Legoland and Animal Safari Recap

On this episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8! Kate and Jon are on vacation! Vacation from what, nobody knows.

We're still trying to get to Hawaii so this ridiculous couple can renew their vows and go home, but we're not even remotely close to that moment yet, unfortunately. The family needs five days to adjust to a three hour time change, and do this by relaxing at LegoLand and Wild Animal Kingdom in San Diego. San Diego just happened to offer them a free trip at exactly the same time that Hawaii did! San Diego is not to be outdone by Hawaii, of course. Gotta keep up with the Joneses. Going around America's most expensive cities spending money is quite relaxing, I suppose, if you have money in the first place.

Credits roll. I appreciate the sympathy for my 401k in my last recap. If anyone is wondering, it's doing a bit better this week. It felt your love.

At the airport, which I think is Philadelphia--hey, it looks just like that episode Plane Ride to Utah, with maybe the kids a little older. Oh, yeah, and no Beth helping. They don't need no stinking friends or relatives anymore. Not when they have a catatonic nanny.

Kate leads the kids to the restroom, which everyone insists is still called the "potty." At a certain point that will no longer be cute, and it's coming soon. This is actually one of those few moments that harkens back to what I thought was the real premise and "hook" of this show--which is the logistics of getting eight little kids all about the same age through day-to-day life. For instance, how will only a few adults get this many kids in and out of an airport restroom (or potty, if you're a Gosselin)? Well, they line them up outside, Jon watches the line, and it looks like Kate and Jenni take them in one at a time. But that's all we're gonna get of the mundane stuff that is surprisingly interesting. TLC is much more interested in the thousands-of-dollars trips, and are convinced we are, too! Networks. I wish I could vote them as our president.

The kids are getting really good at going through security. That's odd, because just a short while ago Kate was insisting that the kids have barely ever flown before. In their spare time have they been jet-setting to Japan like Brad Pitt does making watch commercials only the Japanese see for some extra cash? I have my suspicions. But seriously, I really want to know how these kids got so used to airplanes when everyone always likes to try to pretend they stay home and live very normal uneventful lives. Yeah, I don't think so.

The kids are crying and screaming, probably because they're hungry for breakfast, tired, sick of the cameras, or all three, and Kate is yelling at Jon about something. "We're very disorganized on this trip," she complains. Probably because she no longer has real pros the kids really respond to along, like Beth or Jodi.

Kate picks a completely stupid fight with Jon about who will lead the group and who will head up the rear. Seriously, why does it matter? Just someone over the age of 18 get in front and someone also over 18 get in rear. Kate insists she has to be in the rear because she's not good with directions. I've been to the Philly airport at least six times on connecting flights if not more; it may be huge but it couldn't be more simple to get where you're going. Step one, you look at your gate on your ticket. Step two, you look at the yellow signs above your head which clearly point which way your gate is. Step three, you proceed in that direction to said gate. Jon explains that it is annoying to be in front because Kate is always telling him to walk faster and overall irritating him while he's trying to be the leader. Yeah, I can see that. Poor Jon, another damned if he does damned if he doesn't situation. Kate has him just where she wants him.

Jon snaps, "You're stinkin' annoying. Too bad." They keep fighting over this for quite some time, all in front of the kids, too, as well as the nanny, who probably feels super awkward right now. Hysterically, while this is going on, the nanny kind of quietly wanders to the front with a few kids and starts to lead. Jon and Kate STILL keep fighting. Kate claims that she is dealing with everything and Jon is doing jack, just like she always does. And she's completely wrong, just like she always is, since Jon is, as usual, busting his balls. That is if he still has any, which is open to debate. I'm reminded why this couple and this marriage completely, utterly, BUG.

On the couch, Kate is still not letting this go. Another of her admirable qualities--she holds grudges as hard as some people are trying to hold onto their jobs in this economy. She is talking in circles not making any sense at all about why Jon had to be up front. She finally tells Jon to just say that she is right and get it over with. She even grabs his mouth and tries to make him form the words. Man, she is desperate! My grandfather always said the more wrong they are the louder they talk. Good advice, Grandpa. Thankfully, Jon is like, no way not sayin' it. I have a great book recommendation for Kate, it's called "Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In." I think the techniques in that book might work a little better for her rather than her current strategy.

