Legoland and Cabo with a toddler! Updated 2/16 COMPLETE


Jul 23, 2012
Welcome to my trip report! Our family of DH, DD (3 years old) and I took a trip to San Diego, Legoland, and Cabo in September. Here is the tale of our adventures.


DH and I are both architects living in the Seattle area. We met in school in Los Angeles, so are relatively familiar with California. We enjoy travelling in general, and most of our travel lately has been to theme parks. I blame it on DD. DD is three at the time of this trip and loves 'going fast.' Her favorite ride on our last trip was Barnstormer.

We would meet up with friends in Cabo, who I will call DF, her husband FH, and their son FS. FS is just nine months younger than DD and I was very hopeful we would all enjoy this trip so much that a group trip could become an annual tradition. I will try to keep them out of pictures.

Our flight left Friday evening, which I purposely booked to let DH work a half day. But in the weeks leading up to the trip, he told me he had such a surplus of PTO that he was just going to take the whole day off. I checked on the cost of changing to an earlier flight, but it didn't seem worth it.

The morning we left was one of the few times DD slept in and I actually got up before her! The drawback was that she didn’t nap in the afternoon. DH made pancakes for breakfast. I did laundry and ran some errands and finished packing.


We flew from Paine Field, which opened to commercial flights recently (last year, I think?) and was very convenient for us! It was just a short drive to the airport, and security was a breeze. The whole terminal felt like a lounge.


We saw a Beechers inside and got sandwiches for dinner. I got grilled cheese and DH got chicken. DD was too excited and didn’t want to eat at all.

Grilled cheese sandwich

On the plane DD played with her new squishy toy and DH and I dozed.


Later DD asked for her iPad and played for a while. I watched Better Call Saul on my iPad. DD asked to color so I took out her new magic pen pad and then a sticker pad. As we were starting the descent she complained her ear hurt. She had a runny nose all day, so I suspected she had a cold.

When we landed DD said her ear felt better. But in the terminal she said things sounded funny. I think her ear hadn’t popped. There was a cute interlude where she would make a sound and tell me it sounded funny and I would tell her she sounded normal. Then she would consider it and make another sound. Repeat.


Jul 23, 2012
We went down to claim our luggage.


This is the first trip we’ve taken where we didn’t bring DD’s stroller. She usually prefers walking or riding on DH’s shoulders so we figured it would would be a struggle to get her to sit down all the time. And it was one less piece of luggage. But it was so late (almost 11) and she was so tired that walking with her was very slow. So when we got the luggage, we actually seated her on top and wheeled her around.

We took a Lyft from the airport to our hotel in the Gaslamp district. I originally booked a car rental for the whole time in San Diego, but parking at the hotel was so expensive ($49/night) that it wasn't worth it. It was kind of chaotic waiting for our ride since everyone was crowded onto a traffic island. It was about 15 minutes to our hotel in the Gaslamp district.

We stayed at the Courtyard, and it was probably one of the nicest Courtyards I’ve seen. As we were checking in, there was a group of girls going out, dressed for bars and clubbing. I heard them complimenting each other on looking cute as they walked by.

Luggage 'horsey'

We got a room on the ninth floor and it was TINY. I suppose that’s typical of a downtown hotel room but we had a hard time figuring out where to place the crib. It was either in front of the closet or in the bathroom. We chose the closet.


We skipped the bath since it was so late and just brushed DD’s teeth and washed her face. Then we read Daniel Tiger’s Halloween then put her in the crib. She was at the super exhausted stage where she just wanted to talk and talk. I went to take a shower and could hear her chatting away to DH. But by the time I got out she was sound asleep. DH said she fell asleep in the middle of explaining why she should sleep on the headboard. (Which is a shame because I would be interested in hearing how she planned to fit there)

NEXT: Our first day in San Diego. A disgusting truck and SLOW lunch.


Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda
Aug 28, 2008
Your DD is so cute! I don't know if I am weird but I love TR's that have travel days. I like seeing everyone all excited and ready to go, and for some reason I also like to see what everyone gets to eat at the airport :confused3
That sandwich looked great - I am a sucker for a good grilled cheese!
  • disgeek009

    Jul 23, 2012
    Your DD is so cute! I don't know if I am weird but I love TR's that have travel days. I like seeing everyone all excited and ready to go, and for some reason I also like to see what everyone gets to eat at the airport :confused3
    That sandwich looked great - I am a sucker for a good grilled cheese!
    I can't agree more. I love hearing about the step-by-step of travel. It's so relatable. And food pics, can't get enough food pics. haha

    Thanks for commenting!


