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Old 10-26-2012, 11:44 PM   #436
Thumper_Man's Wife
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Cars, Dinos and Apes Oh My!

I will have to get through the studios tour in probably two chapters, since there are quite a few pictures to show and there is a limit to the amount of pictures I can place in each post. So let us begin shall we?

Off we go on the Universal Studios tour. The tram, which was actually 4 cars, not 2 as I previously described, begins its slow and steady pace down Kirk Douglas Dr. Our guide for the day introduces herself and the tram driver, unfortunately I can’t for the life of me remember their names, so for the purposes of this report, they will be dubbed, Tour Guide Sally and Tram Driver Ted.

Tour Guide Sally, mentions that we have a celebrity guide with us, who will be helping her throughout the tour, and will pop up on the monitors every so often to give us some information on whatever we are passing through at the time. This celebrity is none other than Jimmy Fallon.

Now, the last time I rode this, the celebrity helper was Whoopi Goldberg. Jimmy Fallon came around not too long ago, when they re-did certain parts of the tour after the big fire. That’s when they remade King Kong into the 3D version (which I will get into later).

Jimmy Fallon comes on the monitor and tells us that we are in good hands with our tour guide and driver, It’s funny how, since they have so many different people conducting the tours, the actual names of the tour guides and drivers are dubbed over while Jimmy (because we are on a first name basis and all) pretends to be saying their names. He does however mention that the tour guide does owe him $5. If this is the same on ever tram ride, this man will be rich without the comedy scene and late night show he has.

We then go into the safety rules. Tour Guide Sally lets us know that if there is a medical problem, a problem with the video feed or audio, or if you drop something you need (like a small child) off the side of the tram, then to pull on the cord in the middle and she will stop the tram and come to assist. There is no smoking on the tram. Keep your arms and legs inside the moving vehicle at all times…and away we go!

The first thing we pass is the Fire Station. Not too exciting, there were no hot firefighters out and about (shoot!), but good to know that there is one on Universal Property. All those special effects for movies and stuff can get out of hand if you aren’t careful.



This year commemorates 100 years for Universal, so on the tour, there were posters along the sides with different movies and the year they were filmed there.




We passed by a lot of the sound stage areas, Stage 12, was one of the biggest sound stages and was recently used to film, “The Voice”, but it was also used for films like, Dracula, Frankenstein, Scarface, Back to the Future, and Jurassic Park to name a few.



Unfortunately we did not get a chance to go into any of them, but there were a couple that were wide open, so naturally we did what any normal, curious person would do – We jumped ship and snuck in…OK not really, but we did take a picture as best as we could from our view.



We passed some more stage areas. I took this one mainly because I’m a huge fan of musicals and a huge fan of “Wicked”.



They even have a café all to themselves back there.



The next few shots are of the bungalows that used to house some of the stars as well as offices while they were filming here. They are now strictly offices for producers, writers, etc.





Mr. Potato Head took some time out of his busy schedule to come out to greet us.



What was really cool was that one of these bungalows used to be the office for none other than Alfred Hitchcock. Can you imagine the decor in that office?

Anyway... we passed the Johnny Carson theater.



From here we were transported to the streets of New York. I’m not quite sure how they did it. Was there a time warp I wasn’t aware of? Did we go into the future? Was this what my future would be like if I kept up with my sinful ways?



And where in the world is everyone? I feel like we were transported to a scene in The Day After Tomorrow or something…Spooky…

The building in the background of this next picture was used as an apartment building for the movie Bruce Almighty.



We slowly start to approach this rocky cave, and I’m thinking...we’re not going in there are we? Of course I don’t say that out loud, I can’t look weak. After all I was the one that told T-Man that we HAD to go on this ride, and it was a total must do. What would he think of me if I started whimpering and cowering in fear now? But look at this place, Does this look like a place anyone would want to enter?



That was the entrance to Skull Island. Now I don’t know how many people remember the old version of King Kong, but I remember the bridge that you had to go over, the sounds of the fight that King Kong was having and the distinct smell of bananas as King Kong got up close to the tram. I’m actually not kidding on that last part. I conferred with my mom and brother and they both remember bananas.

