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Lance Cpl. Aaron Kristopik, a paralegal clerk with the Combat Center’s Staff Judge Advocate and a native of New Britain, Conn., stands and admires the scenery and ambience of the Legoland entrance in Carlsbad, Calif., May 2.

Photo by Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl

Aaron’s Exploits; back on the building-block

11 May 2009 | Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl

In an effort to get back in touch with his inner child during his exploration of Southern California, Lance Cpl. Aaron Kristopik, a paralegal clerk with the Combat Center’s Staff Judge Advocate and a native of New Britain, Conn., traveled, May 2, to a place every child dreams of – LegoLand.

Kristopik said he had always wanted to see the park, and being a little too old for some of it would not dismay him from following through with it.

“This is it. I’m going to do it,” he said. “LegoLand, I can’t even contain myself. The minute I built my own small town of Legos as a child, I knew I had to travel to the mecca, the place where it all came to a point, and this is it.”

Kristopik said just taking in the ambience of the park made him feel as if he were a kid playing in his basement again.

“Dude, it’s like back when ‘Dragon Ball Z’ was still cool,” he said. “I haven’t felt this way in years. I hope I’m not too big for everything here. I’m going to build a monument to me in the park, and just leave it so they think it’s another statue.”

Kristopik said the array of fun stuff to do at the park is worth the price for admission.

“An Egyptian adventure, The Lost City of Atlantis, Star Wars Legos – there is just so much to do here,” he said. “I couldn’t wait to go get into the place where they let you build your own dragster.”

Kristopik made discoveries about how the world of Legos has changed since his youth.

“Back in my day, we didn’t have no fancy robot Legos,” he said. “There’s stuff now that you can program coordinates into and it does what you say. It’s good to see how they still have the good old timey Legos too. When those new ones get fried, the old ones will still stack up.”

Kristopik found an attraction at the park, which was unlike anything he even expected to be at a place like LegoLand.

“They have a Sea Life attraction? Wow, I’m blown away,” he said. “LegoLand delivered. My expectations were met and then some. They even had a setup with underwater Lego statues diving with real sharks.”

Kristopik got to ride a roller coaster, experience Miniland, among many other things.

“I saw Darth Vader, well it was only a Lego statue, but it was pretty sweet,” he said. “I loved the rollercoaster, they even let me ride it twice.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw how intricate all the works around the park were,” he said. “There was a Volvo made of Legos, plus all kinds of stuff from movies.”

Kristopik reflected on the best part of his trip, Miniland, an entire world made of Legos.

“I saw it, everything in the world in its true, Lego brand of beauty,” he said. “I saw busses, boats, a miniature New Orleans, everything. You haven’t seen Mardi Gras until you see it made from Legos.”

To get to LegoLand take Highway 62 onto Interstate 10 west. Exit left onto the Moreno Valley Freeway toward Riverside, then take Exit 58 to merge onto Interstate 215 south toward San Diego. After merging onto Interstate 15 south take Exit 46 toward Oceanside. Merge left onto Interstate 5 south, and after taking Exit 48 turn left on Cannon Road. One more right turn will lead to the entrance of LegoLand.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms