On the second full day of our vacation, Thursday I think, we headed to Universal Studios. When we decided to take the trip for the soccer game, we figured that we might as well take a trip to Universal Studios so that Elliott and Wyatt's Harry Potter dreams could come true. The night we told the boys about the trip, about a week before we left, Elliott looked like maybe he was going to stop breathing when he learned of the trip to HP land.
I'm pretty sure it didn't disappoint.
LA traffic is rotten, and it took us, no joke, 2 hours to travel I think 26 miles through the heart of LA and Hollywood to even get to the Universal Studios parking structure. Man alive, LA traffic is bad. We saw the Hollywood sign, the big planetarium on the hill, the Staples Center so it was a pretty interesting and scenic drive, especially looking at all the dejected and depressed single car drivers who have to sit in that traffic every single day of their lives.
But, as soon as we got out of the car and headed to Universal, it was worth it. The boys were so excited. A good friend of mine told us that we needed to head straight to Harry Potter, ride the ride and then get our wands. Well, the main ride already had a 70 minute wait, so we skipped that, rode the smaller roller coaster and then headed to Olivander's wand shop's....line. About 20 minutes later, we had the greatest experience of the day.
We were led into a small room and instructed that we would be entering another small room, and that it was imperative we listen to all instructions. Once in that second room, we were met by a female wizard who talked to us about the importance of wand selection and that a wand chooses it's owner, not an owner choosing a wand. As she spoke, she wandered the room, looking for a perfect young muggle/wizard to help select a wand.
She chose Elliott. He didn't quite know what to do, and wanted to play it cool, but I know he was melting a little on the inside. After three wands and three spells, Elliott found his wand and we were all released into the actual wand store which was very small and very crowded. The other boys selected their wands, we paid for our wands and were on our way to cast magic spells throughout the park. It was a pretty fun morning.
The rest of our day at Universal is a blur. It was pretty crowded, very hot and sweaty, and very expensive. It felt more expensive than Disneyland, but I'm not sure that it was - probably the same. We rode all the rides the boys were big enough/old enough/mature enough to ride (no mummy and no walking dead). We did the tram, saw some very strange people, listened to a lot of languages.
My "highlight" of the day was getting blasted in the face with a wall of water on the Jurassic Park ride. My hair was drenched. My make-up removed. I was furious. I might have cried a little and thought about marching to the front of the park and demanding my money back. After I had to use a bathroom hand dryer to dry my hair a bit with a woman standing and staring and laughing at me the whole time, I finally calmed down a bit. If the only person that throws a fit at a theme park is the mom, I guess you call it a good day?
We opened and closed the park, and the boys had fun so it was all worth it - even if I looked like a haggard old woman for the entire day. I guess that means I'll do just about anything to see all my boys (Ross included) happy.