In the new version, there is no banana smell, but you are transported right into Skull Island and into the fight scene with King Kong and Tyrannosaurus Rex. We are chased by Dinosaurs and this will not be the only time dinosaurs will come to be our enemies this trip. All of a sudden a huge ape is leaping over our tram and tackling this huge T-Rex. T-Rex looks hungry and angry at us. He doesn’t seem to be in a chipper mood at all. I’m thinking he may just need one of the big guys banana’s to regulate him but I say nothing, he doesn’t look like he’s in the mood to talk. He tries to knock us out of the path we are on, King Kong comes to our rescue. In the end, King Kong won and we were able to get out safely.

Unfortunately, one of the other trams didn’t get out so unscathed…



After surviving, We roamed around the streets of New York a little while longer and then came to the car lot. I was hoping to come away with a brand new car…but no luck…But wouldn’t it be nice to own one of these?











From the car lot, we were escorted into special effects sound stage 55, where they showed us how they did the special effects for The Fast and The Furious Tokyo Drift. Since the reality of blowing up actual cars numerous times can be expensive and messy, they showed us how they take the shell of a car, and set it on special hydraulics to give the illusion that the car is being lifted or rolled. This way, if a scene has to be shot multiple times, all they have to do is reset the hydraulics, instead of purchasing a new car.



Once the demonstration was over, the cars took a bow and gave us a little show, on how they strut their stuff when they aren’t being blown up. It was actually really cool to watch. It’s amazing what computers can do now a days.

Once more we were transported to another world, this time, it wasn’t the streets of New York, or even LA, it wasn’t a nice sunny beach somewhere in the tropics, no…it was…

Jurassic Park!




And of course the day we come to take the tour is the day the dinosaurs escape…

Well needless to say, as we proceeded through the area cautiously. Making sure we didn’t pick up any hitchhiking dinosaurs or none of them tried to kidnap us, I feel something wet on my hand…did that plant just spit at me? Hmmm…

I shrug it off, and go back to looking at the landscape. Now I’m getting this same wet feeling on my neck…what the heck?

Darn dinosaurs are spitting at us! They are hiding in the shrubs and trees!



I sure hope they stay there and don’t try to eat us! I beg and plead, telling the dinos that we are way too salty for them, and will cause them tons of cholesterol issues later down the road. It's possible that a whole tram of vegans may be coming around the corner and they should wait for them. At least get their daily intake of veggies and such that way.

I guess they figured they needed a more balanced diet so they let us go and we sped out of there in a hurry!
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:41 AM   #437
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you ahve a great way of describing things! we weren't planning on going over to universal whenever we go to DLR, but Ive been thinking otherwise.. I wonder how much a cab would be from DLR to universal> 9no way do the 2 of us want to navigate a car aroud LA)
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:45 AM   #438
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oops, that was me above,posting under nebo's name
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:30 PM   #439
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Oh.... carp. Now I'm two chapters behind.... better get a bucket.

I mean, better get to work.



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“Let me ‘splain…No, there‘s too much, let me sum up.”
Now, now. No need to be devisive.

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The day we fly here, We get up at the crack of dawn. The next day, again up at the crack of dawn. (I think T-Man let me sleep about 30 minutes more, what a sweetheart!). So naturally, here we are, Monday morning. On vacation. No work. What do we do?

That’s right folks, you have been paying attention. We once again get up at the crack of dawn!
So you have a crack fetish. Gotcha.

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Which means, we need to get out of here now or else we will be stuck in rush hour traffic that will take a week to get out of!
Makes you wish you lived there doesn't it?
"Sorry I wasn't in all of last week boss. I was stuck in traffic."
"Oh, that's all right then."

Gotta look at the glass half full side of things some times.

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We take care of the necessities, get dressed in our Monday Universal clothes and start packing our provisions.
If you mix up your clothes and accidentally put on Tuesday Disney clothes they won't let you in.

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We had charged the camera batteries the night before to make sure there were no surprises, we also packed extra camera batteries, and extra cell phone batteries just to be safe.
Good for you, 'cause only an idiot would charge his one and only battery and leave it in the hotel.

:

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Have you ever watched Jeff Dunham’s stand up comedy or Ventriloquism act?
No, but I've heard good things. I think he's coming to our city next month, maybe I'll have to look into that.

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This was our ride to downtown LA.
Great smiley. I watched it for quite a while.