The howler monkeys and their parents herd onto the plane. Kate is, of course, "exhausted." She's got a four-buck Starbucks grande in hand to pep her up. Jenny is stuck in the very back row where you can't even recline your seat because it's built up right against the bathroom wall. She kind of casually suggests she sits somewhere else, but Kate forces her to the back. Being a nanny for a celebrity family has such wonderful perks, doesn't it? Surprisingly, Cara, not Mady, is having a complete meltdown. And they haven't even left PA yet! She bangs her hand on the seat for emphasis. "This is the worst trip ever!" she sobs. "Ever! Ever!" Cara coming alive! I love it!

Kate already made it abundantly clear she doesn't want to sit next to Alexis on the plane in the last episode. Now, right in front of Alexis, she reiterates that she was avoiding this child and doing everything she could to pass her off on Jon. I guess she thinks Alexis is not old enough to realize her mom is talking about her, making fun of her, and doesn't want to be around her? "My seats are full!" Kate laughs evilly. I give her a dirty look.

So very oddly, Kate says they've been with the kids to California "numerous" times. Huh? As far as we know they've only been with the Tups to California once for the Ellen show, and with the twins to northern California once for a speaking engagement. That's only two. But I actually believe Kate that it's been numerous, because of how good the kids are at traveling cross country. I think there is a shitload of jet setting going on above and beyond what we see on the show, which I don't think is very healthy for these kids--the stress, the time change, the long flights, the instability, and so on. I don't know where they are going--photo shoots maybe, production meetings, free trips we don't know about, but it's a lot. Also out of curiosity, what is the plan to keep all this up when they are in school?

Oh God we're only five minutes into this episode. I better speed this up.

Kate and Jon justify a huge thousands-of-dollars trip to San Diego by insisting that the children couldn't possibly adjust to a six hour time difference without five days of fun, sun and a resort in San Diego. This way they can slowly adjust to about forty minutes a day. I see their point.

The kids are fairly good on the plane and Kate actually made a great effort to try to entertain them with various games, food, and things like that. She ruins the moment by reminding us again really truly no one likes Alexis, like, at all. Personally? I think the little leprechaun is great.

They land. Kate gloats on and on about how a flight attendant thought her kids were so well behaved. Cut to Collin who is refusing to get off the plane with Jenni and in fact wants to go backward down the aisle. I'm afraid that won't get you back to PA, Collin, or out of this family, either. Jenni, the alleged nanny, is utterly clueless how to handle this, and Collin bolts ahead. On his way out, he smacks his head hard on the bulkhead. He's wearing crocs. I wonder if that made him trip, because I've heard a lot of people complain that crocs make little kids trip. Incidentally, I thought Kate was heading up the rear. Why is the nanny now heading up the rear? It seems like a parent would want to be last out of the plane to check for stray children, ipods, sweaters, things like that. Oh, well.

Kate explains that the reason Collin got hurt was that God was punishing him for not obeying Jenni. Um, what? HOLD UP. Does anyone still actually believe that God punishes anyone, much less an adorable four-year-old little boy, by causing them to fall on their head and possibly get a concussion, skull fracture, or worse? I thought that was something 17th century Puritans and possibly a few leftover followers of Jerry Fawell held fast to, but certainly not mainstream Christians these days. And for the record, if not for the show, Collin wouldn't have been on this airplane in the first place, let alone had a nanny who can't control him. He could have been seriously hurt and Kate is sitting around talking about some vengeful God.

I know religion is a hot topic and that a casual reader might just think I'm prejudiced against the Bible Belt. But I am actually a very regular church goer myself (I attend an evangelical Presbyterian church), and I'm still really shocked that Kate believes this, I have to say. It's clear to me she is a religious nut, and TLC has done a damn good job of keeping it on the down low for much of this series since they already had the religious angle with the Duggars. Jon and Kate were inconveniently just as Godly, so they had to sort of try to avoid it. I’m super curious now what she actually says at her church speaking engagements, if anyone can afford to hear her anymore.

While we're on the subject, let's talk about Jenni. She's not a stand out nanny by any means. She's not all that enthusiastic, creative, or affectionate. But she does the job and puts up with a lot of, well, shit. The kids seem moderately attached, at least some of them. But she'll be gone in another couple months of course, when she does something that offends Kate and gets herself estranged. Kids can get super attached to caregivers, and to shuffle in and shuffle out a bunch of rotating faces without really giving them any lasting stability, is really cruel, I think, and also really insensitive. I wonder if anyone has helped the Gosselin kids feel and process the loss of Beth, Jodi, or others. Eh, probably not. Moving on!

