Well today started off as a bit of a stressful day as we were meant to get up at 7am to get ready for Universal Studios but Stacey thought I was already up and by the time she woke me we were half an hour late. So we tried to get ready quick and then check out of the hostel before heading out for a quick breakfast. We then had to catch a quick train which was only about 5 or 10 minutes long, and then walk to the Universal shuttle which took us up to the park. Luckily we had completely over-estimated the time we needed, and we still managed to get to the park before it opened at 10am, even after getting up half an hour late.
Once we arrived, we went straight down to the rides as this is what I enjoy the most! We were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves because we bought VIP 'front of line' tickets, which meant that every queue we went to, we got to go down our own line and up to the front of every queue. The longest we had to line up for was 5 minutes, while the wait time for some lines was 40 minutes. We were surprised by how little rides there actually were though - only 4 altogether. The Jurassic Park ride, The Mummy, Transformers, and The Simpsons. I think we both enjoyed the Transformer ride best.
We watched a few of shows too - one about the special effects in movies where they showed us how they create lots of different special effects, one about animal actors where they demonstrated how they train and use animals in movies, and then one called Waterworld which is based on the movie. This show was amazing! The actors are all off TV shows, not that I knew any of them though. The special effects were incredible with a real crashing aeroplane and fire, jet skis and heaps of other stunts. We also got to have a couple of little behind the scenes experiences after the shows because of our VIP passes. The animal actors show was really cool too. It's amazing what they can teach so many different animals to do. There was a VIP experience after this show too, where we could take some photos up close with the animals. We took a heap of photos throughout the day too, with different characters.
At the end of the day we went and did the Studio tour which took us through different sets in a shuttle. We saw some sets from King Kong, Jurassic Park, the Ghost Whisperer, the aeroplane crash scene from War of the Worlds (crazy amazing), Wisteria Lane (which I was the most excited about!), as well as a heap of buildings which they use as general sets for New York, Europe, Texas, and Mexico, etc. They use the same buildings over and over and just add different external features and signs to make them look different. The shuttle took us back up to the main park and then it was basically time to leave. I think I could've spent a couple more hours there to have a good look around all of the shops and the other attractions which we missed, but we knew we weren't going to have enough time to do everything, because we had to get the train back to the hostel to catch our shuttle to the airport.
We said goodbye to Hollywood (without seeing anyone famous!) and then the shuttle picked us up at 5:10. It took almost 2 hours to get to the airport because it was peak hour traffic. Luckily we got there in the end with plenty of time to spare. I realised on the way to the airport that I had lost my travel pillow. It was brand new before the trip and I've only used it once! But I have no idea where it is! I think I must have left it on the plane to L.A. So I bought myself a new cushion with the last American $20 I had and spent my last bits of change on a drink at Starbucks. We both managed to get out and spend the perfect amount of American cash without having not enough or too much.
I'm now on the plane watching 'The Vow' and writing my blog. I have 3 screaming babies next to me and an extremely loud snoring man in front of me, so I don't know how much sleep I'm going to get before we arrive in London! Stacey is zonked out next to me. Once we arrive in London, we need to catch the tube up to our hotel and then we're heading straight out to watch 'Wicked' in the West End. We get in at about 4pm. In hindsight it wasn't the best night to book a show, because we are both going to struggle so much to keep our eyes open! But it should be a good show. I've heard lots about it and I'm looking forward to it. Another 2 girls from our Contiki are also going to the same show tonight.