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People are crazy on freeways.
Ever see L.A. Story with Steve Martin? All these people are driving along the freeway when the radio DJ announces that it's the first day of spring. Suddenly, everyone is pulling out guns and everybody's shooting at everybody else.

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I tend to freak out T-Man at times when I grab onto the handles in the car, but you have to understand. I have an astigmatism in my left eye, and I have no depth perception, which means that even if that car in front of us is about 2-3 car lengths away, it looks like we are about 2-3 inches away from him. (Slight exaggeration but still…).
OK. At least you have an excuse. My DW will be looking down or out the side window. I'll see a car stopped far up ahead. I'll ease off the gas... coast for a bit, slowing down all the while... slowly apply pressure to the break... and then as we gently pull up behind the stopped car, she'll look up and suddenly see a car that's CLOSE!!! and freak out.

Gotta admit it's gotten to me a few times. I'm all relaxed and suddenly she's gasping like a semi's about to ram into us at 100PMH. I usually tell her to just keep her eyes closed.

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We begin our journey on I-5 and by now it’s getting really close to 8am. Not good. But the way I figure it, everyone is trying to get somewhere by 8am, so maybe the traffic won’t be as bad as if we left at 7? Right?
First time I read that, I thought, "What? They want to be on the road when everyone's trying to get somewhere?" I re-read it and then I got it.

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Slowly we merge into the middle lane and are passing construction equipment and cones, but no one is doing anything.
Ah, we have the same problems here too. I see some things are universal.

See how I did that?

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My absolute pet peeve is people who wait until the last minute to merge in a construction zone, when they know about a good 5 miles back that one of the lanes will be closed. Then they try to squeeze in front of you with only about 2 feet of space for them to do so. In the process, possibly causing an accident that will now back up traffic even more, because they were too busy trying to pass every Tom, Dick and Harry before having to merge!
Sorry what was that? Somthing about Tom's Harry something or other? Nevermind. The problem with the merging is that everyone's different. You've got some people who won't let you in, in front of them no matter what. You've got others who let in everybody, which means that lane ain't moving.

I've heard of this zipper merging theory, but I can't see how it could work unless everybody's on the same page... and they never are.

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I’ll snap the pics on our way back, it will be better, cooler, because they will all be lit up and stuff.
Nice save. Did he buy it?

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This way for VIP’s, this way for team members, (Of course, some people do go both ways).
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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We park next to a group of Asian tourists (Not sure if they are Chinese, Japanese, or something ese…) and it’s like a clown car. As I’m waiting for the driver to close his door so I can open mine, I swear like 6 or 7 people climb out of the back seat...where did they all sit? Was there a pyramid of people sitting on each other’s laps?
Where's Ringling Brothers when you need 'em?

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This escalator takes us to the top tier of the parking garage and the bathrooms.
So you have to go all the way to the top so that you can let stuff out of the bottom?

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We take a few pictures of the Universal Sign up front, and make sure to add a mental reminder to take more at night, because it lights up.
If the night lights up... that's called 'day'.

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They’ve rolled out the red carpet just for us!
Well, sure. They probably knew you were going to write this TR.

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Just to be safe and sure, we enter our super duper secret code and yup, it opens. Phew!
But you were worried there for a sec. right?

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if you want the Mandarin version, you go to that line,
I might chose this one. I love their oranges.

What?

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They have posters up every so often of all the different actors and movies that have come out of their studios since its inception.
Actually, Inception is a Warner Brothers movie. But I'll let it go this time.

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Trivia posters give you insight into the particular movie it’s representing
Yeah. No. Insight is a Braeburn Entertainment movie. You're 0 for 2 here... and you were there!

Or were you? Hmmmm...

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At the end of the line, they give us a pair of 3D glasses,
You needed 3D glasses for the tour? I think I'm missing something here.

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I’ll leave it there for now. I have a TON of pictures from the tour to show you, along with a very jam packed day of riding escalators, getting into trouble with the Mummy, avoiding spitting dinosaurs, and trying to save the city from Decepticons for the next upcoming chapters. So I will go write, delete, and re-write the chapters to make sure I do it all justice.
Oh, boy! I can't wait.

Hang on... the next chapter's already up! Woo Hoo! Just a couple more comments and I'm off to read some more.

