Tourist in Our Own City

“Oh the places you’ll go!” –Dr. Seuss

With no plans on the calendar or summer camps on tap this last week, we decided to take in some of the sights in our own beautiful city. At the beginning of our week, we were invited to join our friends at the zoo. I have mixed feelings about zoos to be honest; they depress me. But I thought it was a shame that I had never taken the boys to our zoo, so we decided to join. The boys were super excited and listed off the animals they hoped to see during our trip on the car ride over. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! (well, no bears…) Of all the creatures we met, Big Brother declared the bats to be his favorite, where as Little One favored the giraffe. My favorite is always the gorillas. They amaze me. We finished off our visit with a ride on the carousel, which Big Brother did by himself for the first time and thought that was the bees knees.

For Big Brothers birthday, he was given a fire truck Lego kit by one of his buddies. He’s had a random box of Legos for a while now and enjoys building, but this was his first kit meant to build a specific thing. He was super determined and focused and I was blown away by how well he did following the directions and putting most of the fire truck together all on his own. It gave him a great sense of pride and accomplishment. He shows off his handy work to everyone who comes over. I thought with his new-found passion in Legos that maybe a trip to Legoland was in order. I checked out the website to see what they had to offer and read some reviews, which were mixed, but we decided to give it a go anyway. Sadly to say, I was super disappointed with the majority of the experience. According to the map, upon entering we were suppose to tour the Lego factory, which I thought would have been really interesting to see how Legos are made. Instead, we were thrown into this room that was surrounded in floor to ceiling screens and were made to watch a rather lame movie of cartoon Legos giving a tour of a Lego factory. It was an attack on our senses with everything being so loud and in your face. Big Brother has always had a fear of loud sounds and is generally suspicious of big screens/videos. I’ve never been able to quite put my finger on what causes him to feel so overwhelmed, but have assumed it is a form of sensory processing issues. I know I struggle with a mild tactile sensory processing at times, but his seems to be focused on audio/visual. Anyway, with a very disturbed boy covering his ears and burying his head in my shoulder, I rushed him out of the “factory” as quickly as I could and then past the dark and slightly scary laser fighting amusement ride to find some relief in a quieter room. After he managed to catch his breath and realize that he was no longer under attack, he was able to relax. The next room was a model of Boston built out of Legos, which in my opinion was the only thing worth seeing in the entire place. The recreations of all the major landmarks were really beautiful. Many of the models were interactive in that by pressing a button you could make small pieces move, lights turn on, and other fun treats. We spent a great deal of time exploring all of the little details in the models. The final, larger room at the end was a collection of play spaces, but none of them were nearly as interesting as they could have been. I was thinking an entire place dedicated to Legos should have at least had a place to actually just sit and build with Legos, but even that was a disappointment. We were happy to see our city recreated in Legos, but in the end, Legoland was a total fail.

Today we went into full tourist mode and took the train downtown to climb to the top of the second tallest building in Boston. Last month, we joined some homeschooling friends for a presentation group to share things we have been learning. Their family had been learning about skyscrapers and they shared a lot of information with us. Big Brother’s interest was piqued and since we have been talking about the tall buildings found in our own city. When I told him that we could go to the top of one of them, he was thrilled. So today, we did. The boys loved it! We pointed out all of the spots we knew and recognized, watched airplanes take off and land, and enjoyed hunting for the various pools and gardens on the rooftops below.


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