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Family Vacation 2012 - Part I

Well, the annual family vacation started out with an email from G that she wasn't going.

So, Saturday morning around 8am, K, Kyle, Alani & I did the long drive down to Los Angeles. Two potty stops, lunch at Iron Skillet just before the Grapevine and we made it down to Lorie's in Monterey Park by 4pm. This also includes a quick snack at Shaka's (shaved ice!) while we waited for Lorie to get home from work. Picked up bbq dinner from some food trucks - don't know where - Sy (aka CfH) and K went.

Sunday, we drove out to Crafted at the Port in San Pedro. Got to see ame_chan and daughter, Emily! Squee! I haven't seen them in two years????? It was great to see them and see the new shops - Honey & Ollie and The Night Market! I got the cherry blossom necklace that I'd been admiring from Rainy; kidlets picked up t-shirts and posters from the booth next door and K picked more hot sauces.

Then we drove up to Gardena to visit Auntie Hey. The magic table was covered with food (Giuliano's torpedo sandwiches too! YUM!) as usual. Got to visit with Auntie, cousins: Robert, Heidi & Gordon, and Wayne & Marcia. Nice chat. Auntie's doing okay, still sharp, having problems with her hip. She & K exchanged hip issues. K thinks she's going to get her hip replaced next year

Dinner at Marie Callendar's.


Monday was Universal Studios. The kidlets had decided that they would rather got to US instead of Disneyland this year. (ack!)

Alani saw the HOLLYWOOD sign and was very happy.

The park opens up at 8am, but we got there around 7:30am (we left L's at 6:50am in order to beat traffic). We walked through the City Walk (nobody there), and nothing was open. We heard the announcement to "clear the area of service vehicles, the area would be open for visitors in 10 minutes"

The park was open early - and the Transformers 3D ride was open at 7:45 - so we zipped down to the lower level and did rides. By 9:30am, we had ridden Transformers, Jurassic Park, and The Mummy, multiple times - 10 minute wait max. My favorite was JP - did get splashed! Kidlets were happy. Yay! Went up to the upper level, and the kidlets rode the Simpson's ride (25 minute wait). The wait after they got off was 50 minutes,so they lucked out.

Did the Studios Tour (15 minute wait). I think the last time I was at US, my goddaughter was 3 years old (we were down in LA to celebrate her 3rd birthday - Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm & US). My goddaughter turns 30 this October. Oy.

Lunch at Doc Brown's - fried chicken - definitely a guilty pleasure.

After lunch, the kidlets discovered the Curious George "attraction" - "Soak up the thrills of a five hundred gallon water dump and unleash thousands of flying foam balls in this wild play area just for kids… and the young at heart" They only did the water portion. They were drenched. I took one look and decided that I'd have to buy US beach towels.

We saw the shows: Waterworld (eh?), animals (cute, especially the hedgehogs), and special effects. Kyle and I did the House of Horrors (neither of us was impressed - it probably didn't help that we had a bunch of scaredy cats in front of us)

Dinner at Bubba Gumps on City Walk, followed by shopping. Back to Lorie's by 10pm

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