Kayla was wonderful in gymnastics. She is fearless--just like Jill was when she was in gymnastics. I really enjoyed watching her learn.
After the class we kissed Jill good-bye, and off we went. The traffic was bad (go figure--5 PM in LA? Bad traffic? Who knew?). So we ate in Santa Clarita before driving to Hollywood. Our usual breakfast spot is CoCo's, so we went there for dinner. As usual the kids love being able to choose from a variety of items on the kids' menu. Kayla ordered pepperoni pizza, and Hunter ordered mac and cheese, which came with french fries. I had grilled cheese and iced tea. Yum.
Then we drove to Hollywood. Traffic was nothing and it just took a half hour. The Holiday Inn Express was a block from Hollywood High and a block from the Roosevelt Hotel where I stayed for the CSz World Championship last August.
The motel wasn't fancy, but it served its purpose. We parked underground and had to take a very VERY steep drive to get there. Of course we loved that. Hunter asked if we could climb out. :)
Our room had two beds--one to pile things on and one to sleep on. The kids enjoyed jumping on the bed while I talked to Russ. It was already after 8 (their usual bedtime), and so I began trying to quiet them down. No such luck. At nine I turned off the TV and said bedtime. Hunter began screaming, "MAMA, MOMMMEEEEE!" over and over again in this rhythmic chant that was quite hypnotic. He screamed for 25 minutes on the dot and then crashed and burned. It was scary, weird, and oddly funny. Of course after hearing that for so long, I had trouble sleeping.
But the dear boy woke me up at 6:30 AM with a sweet, "Grandma, it's time for our adventure..." I never could resist a sweet male.
By the way, Kayla behaved wonderfully. She and I slept in my bed, and H slept in a makeshift pallet on the floor. His choice.
We took turns showering, then went to breakfast at the motel. Everyone got to choose their own food--the kids love that! Me too.
Then we were off! Someone asked us what we wre doing, and H responded, "We're having a 'venture." Gotta love that.
The park opened at 9 but we got there a lot earlier. Because of the weather, I paid for Preferred Parking. Since we were early, we parked in the first row. That was a perfect plan, because we left in a downpour.
The first thing we did after entering the park (besides put on rain gear) was to go to the "annual pass" center. The regular tickets cost $49 each, but I paid $56 each and we can get in the rest of the year without paying. So we had to have IDs made, with our pictures on them. Very cool.
We then went on the studio tour on a big tram. The kids loved it, but the King Kong piece scared them. They loved the JAWS part when the huge shark attacked us. They were crazy about the plane crash too.
After the tour we went to Shrek 4D. After waiting in the rain, and then watching part of a set-up movie inside, Hunter announced, "I have to go potty. Now!" So we had to turn in our 3D glasses, run against the traffic to get out, and missed the show. So we got back in line, and they seemed to like it. I know I did.
After Shrek we had a nurtitious meal of candy, onion rings and lemondade. Yeah, I'm a pushover when it comes to the kids. I bought H a big Spiderman cup and K a big SpongeBob cup, and left them in the bathroom as we walked out of the park. As I told Russ, "There's a reason women my age can't have kids. We'd set them down, then forget where we put them." Ditto with souvenir cups.
Hunter saw Spiderman and ran up to him and gave him a huge hug. It was adorable. I was enjoying it so much that I forgot to take a picture. Spidey said, "Cool outfit, dude." H had on spiderman shirt.
Kayla had on a Dora the Explorer shirt and wanted a picture with Dora. We finally found Dora and K was able to go up by her and I snapped a pic.
H then started talking to Donkey from Shrek and I snapped a picture there. Hope they turn out.
The last major attraction we saw was Animal Movie Stars, and both the kids were delighted. Me too.
At 1 PM we decided we were done for the day. And it started to rain harder. The Preferred Parking really came in handy.
By the time we got on the road, it was a torrential downpour and the 30-40 minute drive took an hour and a half. Lots of wrecks on I-5. But we made it home. Sadie (their dog) was happy to see us. Jill and Todd are in Palm Springs so tonight, pretty much anything goes again.
Yeah, I'm evil.
But I'm so tired, so bedtime is definitely at 8 PM. Maybe for all of us.