Legoland

Two months later and I’m still sharing about our vacation to California.  I know.  But if you read my post before last, you know why I haven’t posted much.  I have only two more posts to share with you and then I need to share some reviews.  They are sorely overdue!  I know my Twin is chomping at the bit for one of the reviews.  They will get done!  Eventually.

It's the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

It’s the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Our last day down South was spent with Dawn, Little Obi Wan, and Dawn’s mom (whom I call Mom and for those of you who don’t know, if you see me use ‘Mom’ that’s who I’m referring to) at Legoland.  We packed up, checked out of the hotel, and went to finally see Mom and drag her off to Legoland.  Not that she needed dragging, mind you.  She went happily.

Going for a train ride!

Going for a train ride!

Little Obi Wan was a bit hesitant to start of with.  It was a new place for him and he had no idea what he wanted to do.  We kind of just made a circuit through and wound up stopping where he wanted to stop.  Anything to do with trains, cars, fire trucks, and water and he was a happy kid.

This was where I saw him have the biggest meltdowns I’ve seen since his Autism diagnosis.  I know he had a couple we didn’t see between school and home, but Chaz and I were either out or at home reading while Dawn was picking him up when they happened.  Again, this was all new to him.  He was seeking sensory input and getting carried away with some of the water areas and the massive slide.

Playing with Savta after lunch

Playing with Savta after lunch

There was one water ride he and Dawn went on.  While she was trying to dry off after getting off the ride, he spotted a jungle gym with water that he had to go on.  He started walking off to where he thought the entrance was because he thought it was going to be like a ride entrance and I followed trying to get him to come back.  He wasn’t having it.  He managed to pull his hand out of mine and took off.

Holy shit!

Going for a ride with Uncle. If Uncle looks like he's sitting funny, he is. Little Obi Wan pulled the bar down before Chaz got in and he had to slide down. Then the ride attendant came by and pushed the bar down more into Chaz's lap.  Ouch.

Going for a ride with Uncle. If Uncle looks like he’s sitting funny, he is. Little Obi Wan pulled the bar down before Chaz got in and he had to slide down. Then the ride attendant came by and pushed the bar down more into Chaz’s lap. Ouch.

The responsible auntie that I am and former mental health professional kicked in to overdrive and as tired as I was, I chased him down (but not before he got through the handicapped entrance to a different ride) and dragged him back to where everyone was waiting.  Which happened to be the real entrance to the jungle gym.

For a kid with different wiring than ours, trying to tell him that he was going the wrong was futile.  He knows that he gets on rides through handicapped entrances with his guest assistance pass and in his mind, he was going the right way.

These are not the droids you're looking for.

These are not the droids you’re looking for.

There were also a couple of times he ignored Mommy.  He did not want to leave that jungle gym nor did he want to stop going doing the massive slide.  He can be a smart and sneaky bugger when he wants to be.  He was able to make it down the slide a few times before Dawn caught him.  After she finally got him out of the jungle gym we walked away with him screaming and were headed for Mini Legoland.  Some teenage girls turned their heads to see where the screaming was coming from and gave a little sneer.  Dawn was not happy and let them know it, “What? You’ve never heard a kid screaming before?”  Any guesses on how many of those looks she gets when she has him out and he has a meltdown?

Side salad without cheese or croutons because the fries weren't safe. You bet Chaz got me fries from a quick serve later on that were safe.

Side salad without cheese or croutons because the fries weren’t safe. You bet Chaz got me fries from a quick serve later on that were safe.

Dawn took him to the side to calm him down and the rest of us went on to check out Mini Legoland.  Star Wars Mini Legoland?  *singing* Awe-some!  The miniature cities were awesome, too.

Bunless burger (gf bun has egg in it) with bacon, avocado, red onion, lettuce, and tomato.  So yummy!

Bunless burger (gf bun has egg in it) with bacon, avocado, red onion, lettuce, and tomato. So yummy!

We eventually stopped for lunch.  The great thing about Legoland is that they are food allergy friendly.  Not all the quick serves are safe, but there seemed to be more that were safe than at Disney.  We did have a small problem with my lunch and it had to get sent back once, but they were very apologetic and double checked everything before re-making my lunch and bringing it to me.  If I remember correctly, they took my lunch off the bill, too.  I don’t expect any restaurant to do that when they mess up, but it is a mark of good management when they do that.

There were more rides and fun to be had after lunch.  Dawn and Chaz went on a crazy ride together.  It looked like a lot of fun and Little Obi Wan was begging to go on it even though it was an adult ride.

Getting hands-on

Getting hands-on

Little Obi Was was much happier in the afternoon.  While we were walking to the Aquarium before it closed he was doing his, “Stop” to us.  Well, Dawn decided to play and kept saying to him, “No, you stop.”  He finally said after a few back and forths, “You need to calm down, Mommy.”  I love that kid!

If you ever go to Legoland, adding the Aquarium to your ticket is well worth it.  You can take pictures as long as you have the flash off.  I discovered I was able to take better pictures with my camera phone than my DSLR.  I’m sure if I knew how to use my DSLR to its fullest that wouldn’t have been the case.

We left as the park was closing and took Mom back home.  Hard to say goodbye, but we’ll be visiting again.