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It wasn't so much having another woman talk to you, but the way she did it. Her sultry voice luring you to each direction she ordered you to go. Gets you all hyped up and then leaves the minute you get there. I've heard she's a player and will talk the same way to any man that can turn her on.
That was really funny!

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Personally I think they are conveniently forgotten..."Oh shoot. I forgot a hat. And my poor head will get all sunburned if i don't get another one to add to my collection!!!"
She's on to ya T-Man.

And BTW...
Defenestrate: The action of demonstrating the removal of a fence.

See? I knew what it meant.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:05 PM   #440
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So let us begin shall we?
Yes. Lets.

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Off we go on the Universal Studios tour.
Wait. Which one is it? Off or on? You can't have both.

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Tour Guide Sally, mentions that we have a celebrity guide with us, who will be helping her throughout the tour, and will pop up on the monitors every so often to give us some information on whatever we are passing through at the time. This celebrity is none other than Jimmy Fallon.
I first read that a little too quickly and thought, "Wow! Jimmy Fallon showed up!"

Missed the word 'monitors'.

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He does however mention that the tour guide does owe him $5. If this is the same on ever tram ride, this man will be rich without the comedy scene and late night show he has.
Either that or there's some darn cheap tour guides out there.

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or if you drop something you need (like a small child) off the side of the tram,
Nah. You don't really need a small child. I say if you drop one, pick him or her up on the way back.

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Not too exciting, there were no hot firefighters out and about (shoot!), but good to know that there is one on Universal Property.
Check. Somewhere on Universal Property there's a hot firefighter.

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This year commemorates 100 years for Universal, so on the tour, there were posters along the sides with different movies and the year they were filmed there.
That's a great movie. Jamie Foxx does an unbelievable job of channeling Ray Charles. I saw it was coming up again on TV and will be recording it to watch again.

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What was really cool was that one of these bungalows used to be the office for none other than Alfred Hitchcock. Can you imagine the decor in that office?
That's cool!

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From here we were transported to the streets of New York. I’m not quite sure how they did it. Was there a time warp I wasn’t aware of? Did we go into the future? Was this what my future would be like if I kept up with my sinful ways?
There ya go. Back to the Future was a Universal movie.

And yes... you did.

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The building in the background of this next picture was used as an apartment building for the movie Bruce Almighty.
Just watched that the other day and I recognized it.

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But look at this place, Does this look like a place anyone would want to enter?
Oh sure. Plenty of people.

Spelunkers...
Treasure seekers...
Miners...
Batman...

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In the new version, there is no banana smell, but you are transported right into Skull Island and into the fight scene with King Kong and Tyrannosaurus Rex. We are chased by Dinosaurs and this will not be the only time dinosaurs will come to be our enemies this trip. All of a sudden a huge ape is leaping over our tram and tackling this huge T-Rex. T-Rex looks hungry and angry at us. He doesn’t seem to be in a chipper mood at all. I’m thinking he may just need one of the big guys banana’s to regulate him but I say nothing, he doesn’t look like he’s in the mood to talk. He tries to knock us out of the path we are on, King Kong comes to our rescue. In the end, King Kong won and we were able to get out safely.
How was this all done, Heather? Was it animatronics? Or implied? On the video? Sounds pretty amazing, though.

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Unfortunately, one of the other trams didn’t get out so unscathed…
That'd be Nebo's tram.

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After surviving, We roamed around the streets of New York a little while longer and then came to the car lot. I was hoping to come away with a brand new car…but no luck…But wouldn’t it be nice to own one of these?


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Since the reality of blowing up actual cars numerous times can be expensive and messy, they showed us how they take the shell of a car, and set it on special hydraulics to give the illusion that the car is being lifted or rolled. This way, if a scene has to be shot multiple times, all they have to do is reset the hydraulics, instead of purchasing a new car.
Cool.

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And of course the day we come to take the tour is the day the dinosaurs escape…
Geez, you'd think after all the trouble they had, they'd learn from their mistakes.

But nooooooo...

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Making sure we didn’t pick up any hitchhiking dinosaurs or none of them tried to kidnap us, I feel something wet on my hand…did that plant just spit at me? Hmmm…

I shrug it off, and go back to looking at the landscape. Now I’m getting this same wet feeling on my neck…what the heck?

Darn dinosaurs are spitting at us! They are hiding in the shrubs and trees!
That's great!

