up our mini-vacation (or “staycation” as some may call them). It was one busy but fun weekend.

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