Every now and then, Mike’s job and mine dovetail and we can work together. Yesterday, Mike and I got to go to Universal Studios here in LA for different assignments. We were able to spend the day together, and as an added bonus, bring Annabel along.

I’ve only been to Universal Studios a handful of times, especially compared to the other theme parks in Los Angeles. It’s been more than 15 years since the last time I went, when my brother, his friend Bill, and I all snuck into the park from the back lot (we were all Universal Interns at the time). It’s been at least that long for Mike, too. There have been a lot of things added to the place since then.

The one thing that I was beyond excited about was “Springfield,” the giant area dedicated to The Simpsons. If you’re a fan of the show, this alone was worth the price of admission. It was so cool to walk down the streets of Springfield.

In Springfield


We got to go into several of the buildings, including Moe’s Tavern:

Duff's and Flaming Moe

And of course, we got Lard Lad Donuts as big as Annabel’s head:

with a Lard Lad Donut

I honestly could have spent all day in Springfield, it was that cool.

Annabel loved meeting the characters at Universal, which were very accessible and had much shorter lines than we were used to at other parks.

meeting Gru

AAAAAH! Sideshow Bob!

Meeting a Transformer

We went on a few rides that use motion simulation technology, and it turns out now that I’m an Old Person, as these rides make me nauseated. Boo. But the Studio Tour (where you ride in a tram and tour the backlot where they film movies and TV shows) didn’t, and that was a lot of fun. Annabel really enjoyed seeing the sets (including one for The Mindy Project which was filming as we passed!), and I liked seeing the new features, like Fast & Furious and King Kong 3D. They still have Jaws and the Earthquake simulator, though!

studio tour

We also got a little peak of what will be the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which opens next year. I am sooooo excited – it’s going to be amazing!

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

They already have a small Potter shop open. Annabel was obsessed with the wands.

admiring the wands

trying a wand

She really wanted one, but I had to remind her that she can’t have a wand until she’s 11. And besides, she can’t pick the wand, the wand has to pick her. Sorry, Annie, I don’t make the rules, I just follow ’em.

Besides the fact that it was totally disgustingly hot, we had a great time with Annabel. It’s nice to give her some solo time without her brother. I still can’t believe this girl will be starting kindergarten in a few weeks. My baby is growin’ up!

at Universal Studios