Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lego Coolness - Miniland USA

This post is for Lego aficionados or... people who love miniature things or...those of you who are bored at the moment and have nothing better to do than look at pictures of cities and things built with Legos.  :-)  
These are just a few of MANY pictures we took of the different Lego cities and scenery at LEGOLAND's Miniland.  Most of these pictures were taken back in May but a few of them were taken when we were there for the Halloween party.  As I mentioned in my previous blog post, it was super cool to see the same buildings and things but all lit up at nighttime.
A pirate ship moving through the water in pirate infested Caribbean waters.
Most of the Lego "places" in Miniland are large, well-known cities but there are a whole bunch of different cities, towns, and places from Florida.  This picture was of a sunken treasure ship off the Florida coast and a ship of treasure divers.
Cape Canaveral - Kennedy Space Center
This was so cute and clever.  It's a miniature golf place.  I believe it was in one of the Florida towns, not that that really matters.  This just shows how many details and cool things you can find in all the different Lego cities.
(You might want to enlarge this one to see it better)
Another fun "small detail" is this wedding party coming out of a church.  I don't remember specifically where this was either but I thought it was neat enough to share.
Washington D. C. is so cool because they have all of the famous D. C. memorials made out of Legos.
And the way the Lego Capitol looked lit up at night.
The [back of] the White House
I thought the Marine 1 helicopter was cool.  Around the front side, the Obama family is standing out on the porch.  (We're hoping that that might be changed one of the next times we get back there :-D)

The Lincoln Monument - and is the Lincoln statute actually inside the building?  If you look closely or zoom way in on a camera, you can see that it IS indeed in there.
It was just so awesome to see it all lit up at night.

The pictures above and below are interesting.  We definitely didn't intend on taking two of the exact same pictures and as I already mentioned, they were taken at completely different times.  When I went through to choose some of the daytime pictures and then the night shots, I realized these showed almost exactly the same thing just one during the day and the other at night.
This is a replica of the Arlington Memorial Bridge.
Another shot of Washington D. C.

The Iwo Jima Memorial
  (notice the tour bus, which does drive around on the roads to the various memorials)

Golden Gate Bridge San Franciso, CA
This is a replica of the Hollywood Bowl, an amphitheater in the Hollywood area of LA, California. It's used primarily for music performances.  It has never really caught my eye any of the times we have been there during the day.  But as you can see, the way the lights are done at night make it quite eye-catching.  The lights were actually slowly changing colors.

There are so many details and things to see in the LasVegas section, it's just amazing.

The famous (I guess) Mirage hotel in Vegas. 

I included this one because I love the little Vegas wedding chapel in the lower left corner.  In the bottom right corner, you can see a black button on a metal post.  When you push the button, a couple walks out of the church to the waiting wedding bus.  There are buttons all over Miniland that activate different things within the cities.

New York City
A nighttime shot of Union Station in NYC.

The Big Apple

The New York City "skyline" looked AMAZING lit up at night even though it was just a few feet tall.

Perspective - the [blue and brown] garbage cans in the background are regular sized garbage cans but they look small compared to the Statute of Liberty replica because of the distance.  Some of the Miniland buildings that we took pictures of don't look like miniatures in the pictures if we zoomed in and cut out the surrounding background for perspective.

One of the towns in Florida - Miami maybe ?- at night.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween party Legoland style

Two weekends ago, we had a long weekend since Kaelyn didn't have school Monday.  We went to Orlando for the weekend.  We left Friday about as soon as she was out of school so we had Friday evening besides the next few days to do stuff.  Both Legoland and Seaworld have Halloween parties/activities during the weekend nights of October.  These pictures are from Legoland.  Oddly enough, we ran into one of Kaelyn's classmates and family during the day Saturday.  And not just any classmate - it was Ross, the little boy that she has a major crush on.  She was so excited to have someone to play with and hang out with for a little bit.
The lego jack-o-lantern made out of about 26,500 legos.


"Spider people" on stilts.


The lake that borders the park on one side looks absolutely beautiful when the sun sets.

Lego Halloween characters.  The lego ghost was just too much.  :-)


Getting ready to do the "brick-or-treat" path.

I'm a big fan of lights and arches - and lighted arches.  :-)  You had to walk through the arches to get to the path where the brick-or-treating was.

Poor Kay!  She was just barely tolerating this.  She really wanted to be Minnie this year for Halloween.  I was pretty certain she would have [sensory] issues with the outfit and I kind of tried to talk her out of it but she wanted to give it a try.  She could barely stand to have it on long enough to go around and get candy.  She wants so much to dress up but she is so limited in costumes that don't feel "scratchy" as she puts it.

The candy booths were Lego themed and had silly/corny humor.  It was cute and geared for kids - not spooky or gory.

I would point out the obvious joke here but I'll let you just figure it out on your own.

A couple juggling, magic trick doing scarecrows.