    I break for the Nautilus
    Jul 4, 2008
    Following! Your daughter is so cute! I also love reports that include travel days. I'm sorry you missed her pro-headboard sleeping argument. I'm sure it would have been very enlightening!


    Jul 23, 2012
    Following! Your daughter is so cute! I also love reports that include travel days. I'm sorry you missed her pro-headboard sleeping argument. I'm sure it would have been very enlightening!
    Welcome! And thanks! DD is always telling me the funniest things, and it's part of the reason I wanted to write a trip report; to record all of it.


    Jul 23, 2012
    We all woke up around 8:30. The first thing DD said was that she was hungry. So we all got dressed and went down for breakfast. When we were checking in last night, we were told that we could all get a free breakfast. We went to the Starbucks Bistro on the second floor. DH and I got avocado toast and DD got a plate with egg, bacon and fruit.

    That's sun-dried tomato on the bottom left. DH thought it was dried fruit and saved it for dessert. haha

    After breakfast we went back to the room to get our stuff for the day and headed out. Our first stop was CVS about a block away. DD’s nose was still runny and the tissues at the hotel were chaffing her nose. So we got a box of tissues with lotion in it.

    She wanted us to buy that sparkly toy, but judging from this picture, she was trying to figure out what it was.

    Then we headed to the children’s museum which was about five blocks away. On the way, we saw a bunch of electric scooters we could rent and thought that looked fun. So DH and I both downloaded the app and unlocked a scooter each. DH got DD to stand at the front of his scooter and we were on our way! Or so we thought. During our test run, DD suddenly JUMPED from the scooter! DH was going really slow so she was fine but it was also really alarming because she SHOULD NOT DO THAT. So we tried to explain how dangerous that was and NEVER, EVER jump off a moving scooter.

    One foot up, poised to ABANDON SCOOTER.

    DH tried again and AGAIN she jumped off! She said it was going too fast and no amount of coaxing would convince her to get back on. So we abandoned the scooters.

    It was a short and pleasant walk to the museum.


    At the entrance we saw a sign for the Smithsonian’s museum day. Which is a special day where they give out free tickets to museums across the country. And it was something I KNEW about and considered but since the original plan was to meet with DH’s relatives today (and they wanted to go to the zoo), I did not sign up for free tickets. Ugh! If only I had a time machine! I would ignore more educational and lucrative applications and I would use that machine to get free museum tickets! (As you might guess, I’m still not over this missed opportunity.)

    Anyway, after PAYING our entrance fee ($30 for all of us) we set out to explore. There was a room that was a giant sandbox, a room full of mattresses and pillows, a variety of craft stations. We went upstairs and finally settled on a room with a giant crocheted play structure. By the way, almost every room required people to take off their shoes so there was a lot of on-off, on-off.


    After the crochet thing, DD got comfortable in the baby area, building things from foam blocks.


    Then she got a bit bolder and explored a fort structure.

    DH and I liked this because it was kids only, so we just watched her climb around.
  • disgeek009

    Jul 23, 2012
    After that we went down and made a clay bunny.

    DD made a lot of carrots for the bunny.

    Next to the clay area was an old truck covered in LAYERS of paint. They had big buckets and brushes and kids could paint that truck however they wanted. Honestly, it was kind of disgusting but I could see the appeal. DD was very diligent about it. Next to her was an older boy flinging paint around until his father told him to stop.


    It was about noon now so we left to get lunch. On the walk to the museum, we passed by the Lazy Hippo, which was a breakfast/lunch place that got good reviews on yelp. So we headed there. The walk back was a lot hotter now so we were glad to sit down and drink some cold water. We placed our orders and waited and waited. It took SO LONG. It felt even longer because we had a tired and hungry toddler with us. After 45 minutes we got our food, which was good but not worth the wait imo. DH got the breakfast enchiladas, I got a smoked salmon eggs Benedict and DD got something called ‘crepe on a stick’. I also got watermelon juice that I shared with DD. When everything came out we immediately concluded that the crepe on a stick would be for dessert. DH and I shared our food with DD.


    Between the long wait and DD eating as slowly as usual, it was almost 2 by the time we left the restaurant. We stopped at CVS on the way back to the hotel to pick up some water.


    Back at the hotel DH immediately laid down and started snoring. I put DD down to nap. She fell asleep quickly and slept for more than two hours. During this time, I researched what to do in the afternoon and laid down to rest too. I also got started on this trip report.

    NEXT: Sunset over the water


    Jul 23, 2012
    Just a short update today. I got a cold this week and have been so tired!

    During the nap, I looked up ticket prices to go to the Padres game, since the stadium was just a few blocks away. But DH is not a baseball fan, and I doubted it would be very interesting to DD either. I also considered an Uber ride up to Balboa Park, but it would be dark soon after we got there. Finally, I found out that the Embarcadero is just a few blocks away and we could walk there easily, so I decided that's what we'll do.

