I am writing from La La Land, y’all! In May I bought tickets to the Live Nightmare Before Christmas show for this weekend. I am beyond excited to be doing that, but I booked it anticipating being able to take my daughter. She’s my travel buddy at this point. I expected to be able to have her vaccinated by now but turns out… nope! So I had to convince my moody airplane terrified, noise-sensitive 15 year old to come with.
As the trip got closer and closer, and local family obligations became less and less, I started thinking about other things that could get him excited to make the trip. I settled on the Griffith Observatory as he has always been a space nut, and Universal Studios. 4 or 5 years ago, we did a big family trip to Orlando to do Disney World & Universal- specifically for the Harry Potter stuff. The fact that most US rides are simulated worked well with his refusal to do any rollercoasters or rises with drops or speed. 🙄. SOOO not my DNA.
Anyway, we are mid-trip and just did Universal yesterday. It was a blast! They are super strict about the masks and hand sanitizer was everywhere. The only challenge on this trip has been my food allergy concerns. This began the first morning at the hotel when the free breakfast turned out to have pitiful options for me. Amid the sea of yogurt (dairy) bagels (gluten, wheat) cereal (oat/wheat/dairy) and oatmeal (oat) the hot options were scrambled eggs (whole eggs only) potatoes & bacon. My breakfast was potatoes & bacon. This was especially annoying because the previous night I was awoken at 2am by the neighbors slamming doors, shouting, guffawing, and just being rude. (yes i called and tattled on them, no it didnt really help) So I was not in the best morning mood to begin with.
So I read all the blogs and did all the research to figure out how to maximize the say since it’s restricted hours for Horror Nights right now- which would have been EPIC if it werent for the known massive crowds and screaming/spittle issue. Anyway, we paid extra to park closer to the park. Big momma here understands the painful post-amusement park walk and i’ll take whatever ease I can get. We mask up and head in. As anticipated, they opened the gates a tad early, and we were off! We walked through to Hogsmeade. My son was a bit bummed there was no train ride to Diagon Alley at this park, but we had fun walking around. We got ourselves some frozen butterbeer to start the day. 3 sips into mine, I realized there was dairy in the creamy topping they add to the drink. “Oh well! Guess we’ll roll with it.” (Resulted in a “totally worth it” rash this morning)
Next up we did the studio tram tour and it was so cool! My kid was properly impressed. We got a few peeks into some open sound stages and drove past a working set of ‘Keenan’. This was the highlight of the trip for my kid.
We split a fish & chips at The Three Broomsticks and I was shocked my 15yr old wanted to choose a wand as his souvenir. He likes HP, but isnt super into it. We were surprised to find the wand he picked was one of the interactive wands.
Y’all, when I tell you I had a warm Mom moment watching my teenager try all of the window special effects and even worked through the frustration of it sometimes not working, it was awesome. I’m a Disney kid all the way, as is my daughter, but to see him thoroughly enjoy something through his mask of teenhood made the stress and anxiety of traveling totally worth it.
At the end of the day we decided to walk down Universal City Walk completely annihilating the sense of paying extra for closer parking, but whatever. It was more crowded than the park, so we left and got food elsewhere.
We experienced the unique LA traffic at 6pm exhibit the town puts on for free every night as we drove down La Cienega through Hollywood. The wild life was pretty rowdy and I told my kid not to feed the locals despite the pitiful countenance. Being as how it took over an hour to leave town, we opted to drive through for dinner. We chose In n Out. I had an animal style protein burger (beef wrapped in lettuce) for the first time & he got a double double.
“I understand the hype, Mom.”
We got back to the hotel, switched rooms, and this morning found my breakfast options unbelievably even less when they said they had no bacon. Breakfast potatoes it is, then!
Today we are off to Santa Monica before heading to the concert tonight.
It has been so great to have a homework-free, grade-free, sibling bickering free trip with my teenager. There is still phone nagging and general Mom nagging, but this has been a nice break for us to remember that we like each other…. For now 😆