California Day 7&8 - Universal Studios & Coming Home

Our last day in California, we had tickets to go to Universal Studios. Before we made the long drive to the park, we went to breakfast though. I think that meal was the first all week that was actually something that I'm supposed to be eating and it was really yummy!

Banana Pecan Pancakes

The ride to Universal Studios (and back) was brutal. Almost three hours long and the majority of it spent in LA traffic. It was a blast and a half. It didn't help that we were all really tired and I think ready to be done with the trip.

Universal Studios has a Halloween Horror Nights kind of like Disneyland's Mickey's Halloween Party, but probably focused more on the scary side than fun. This year their horror night was based on The Walking Dead, which is Joe's new favorite show. It sounded like it was pretty scary stuff, I don't think I would even consider going to it.

In line for the Universal Studios Tour, we were standing next to a group of tourists from China. They told us that they were a group of school teachers or something, and they were obsessed with Joe's sister's children. They were snapping picture after picture for 10-15 minutes. It was so entertaining to watch!

The studio tour was pretty cool! We saw a lot of sound stages and were shown how they do some of the special effects and film intense scenes in some movies. In front of Hasbro's offices on the studio tour, I guess Mr. Potato Head "guards" their bungalow.

We saw some of the famous cars from movies and TV shows.

This next part was pretty cool. We were in the streets of Mexico and it started to rain, and then there was a flash flood. They told us that all of the water is recycled, it drains down under a bridge and is pumped back up to the top of a hill, all in 15 seconds or so!

The calm before the storm.

Here come the rains!

The rain maker

And here come the floods!

All of the rest of the sets that we saw had bloodied, dead, zombies lying around. The tour guide told us that for their Halloween Horrors night, they drive people out there, drop them off and then they have to find their way out while being chased by zombies. I think they have cast members dress up and help out. I would for sure cry if I participated in that, especially after watching a few episodes of The Walking Dead.

Whoville

War of the Worlds

They had this really entertaining booth with Donkey from Shrek. He would interact with the people who walked past. He really liked my niece and nephew when they came up and talked to him. He said, "That boy is a cutie!" when they were walking away.

At the end of the day, the kids played on the Dino playground while Joe and I rode some of the bigger rides with his sister and brother. We decided not to take them with us because they weren't loving some of the other rides and shows.

That was the end of our trip basically. We bought some souvenirs and treats on our way out of the park. But when we finally got back to the condo, we ate food and started packing to leave the next day.

The trip home was fairly uneventful. A 12 hour drive isn't super fun, but we listened to Dave Ramsey and Harry Potter to keep us entertained! We made a pit stop in Vegas for lunch, gas and so that I could see my dear friend Macrae! It was so great to visit and catch up with her! We hadn't seen each other in three years!

Serendipity 3 at Caesar's Palace

We were cruising once we got to Utah and were on track to get home at 10:30pm and had an hour left of our drive, but then we hit traffic. It's never fun to be stuck in traffic on a long drive, but it's especially brutal when it is the home stretch and by the time you get past it, you should have been home!

We had a lot of fun on our trip, and it was nice to get away from home and responsibilities for a week!

Have you ever been to Universal Studios?

What is the best part about coming home from a vacation?