    After nap time we got ready to go out again. Then we went to CVS for the third time this day. This time we were picking up batteries for DD’s noise machine. I also realized that I forgot to pack DD’s sunglasses so we got a pair for her. They didn’t have many kids’ sunglasses and DD chose the only pink pair which were labeled as baby sunglasses and had an elastic strap so they’re worn like goggles. But she liked them and the strap kept them from falling off.

    This trip coincided with DD discovering new 'poses' for photos.

    We kept walking and eventually made it to the Embarcadero. DH wanted to get a snack. There was a small shopping area called the Village Seaport next to the park so we stopped by Ben and Jerry’s. DH got two scoops of chocolate-packed flavors and DD got a scoop of strawberry and I got a berry sorbet. We all enjoyed our treat.


    When DD was down to just her cone, she said she wanted to eat the rest while walking so we made our way to the park. We walked along the water. There weren’t any play structures but DD was very interested in the boats we saw and was busy prompting me to take pictures of them. She also discovered that there were pieces of seashell in the sandy areas next to the path and collected a handful of precious pieces. It was a very pleasant and pretty stroll.

    Another new pose.

    We started walking back just as the sun set and it was dark by the time we got back to the Gaslamp district. We found a pizza place that was recommended by the front desk of the hotel and ordered a few slices. It took a long time to get our pizza but it was pretty good.


    We went back to the hotel and had a few snacks in the room for dessert. At some point DD said she needed to use the potty and told us she needed PRIVACY. After we heard the toilet flush and the faucet turn on and off DH went to check on her. He saw her admiring her braids in the mirror.

    I turned on the tv and we watched a little of the LEGO Movie 2. Then it was time to wash DD and put her to bed. DH and I followed soon after.

    NEXT: Arrival at Legoland!


    Jul 23, 2012
    We got up around 8 and did some packing and got dressed. DD and I had a little dance party with DD’s pretend phone that kept stopping. We’d dance a little bit then she would tell me that the music stopped and did some taps on a pretend phone to turn on the pretend music again.

    She watched some Disney Junior while we packed. Around 9:30 we headed down for breakfast. I had a breakfast burrito, DH got a plate with egg potatoes and bacon. DD got a yogurt parfait with fruit and granola.

    We went back to the room to finish packing and DD did some coloring and watched PJ Masks. We checked out and found that the breakfast for the second day wasn’t comped (which was fine; I just thought it would be). I ordered a Lyft which was a Nissan Sentra. DH fretted that it wouldn’t fit our luggage but it was plenty of space.

    We got dropped off at the massive car rental center by the airport. When the agent asked what car we wanted we told him a Nissan Sentra. We went up and got our car. We also got a car seat which had seen better days but I was the only one that cared.


    Legoland was about 28 miles away but with Southern California traffic, DH and I thought it would take at least an hour. So we were pleasantly surprised that it was actually 45 minutes. DD played with her magic marker pad and later pulled out the sticker dress up kit she used on the plane.


    As we approached Legoland, LEGO sculptures started showing up at the side of the road.


    We got to the parking booth and told him we were staying at the hotel. He just needed our confirmation number and ID and we drove through. We were directed to the Legoland Hotel which kind of had a strange path around the perimeter of the parking lot before getting to the hotel so it kind of feels like you’re driving farther from your goal until you make a turn and get closer.

    This was behind the front desk. I loved that the wheels were magnifiers so you could see the figures behind it.

    At the Legoland Hotel there was a big pit full of LEGOs where I left DD and DH while I waited to check in. When I got to the desk they told me I was actually staying in the castle. After the long drive I was worried it would be a long walk but it was actually really close, just across the gate.


    At Legoland Castle we entered on the second level and there was a slide to get down to the lobby.

    This one actually had a sensor and gave an announcement when we approached. DD was unpleasantly surprised.


    I checked in and our room wasn’t ready yet but we didn’t care. We were eager to get to the park! Well, DD had to be persuaded away from the LEGO pit where she and DH were building a 'house.'

    NEXT: Finally we're in Legoland!


    DIS Veteran
    Jan 31, 2007
    I love your report! I also love really detailed trip reports as it feels like a little escape when reading-and we are fellow PNWers :). We had a blast at Legoland a few years back and my kids ask to go back-and they are 10 and 13 :).
  • disgeek009

    Jul 23, 2012
    I love your report! I also love really detailed trip reports as it feels like a little escape when reading-and we are fellow PNWers :). We had a blast at Legoland a few years back and my kids ask to go back-and they are 10 and 13 :).
    Thanks for commenting! That's good to hear that Legoland is still appealing for older kids. It was such a relaxed park for us, compared to Disney.


