Universal Studios

I’ve been living in Los Angeles for the last 10 years, and I’ve never been to Universal Studios. Sure, I’ve been to (and performed at) Universal CityWalk, just never made it into the theme park.

Until two days ago.

My parents and sisters are in town and they decided we should all go to Universal Studios for Cherise’s birthday. What a fantastic day!

We met there at 11:45am – Jacob’s been skipping his naps here and there, so we weren’t sure what was going to happen. We went into the park and took a shuttle over to the Jurassic Park ride area (there’s a Dino kids area, which basically consisted of a playground made out of a hollow dinosaur skeleton. It was cool, but Jacob wasn’t into it)

The plan was simple: half of us would go on each ride, while the other half would hang with Jacob (he’s too small and young for most of the rides, but still, he was a trooper and had a great day!) and then we’d switch. Jurassic Park was pretty awesome!

Quick Jurassic tip: you’re going to get soaked. Completely. So leave all electronics elsewhere if possible.

From there, we ate and Jacob spent some time with auntie Kelly and Uncle D. It was nice to have a little break (as any parent with young children can attest, it’s damn near impossible to actually eat a meal unless you have someone watching your child).

From there we went on The Mummy Returns. Not a ride for the faint of heart. So much so, that they put a warning sign up (I guess they need to absolve themselves of liability in case someone has a heart attack on the ride, which, by the way is entirely possible. Yes, it was awesome!)

After we all withstood the “curse of the mummy”, we ate some popcorn – like you do after such an ordeal – did I forget to mention it was 104 degrees outside? I did? Ok, well it was. Brutal! I walked with Jacob over to the Transformers ride – they had a giant Optimus Prime taking pictures with people (speaking of pictures, I’m still waiting to get them from my sisters – they took lots and we took none. Too busy with Jacob) After a while Jacob looked at me and said “Done! All done!” So we left Mr. Prime to his own devices and rejoined the group.  Don’t worry, I went on the Transformers ride. It was fantastic! Very well done! And also a little nauseating. But still. Loved it! Only some of us went – 2 of my sisters weren’t in the mood, and neither was Cherise, so they went back to the main park with Jacob. I went with my parents, and Jacob’s auntie Kelly and uncle D.

After Transformers, we met up and went on the studio tour. If you’ve never been, it’s a 45 minute tour around the studios and through some pretty cool attractions – King Kong in 3D, Jaws, and an 8.5 Magnitude Earthquake (Jacob slept through it, but more on that in a bit) – and I highly recommend going (if you either A: have no kids, or B: have kids that are older than 3 or 4). With an almost 2-year-old, it was tough. During King Kong, he freaked out – he didn’t know that it wasn’t real. Poor kid. We helped him through it though. And then, somewhere between the prop cars and Jaws, he passed out in my arms. And I mean, OUT. He slept through the rest of the tour (including some serious movie floods, loud music, and the 8.5 magnitude earthquake simulation), slept through being put in his stroller afterward, and another 45 minutes while we frantically searched for my mom’s phone.

Oh yeah. Right after we got finished with the studio tour, as we were figuring out whether we were going to leave to go eat dinner or continue on, my mom realized that she didn’t have her phone. Ugh! So I activated her ‘find my iphone’. Seemed like it was moving and on the backlot, so we assumed it fell out of her purse on the studio tour. Auntie Kelly and uncle D took my phone and went searching. We waited. We searched. For a half hour. And then, we heard it. The beeping. My sisters Amy and Michelle looked in their purses – nothing. But still, the beeping. And then, Amy looked again and found my mom’s phone in her purse. Outside zipper pocket. Turns out when everyone went on Jurassic Park, my mom was holding 3 purses and put the phone back in the wrong purse… We teased her from that point on.

Then we went for Sushi in Toluca Lake. The food was excellent. Jacob was sooooo tired!! But what a trooper. He’s really such a good kid! We kept him occupied with crayons, food and a little flameless candle that we bring from home – he loves it.

Then I got into a heated argument at the table with my dad. I’m not going to go into specifics here, but I will say this: Sometimes, I really need to let go. I’m working on it. After all, nobody’s perfect right? We’re all good now, of course!

We came home exhausted. As we put Jacob down he was saying “Dump!” (I taught him to say “dump” for “poop” and he hadn’t yet, which meant we were really in for it the next morning – and boy, were we ever!)

Cherise and I collapsed on the couch and watched a little bit of So You Think You Can Dance (married, remember?) before going to bed.

What a fantastic day indeed!


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