I never check the news when I am travelling. My normal routine is disrupted, I am busy doing exciting things, and so I often will come home to find out that there has been some sort of major event, natural disaster, celebrity death, or presidential election while I was away for the week and I had no idea it was happening. Of course even if I had checked my normal news site I was unlikely to have heard about the train fire that shut down most of Grand Central Station.
We arrived bright and early, ready for our ride on the train, all part of Edward’s transportation-themed Wish provided by Make-a-Wish. We took the Subway to Grand Central Station, which features heavily in the opening mission of Lego Marvel Surperheroes, the video game on which our trip was based. From there we were to take a Metro North train to Legoland, another game tie-in, and that was our only thing to do that day. We had plenty of time. This was fortunate, as we were about to spend two hours trying to get out of the station, much of it trapped in a tunnel.
The first thing that we noticed was that our train had been cancelled. That was our initial indication that a problem might be occurring. But hey, they cancel trains all the time, right? We don’t know, we never take trains! Ha ha! But seriously, they assured us that only 45 minutes later there would be a train, and so we wandered around Grand Central buying things in stores and trying to distract the antsy children, still slightly tired and grumpy from such an action-packed day the day before.
Well that train did leave when it said it would (the 2nd time), and it went all of a hundred yards into the dark tunnel with no phone signals of any kind, which is where it stopped for, oh, pretty much the rest of the morning. The announcer told us over and over again that, due to the fire (which we had not heard about), there was only one track open out of Grand Central Station. One track. Total. For all the trains. In Grand Central Station. If you do not know this already, Grand Central Station has many trains. They generally require more than one track. We were going to be there a while. It was as if we had just gotten onto our plane at JFK and been told that the airport had just burned down and there was only one runway left and we were last in line. And we didn’t even have internet!
By the time we got to Yonkers it was lunchtime, so we decided to stop at the Cheesecake Factory because it happened to be a block away from Legoland. Let me tell you, there is nothing wrong with the Cheesecake Factory. Yum! And it was also next door to a very interesting playground shaped like a giant stick person, which the children demanded that we play on before going to any Legolands. So we did. And it was super fun, despite the fact that I was way too big to play on it.
I’m not saying that I got stuck on the slide, but I’m also not going back on that slide again.
Not after popping out like a champagne cork and flying violently to the ground after several awkward moments of wiggling and grunting.
Anyway, we finally made it to Legoland Discovery Center, which was a huge hit. Yes, there were a few rides and a 4-D movie (Ruby would like me to tell you that it is not really 4-D, because the 4th dimension is time, and all movies have 4 dimensions in that case, and why they call it 4-D when all they do is blow some air on you and squirt some water on you is beyond her), but the biggest hits were the the places they could just build with the Legos. Most of the day was spent at the race track, where we built our own Lego race cars, raced them, crashed them, and rebuilt them.
Edward also had a blast in the big playground, primarily in the wrecking ball area. He somehow tricked three older kids into continually building structures for him to destroy. He would wait patiently with his wrecking ball as he supervised construction, and then he would smash down whatever they had built while laughing maniacally. Then they would start over. Good times.
I should also note that, to accidentally continue the superhero theme of the trip, our cab driver’s dashboard looked like this:
On our way home we made plans with my friend Clizzle to have a picnic in Central Park for dinner, which sounded like a lovely idea as it was a sunny and warm day. You can’t have too much Central Park I always say. The only problem was, we didn’t know when we would be back due to the inconsistent and amorphous train schedule. We decided to play it by ear. The train was moving just fine all the way from Yonkers to Yankee Stadium, but when we arrived at that stop, the announcer told us that we would be holding there another 45 minutes while we waited for our turn to get back in to Grand Central Station. So we got off.
When your plans are interrupted, you make new plans. Hashtag: Life. So we found us a Subway station and took the train to Columbus Circle where we were to meet Clizzle at the Whole Foods to purchase picnic supplies. About 30 seconds after we got off of the Subway, the sun was overtaken by an attack of clouds, the sky opened up, and it started pouring on us. It was really that fast. Within ten minutes the day went from sunny and warm to frigid downpour. Suddenly a picnic seemed less appealing. But hey, the first sentence of this paragraph still stands. We went out for pizza instead. Cheers, Clizzle!
It was very smart of Make-a-Wish to give us only one thing to do on the day in between our two busiest days. It gave us the flexibility to be tired and slow, to change plans around as needed, and to save some energy for what was to come next. Because the following day was our official “Wish Day,” and we had no idea the surprises that were in store for us. And I’ll tell you all about them tomorrow.
Until then, please enjoy this video of me being an idiot on the playground.