    Jul 23, 2012
    We stopped for a picture at the gate.


    Leading up to the trip, I tried to find a touring plan but they were hard to come by. I read something that said the rides for little kids were toward the left so we turned left when we entered.

    The first ride we saw was Safari Trek so we got in line. They had an area with Duplos where kids could play until it was time to get on the ride. DH took DD but she quickly decided she wanted to stand in line instead. It felt like a long wait, maybe 25 minutes, and it was very hot in the sun. When we got to the front DD and DH took one car and I got one behind. It was a simple ride and we saw a lot of LEGO animals.

    I don't know what my camera settings were, but this was the only non-blurry picture of the whole ride.

    We walked some more and DH wanted to get something to eat. I was still full from breakfast and DD ate a bunch of pretzels in the car so we got in line for another ride, Sky Patrol, and DH went to find food. It was another longish wait (20 minutes I think). DD enjoyed the ride even though she was too little to reach the controls. She just told me what to do which I managed while trying to take pictures.


    After the ride we found DH, who had eaten a hamburger and was surprised that we had only done one ride in all that time. We were next to the driving school attraction but it looked like it was all big kids. But I thought I saw a sign that was for little kids too so we went back to check. We found Junior Driving School.

    We showed DD the driving school and told her she would do it all by herself, which was very interesting to her. She was so excited to ride. While we were waiting I felt a lot of sympathy for the workers there because it seemed like they were constantly running around helping kids that got stuck.

    When it was DD’s turn she ran to a blue car while DH yelled random advice and encouragement. I think he was excited as she was. She had a blast driving around and around and was actually pretty good! She didn’t need any help at all. DH was so proud.

    This was so cute. She LOVED it.

    We walked some more and when we got to the entrance of the water park, I told DH we should go in to see. It was only open for the weekend so today would be the only day we could go in. And we were so hot that getting wet didn’t seem like the worst idea.

    There was a big changing area with lockers next to the entrance so we used that. We quickly backed out of the first stall we entered since someone had left a dirty diaper on the bench! WHO WOULD DO THAT?

    We decided against getting a locker since the day was already more than half over and DH thought we would like to get to our stuff easily. We saw the lazy river and there was no height requirement so I took DD while DH waited. She loved it! It was pretty crowded so we were in traffic jam (‘people jam’ according to DD) for most of it but it was still really fun. We got a double tube so DD sat on the side and I navigated us (i.e. let the current float us along). There were some features that sprayed water over the path and DD was thrilled by these. She told me her strategy of closing her eyes when we passed through.

    After our round, we got out and told DH he should go too. So he took DD while I sat in a sandy area with loungers. Around this time I got the dreaded ‘low battery’ warning on my phone and I couldn’t play my game (Wizards Unite) or do much at all really.

    DD and DH are under the bridge. This gives an idea of how crowded it was.

    After DD and DH returned, DD said she wanted to go AGAIN. So I took her around again. After this round I thought we should go look around some more. There was a splash area and DD wanted to play in the sand so we moved seats. I saw a taco stand and tried to get us some nachos but the closest they had were chips with salsa and guacamole.


    After this we saw a couple slides that were too big for DD and she wanted to do the lazy river again so DH took her around three times! My phone was at 10% so I amused myself playing with my camera and studying the map.

    When DD and DH finished their lazy river extravaganza it was after 4:30 and DD was freezing. Since the water park closed at 5 we decided it was time to change into dry clothes. We went back to the changing area which was not in the best state at the end of the day. There was trash and inexplicably a white towel laid out neatly on the floor of the stall we used.

    These were big 'people dryers.' Costs extra, though.

    NEXT: The rest of our day at Legoland


    Jul 23, 2012
    Back in the park, we passed a pirate ride that swung back and forth and turned. We went to check and DD was tall enough to ride! DH immediately said he would wait for us. There was basically no wait and we were soon on the ship! DD loved it while I told myself it didn’t make me queasy. She wanted to do it again right away but we told her there were more rides to try.


    Next we passed by LEGO Sea Life, which looked good and there was no height requirement so we went in. They took a photo of us before entering. It was a submarine ride and was really nice! The first thing we saw was a live stingray that swam under us. Then we saw more fish and various LEGO creatures and treasure. It was all really well done.


    We exited through the gift shop. From studying the map earlier, I knew exactly where to go for apple fries and we went that way. But along the path, we passed the churro cart, which appealed to DH more than apple fries so we got that first. The churros were fresh and really delicious. They came with a cup of chocolate sauce that DD loved.