They get on a bus to Paradise Point, a gorgeous resort, which invited them. Read: Paid for it all.

Coming up, Kate manages to ruin some more fun!

The family has settled in at Paradise Point on Mission Bay island, which also has a spa. I bet Kate requested that! Kate explains that it was perfect because they never had to interact with anyone since it had a bunch of private entrances. That's nice. I hate interacting with people, too.

"Jenni had her own room," Jon explains. Then Jenni explains that actually Mady and Cara slept with her on the rollaways. So yes Jenni had her own room, I suppose, not counting the two kids in it. Ha! I certainly predicted that one correctly. I am really curious how much Jenni is getting paid for not even being allowed two minutes to herself on this entire trip.

They explain where everyone else slept, which is boring, and then they explain that the kids no longer need potties. Seriously? Hallelujah. How old are they, like twelve now? Notably, Kate and Jon have their own master suite "away from the kids." I see why they needed to bring the nanny along.

Jon and Kate take all the kids to the pool. The kids are really turning into little fishies after getting some swimming lessons. They should consider getting a swimming pool at their house in PA, huh? Perfect investment in this economy.

For like the sixth time Jon explains why they need to spend five days in California spending TLC's money and adjusting to the time difference. The three…hour….time difference. We get it, we get it!

After lunch Jon and Kate take the kids to a lagoon, except Mady, who is back in the hotel with the nanny. Mady was misbehaving so she wasn't allowed to come along. I actually don't have a problem with this. If a kid is misbehaving, she should lose privileges like doing something fun with everyone else. But I do have a problem with Kate calling her "ugly." She is a misbehaving child, not a duckling. All kids misbehave at some time. They are appropriately punished, and hopefully they act better next time and eventually grow into nice adults. Ugly has nothing to do with it.

They buy some fish food and let the kids sprinkle it in the water. This is such a great activity and kids always love stuff like this. Kate is even taking pictures and everyone is having a blast. Jon gets some drippy squid to feed the sharks, which is super cool. Everything is going so great until Joel drips a little squid water on himself. Kate freaks and tells him he's going to stink like a fish but "we can't change you!"

Um, why can't they change him? Because the boys won't match? Because they don't have any other clean clothes? Because the nanny is not available to change him? That's just ridiculous. A nice moment ruined. Thanks Kate!

Commercials. The Duggars have their own show now. Copiers! The Duggars may be odd ducks, but I like them so much better than this family and I could write a dissertation on why. Starting with how much more appreciative they are of the little things in life and how aware they are of how wonderful and blessed their happy and healthy family is. But alas I'm stuck recapping this crap. God must be punishing me.

We're back! Jon decided to get a paddleboat which unfortunately only seats three kids. Kate decides who has been really good today and who will get along with who, and Jon and Kate manage to split the kids up without them realizing it so that Cara, Hannah and Collin go with Jon to the paddleboats and the rest of the kids go with Kate to the beach. Aw.

Jon insists that Cara has to ride backwards in the paddleboat. She has a meltdown and says riding backwards makes her sick, which I'm sure it does. It does quite a few people. Thankfully Jon figures out a way where she can kneel on her knees and face forward in her seat. Problem solved. I don't want to even imagine how Kate would have handled this issue. Probably call her ugly and banish her to the nanny, I suspect. And involve God somehow.

Back at the resort, the nanny is watching the kids on the beach. At least the nanny is having some nice quality time with these kids that aren't hers. And Kate is standing around crossing her arms and talking to the cameras. After all the efforts to not let the kids know they had to split them up for the boats, Jon paddles straight up to everyone to say hello. Wow, that's kinda mean. Of course the other kids want a ride, too. Aw, that stinks that they all couldn't go.

Kate takes a couple pictures with her iphone. Yet another thing the average American really probably can't afford. Or at least shouldn't get, budget wise. Of course I have a Blackberry I can't afford whatsoever, so who am I to talk. I "need" it, I promise.

The production crew rented another paddle boat and desperately tried to keep up with Jon and the kids to film them, but they really couldn't. I think that's a sign from God. You know, to leave them alone for once.

