Universal Studios

Trip Start Dec 29, 2010
Trip End Dec 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Santa Monica

Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, January 22, 2011

Today we did the touristy thing and spent the day at Universal Studios.  We left the hotel in our pre-arranged taxi - probably the biggest taxi we'll ever see - and arrived in Hollywood as the gates were opening.
Walking down the mall outside the park, full as ever with enormous places to eat yet more junk food, Brad was delighted to spot a sign saying "Itsu".  After 3 weeks of eating nothing but fries, burgers, pizza and enormous pastas, with hardly a lettuce leaf or vegetable in sight, Brad was thrilled at the thought of some cleansing and healthy sushi for lunch.  As we continued to walk, sadly the sign revealed itself fully as saying "It'sugar" ie yet another indulgence for the Americans' love of all that is sugar-laden and fat-soaked.  So, yet again we ended up in a fast food joint, eating pizza and drinking coke for lunch.....We swear we will get properly into our healthy regime once we hit Sydney.....!
The rest of the day was full of lots of fun.  Zach was thrilled to meet the real Sponge Bob Square Pants and have his photo taken with him.  Jamie really wanted to meet Scooby but we didn't manage to see him.
The park had generally fewer rides than we expected, and much to the kids disappointment.  However we did go and watch Shrek in 4D, and the Curious George kids area was a big hit.  Mummy took the older 2 kids on the Simpsons Ride which was a HUGE mistake....It was basically a horrendous rollercoaster simulator which was far too scary for Mummy to handle, let alone the children.  Jamie and I clung to the bar for dear life, white-knuckled with our eyes shut willing the ride to finish.  Zachy, despite me shouting at him to shut his eyes, experienced the whole terrifying ride, and duly left the ride in tears, telling me he never wanted to go to this place ever again.  Oh dear - very bad parenting on my part - must check out the rides more fully in advance in future!  
Earlier in the day we also did the full Movie Tour which Brad and I loved.  It took you on a big tour round all the studios, lots of sets and included a couple of rides, including the brilliant Jurassic Park/King Kong ride (which again the kids hated and found far too scary!) We spotted Whoopi Goldberg as we drove through one of the car parks, which was a bonus. But of course one of the highlights for us was driving down the real Wisteria Lane....(those of you that know us well know that we are Desperate Housewives fans!) 
After Universal we found our huge cab again and took a detour back to the hotel via the sights of Hollywood:  the Walk of Fame, Sunset Boulevard, Beverley Hills and Rodeo Drive.  Having never been to LA before I was pretty disappointed with how tacky the Walk of Fame is - all the stars in the pavement are in front of grubby shops, pharmacies, take away fast food joints, or, if you are really lucky your star is in front of The Gap - not quite the glamourous walk I had imagined. 
After a busy day we had a couple of relaxed hours at the hotel then were looking forward to an early dinner at the smart Ivy restaurant in Santa Monica.  Benji had other ideas, though, and decided to have complete and utter meltdown which basically scuppered all our plans.  He was in such a state that we put him straight in the bath with Brad to calm down, and our pampered little third child was spoon fed baby food while floating in the bath.  It was a matter of anything for a quiet life and he then rewarded us by falling asleep in the pushchair and the rest of us had a really nice evening in the hotel bar, drinking nice Californian wine and eating bar snacks for dinner.  Another great day in LA......
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Bene on

Wow guys it all looks amazing !!!

I am sitting in my office .... freezing after my scooter ride in .... its grey and cold outside .... so am a tad green with envy !!!!

Enjoy every second of it and lovely to see what you guys are getting up to.

Lots of love


The Aclands on

Very glad all going well all sounds fantastic, not at all jealous!! Evenings pulling out here but but very dark in mornings - your are not missing much. Notgrove rather damp but all looking forward to spring indeed have just seem first snow drop - very exciting. Diana looking forward to next holiday having just got back from Grenada.
Love to you all and give the Aussies our commiserations and have a wonderful time on your next adventure.
Harry and family

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