Impending Doom

   The odd haze overhead should have been the first indication of how the day would go. A darkness ringing the white puffiness of the clouds is never a positive. But the sun was so persistent in its desire to shine through that it seemed destined to win the weather war.   

   I could have interpreted the shining gas tank icon and bright red stick pointing at E as a warning sign that things were going to go terribly wrong. But it's not so uncommon to find the tank suddenly on empty, despite having filled it not more than three days prior.

   The giant truck trying to change lanes on top of us could have also been seen as a sign. It's a busy highway though, so the warning bells still weren't ringing in my head.

   No. It wasn't until we turned into the parking lot that the first undeniable sign of impending doom struck. Buses. Lots and lots of buses. Mid-May. A public attraction. Bus after bus after bus. It could mean only one thing.... school field trips.

   It was meant to be a fun way to spend a few hours. We've had annual passes for eight months, despite living 1,400 miles away. It had been six months since we had actually visited. It was fall then. Schools don't do field trips in the fall.

   We had been lulled into the false belief that a weekday afternoon was a calm and peaceful time to visit. October had been a glorious month for weekly visits. No lines. No crowds. Just us and a dozen semi-entertaining rides alongside a miniature Lego metropolis. Ah! Those were good times.

   It's common knowledge that the month of May is notorious for school field trips. I am however accustomed to those having some type of educational value. Museums. Historical Places. A science center, botanical park, or a zoo. All wonderfully educational locals. Legoland? (insert blank stare and extended silence here) I don't get it. Where is the educational value in riding the dragon coaster?

   After much contemplation I determined perhaps the lesson here was one involving manners. Waiting in lines. Taking turns. Patience. Learning to walk in a controlled and polite manner. All worthy lessons. After almost being plowed over repeatedly by not just the rambunctious herds of children, but also the obviously worn and defeated teachers and parent volunteers, I eliminated manners as a possibility of the lesson they were going for.

   Having given up on ever discovering the mystery of the lessons to be learned by riding roller coasters and blasting mummies with laser guns, we vowed to enjoy the day. This proved difficult when standing in line behind what looked like a thousand cranky kindergartners at what probably should have been their nap time.

   Our new goal became to simply outlast the field trippers. After all, they had to return to school at some point, didn't they? Yes, yes of course. But then that first sign of the day laughed in our faces.

   The darkness hiding behind the clouds, having been previously held back by the sun, made its play. With just two coaster loads left to go before we would be flying through the sky on the back of a green, plastic Lego inspired dragon.... they made the announcement. "Due to approaching inclement weather, the roller coasters will be closing." 

   With a sigh of defeat, and a slap to the forehead for having missed the signs of impending doom, we traipsed to the exit and made our way back to the van. Strapping on our seat-belts we escaped the chaos, vowing to return another day with only one question on our minds.... "Next time, if we were to call and ask if they had field trips scheduled, would they tell us?"

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