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I sure hope they stay there and don’t try to eat us! I beg and plead, telling the dinos that we are way too salty for them, and will cause them tons of cholesterol issues later down the road. It's possible that a whole tram of vegans may be coming around the corner and they should wait for them. At least get their daily intake of veggies and such that way.
That's really funny, Mrs. T.

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I guess they figured they needed a more balanced diet so they let us go and we sped out of there in a hurry!
No! You can't be done already! I want more! Great chapter! Can't wait for more.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:35 PM   #441
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Heather, that backstage tour sounds really cool, I guess now we have to include a trip to Uni when we do D=Land, I
suppose there 's always a taxi.
And that spitting Dino gets me every time on the Yourasshashadit Park, River Adventure ride.

Do you happen to know if Magic Mountain is in the neighborhood, ever been there?
Thanks for the new chapter, we are definately now shooting for next Oct. for our first Dizzy trip.

But first looking forward to meeting you and Bunny Boy next month, should be fun, never been kicked out of a Disney park before! Oh, and tell Mike I was able to pick up the Cherry Bombs after all, but how we get into the Hippo area undetected is still up to him.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:01 AM   #442
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Sorry to interrupt this TR, but here's a message for Nebo.
I think a taxi is about $200. A lot of the hotels around DL have Gray Line bus tours available. If you use them just for the ride (not the tour) it's about $35 per person. There's also a train/subway system that can get you from DL to Uni for cheap. Here's a link - http://socaltransport.org/tm_pub_start.php

Magic Mountain is pretty far from DL (60+ miles) and some of those miles are horrendous, traffic-wise. We just drove past MM today. I've never been inside, but DH has not had nice things to say about it. Quote from my BIL about the clientele - "I'd say the crowd turned ugly, but I believe they showed up here that way."
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:38 AM   #443
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holy cow! $200! one way? that is so disheartening. I know nebo and I would never be able to rent a car a drive a car from the airport to DLR, and then to Universal, etc etc.

we would either cause a major traffic backup, a major accident, or, both end up with major panic attacks or heart attacks, or (least case scenario) kill each other)
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:39 AM   #444
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thanks you so much , danielle , for your research!!!!
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:52 AM   #445
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Smidgy, you're welcome.
Lady H, those little, spitting dinosaurs give me the willies. Aren't they the ones who killed Neumann (from Seinfeld) in JP?
And I want to know more about King Kong. Is it a 3D movie? An animatronic? Inquiring minds want to know!
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:27 AM   #446
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danielle. yes, they were. I call them the "' h e l l o newman": dinosaurs.
he ran into the mud.. and he thought they were "cute". (I thought that about nebo at one time myself...)

(ok , I have about a day until he sees this, right?)
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:38 AM   #447
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I call them the "' h e l l o newman": dinosaurs.



he ran into the mud.. and he thought they were "cute". (I thought that about nebo at one time myself...)
I have this vision in my head now of Nebo chasing Smidgy around the house...
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:54 AM   #448
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you ahve a great way of describing things! we weren't planning on going over to universal whenever we go to DLR, but Ive been thinking otherwise.. I wonder how much a cab would be from DLR to universal> 9no way do the 2 of us want to navigate a car aroud LA)
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holy cow! $200! one way? that is so disheartening. I know nebo and I would never be able to rent a car a drive a car from the airport to DLR, and then to Universal, etc etc.

we would either cause a major traffic backup, a major accident, or, both end up with major panic attacks or heart attacks, or (least case scenario) kill each other)
You know, I have offered to drive. Lady H and I like to rent a car while on vacation. Some thing tells me you just don't want us to go.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:59 AM   #449
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But first looking forward to meeting you and Bunny Boy next month, should be fun, never been kicked out of a Disney park before! Oh, and tell Mike I was able to pick up the Cherry Bombs after all, but how we get into the Hippo area undetected is still up to him.
One thing is getting kicked out of a disney park. I'm starting to think this might get us banned. So I'm coming up with a rocket launcher instead.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:17 AM   #450
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One thing is getting kicked out of a disney park. I'm starting to think this might get us banned. So I'm coming up with a rocket launcher instead.
If you're gonna go... go big.
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP


Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



1977 - offsite 1987 - offsite 1992 - offsite 2005 - POR (never going offsite again!!!) 2009 - ASMu
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