Day 21 Santa Monica! Universal Studios!

An early start today in order to attempt to get to Universal Studios by 8am as we can gain access an hour earlier than general access due to buying tickets online.

We have generally found that the time estimated by Google Maps and our SatNav extends by about 25% as the trip goes on so with an estimate of 30 mins, we wanted to allow at least 45 mins which I think is what it took.  However, we were a bit late starting…  Light traffic though and made good time.  In fact, we actually wondered if we were on the right road…Travelling to Universal Studios


Our beloved SatNav needs to have its settings looked at.  It likes to take us on tours through suburbs.  Today we wound through back streets on the way to Universal Studios.  The Chrysler Town and Country is not built for winding back streets…

Car parking was easy as we were so early and access was easy generally.  First sights:
Universal Studios
Universal Studios

Then straight into Harry Potter World.  It was cool. Hubby and 12 year old wanted to go on the ride and Poppy and I declined. After they came back they assured us that it was great fun. All very safe… We would be fine… Despite knowing my very limited tolerance for theme park rides…

So Poppy and I believed them and trotted off to join the queue. We moved through a long walkway of talking portraits and scenes from Harry Potter. All very safe so far. Then I saw someone sitting in a seat and pulling something down over their head. I thought that it must have been something from the movie. 6 steps further and we were faced with sets of 4 of these seats and someone herding us towards them. I knew it didn’t bode well when they pulled the bar over our heads and said things to me that I couldn’t hear or understand… I just made sure that bar was pushed down as tight as I could. Hamish to my right and Poppy to his right. Then I realised I had my phone in my hand. Should I do something with that? Hamish nodded. I shoved it in my pocket and we were off. Hurtling through 3D space. Through spider, ghosts, goblins, ghoulish things, hurtling on broomsticks down dark tunnels, lurching backwards and forwards, legs in the air… Not happy Jan… How was Poppy doing?? Who would know… There was no escaping, except by closing my eyes and hoping for the best. On and on it went. It came to a grinding halt, maybe planned, maybe not. We were suspended in the air… Then it started again. Ditto, ditto, ditto, not enjoying it. Eventually it ended! NOT HAPPY!!!

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The escalators to the lower lot took 7 minutes! They were very steep.
Universal Studios

We saw a couple of shows.  Water world.  All very exciting.  A sea plane landed in front of us and there was lots of gun fire and fire.
Universal Studios

Special effects.  We saw practical effects, model effects, sound effect etc.  Then they set someone on fire.  Impressive.
Universal Studios

Before we left, Hamish and I had a chat with Donkey from Shrek!  Hilarious.  He never stopped talking.  After our chats he was braying ‘Hamish, Hamish, Haaamish’ as we walked up the road.

A rather tiring day.  Lots of time spent waiting while the boys went on rides.  Hope they remember this when I want to shop for more than an hour…

Home and then a last walk to Montana Avenue.  Have I mentioned that I love that place??

17 000 steps.