5 Vacations in ONE! Music (Themed) Gifts Abound.
This entry was posted on January 12, 2016.
Or Water Water Everywhere
"Music themed gifts" you ask? From the Beach to the Redwoods to the Mountains and back down to the Universal Studios in California. Both Water and Music are Everywhere. And best of all is our time with family.
(Of course in California we consider water gifts in addition to music themed gifts - for SEO speak.)*
BTW, I chose a Violettes Day of the Dead Guitar Purse for romping in California this year.
Driving up and down the California coast my family listened to country music CD's - first Xmas music then that from Michael Reno Harrell, one of the Violettes' songwriter competition judges. (The MRH CD was one of my music themed gifts to my husband - we loved it).
California was a rainin' and a stormin', so we postponed our skiing in Lake Tahoe and went to explore Death Valley National Park as I blogged about in "Peace on Earth, Family Games and Country Music Songs". From there we drove thru storms to get to the Chaffee family for the holiday. This year for the first time since my children were alive, Grandma
Chaffee had all of her 3 (grown) children with her at Xmas time. It was indeed special. In northern California, we went ice skating, strolling in the Redwoods and wave running on the beach.
About the music? Music blaring on the speakers while skating, music in the extreme silence of nature in the redwoods and in the beach waves rolling and roaring.
There was music in the beat of the pogo stick Xmas gift that we all tried and from my flute as I tried to play music on Xmas even though no one wanted to listen to my personal music themed gifts!
WE headed off to return my daughter to southern CA, and stopped for a ski in Tahoe finally. It was a winter wonderland this year.
Then, Oh nooooooo.
Do we have to go to a theme park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????
Universal Studios in LA at $86 a head!! Blah!!
It was so fabulous, I so recommend it. What a delight, and what a special surprise.
We arrived on the last day of the Xmas "Grinchmas" Theme with awesome Dr. Seuss characters everywhere. This one in the photo loved my Violettes Day of the Dead Guitar Purse!
It was a plus to be there on a Sunday at the end of a long holiday when many people are readying for work. We arrived around 11AM, and at first felt angry at the long ride waits. We waited 1 hour and 40 minutes for the Universal Studios Tour, twice as long as their posted wait estimate! But it was worth it, and after the 1st 2 rides/tours, the waits were 20 minutes or less. If you can't go on a less crowded day, there are first in line passes that you can purchase for almost as much as the entrance fee.
My 4 favorites:
- 1. The Simpsons Ride: Yes, I was the type of Mom that kept a TV away from my kids, and certainly did not let them get wind of the Simpsons - but, my kids are now over 20 and we have watched a few episodes. This was one of those roller coaster simulated rides. They have made them less of a painful jolt on the back since the first one I rode in Las Vegas 25 years ago. Our family was sent into our own room (Each car gets a separate room!) There was a fun safety film and movie introduction disguised as a Simpsons cartoon. We got into the car coaster (which unbeknownst to us was mounted on a 9 ft. crane). It was pitch black, but I believe the roof opened, and we were lifted into a 3D Dome room with all the other cars. We never heard or saw anyone else, as each car contains 12 speakers and the 80 ft. IMax dome holds 90 speakers! To me, the most memorable part of the ride was when we flew into the baby's mouth, she was told we might be infectious and she coughed us out - the coughing bumps were gentle and felt like a message.
- 2. The Universal Studio Tour after the long wait was worth it! It started out slow - driving by famous people's offices, the outside of studios, through the fake cities used in different shows, and even stopping in front of a staged fight and Grinchmas show. But wowowowowow. The whole train stopped inside a couple of "Studios" that were 3D Imax shows with live actors, and the whole train got the effects of bouncing, crashing, smells, water, fire.... Truly incredible work by Universal. Just Wow again!
- 3. The "Animal Actors" demonstration showing ways they train animals for TV and Movies was so sweet. Can you imagine getting a cat to do something on cue??? I couldn't get enough of this show.
- 4. They claimed The Water Show was the biggest attraction. I spent the whole show waiting for the whales and dolphins to come out. The show was quite violent. The main purpose of the show was to show stunts. (There is a different show introducing stunt people and showing how they pull off some of the stunts.) The show ended dramatically (and of course violently) with a "Sea Plane" crashing thru the walls and coming to a fiery halt just in front of the audience!
Other attractions were scary rides: Mummy, Jurassic Park and Transformers. I would think for a young child, the Despicable Minion ride would be scary too. And as I mentioned above, the stunt demonstrations were shown in the "Special Effects Show". Coming this spring is the Harry Potter extravaganza. The castle looks awesome from the outside.
I would not consider Universal Studios a family attraction, although they had plenty of cartoon characters and clothes for sale. I would not bring a young child to this place. I do admit that I did not check out the "Funland" and "Dinoplay" meant for young children. Maybe this is the answer for local families with kids of all ages and season passes. I am clearly in the minority. But it was perfect for our family with kids in their 20's.
*Music ( Themed ) Gifts were used in all of the above - the rides, in nature, at the skating rink and ski resort, at all New Years parties...Everyone is a music fan of some sort. The purpose of the blogs is to use the SEO wording for Google to put Violettes by Becky on the "map". Please spread the word and purchase your Valentines Gifts here too!
Out with the Old and in with the new.
Happy New Year from Violettes!!