It was another day of business meetings for Steve, so the rest of us went to Legoland today. Legoland is an amusement park built solely around the theme of Legos. Yes, the same legos you snapped together as a kid.
Our plan is to catch the 9:45 Coaster to Carlsbad, a town north of San Diego. The “Coaster” is a double decker train. It is a little bit lighter and smaller than an Amtrack train. We took the trolley to the Santa Fe station, where we would catch the Coaster. The Sante Fe station was built in 1915 and it is still in operation today. It services the trolley, the Coaster and Amtrack. It is a beautiful building, built back in the heyday of train travel.
Everything went fine up until the point we got on the Coaster, but that is when our misadventures in public transportation began. After traveling for a while, the Coaster actually came to a stop, and it was announced there was an Amtrack train on the track ahead of us that was slowing us down. It took longer to get to Carlsbad Station than scheduled, and as a result, we missed our bus that would take us to Legoland. We asked security when the next bus left, and it was not for another hour, so we took a taxi cab to Legoland. It took us nearly 2 hours to get from the hotel to Legoland.
The first exhibit we saw at Legoland was “Mini Land”, a collection of different city skylines and buildings made out of legos. There were miniature versions of Las Vegas, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., New Orleans, etc. One of the better scenes was of Las Vegas, where there was a UFO that landed near the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, and the aliens were out taking pictures.
We had a great day at Legoland, but it was more designed for younger kids. Our 4 year old would have loved it. It was not crowded at all.
We were planning to catch the 5:00 bus, so that we could catch the 5:35 coaster back to the city, but not much went right from this point forward! The only bus that we see is at 5:20, but it is going the wrong way. We talk to him and he says another bus should be by in 15 minutes going our way, and that we could also catch the 5:55 coaster back to San Diego.
The bus we’ve been waiting on finally shows up at 5:50, and we take it to the transit station in Carlsbad. We ask the staff there about the Coaster, and they inform us we have missed the last coaster of the day. But fortunately, a Legoland employee was also riding with us, and she gave us instructions on which bus to take to La Jolla. We struck up a conversation with a man and his daughter from Australia, who were also trying to get back to San Diego from Legoland. He was in town for the Neuroscientist Convention. We were very glad that to be lost with somebody else!
The bus we are advised to take is a route that takes 75 minutes, but part of it was along the coast, so it was pleasant. Toward the end of the route, the Australian gets up and says “This is our stop”, so we follow him off the bus. Oops, we got off one stop too early. We didn’t have a bus schedule, and the bus stop was dark, but a couple of strange men standing nearby gave us instructions on which buses could take us where we need to go. We ended up catching a bus to the Fashion Valley Transit Station, where we could catch the trolley’s green line back to Old Town.
At Old Town we were just able to hop off the green line and on to the blue line headed south into downtown. At Little Italy we parted ways with our Australian friends Simon and EmmaJean. They were very interesting and fun, and we enjoyed being lost with them.
When we finally arrive at the Gaslamp Quarter, it had been exactly a 4 hour odyssey to get to the hotel. It was 8:45 at this time and we had to decide if we were more tired or more hungry. Hunger won out so we walked to a little pizza place named Ciro’s Pizzeria. They served New York Style pizza, and it was very good. We got back to the hotel about 10:00 and were ready to call it a day.