Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Kimm and I decided to also fit in some “touristy” things while we were out in California, and Universal Studios was where we both wanted to go. We spent Sunday night looking up the various entertainment and rides at the park and were both excited to spend the day there on Monday. When we awoke on Monday, while Kimm was getting ready, I spent a little time practicing the newly learned lesson of “filling the frame” by photographing some of the gorgeous flowers in Frank’s beautifully landscaped front yard–I call this selection, California Flowers.
Frank was kind enough to offer to drive us to the subway drop off point where we hopped onto the subway for only $1.25 (which really seemed to be the honor system since no one ever asked to see our tickets and we never had to put them into any kind of slot…strange…). After a short ride, we arrived and had to walk only a short while to the tram area where we were shuttled up to Universal Studios.
I can say this now, since the trip is now over, and I have fully recovered. I DO NOT CARE FOR THEME PARKS. I didn’t think I felt this way prior to going to Universal Studios. I was fully prepared to have an excellent time and enjoy myself thoroughly. And I did have a good time. But I admit, being in a closed in space, with LOTS of people, most of them KIDS and TEENAGERS, is not that fun. There were several times while we were waiting in line when I was fuming with anger because kids where shouting or pushing. Plus there is all the waiting in line. I have decided that I have better things to do with my time besides waiting in line. Of course there were people who purchased the “Front of the Line” passes (for a lot more money–if I could have afforded it, I would have done it as well!). And the walking–we both had what we term “Big E” feet by the time we arrived home that night (The Big E is an approximately 2 week long fair that is held yearly in New England–we always go for a full day, we always walk all day, and we ALWAYS have sore feet the next day!). Not to mention the big one–the expense. Our tickets to simply get into the park were $64 each. Then you have to add on the money you spend on food (not cheap) and any souvenirs that you may want, not to mention simply some water when you get hot, and it can get EXTREMELY expensive. I honestly don’t know how families afford to go! But that’s enough of my rant. While I was there, I did have fun. The only BAD thing that happened all day was the fact that my camera battery died midway through the day! But, don’t despair, I do have some pictures.
When we first walked in, there was this statue that everyone was crowded around, and taking pictures of. I couldn’t figure out why it was so interesting–I mean, it’s a statue. But then all of a sudden, there was a movement, and one part of the statue moved and changed positions! It was a live human being, dressed in clothing similar to the other people in the statue, but he must have had on special studio makeup. I was simply amazed…mostly because it was a HOT day and he was not even sweating! I know I could not have done that job!
Which of these people in the statue is “real”? (Hint: It’s the one leaning against the pole in the foreground!)
One of the first shows we saw was called Waterworld–it was a stunt show based on the movie (which I’ve never seen so had nothing to compare it to)–just picture the end of the world in sight because there is no dry land anywhere, until one of the “good guy” characters finds dry land to everyones relief, but then of course the “bad guys” want to get there first and try to kill off the “good guys”–include lots of fire, diving into the water, shooting, and ski jets, and you get the picture.
Where all the action took place (isn’t that water beautiful looking?)
We went into the House of Horror. It was okay–we were expecting a ride of some sort, but instead it was a walk through house. I was scared a few times by cleverly placed actors who jumped out at you, but for the most part it was simply looking at what was supposed to be scary things (for example, skulls, tombs, a room full of characters from scary movies). Combined with the group of 10 screaming teenagers behind us, who kept running into us, it wasn’t our favorite entertainment of the day.
Shrek was better. It was a 4-D movie–the fourth dimension included seats moving to simulate movement on the screen, water being squirted out at you to simulate being splashed with a puddle, or even more disgusting, spit from a sneeze!, and air pumped past your feet to simulate spiders! We were both laughing after coming out of that show.
Of course we did the Studio Tour, a tram tour of Hollywood’s most famous behind-the-scenes movie studios. It was extremely interesting, but also difficult to take pictures from a moving tram–they didn’t really stop much to take pictures. It took Kimm a while to get the hang of it, but we got a few!
Does this boat look familiar? Da, na, na, na, da, na, na, na (with haunting music = JAWS!)
A glimpse of Whoville, from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Movie (with Jim Carrey)
The most famous motel of all time, from Psycho
Although we did almost everything at the park (with the exception of the Simpson’s Ride–because the line was always 45 minutes long, and the Jurassic Park ride–because you got SOAKED coming down a large water shoot at the end, and Curious George–because it was for young children), the ride I think we both most enjoyed was Revenge of the Mummy. Even though it was based on a movie that we had never seen, it was great because it was a roller coaster that first went forward, then backward–it was dark, it was scary, it was FUN!!! If I could do it over again, I would go on this ride AT LEAST five more times!
This guy (and others like him) were milling about outside the ride…Kimm wanted a picture with one of them–they were about 7-8 feet tall (on stilts obviously), but of course after this picture is when the camera battery died…
After we had our fill of Universal Studios, we headed back out to CityWalk, an outdoor plaza with shopping, dining, and outdoor music. We walked around a bit, but our feet were so sore, we headed back to the subway (and it took us 45 minutes to get back to the spot Frank would pick us up–much longer than the ride in), and finally arrived home after 9pm. I think we were both glad to see our bed that night.
It was a good experience, and I’m glad I went, but I’m certain I will not go again!