Sunday 9 September 2012

Last Day of our Road Trip

And so it arrived, our last day of holiday. We had booked a late flight home to make the most of our last day and we had decided to go to Universal Studios. Our travel agent had pre-booked the tickets for us and we had asked for ‘Front of Line Passes’ to make sure that we got to go on the rides we wanted and didn’t waste too much time queuing.

We checked out from the hotel and made our way to Universal Studios – the traffic was not actually too bad and we made it there (10 miles) in about 30 minutes. We decided to go for priority parking too, so that we didn’t have too far to walk!

We collected our tickets and once the gates opened our first stop was a cafe for a breakfast burrito and a cup of coffee! The crowds were nothing compared with those we had faced in Florida! We made our first stop the Studio Tour, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We were shown various backlots and the outside of sound studios and told what was being recorded there. There was also the King Kong experience in 4D which was fantastic.

A scene from 'War of the Worlds'
Next stop was the Simpsons ride, which was one of our favourites in Florida and we enjoyed it just as much here.

When we had finished here we went to the lower level – down 4 steep escalators, I thought we were never going to get there! Our first stop was Revenge of the Mummy – Hugh really likes this rollercoaster and for someone who doesn’t like roller coasters I think he is very brave! When we came out we saw this handsome creature

Having taken his photo we went on the ride – absolutely brilliant!
This photo was for Penny - she worships Iron Man!! Pity we couldn't afford the $7000 to buy it for her!
The other ride on this level is the Jurassic Park one – as this is a water splash and we were travelling on the plane later we felt it best to give it a miss. However, there seemed to be a dinosaur stalking me!

We had a look around the NBC Universal Experience, which had costumes from films such as Gladiator, Mama Mia, Jaws, The Grinch and stop motion figures and set pieces from Coraline (one of Penny’s favourite films!).

Having exhausted everything on this level we went back up the many escalators to the main level. We found this theme park so much smaller than any other we had ever visited, but it was perfect for us as we only had a short time to spend there. We grabbed a frozen lemonade to share and then went to watch Shrek 4D which was fun! We followed this with Terminator 2D, which was good too.

Coming out of there we found Sponge Bob and then Dora the Explorer!

Hugh said that he would like to do the Studio Tour again, so we went off and did that – just as enjoyable!

By this time we were starting to feel hungry – it was 3.30pm! We bought two rather nice slices of pizza (surprising because it was in a theme park and I don’t usually find the food to be very good!) and a large coke each and sat down in the shade and had a rest for half an hour.

We finished off our day by watching the Waterworld show which was fantastic! We made sure that we were not sitting in the splash zone and were very pleased as the people who were got very wet indeed!

And so ended our day at Universal. We made our way back to the car and set off for the airport. We had allowed ourselves 2 hours to go the 27 miles and it was just as well as it took us an hour and a half! We dropped the hire car off and boarded the shuttle bus to take us to the airport.

At the airport we checked in, went through security and then collapsed exhausted! Our flight was supposed to be at 9.30pm, but in the end it ran slightly late and we didn’t board until 10.15pm. Unfortunately we didn’t get upgraded on our return flight! However, we had booked into World Traveller Plus, so we did get more leg room and comfier seats than if we had been in Economy!

The flight back was uneventful and we both slept for the majority of it. Our luggage came through really quickly and we had no queues at immigration at all. I was expecting really long queues after the newspaper stories about Terminal 5, but we were pleasantly surprised! Our car was delivered to us when we got outside the terminal and we then made our way home, where Penny had a nice evening meal cooked for us and the house looking clean and tidy – a lovely way to return home.

So, was there a favourite ‘bit’ of the holiday for me? Hmm, I don’t know if I can pick one thing out! I loved travelling across the Tioga Pass and stopping at the lake

And I loved the bike ride along the rim of the Grand Canyon

And of course, renewing our vows

I think what I found out on this holiday is that I love the countryside part of this holiday more than the city side. Although having said that I definitely left my heart in San Francisco and Hugh and I are already talking about going back there!


Maria Ontiveros said...

Such an amazing trip - it really felt like you spent a month seeing three different countries! So glad you enjoyed California (and the other states, too).

Sian said...

Wow, it definitely looks like it was worth packing in Universal Studios on your last day. I'd love to see it!

Karen said...

What a fabulous trip you had! San Francisco is definitely one of my favorite cities. I'm hoping to get back there some day as well.

Alison said...

I've really enjoyed your travels Becky..what great memories you have!
Alison xx

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

What an amazing trip you two had, Becky. I'm almost sad to see that this post was about your last day! I've really enjoyed your vacation posts and photos!

alexa said...

I feel dizzy at how much you packed in to such a short space of time! It has been lovely getting to share it. :)

Anonymous said...

Its been so much fun following along on your travels. I agree with you travelling the Tioga Pass is really something.