    When the churros were gone, DH showed DD how to use the fork as a spoon so she could scoop up the sauce on its own. (WHY??) Of course, she got big drips of chocolate on her dress and I got more and more worried she would make herself sick. So when DH went to wash his hands, I told her she could have three more scoops then I was going to throw it away. She protested but let me take it.

    We walked on to the apple fries stand. I got one order for us and DD and DH tried a few bites and didn’t want any more! I thought they were delicious. DD asked to go to the playground so DH took her while I finished the fries alone.


    I joined them afterwards and we watched DD climb and slide, climb and slide. The play structure was massive but DD stuck to a few basics and ignored the rest. We finally told her we were going to try more rides.


    We saw a jousting ride and DD was excited for another ride that she would get to do by herself. But when we got there the line was closed. That’s when we figured out that the park didn’t close at 7 like I thought, but at 6. So we had a sad walk out of the park looking at all the rides we couldn’t get on.


    We stopped briefly in the Ninjago area so I could take some pictures and DD got to sit on a spinning disk for a while.


    We resisted the lure of the Big Store even though DD kept telling us she needed to ‘hold something in her hand.’


    Jul 23, 2012
    It was nice to head to the hotel since it didn’t really feel like we were leaving. We picked up keys to our room and went up.

    The room was AMAZING. the first thing we saw were the bunk beds which dazzled us. Then it was one thing after another. The cat sitting on a treasure chest (This was explained at check in. We got a sheet with scavenger hunt questions and the answers would be the code to unlock the chest. Inside was a prize!). The bathtub (“A real bathtub and no shower!”). Owls in the corner. The potions above the headboard lit up when you turn on the light switch. Everything was so fun.


    I tried texting the 'service wizard' for our luggage but got no response. And when we found that the light feature in the bunk room was broken, I called guest services to get both things sorted out. While we waited, I unlocked the treasure chest and found two pouches of a pelican kit. I put it together while DD ‘helped.’ (“Can you find a piece that looks like this?” *she hands me a piece at random* “Here mommy, it looks like a fish!”) I set aside the second kit to trade it in for a Duplo kit the next day.


    After the light was fixed (it made a starry night design on the ceiling) and we got our luggage, we went down to get some dinner. I really wasn’t hungry after the apple fries, but DD had barely eaten all day.

    The restaurant was really cute with LEGO food and mice scattered throughout. They had some big displays and it felt like wherever you looked there was something cute to look at.


    DD got a dinner of salmon, rice and broccoli. DH got the prime rib and I ordered something I never, ever order. Salad! I got a Caesar avocado salad that was really good but I was still so full I couldn’t even finish.


    Back at the room we discovered that the toilet seat was convertible so that it could be a toddler seat or adult seat! Out of all the details in the room, this might have been my favorite. Seriously considering getting this for home! We put DD to bed in the top bunk and since she kept telling us she wasn’t sure she was ready for a bunk bed, DH sat in the bottom bunk until she fell asleep. Around 12:30 she cried and he went back and slept there the rest of the night.

    NEXT: Will we make it to early entry?


    Jul 23, 2012
    Yesterday I fell asleep thinking we should try to take advantage of early entrance at 9:30 (the park officially opened at 10). So this morning, I woke up at 6 and then woke up again at 20 minute intervals. So when DD woke up at 7:45 I rolled out of bed ready to start the day.

    DD and I got ready and went down for breakfast, leaving DH to sleep in. We got halfway to the elevator when DD complained she was too cold so we returned and dressed her in warmer clothes.

    Our first stop was the front desk where we exchanged one of the LEGO pouches we got from the treasure chest for a Duplo pouch. Then we checked in for breakfast. They told us it would be 15 minutes, which meant we would be seated around 9.

    This was the line to check in!

    DD played in the big LEGO pit for a while. It was a madhouse in there with all the noise and crowds of people. There were kids crying and the hostess shouting out names and just general noise.

    Even the Lego pit was crowded.

    Around 9, a group called The Fairies came out. They sang some songs and it was a nice distraction. Our name was called soon after they finished. It was 9:15. My ambitions of getting to the park early were slowly evaporating.


    The breakfast buffet was typical breakfast food but we enjoyed it. DD especially liked the little cups of strawberry banana smoothie. While we were eating DH texted and joined us. By the time we left it was 10. So much for early entrance.

    Organizing her empty cups of strawberry banana smoothies.

    We went back to the room and got our stuff for the day. I decided to leave the good camera behind but remembered the battery charger for my phone. When we exited the elevator we walked right into a mini figure meet and greet. DD was very enthusiastic to meet a princess.