Kon finally realizes it's totally unfair to just arbitrarily take two kids on a paddleboat, and Hannah is always the good child anyway so that's really an uneven contest, so they start taking turns with all the kids and shockingly, even Kate participates. Everyone is getting a chance to ride at some point, which I'm very happy about. Unfortunately with eight kids, you're going to either have to make an effort to make things like this as fair as you can, or not do them at all. I know critics will say life is not fair, but trust me, these kids will get that lesson plenty of other times.

Coming up, building more memories at expensive amusement parks!

We're back. They're going to Legoland, which is actually in Carlsbad, not really that close to San Diego. But that's okay we can pretend it's in San Diego. Anyway, you would think part of the hook of traveling with this many kids is how you're going to get them to where you want to go, but not this show anymore. Production has chartered a shuttle which drives everyone there, and everyone naps peacefully on the way. Drama gone. Yawn.

Legoland is pretty much just like every other amusement park episode of which there have been way too many, so I'm going to skip most of it. The short of it is Kate can't go on a ride without yelling at Jon and making everyone edgy and nervous.

At one point Alexis tries to make her escape from this family, but unfortunately Kate catches her and drags her back. I've never seen Kate run so fast after something. But after all it's like watching money blow away in the wind when a child in this family wanders off. They should get these kids insured. Mady gets super frustrated when trying to drive these cute little Lego boats. She's going to be a fun one to teach to parallel park.

Coming up, more fun at the amusement park! More screaming, but at least it's happy screaming.

We're back! "If you're in San Diego you oughta do Legoland!" Kate announces. Or, Carlsbad. Whatever.

The nice people at Legoland let the children into their new totally awesome aquarium. It has fish and little Lego scuba divers and cool stuff like that. Most things are built down low so that it's incredibly kid friendly. It's not even open to the public yet. I hope someone explained to the kids what an incredible privilege it is to have a private advanced viewing of an exhibit like this. I hope they don't break it. These kids are destructive. I really fear for these kids when eventually they realize first, that one day they will have to stand in line for maybe hours for this stuff, and two, they will actually have to pay for it and that a lot of parents will probably say sorry honey not this time. Maybe if we get a coupon someday.

Poor Aaden's having a tummy ache. Maybe God is punishing him? Nope, Kate attributes this to not eating organically. Oh for Christ sake. Okay, then I'm gonna attribute it to the stress of having his entire two weeks of his what was meant to be relaxing vacation filmed 24/7. Two different opinions. Both equally possible I think!

Coming up! More amusement park fun/spending money.

We're back. Finally it's their last day in San Diego. I hope to God everyone has adjusted to the three hour time difference by now. They head over on their private shuttle to Wild Animal Park. At the park some nice park lady is taking them around on another shuttle.

I think it's really funny that Aaden says his favorite animal is a dragon. That's not even a real animal, cutie pie. The park lady seems like she's thinking, um, well, not sure if I can show you that one. What a cute child.

The park lady does her best to educate the family about the various animals, but no one really listens, not surprisingly. They're on vacation. This is no time to learn!

Another park lady gives the family a private viewing of a bunch of smaller animals. There's a super cute owl and the kids are getting a lot better at petting gently compared to other animals parks we've seen them at in the past.

The lady brings out a really tired, shy springhass, which looks like a bunny and a kangaroo had sex. Seriously. It's creepy.

The kids want to know why the springhass is so shy. "Don't you like a little privacy?" the park lady asks. Ha, I almost think she might have read GWOP at one point the way she said that.

"Yes!" Kate cries. Oh, gimme a break, Kate. If privacy is an issue, you're welcome at any time to turn the cameras off. Lord knows there are plenty of us who have been asking you to do that for over a year now.

Some people have claimed on the boards that Mady said, "But we never get it!" in response to the comment about privacy. My closed caption doesn't know. I honestly can't really hear for sure what Mady said. But I'm sure it was something snarky and awesome. I love those smart-mouthed twins. Their parents deserve it.

They bring out a little alligator. Alexis is truly THRILLED. It's so adorable. And her parents actually appreciate her pure joy, which is nice.

Finally the day is done, and they have to get back to the hotel and pack for Hawaii. They thank Paradise Point, which just reaffirms to me that they paid for everything.

This was a nice trip, I guess. Expensive of course, completely unnecessary, but nice. There were a few moments where Kate and Jon were good parents, involved and engaged and happy. And not to be outdone, there were many more moments where they were back to their ridiculous selves. I still can't believe we're not in Hawaii yet.

Coming up, allegedly we finally get to Hawaii, but I'm not banking anything on it.

Submitted by Dew.