We awoke to a beautiful scene; the sun coming up over the horizon, the pool glistening and the breeze blowing through the palm fronds. It was going to be another beautiful day in Florida; exhausting but beautiful. It wasn’t long before the lil one was bouncing off the walls asking when we could leave, what time did they open, when could we leave, can we leave now; did I mention the lil one wanted to know when we were leaving to go to Universal Studios. This was our one day pass to this park unless we changed our minds about which park to use our third day option on.
With all the excitement it didn’t take us long to get dressed, have breakfast and hit the gates. We knew that we only had the one day here but also knew that we would skip a few rides due to the lil one being too short for them at the moment. At the gate we got our map and magical birthday badge and began formulating a plan to see it all in but only one day.
Right off the bat we met Scooby Doo and Shaggy, it was almost as if they were there to welcome us. By looking at the map we could see that we weren’t far from Bikini Bottom. This path was dotted with shops, rides and even a talent show with the four legged actors from the Universal movies; the lil one especially loved this. We rode one ride and wanted to buy the picture, they explained how the photo pass worked (better than the guy yesterday did) and we quickly jumped on the chance to have someone else take our pictures throughout the park (I’m usually the one behind the lens). Every person we saw holding a camera we ran up to them, had our card scanned and smiled pretty for the cameras; I couldn’t wait to go online and print them out.
Soon enough we found ourselves in the middle of Bikini Bottom waiting on SpongeBob for a meet and greet with him. They had replicas of his chair, house and Gary to take pictures with, not to mention SpongeBob himself. The lil one had two dreams to come true in two days! It was time to move on to other sights and rides. We loved riding bikes with E.T., you really felt like you were there. I’m glad the lil one had watched the movie prior to this trip; similarities were pointed out through the whole ride.
The Transformers and Simpson’s rides were two of my favorite. The lil one really enjoyed the minions, the lil one and I rode this one by ourselves; daddy took a break. The lil one even got special attention from one of the HOP bunnies in the birthday, they came over with birthday wishes; these were those magical powers provided to us by the birthday badges. We saw and did absolutely everything we could (we thought), we ate at as many different places as possible; we smiled and laughed until our cheeks hurt.
As the sun started going down, we rounded a corner and spied one more ride. I let the lil one and daddy go on it by themselves while I took a mommy break from the hustle and bustle. While enjoying some mommy time I did what every mommy does; I thought of and shopped for the lil one. There just so happened to be a vendor for the pearl jewelry outside the ride. While talking to the sales lady about the oysters and prices, she showed me several pieces within my budget. I showed her the few that I could afford for her to show the lil one, I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a necklace that may or may not get broken/lost. When the ride was over I pitched the idea to the hubby behind the lil ones back in parent code that you learn over the years. He was sold; we did a U-turn and pitched the birthday gift to the lil one. Oh how the eyes sparkled at being able to pick the ugliest oyster and be the very first person on Earth to see what was hiding inside. It ended up being a HUGE pearl, a whopping 7.9 in size. We had all agreed that with the size of the oyster it needed a setting to do it justice; a butterfly was the only one big enough to hold such a magnificent pearl. This is very fitting as the lil one is very fond of butterflies. With the pearl set and placed safely in its carrying bag we were ready to find seats for the fireworks over the lake.
This just so happened to be after Universal’s 100th Anniversary and they were still performing the amazing show at the closing of the park. They had water curtains to show scenes and images from their movies they have created over the years. It was fun for the hubby and I to try to name all the movies that we knew from the images created in the falling water; we knew almost all of them. Before long we were following the crowds out of the park along all of the conveyor belts (this was something the lil one had to do all the time, every time) and into the parking decks; only to join the lines of cars waiting in line to get onto the Interstate. I didn’t have another meal cooking while we played; this meant a stop before getting back to the relaxing room.
We stopped at CiCi’s pizza and filled up. On the receipt there was a coupon for the gift shop next door. Being the tourists that we were, we had to see what they had to offer. After filling the bellies and emptying the debit card, it was time to hit the room and shower. The beds were getting more and more comfortable as our exhaustion levels went up, we were falling asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows.
Until next time….
Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going. ̴̴̴ ̴̴̴Paul Theroux