Sunday, June 15, 2014

In Celebration of Lego

Let me come right out and admit this: we are huge fans of Lego.  Yes, they are expensive, they can take over, they can be a mess, and they hurt when they are strewn about and you walk on them. But they are simple, clever, elegant. As everyone knows, they are an amazing medium for creative engineering as well as art. When we moved to Berkeley, we had room for one large item to bring for the kids' entertainment, and what did we cart all the way from Utah with us? The boys' Lego collection. Because we knew, without any other toys, books, or entertainment around, Legos could keep them busy, entertained, and happy. Not just for moments, but for hours.

So now we are in Denmark, the land where Lego was invented by toymaker Ole Kirk Kristiansen in the 1930s.  They're aptly named 'Lego' from the Danish words, "leg godt," for "play well." What better way to celebrate this part of our lives than to pay a visit to Legoland Billund?

We headed first for the "Driving School" attraction, where the boys got to motor around in their very own, quiet, exhaust-free Lego cars and "earn" their Legoland driver's licenses.  It was great to watch them be instructed on the Danish road signs, and it was even more fun to watch their serious expressions, faces grim with concentration, as they maneuvered their vehicles around the course and tried to follow road signs and stop lights while making hand signals, executing turns, and avoiding accidents with other equally clueless drivers. As we looked on, we witnessed numerous driving infractions from red-light-running to illegal u-turns, wrong-way entries, and, yes, minor collisions.

The boys took driving school very seriously, and were so proud to receive their licenses at the end!

In addition to several other amusement park rides, Legoland also offers a fun water park and although the day was hardly sweltering, it was warm enough for the boys to enjoy splashing around.

We also took the time to meet some of the locals ...

... and partake in their colorful foods.

And of course, everywhere, everywhere there were marvelous Lego creations, that kept the boys asking, "How do you think they made that?!"

Of course there were plenty of opportunities for free play, as well as a chance to meet a Lego designer:

There was even a very impressive collective effort to complete a Star Wars Lego mosaic:

But, both boys agreed that the BEST part of Legoland was the Falck Firetruck attraction in which we (as a family team) had to drive a Lego truck to the scene of a fire, pump on hoses to squirt water through a window to save a Lego figure's life, and drive the truck back to the station. We finished the task in record time, and the boys were amazed to see how planning and teamwork paid off. Go Team Venkat!

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