2018 marks a new adventure for our family - we got Legoland passes! We love going to Legoland, and on a tip from the Ks, we managed to score some discounted ones. One of the perks of the passes was that they started in 2017, so we took advantage of that fact!
First, we hit up holidays at Legoland. The park was totally decked out for the season.
There was even snow!
Thatbaby was insistent on taking advantage of all the character meet 'n greet opportunities.
Obviously he was extra excited about Santa. I couldn't get him to stop touching Santa.
Luckily there was a more touchable Santa there.
The boys got a lot of driving experience while we were there.
And we got Thatbaby a Batman mask, which provided hours of entertainment for all of us.
The night we were there, they were also having a Christmas market. So we grabbed mulled wine, hot cocoa, sausages, and pretzels and sat to watch the nightly tree lighting.
The tree lighting was great. Lights everywhere and fun holiday music, all working together.
On the way out, we stopped at one last ride - The Coastersaurus. The plan was for Thatbaby and I to wait while the bigger boys rode. Except Thatbaby wanted to ride it too. We tried to explain to him that it was a rollercoaster and would be too scary for him, but he continued to insist that he liked rollercoasters and wanted to ride it. So we let him.
He did not like it.
We used our passes one more time in 2017 - the very last day of 2017, New Year's Eve!
In direct contrast to his brother's reaction to rollercoasters, Thatkid was much happier riding the thrill ride. (Thatbaby sat, or rather slept, this one out.)
His request was the helicopter ride, so when he woke up from his nap, we happily obliged.
The great thing about Legoland's New Year's Eve is that they do their countdown, and accompanying "brick drop" early, at 6pm.
They handed out hats and special fireworks viewing glasses during the day.
Everyone got into the act!
As with the tree lighting, we got a good seat early, camped out, and ate dinner while we waited for the countdown.
And then it was 5:59 and we were all shooting down numbers as the brick descended.
And then came the fireworks!
Happy New Year!
One more trip to the Coastersaurus (while Thatbaby and I went on the safari ride) and before you knew it, we were all home and in our pajamas, watching old movies.
We told the boys they could try and stay up to the real midnight.
Neither off them made it.
Which is fine, because Thatboy and I drank champagne and enjoyed adult time. Adult time - when you get to indulge in things without your children ruining them. Like this chocolate pudding. I mean, sure, most of us associate pudding with children, but this pudding? This pudding is for grown ups. Warm, fresh, well made pudding might be one of Thatboy's favorite desserts. This chocolate pudding, made with bittersweet chocolate, isn't the super sweet pudding you ate as a kid. It's darker, more mellow, more adult. It's the pudding you easy when the kids are in bed. And the prefect way to round out the year.
Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding (from Cooking Light)
1 cup Dutch process cocoa
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups skim milk
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Combine cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
- Gradually add 1 cup of milk, stirring with a whisk until blended.
- Cook 2 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat until it reaches 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil).
- Remove from heat. Add sugar, stirring with a whisk until dissolved.
- Gradually add hot milk to cocoa mixture storing with a whisk until blended. Return milk mixture to a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes until thick. Remove from heat.
- Combine egg yolk and egg in medium bowl, storing with whisk until blended.
- Gradually add milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.
- Add chocolate and vanilla, stirring until chocolate melts. Pour into a bowl. Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap. Cool slightly to serve warm (Thatboy's favorite) or refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.