One of the really cool things about the Halloween event was that the park was open until nine that night.  Usually, Legoland closes by five in the evening.  During the summer they were open until seven some nights because it was busier but for the most part, you never really see the park after dark.  One whole section of the park is Lego cities where there are replicas of lots of major cities in the U. S.  They are built entirely of legos and most of them have buttons near them that will activate certain things inside the city.  They are AMAZING to see in and of themselves.  For instance, the Lego Washington D. C. has all of the monuments, the Capitol building, the White House and other famous and recognizable buildings in Washington. A presidential motorcade with Lego limousines, motorcycles, secret service etc. slowly drive around the streets.  In other places, there are working Lego boats on water, cars, and people that move and do stuff.  I could stop and look every time we go because there are so many details that you always see somthing you never noticed before.  The cool thing about being there that night though was that they had lights inside various buildings in all the cities so it looked like you were looking at miniature skylines of the cities.  I know the way I'm explaining it doesn't begin to convey how neat it was.  I was going to post a few of the pictures that we took of the Lego cities that night but I think it might make more sense to see what they look like in the day time first.  We have a lot of pictures from the first couple times we went so I think I will post some of those along with the night time pictures for my next post.

Monday, October 22, 2012

September Potpourri


[poh-poo-ree, poh-poo-ree] 

4.  any mixture, especially of unrelated objects, subjects, etc.
This blog post is not about things that smell good, although I hope that the people in these pictures smell good most of the time.  The only connection between a lot of these pictures is the fact that they were taken last month.  I went through my September folders and decided to grab any pictures that looked fun, interesting, or...otherwise.  I'm going to try to keep most comments short other than to explain the ridiculousness behind some of the photos.  :-)
The Sunday evening before Labor Day, we got out our WII sports game.  We had played the games very little up to that point and Kaelyn had never played them.  Since we didn't have to get up early the next morning, we stayed up late trying out all the games.  At that point, bowling was the big favorite but since then, we've gotten to where we play a lot of tennis, baseball, golf, and bowling.  Kaelyn probably plays them most of all and she has gotten quite good at the various games.  It has been good for us to get up off the couch and away from our computers/phones a little more often.

I don't think that we could be any more intense if we were at a real bowling alley actually
bowling.  :-)



One day, I happened upon this little tea party going on out in the kitchen so I took a couple quick pictures.


All I can really say about the next few pictures is - Halloween store---so many funny hats---too much fun to not try a few on.  :-)

It's a shame my hands shake all the time and so all the pictures I took on my phone by myself were way blurry.  These were great though.  They had whirly-gig things on the top.  Haven't you always wanted to wear a hat with a propeller on the top of it?  :-)

The awesomeness just can NOT be contained!  ;-)

Ha ha ha ha!  Get it?  It's a milk carton and the person's face - in this case, my face- is the missing person on the milk carton.  :-)  There couldn't be anything much better than being a "missing kid" for Halloween.  :-D  Of course, you have to be a certain age to even get the joke.
P. S.  Forgive the "Bob's Tavern" line.  I don't go to taverns and I didn't actually realize it said that when I first posed for the picture.

The kids went for more "mild" headwear to model.

Kaelyn had her first eye appointment in September.  We were pretty sure that she needed glasses because she had been closing one eye when she read or looking out of the corners of her eyes.  As it turns out, she has perfect eyesight.  I was so surprised when we found out that her eyes were fine.   In researching the issue more, I found out that there can be some other sensory/vision issues with autistic kids and they don't really have to do with actual eyesight.
We were so nervous about how she would do because she has quite a phobia of doctor's and has come unglued and had complete meltdowns in the past.  We prepped her for days ahead of time telling her exactly what would happen.  We even put some regular eye drops in her eyes because we knew that they were going to dilate her eyes and we wanted to practice with her.  She was a bit apprehensive as you can probably see in the pictures, but she did fantastic.  She was rather amusing at times but it went well.

I went to Rochester, NY for Women of Faith one weekend in September.  It's such a great time.  This year, we got to hear both Sandi Patty and Amy Grant.  Patsy Clairmont also spoke along with some other fantastic speakers.  I have been hearing some of these women sing and reading lots of their books since I was just a teenager so it was just extra cool to me to see them in person.  Also, spending time with some family and other gals, which equals lots of laughs and fun memories, was just refreshing.  I was so tired when I got back home Saturday night but it was totally worth it!

This War Memorial is in the downstairs of the arena where the conference was being held.  We went down to see it while we were on lunch break.

They had an area where women could dress up in hats, boas, etc. and have their pictures taken.  We had a blast doing it.  Unfortunately, Leah has the best pictures because she had an actual camera with her and the pictures on her camera turned out so much better.  But... these will have to do until she gets inspired to post her's.  (Just a subtle little hint there, Leah.)  :-)


I bought the little monkey and gummy alphabet letters for Kaelyn when I was in the airport before coming home.  It was shortly after midnight when I got in, but she was quite happy to see me and was excited to get a little treat.

One more random thing:  One day I was down at Kevin's office doing some filing, scanning, and mailing for them.  I ususally just go in the mornings while Kaelyn is at school but I hadn't quite finished something I was working on so after I picked her up from school, we went back to the office so that I could finish up.  She loves writing on the white board back in the conference/lunch room.  She was making up these little tests and I thought it was so funny.  It says, "Who do you think is my boyfriend  A.Ross   B.Megan   C.Primus (her teacher Mrs. Primus) or
D. Garmin.  After I would answer, she would leave all the answers up but change the question to fit the next answer ("who do you think my best friend is, my favorite teacher is, etc.)  :-)