Highlight of the week: Universal Studios birthday get-away.

 

There’s nothing better than traveling to a fun destination on hot summer days with your girls. To go on a vacation you don’t always have to travel far. Sometimes, going on a vacation can be in your very own hometown and it might just be a bit less hectic that traveling a long distance. My girlfriends and I are all about trying new things and seeing new places and what better way to start exploring than in your own back yard.  For my friend Mitsy’s 23rd birthday we took a mini road trip to Universal Studios up in L.A.  Mitsy is a huge Harry Potter fan and recently Universal Studios opened The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter.  But before I get in to details of that, let me rewind a little bit and bring you with me on our voyage there.

July 19th: Traveling with friends can determine a lot about a friendship. I think it can either make it or break it. It’s kind of like a relationship because this is the time when you will see them just as they are; wild morning hair, possible dried up drool on your cheek, perhaps a fart, who knows what can happen. But honestly, we’re best friends for a reason, even though this is our first time traveling together, we knew it would be a good time no matter what we discovered about each other.

The day started off wrong thanks to me. We had established that we were going to be at work at 5 am and leave at 1:30 pm. I being the forgetful, at times uncoordinated person that I am, set the alarm for 4 am to go off on Thursday instead of Wednesday. Can you guess what happened? Yup, I didn’t wake up at 4 am nor did I pick Mitsy up like I was supposed to. I woke up at my normal time to go to work having a panic attack. I will most likely never hear the end of that one from Mitsy.

On our drive up, we stopped at a Chick-fil-a in Orange County. We love ourselves some Chick-fil-a. We ate, chatted a bit, and took off. Alllmost immediately I felt my stomach start to turn. You know, those nasty stomach cramps where you feel like you have to dart to the bathroom? Also known as the bubble guts.  Ever since I had my gallbladder removed, greasy, spicy, heavy foods just don’t sit too good. But hey, here I was scarfing down a spicy chicken sandwich.  We take off and everything was good, we’re dancing, rapping (or so we say), bumping the radio, acting crazy, the usual things, when suddenly Mitsy mentions that she doesn’t feel too good. She says she feels like she needs to throw up or use the bathroom, maybe both. Since I was driving my car and knew I didn’t want to clean up throw up or anything else coming out of other places that will not be mentioned, I offered to pull over. She says no, lays the seat back and just relaxed for a sec.  Meanwhile I was driving and the entire time I just had the bubble guts. I was literally squeezing my butt cheeks together in order for me not to fart or poop on myself. I’m slightly sweating at that point, trying to sit as still as possible hoping that they would pass and finally after about two minutes (that seemed like an hour), my stomach finally feels a little better. After a few minutes of silence, we both start feeling  a little but better. Mitsy sits  up, we begin to bump music again, and we’re feeling confident our stomachs will behave. About 10 minutes later, here we go again. It’s like the fight against the bubble guts, except Mitsy was feeling them too now. Out of the blue, she turns to look at me and says, “you need to pull over because I need to s#*t.” Lucky for us we were close to an exit and pulled in to a Lowes. We pulled over so fast, parked, unbuckled our belts as fast as we could, and meanwhile Rachel is in the backseat passed out, we didn’t even turn the car off, we just yelled we needed to use the bathroom. When I say we were running to the bathroom, I mean we were literally sprinting there. All I was hoping for when we pushed the door open was that there was more than one stall. Bingo! There was.  Lets just say Mitsy and I’s connection solidified itself. We took our friendship from 0 to 100 real quick.

We finally made it to our hotel, checked in, and we took a trip to Target to get some essentials. You know, soap, razors, booze, the usual things. I bet you’re expecting a real wild turn up story huh? Well let me tell you we turned down alright, we went to bed pretty early like the old souls we are. No turn up for us, just precious sleep.

