You might not believe it if I told you that my kids have begged for years to go to Legoland in California, but since I have an aversion to theme parks I have managed thus far to avoid bringing them there. Now since they are almost too old to care about Legos too much anymore, I figured I had better hurry up and get them there. When I decided that I would bring my munchkins to visit Ashlee here in Denmark it became instantly a no-brainer…..take them to the first and original Legoland in Billund, Denmark!
Now as much as I have an aversion to theme parks, this is my second visit to this particular one. Believe it or not, it is actually cheaper for a day pass here than it is in California. I don’t know if one Legoland park is better than another, but since Legos are a Danish creation, then maybe it is somehow more significant to go here. We chose Friday as the day to visit since quite likely there would be a lot fewer visitors than on a Saturday. What a great decision! There are virtually no lines anywhere!
Now I did tell you that this is my second visit to this Legoland. We were here exactly 16 years ago. We lived in Finland for two years from 1999 to 2001, and during the summer of 2000 we rented an motorhome and did a month long tour of Europe. Now you might be interested in knowing that we were essentially homeless at the time……and jobless…..
Okay, so what loonie goes on a motorhome tour of Europe when they are homeless and jobless? Well….maybe us?
Okay, you probably don’t believe me, but it is absolutely true. The truth is that we had moved to Finland with the intention of spending just one year there. David had just completed his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and I had supported our family for two years as he finished up the schooling. He wanted to go on to get his master’s degree, but I told him that maybe we could take a break for a year, and go and do something fun……like live in Finland for a year……that sounds pretty reasonable, right?
David applied for and got a job for one year as a teacher in Jamsa at the opisto college there. We got some friends to rent our house, and bought one way tickets to Finland. We put our minivan on a ship from L.A., and soon we were on our way to Europe with our five munchkins.
It was our intention to return back to Arizona after that one year, at which time David was going to go back to get his master’s degree, and I was going to go back to work as a nurse to support him through the two years of college. As it happened, I began to expect a child and was due to deliver in August. That complicated our plans, because as we quickly realized, there was no way that I would be able to return to work within weeks of delivering a baby, and we certainly would not be able to survive without an income in Arizona for too many weeks.
Hence, we made the decision that David would try to find work in Finland for the next year as an engineer……his first engineering job as a new grad engineer! He applied at two companies. He interviewed at both. We never heard back. In the meantime I had already reserved a motorhome for us for a grand tour of Europe. Also our apartment at the college was being used for housing summer school students, so we had no place to live, and we had to move out.
Oh well, whatcha gonna do? Yeah, go on a motorhome tour of Europe, of course! That’s what credit cards are for! Actually I had saved up money throughout the year and we had enough to pull it off. That’s how I ended up at Legoland about 7.5 months pregnant…..big enough that it’s a little challenging to get around, if you know what I mean. You would if you’ve ever been pregnant.
But…..we were still homeless, and jobless……
Anyway, as things normally in life have a way of working out, while we were on our motorhome trip David got a phone call……”congratulations…..you have a job…..we are going to hire you in our Oulu location!”
Yaaaaaaay!!!!! Oh……..where are we going to live…..?? We will be having a new baby…..and apartments are small……and we need to have a place so soon…..and we have no furniture or household supplies along…..
Well…….as things have a way of working out in life, we soon receive a phone call…….”Hey, we have heard that you guys might be moving to Oulu…..would you be interested in renting our house? We are moving to Arizona for a year, and you can rent our four bedroom house fully furnished and move in ready……bikes for the kids included!” There’s even a sauna!
Anyway, this time I am at Legoland with no pressure about homelessness or joblessness…..we are here just to have a good time. The day is sunny and beautiful, which if you ask a Dane they would tell you that’s a rare thing during this time of the year.
It is so much fun! Our friends that have joined us here in Denmark are originally from Finland, but lived in California for several years. When they lived there we visited back and forth a few times, and the kids had so much fun always. Now they have been living in Berlin and the kids have not seen each other in a while. Our kids always thought these were their cousins, for some reason. Anyway, the girls were maybe a bit nervous about if they would still be such great friends……
Ends up being that the day is pretty hot which makes for a lot of fun with water games.. You can get pretty wet with this one……the people on the boat crank the handle to shoot water through the cannons….and the people on shore can do the same…
Hence the bathroom next to this area had this sign posted…..lol…..no stripping your clothes off…..or something like that…….
After this ridiculous flight simulation ride I was pretty much done…..gag me with a wooden spoon…..I feel sick! Before you enter you can set the amount of spinning and twisting and turning that goes into the ride, and we selected the hardest levels all around……bad mistake……at least I wasn’t stupid enough to do this when I was here big and pregnant 16 years ago……well….maybe they didn’t have this ride here then….
After all the fun and games we ventured over to look at all the Lego creations. Now, I will tell you that even the kiddos said that this was the best part about the whole place! Some of these Lego creations were the same when we were here 16 years ago! Some were kind of faded by the sun…..no doubt having been replaced at least in part over the years, or so I would think, anyway!
The shuttle is smokin’……
I learned recently that zebras can’t be domesticated because they have a pretty cranky disposition. Apparently somewhere they had tried to transport about 14 zebras and they put them all in the back of a truck. By the time the truck got to its destination all but one zebra was dead from getting kicked to death. Our Annika got bit by a zebra when she was feeding it one time when we were at a drive through safari near Dallas, TX.
Bjorn and the Lego girls…..
Our lovely friends….
Everyone had a fabulous day. As we are leaving the kids climb up on the big Legoland sign. It took a few minutes, but soon enough a very angry woman came to shoo them off……too bad the parents aren’t doing their job…..instead I am just taking pictures of them…..
Now. I do have to say that perhaps this is the one time I have visited a theme park that I don’t nurse a vicious headache all day long. The nausea has passed, thankfully, but my head is not pounding. And I know why. Legoland Billund does not have head pounding music blaring from speakers, competing loudly with other music blaring loudly from another ride just a few feet away, competing with loud and obnoxious screaming and yelling people who are competing to be heard over the din of the loud music that is inundating their senses. What music you hear in this place is soft and gentle, and peaceful. It instills a sense of calm in what is otherwise a chaotic world.
We are in luck tonight, because the lovely city of Esbjerg has their main shopping district open to midnight for a special shopping event. It’s just down the street from the apartment, and it’s a lot of fun to go see what’s up. The girls of course find a few items to buy……I have to chuckle that in Denmark it is probably not much different than it is at home….everyone just wants to be loved for who they are…..incidentally I would have to say that people are much more natural here than they are in our neck of the woods. The people are beautiful and radiant…..
Beautiful and radiant. They seem happy…..not in an overly exhuberant way, or with false pretenses….just in a natural and peaceful way. Maybe they have less worries here? Like maybe they don’t have to worry about homelessness and joblessness, and stuff like that….who knows? Denmark recently won the standing as the happiest country in the world….I am beginning to see why.