And now, let's get back to the Universal Studios trip!
After Jurassic World, we decided to take care of any other business we wanted to do on the lower lot, because it is a Trek to get down there. Mostly this just consisted of going on the Mummy, which still has a bad attitude, but can be fun anyway. And then we did some dinosaur shopping. Sarah found one of those stick-type lollipops with a little dinosaur plushie hugging it for Hagger, who is the resident dinosaur enthusiast. We also discovered the Universal Studios cast members get a pretty sweet discount.
I also want to mention that we saw a triceratops walking around, and it was awesome.
Back on the upper lot, we went on the Simpsons ride. The main thing worth noting here is that Aurora is on very good terms with many of the other Universal cast members, and thus we were able to use the special access line without any credentials. (We did still have a bunch of front-of-the-line passes, but apparently those don't work on the Simpsons ride.)
We went back to the Three Broomsticks for lunch, where we finally tried the regular butterbeer. I don't know if we mentioned trying the frozen kind, which has a kind of chemically aftertaste. The regular kind didn't! But the carbonation was still the strongest flavor for us, which was sad because I could tell I really liked the non-carbonation flavors. Fortunately, Aurora clued us in to the existence of butterbeer fudge, which can be purchased at Honeyduke's.
We did some more shopping and saw a bunch of cool stuff we ended up not buying. In particular, there was a Ravenclaw t-shirt with sparkly silver letters that we really liked, but couldn't commit to at the time. Now we regret it. I was amused when we stopped by a little merchandise table outside the Owl Post so Athena could look at the quill and ink set. The cast member asked me if I had any questions, and I said nah, I'm good, and he said he was always ready in case we needed him, and not-so-subtly picked up one of the Ravenclaw scarves they were selling. (Naturally, Athena and I were wearing Ravenclaw t-shirts.)
Finally, we went to Honeyduke's where Sarah got a little pygmy puff for Hermie and a chocolate frog for Grawp. Aurora tells us that the frogs are beautiful, the cards are cool, but the chocolate is not very good. We all figured Grawp's just a kid, so he won't care too much about the quality of the chocolate, but he is a Harry Potter fan, so he'll appreciate the trading card.
Aurora also told us that if you buy a pygmy puff, they do an adoption ceremony, so of course we were even more motivated to buy one than we already had been. We had already decided we needed a pygmy puff, because they were bred by Fred and George. So we went to look at them, and I noticed the tag that says to squeeze it and it will make sounds, and I thought it would just be like a squeaky toy, but I squeezed it and it made the most adorable purring sound! So we got one of the medium-sized ones in purple, because the pink was just a little too hot for my tastes.
When we made the purchase, the cast member didn't do anything special, so Aurora asked, "Don't you do an adoption ceremony?" And the cast member said, "We can! Do you want to?" and I said, "Yes!" so she pulled out a giant bell like the kind you associate with bellhops, and first asked if I wanted to ring it or if I wanted her to ring it, and then asked what my name was, and then asked what the pygmy puff's name was. I hadn't thought of a name, so I tried to come up with one on the spot. Just as she was saying we didn't have to have a name, I said, "I kind of want to name it Pinky, for the irony." So that's what we did! I rang the bell, the cast member called the attention of everyone in the store and said, "This is Alethea, and she just adopted Pinky!" and everybody applauded! Tadah! And now we are the proud owners of Pinky the Purple Pygmy Puff.
We also made sure to buy two squares of butterbeer fudge, which we still have not tried, because of busyness and the stress of everything that's been going on this week. We wanted to wait until we could enjoy it without worrying about anything else. Now we just hope it hasn't gone too stale.
Finally, we made our way to the Waterworld show. On the way there, we passed by Spongebob Squarepants and his friend whatever-his-name-is. Oh yeah, Patrick. But the point is,
And then we saw the Waterworld show, which was the same as always, but with different actors. They were all pretty good in this one. Deacon especially had a lot of fun with it, and since he's kind of the heart of the show, that's important. "Oh, you're using Chuck for a shield? ...I never liked Chuck. *bang*"
When the show was over, the park only had about half an hour before closing time, so we thought about whether or not to stay...and then the sky starting dripping on us, so we figured it was time to head out. We did a tiny bit more window-shopping on Citywalk...where it randomly started snowing in the Harry Potter section of the Studio Store. And that was kind of cool, but there were a couple of women there who were like, "Ugh, this snow is not as good as the snow at Disneyland." And that made me mad, because it was the exact same
Anyway. Mom had decided that she didn't want us taking an Uber all the way home, so we had a lovely meandering drive in the rain through Los Angeles so they could drop us off at the train station. Turns out, Amtrak was indeed a lot cheaper. And Union Station was having a John Legend concert as we arrived. We didn't see if we could wander in, though, because we were tired and just wanted to get to Wetzel's Pretzels.
The next train homeward wasn't leaving for another hour, which was great, because it gave us time to eat. And then, just as we got settled on the train, my phone started ringing. It was Gaston! He'd decided that, since Tuesday didn't work out for Disneyland, he would come on Wednesday. And for some reason, even though he'd been staying at a different friend's house (a friend who doesn't have an annual pass) on his Disneyland trips for the last 10 months, now it was time to stay at our place. And we thought of the state of our spare bedroom, and were like, "...We'll deal with it in the morning." I mean, seriously, with all our busyness, we only really have time to clean when external forces give us a compelling reason to. So now we had one, but we were tired from our day at Universal Studios, and we only had a few hours between waking up and his arrival. ...But that's enough whining. More on the saga of this week in tomorrow's post.
Today I'm thankful for Pinky the Purple Pygmy Puff, Aurora being so kind as to take us around Universal Studios on her day off, Aurora making sure we got to do the adoption ceremony, having some butterbeer fudge to look forward to, and getting to order a yummy pizza for dinner tonight.