    The first thing we did in the park was rent a stroller. It worked out well for us and DH didn’t have to carry DD all day. He thought she would refuse to sit in it, but she was very happy with it.

    I tried not to think about the germs and grime.

    This time we went to the right when we entered the park. All my worry about getting to the park early was for nothing because everything had a short line and it was like that all day. The most we waited was 5 or 10 minutes but most rides were just walk-ons.

    We saw a lot of rides that DD was too short to ride. So the first ride she tried was Beetle Bounce. She loved it and was grinning the whole time.


    After this we went to the joust ride that she wanted to try yesterday but when we got to the front, she refused and didn’t want to go. I thought we would come back and try it again later but she never agreed.

    After this we retraced our steps to try the rides we passed. One building was labeled ‘LEGO Movie 2 Experience’ so we went in there. It was basically an exhibit with the set from the movie. But it was fun to look around. When we saw the girl’s room, DD kept saying she wanted to go in to play.

    (Spoiler alert) See Emmett under the dryer?



    Jul 23, 2012
    After this we tried Coast Cruise, which was also nice. It was basically a boat ride where we saw various LEGO displays while the guide narrated and made cheesy jokes.

    The guy loading the ride was so cheerful it was almost scary.

    After the cruise we went to the Ninjago area. DD met a ninja character and sat on the spinning disks again. Then we went in to try the ride. This one was a lot like Toy Story Mania but the shooting mechanism was done by pointing your arm. As DH put it later ‘Hitler salutes everywhere,’ which is probably the easiest way to describe it. We got 3D glasses in the queue.

    So hopeful at the beginning of the ride!

    It took a while to get used to Hitler saluting things and I don’t think I shot a single thing in the first scene. I was flinging my arm around and looked down at DD, who was holding the too-large glasses with one hand and timidly waving the other hand around. DH and I took turns comforting her and trying to shoot things for the rest of the ride. It was actually really fun. The scenes are kind of like a dark ride so we felt like we were flying or falling and the car would blow air on us.

    DH and I laughed so hard when we saw this. Poor DD with her unsympathetic parents.

    After this we went to The Big Store and looked around. The first thing DD saw was a unikitty plush and she wanted that. But it was much too large for us to bring home. We looked for smaller ones but couldn’t find any. DD also saw a non-LEGO kitty and asked for that. We finally left without buying anything.


    We passed by the aquarium and I remembered that our tickets included entrance there too. So we went in. We looked at all the exhibits and collected stamps on a brochure to get a prize.


    We got to the cafe right at noon so we stopped there for lunch. I got a caprese sandwich and DH got a BLT. DD got a kid’s Mac and cheese. It was all really good.

    After lunch we went through the gift shop and turned in our stamped brochure for a prize. It turned out to be a LEGO minifigure crown and DD was very disappointed. She refused to wear it and angrily waved it away. I think she was tired around this time because she was also very whiny and wanted me to buy a big lollipop with a small plush attached.


    In perhaps not-the-best parenting tactic, DH and I told her we would go back to the Big Store and buy her the kitty plush she wanted if she would stop being grouchy. But it actually worked and she was very cheerful for the rest of the day. So perhaps both sides of this transaction learned a not-productive lesson.

    NEXT: The rest of our day at Legoland


    Jul 23, 2012
    After this we went to the Coastersaurus. Considering how much DD loved Barnstormer, I knew she would like this. And she did! DH doesn’t like coasters and took pictures from the side.


    After the coaster we tried Storybook Boats which was very disappointing. It just looked very dirty and faded. I was also sitting next to a chewed up lollipop stick the whole time, so that might have colored my impression too.


    Then we did junior driving school and DD did very well again. DH was very proud.

    Next we saw Fire and Police Academy and I told DH he could take her since I took her on the coaster. When I saw what was involved I felt like I made the right decision. Riders had to pump to move the car then jump out and spray water to 'save' a building. Then get back in the car and pump to move it back. It looked like hard work in the hot sun. DH did a very good job managing everything by himself. DD was also very satisfied with her work, telling me she had to push the button and drive and then push the button again (the button and steering and wheel were all decorative).

    Before all the hard work

    DH got off the ride all sweaty and had to sit and drink for a bit. After he rested we went to Pirate Shores and I let DH sit in the shade while DD and I rode the spinning pirate ship again.

    We saw Pirate Reef, which was a boat ride and convinced DH to come with us. It was really fun and we got a little wet.


    To dry off we took a walk through the Star Wars area and Miniland USA. As soon as we entered the Star Wars area, DD said she needed the potty so I took her all the way to the Ninjago area to find a bathroom. DH took a lot of pictures of the Star Wars displays while we were gone.

    Is anyone else watching The Madalorian?

