Spring break trip full of Lego

Andrew Lafrance

Andrew Lafrance

I just returned from a lovely spring break trip to the western coast of California. I promised myself in high school that I would work enough hours over the fall and winter to make sure that I could afford a spring break trip every March. I know it sounds like a lofty goal, but so far I have achieved three spring break trips in three years.

The first year, five high school friends and I journeyed to Las Vegas and Cambria, Calif., for some relaxation. Last year, my friend and I went to Los Angeles and stopped by the beach and Disneyland. This year, I went to San Diego specifically to realize the dream of seeing Legoland in person, and also got to do many other fantastic things along the way.

I do not think very many people realize how little spring break trips can cost. This year I drove all the way to California, spent five days there, drove all the way back, and the entire trip only cost $394. The drive there was a hefty 29 hours without stops or detours. We left on Friday around 3 p.m. and drove to Ogalala, Neb., where we slept in a parking lot before indulging in a hotel breakfast. Delicious and free! By Saturday night, we had arrived in Las Vegas where we got to visit my uncle and tour the city on a decent Sunday morning when everyone was still sleeping because of their hangovers. Then by Sunday evening we had arrived at our hotel in San Ysidro, Calif., which we realized upon arrival is only one mile from the Mexican border. The town’s signs were entirely in Spanish, so I got to put to use my new Spanish 101 skills. Language classes do pay off!

We toured Legoland for a marvelous day and enjoyed the Miniland, which is a recreation of many American towns made out of Lego bricks. One of the skyscrapers in New York City was 28 feet tall! Also, the Las Vegas strip was recreated out of Lego bricks and was awesome to see since we had just toured the real strip the day before.

We also made it to the San Diego Zoo, which had pandas, koalas and wonderful meerkats that made me wish to steal one and take it home. On Wednesday, we journeyed to Los Angeles and met up with my friend from Rapid City who was also visiting L.A. We also were able to stay a night with my high school drama teacher who now lives on the west coast. Thursday beheld the fine sidewalks of Santa Monica beach and Venice beach and allowed me to finally get a little sun. I even fell asleep laying on the sand because it was so nice out. Thankfully, I did not get sunburned too much.

The trip home was fun and went more quickly than you might think. It took about 30 hours total with stops for gas, but it was fun the whole way. I did all of this for quite a reasonable price, and I think next year, if you are tired of South Dakota by the middle of March, you should consider going to California for spring break. All you have to do is save a little money. It’s definitely worth it.