Okay, maybe passing out in the early evening yesterday was justified, because today was Going to Universal Studios Day and the Bossman reckoned we had to be up at the crack of dawn in order to eat and shower and get to the carpark before all the (other) hordes. Although Universal Studios turns out to be about as far from the hotel as my work is from my flat, so we coulda walked it.
For some reason I vaguely expected this to be a big tour round the inside of a giant warehouse while people in director’s chairs hung from ropes in the roof and shouted ‘Cut!’ a lot at people on film sets until I got thrown out by security for giggling at them. I really must research my holidays better, because it’s actually a giant outdoor theme park in the blistering sun, with a gift shop every other fifteen feet (the first fifteen feet is where there is a food stall). There were gigantic rollercoasters everywhere I looked (or possibly, the same one over and over), the queues were already miles long despite our getting into the park ten whole minutes after it opened, and I was kinda traumatised by the whole idea of a) queueing and b) going on a rollercoaster at the end of the queuing, so we ran away into the Fake San Francisco bit where there was a smoking section next to the Fake Shark Crucifixion and mulled over what to do.
Well it turned out the queues were only miles long for the Minions ride, but since I have been exposed to roughly no pop culture since the nineties, this meant nothing to me and we went to see Disaster! instead. Which was awesome because it turns out Hologram Christopher Walkens is shooting a disaster movie but all his actors are in rehab, so people had to get cast to replace them, and then do some acting. Also, we did some acting (well, waving our arms around lots). Hologram Christopher Walken was pretty damn amazing, actually, and spent most of his time flinging things around that his assistant had run round him catching in a bin, and tearing down photos off the wall (NB I have no idea how this was achieved, nor do I want to). Then he said we all got to star in the big finale where this subway train is destroyed. This was not so terribly scary until the water didn’t stop coming in over the side; but while being winched back to the studio, we did get to see the (absolutely dreadful) footage we had made, which was cool (mainly because I wasn’t in it).
And then we went on the Transformers ride, because the Bossman said it was a nice wee non-scary, non-rollercoaster thing in waltzer-carts with 3-D glasses on (which sounded promising: 3-D glasses obviously not under enough stress to fly off!) Besides, the queue was five minutes long.
So, yeah. Approximately three seconds after we got strapped in, this enormous kinda cartoon fight exploded all around us and this robot dog thing jumped on the waltzer-cart and nearly tipped me straight out; then we went flying around all over the place and got up to about two-hundred-miles-an-hour through this city, until another massive fight exploded right under us and we went whizzing away in reverse while being pursued by this sodding missile, the heatwave from which nearly took my eyebrows off when it exploded. We got shredded by a giant something-or-other and eventually thrown off a massive building by Megatron, at which point it was suddenly all over and all these folks dressed as the army were clapping and retrieving the 3D glasses and informing us that we’d done really well. Which was true; I had managed to avoid soiling their waltzer-cart.
Going to the cinema is going to be right boring forever after that.
The Bossman bought me coffee until I stopped shaking, then took me on the Woody Woodpecker rollercoaster, which he assured me was nice and tranquil. I told him I hated him as soon as it set off.
So after that I was allowed wine with lunch, at least. We went to see some properly tame things in the afternoon, including Terminator 3D (which surprisingly hadn’t aged as badly as I thought it would have), Shrek 4-D (during which I realised that me and the Bossman have way more in common with Shrek and Princess Fiona than I like to dwell on), and Twister, which I have to say was the most boring ground-zero tornado strike ever. However, all was not lost because there was a Simpsons bit and they sold Duff beer (or, massively overpriced generic crap, which is surely the whole ethos of Duff beer encapsulated?) And the place was not as overrun with hordes as I had thought – the most persistent queue being to take photos sticking one’s head inside the Fake Shark Crucifixion – and in general it was just a really nice day!
Then we went down the road to this magical all-you-can-eat-of-everything-ever buffet. And I did, and I may yet die.