    While we walked through the rest of Miniland, I talked to DD and convinced her to go on the Ninjago ride again even though she didn’t like it. She told me there were ghosts and spiders which I didn’t even remember because I just wanted to get my score up. We finally agreed that she would come with us and she could bring her new kitty toy.

    We took so many pictures of Miniland, but of course, they're not as interesting as being there.

    We went back to Ninjago and happened to see another ninja character outside and got a picture. Then it was on to the ride! I took more time during the practice round to make sure I was shooting something and I think I got it. It was more of a hand shaking gesture than the whole arm.

    I think I mixed this up the the ride picture from earlier in the day, but it's almost the same: intense parents and cowering toddler.

    After this DD got really dizzy on the spinning disks again.


    Then we asked her what she wanted to ride again and we went to the coaster. This time we rode in the back and the whipping effect was really strong! But DD wanted to go again as soon as it was over so we ran around and got back in line. After the second ride we asked what she wanted to do and went back to 'the up and down ride' (Beetle Bounce).

    It was very cute. Then I wanted to do a ride together so we went up to the submarine ride we tried yesterday. In the gift shop, there was a build-a-fish interactive and DD liked it so much she built all three types of fish.


    By now we had ten minutes until the park closed so when she asked to go to the playground, we followed her in. Like yesterday, she stuck to the same two climbing structures and one slide.

    On the walk out, we saw that the big Technic Coaster was still running and DH encouraged me to go ride. So I ran in and had a fun ride. The kids in front of me found a five dollar bill in their cart. And I guess I was distracted by their excitement because I almost forgot to get my purse and hat on the way out. I was down the ramp before I remembered and had to run back.


    Jul 23, 2012
    We returned the stroller and went to the hotel. We dropped everything off in the room. DD checked the treasure chest and was really excited to show us new LEGO pouches! Then DH was looking at the shelves of potions in our room and found a minifigure!


    We went down to the restaurant. Unfortunately the restaurant was even busier today than it was yesterday and the earliest we could get a table was 6:45. I looked at my watch and it was only 5:30. The hostess suggested room service or ordering at the bar and sitting outside.

    So we sat outside while and DH went in to ask for a bar menu. DD and I played with the Duplo duck kit while we waited.


    DH came back with pictures of the menu on his phone. We talked about it some more and thought we could heat our leftovers from dinner and lunch for DD and it just seemed to make more sense to order room service.

    Movie area

    So we went back to the room and I pulled up the room service menu, which turned out to be the same as the bar menu. DH decided on the house burger and I wanted the Brussels and bacon flatbread. I tried to call and waited on hold. And waited. And waited. After five minutes, the call disconnected. I tried again. Same thing happened AGAIN. I told DH that at this rate, I should have just taken the reservation for 6:45.

    So DH went down to order take out at the bar and I gathered up the leftovers and DD and I went to heat them up. There was a microwave in the alcove with the ice machine, so that was convenient. I set her up with her food on a little table and turned on Disney junior for her. DH texted it would take 30 minutes for our orders, which meant we would be eating right at 6:45.

    Bed picnic

    DD ate and watched Disney junior while I had some snacks and started packing. When DH came back with the food we ate quickly and gave DD a bath. We read a book and put her to bed in the bunk bed. She fell asleep hugging her new kitty toy.

    DH and I packed everything we could then took showers and went to bed.

    NEXT: Flight to Mexico!


    Jul 23, 2012
    After much discussion last night, DH and I decided we wouldn’t have free breakfast at the hotel and would just eat at the airport. So I set an alarm for 7:15 with the plan that we would leave by 8. I must have had some subconscious anxiety about it because I woke up at 6 and at regular intervals until I heard DD crying and hopped out of bed at 7. Then I realized I dreamed it because everyone was sleeping soundly. I got up anyway.

    DD woke up a bit later and she woke up DH. We all got dressed and DH took care of the final packing. We left the room at 8.

    We stopped by the front desk to check out and exchange one of our LEGO pouches for Duplo again. Unfortunately they only had one type of Duplo kit so we got another duck. I put it aside so we could give it to FS when we met up. Then we asked for our car to be brought out front.

    While we were waiting for the car, I ran upstairs to grab some pastries for breakfast. I ran into a meet and greet with a knight mini-figure. DD ran up and we took a quick picture.

    So cute!

    At the buffet DD followed me to the pastry table and asked for Cheerios. I got her a bowl of Cheerios, a chocolate croissant for DH, and a sticky bun for me. I also picked up a smoothie for DD.

    We ran back down and the car was already outside. DH loaded our luggage and we were on our way. We left later than we planned and were worried about traffic.

    Our totally stressful scenic drive.