July 20th: We made the lovely mistake sort-of-speak to all sleep in the same bed. Our room had a king size bed, which we fit pretty comfortably and what better bonding experience than to squeeze ourselves in. Rachel was the first one to pass out, and you know once you fall asleep you pretty much have zero consciousness of what can happen after. For example, I should of started by saying that I grind my teeth at night. I don’t know why or how that happens but I grind my teeth. And no, they don’t hurt in the morning. I actually have zero consciousness of it happening. Rachel was snoring/moaning, and I was the snorer/grinder. Let’s just say the birthday girl didn’t sleep so well that night.

After all the excitement that went down last night, we woke up hungry. We actually woke up very early, like 7 am early. Way too early for people who are on vacation in my opinion. We decided to go to breakfast at the café in our hotel. We stayed at the Hilton right by Universal Studios, which was by far the best decision we could of made . It was very convenient because we we’re only a few steps from Universal and City Walk.

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Once we finished with breakfast, we headed upstairs to get ready and give Mitsy her birthday presents.  To say the least, she was very happy and pleased with her gifts. Phew! Mission accomplished.

We finished getting ready and headed over to Universal Studios. Our hotel offered a shuttle to city walk which was so amazing because it was a good 90 degrees outside. It dropped us off at city walk and from there it was about a 2 minute walk to the entrance of the park. We walked in and our first stop was to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I was blown away by this place. It was if I had literally stepped in to Hogwarts in the movie. From the ground, to the shops, to the snow on top of the roof, it was so surreal. This place really grabs you, and just transports you in to another world. It was so much fun to walk around there and explore.

After that, we decided to do the Studio Tour that takes you around all the different sets. If you guys have never been here, I highly recommend that you take the tour. It’s very informative and kind of like a ride. I won’t spoil it, but if you’re planning to go make sure you take it, it will blow your socks off.  Once the tour was over, it was time to get on some rides and get some food. Most importantly food, let’s just say I’m one to get hangry when I don’t eat. We decided to make a pit stop at Jurasic Café,  where we bought Caesar salads and frings.  Up next… The Mummy.

The awesome thing about going during the week was that it wasn’t as packed as it would of been during the weekend. As we made our way down from the tour, we passed the Springfield area, also known as the Simpson’s home. Let me just a take a minute to express how beautiful this area was. I wasn’t one who grew up watching the Simpsons, maybe it just wasn’t my era, but even growing up the show never caught my attention.  Walking through here definitely got me intrigued in watching the show. We’ll see if I actually remember to do so.

We got on the majority of the rides relatively quickly. First, we rode The Mummy, then we tackled Transformers. When you get on, get ready to transform in to an auto bot and kick butt alongside Optimus Prime to protect the Allspark from the Decepticons. What I loved the most about this ride was how real it felt. From the movement to the temperature changes, it made me feel as if I was in the movie.

The two other rides we got on were a must as well. We took on Jurassic Park which is a classic. A fun, soaking classic. Lastly we headed back to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, aka Hogwarts for the last two rides that we would get on. The first ride we got on was The Forbidden Journey. This ride, just like all the other rides, was very real. This ride takes you on a flying journey around Hogwarts. It highlights several scenes from the movie and you encounter several magical creatures which keeps you on the edge of your seat all the time. My favorite part was soaring along with Harry during the Quiddich game.  The only downfall for me, was that it made me woozy. Because the ride was 3D and there was tons of shaking, flying, backward flipping movements, I felt a little sick. After getting off the ride, I didn’t feel up to doing the next one because I knew it wouldn’t be a smart choice. You know what that means though…have to come back!

To wrap up the night, we headed to a small diner inside the park called Mel’s. Very 50’s vibe and the food was pretty yummy. The chili cheese dog I ordered was delish and their milk shakes were bomb.com. So if you’re looking for a good place to eat inside the park, check out Mel’s. After dinner we headed back to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to watch the light show.  That was an experience within itself. The light show just captivates you, and highlights the true magic of Harry Potter. If you want to watch this, be sure to get there on time to save get a good viewing spot, this is something you won’t want to miss.

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