Someone didn't let the camera focus before snapping the picture.  *cough* Chaz *cough*

Someone didn’t let the camera focus before snapping the picture. *cough* Chaz *cough*

 

 

Disneyadventureland

Little Obi-Wan doesn’t want to go

The weekend before leaving for vacation my bestie asked if I wanted to go to Disneyland.  I hadn’t really thought about it so I told her it didn’t matter.   Bestie and I have gone to Disneyland together since high school.  It was a band thing.  One short parade around Main Street and we were free to goof off the rest of the day.   It was the long trek around the backside getting from where our buses were to where the parade started that was the hard part.  We all loathed that part.  Forget that we got to see the part of Disney that most people never get to see.  It was a long march and usually hot on top.  Wearing a full polyester uniform over your street clothes isn’t exactly comfy.

We wound up there the day after going to the L.A. County Fair.   If you didn’t see my guest post at Johnna’s 52 Foods on a Stick, go check it out.

Disneyland was one place I was actually looking forward to going and feeling like I didn’t have to worry about food.  Chaz and I met Chef Joel Schaefer last year at the Gluten-free & Allergy-free Expo in Chicago.  Chef Joel worked for Disney for a number of years and helped them grow their safeofferings to people with food allergies and intolerances.

Counting fun in the back seat. Can you tell that he changed his mind?

We looked information up the night before.  We discovered that I can take food in with me and not get hassled by Security.  My stash was still at the bottom of my camera bag though.  It’s just nice to know up front that they make that accommodation.    There is a short list of quick-serve places that can accommodate most food allergies.  That was nice to know up front as well.  We typically eat at the table-serves now that we are older and have more income, while the quick-serves were our choice in our teen years because they were cheaper and we wanted to get as much time on the rides as possible.  Sometimes you just need something quick and you need to know where to go ahead of time if that ends up being the case.  The website also has information on where to find healthier food options as well as vegetarian options on the regular dining page.

We can’t go near Goofy so Little Obi-Wan took us to the train first.

Little Obi-Wan has a Guest Assistance Pass as I mentioned in previous post.  This allows us to not have to wait as long for rides and helps prevent meltdowns while waiting.  You can go read the other post to see the misadventures in one woman’s judgement when she saw the handicapped line for It’s A Small World.  Bestie also gets season passes for them which means they can park hop at their leisure.  Chaz and I made sure to get park hopping tickets so we could go between Disneyland and California Adventureland.  It was our first time going to the latter.  The last time we all went to Disney, we just stayed in Disneyland.  It makes things interesting because as I mentioned in the guest post for Johnna, we tend to let Little Obi-Wan lead the way.   This meant going between parks about once an hour, maybe two.   And don’t worry thinking we lost a lot of time.  We stayed until closing.

I really enjoyed California Adventureland.  It was like having a mix of mini-California, Toontown, and Fantasyland all in one.  I highly recommend the giant Ferris Wheel.  Get yourself a swinging gondola.  It’s great for a scream.

We worked up an appetite going between parks and so the time came to decide where to eat.

On the other side

Any table-service restaurant was an option.  Yes, any of them.

Bestie made the suggestion we go to Blue Bayou and then attempt Pirates of the Caribbean after lunch.  Little Obi-Wan isn’t too keen on that ride lately so we were trying to suggest it to him all morning by saying we were going to see “good pirates.”  He made the distinction that he was a “good pirate” a few days before when he was dressed up in his pirate costume.

Gluten-free, dairy-free rolls and a gluten-free, dairy-free salad with just olive oil and vinegar to dress.

I was up for the suggestion.  I always wanted to eat in Blue Bayou.  Years of riding Pirates of the Caribbean will do that to you.  You ride by and you just want to know what’s over there in that barely lit restaurant.  The darkish ambience makes it so mysterious.

The darkish ambience also make it harder to take food porn.  Go figure that after the trip I figure out the low light setting.  Oh well.

Chicken, green beans, and rice

Our server brought out Chef Jose to talk to me to double-check my food issues and he told me directly how my dish would be altered to be safe for me.  We all got our salads after that and then our server came back with a basket of gluten-free, dairy-free rolls just for me.  I was over the moon.  I never get to have bread in a restaurant.  Never.  I miss it sometimes when everyone else is macking away, but I’m at the point where I truly am used to not having what everyone else is having and I’m okay with it.  I don’t pine over what I don’t get to have.  I enjoy what I do have.

That said, I ate all three rolls even though they were dry.  I poured some olive oil and pepper into my bread plate and sopped it up with the rolls.  The chicken was much better than the chicken I had at the L.A. County Fair.  But I have no idea what’s up with that bone they stuck in it.  My guess is they were trying to make it look like a chop.

Around this time was also when I connected the fact that I had eggs for breakfast two days in a row after not eating eggs for a week and my itchiness and dandruff going up gradually after being calmer for a bit.

Little Obi-Wan was having none of the attempt to go on Pirates after lunch.  The handicapped/guest assistance entrance is right next to Blue Bayou so he knew what was up when we headed there.  Chaz and I went on while Bestie calmed him down and waited for us outside.  That ride never gets old and always makes me smile.  Just like It’s A Small World.

Cute, yeah?

As usual, Little Obi-Wan wanted to ride with Uncle Chaz on a lot of the rides.  That boy loves his uncle.

We did more park hopping, more rides, and I got to check out Cars Land.  Felt like I was in Radiator Springs only non-animated.  Where else can you go on a strip of Route 66 without being onRoute 66?

On Route 66

Yeah, I got my kicks.

And I got to ride on Mater with Little Obi-Wan.  We screamed and laughed our heads off.  Good times!

Our last hour was spent trying to get on the Teacups, the Carousel, and a little last-minute shopping on Main Street.

A fun day was had by all.

Having a great time. Wish you were here!

Until next time…

This is how he rolls

He fell asleep eating his lollipop on the way home. I saved it from falling on the ground. He grabbed it proclaimed, “Mine!” and resumed eating as soon as he woke up.