    We programmed the car rental center address into Waze and it estimated our arrival to be 9:17. But as we got going it stretched out longer to 9:20 and 9:23. It doesn’t sound like much now but at the time it felt like eternity. DH and I were very nervous for the whole drive.

    We returned the car, glad that we opted to prepay for gas. We got on the shuttle to the airport and arrived at the airport about an hour before boarding began.

    We checked our luggage and got boarding passes. Then got in line for security. At the front of the line I realized we all had TSA precheck and the agent recommended that we go through there. We quickly moved over and were through in five minutes.

    We got to the gate with 40 minutes to spare and finally relaxed. We saw Peets coffee and DH got an iced latte and I got a cappuccino. Then DH wanted to get a hamburger at Jack in the Box. He got fries to share with DD.

    We filled our water bottles then went back to the gate to relax. We boarded when they called our group and got settled. There was seatback entertainment so DH and I browsed through the selection. We laughed because the flight (1 hour 47 minutes) wasn’t really long enough to finish any movie.

    The flight attendant came by with a coloring book for DD and she was happily occupied as boarding finished. Then she played with her sticker kit for a while. We were well into cruising by the time she asked for her iPad.

    Looking good, Buzz!

    I found Isn’t It Romantic from the movie selections and at 1 hour 28 minutes, I had just enough time to finish the movie (with frequent interruptions from DD). They came by with forms to fill out and DH took care of those.

    When we landed we went through immigration first. Then picked up our bags and went through customs.

    Then we got to a really confusing part where we exited through ‘information’ rooms. There were a bunch of people there with badges and I thought they were local transportation. So when one guy asked what hotel we were staying at I told him Hyatt Ziva. He passed us onto another guy that said our driver was five minutes away and he would talk to us until the driver arrived. Then he told us a bunch about Los Cabos and told us about local transportation like taxis and buses. I said our friends were already at the resort and rented a car so we would go out with them.

    Then he asked if we wanted to do other activities. DH said he wanted to go diving. The guy asked where he wanted to go, asked if DH was certified, and informed him that each tank would cost $110 so a two tank dive would be at least $200. THEN he said that if we went to this new resort right next to our resort for breakfast, DH could do a dive excursion for $50. That was my ah-ha moment and I tuned out the rest of the pitch. I opened my email to see if there were any more instructions on where to find our ride.

    DH wouldn’t commit to anything so the guy abruptly told us the driver just texted and he was outside holding a Hyatt Ziva sign. We went through the doors and passed through another information room, dodging the salesmen. Then we were outside. The heat and humidity hit us immediately. There was a crowd of people outside holding signs and taxi services. It was overwhelming with the heat, dragging our luggage, being extra vigilant about DD and trying to find a sign that would be close to what we needed.

    Finally a guy asked what we were looking for and I told him we arranged transportation through Hyatt Ziva. He said that’s the hotel, but what company. I was trying to check the email again for a company name when a woman approached and she knew my name. Relieved, I figured there could only be one way for her to know my name and that was if she was the company that the hotel contracted.

    She produced printouts with our flight information that I had provided to the hotel and I signed the form. She then directed us to a driver and SUV and he gave us all bottles of cold water. It was a huge relief to get into the car and know we were on the right track.

    It was about 20 minutes to the resort. DD, who had not napped this day, was complaining about being bored. We sang a few songs and pointed to the landscape of hills and cactus. Later we saw the ocean and that was exciting.

    We got to Hyatt Ziva, which was a huge resort. Pulling up, we saw that it had an open air lobby and a beautiful view of the pool and the ocean beyond. It reminded me a little of Aulani.

    At long last...

    A bellhop took our luggage and offered us more cold drinks then showed us to the front desk. We checked in and were each given wristbands that we had to wear for our stay. He also gave us a schedule of activities and a map.

    When we had our keys, the bellhop loaded our luggage to a cart and walked us to the room. Along the way, he gave us an introduction of all the restaurants and pointed out their locations.

    Our room was really nice! It was so nice to get inside. Outside it was warm and SUPER humid. I was still wearing jeans and a sweater that I was wearing during the flight and was starting to feel sticky. We had two closets, a big bathroom with separate shower and tub, a sitting area and two beds. The last bit was confusing because I thought I booked one king. At first we thought DH and I would share one bed and DD could sleep in the other. But then we noticed that the beds were doubles and not queen so it would be too small. DH investigated the sofa and saw that it unfolded. So we called down for sheets.


    We spent some time unpacking and the room had a lot of drawers and storage so it was nice to have a place for everything. Then we got dressed in swimsuits and put on sunscreen. We headed down to the kid's pool to meet our friends.

    NEXT: Resort mode activated!


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