Trying to decide which Universal Studios theme park would appeal most to my kids, at ages 3 and 5, was kind of difficult for our Florida trip. We knew we only had time for one of them, and both of them had things that would appeal to kids as well as to adults. Both would also hold some challenges for adults who like to go on all the rides but who have kids who aren't quite tall and/or brave enough to accompany them. In the end, we decided on Universal's Islands of Adventure park, mainly because we knew both our kids would be interested in the superhero section in a big way. (And when we found out that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was at the same park, well, it was really a no-brainer; come on. HARRY POTTER?!)
Yes, the superhero area was a big hit, but the place we started the day was equally popular, for kids AND adults: the Dr. Seuss area. It was just incredibly charming, with quite a few rides based on some of his most popular books (a dark-ride type Cat In The Hat attraction that takes you through the whole story, a One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish flying-style water ride, a Sneetch tram, and the most delightful carousel I may have ever seen, for instance). The parks down there do not slouch on theming, that's for sure. Everything is decked out to the letter of the place, including the workers in each area; they have specialized outfits and everything. Even the restaurants get into it, it's great. Utterly charming and a great way to visit your old childhood memories, as well as make new ones with your children.
Oksana and OJ by the Green Eggs And Ham stand.
Our group (sans me, the photographer) by the Sneetch tram entrance. Note the worker in the delightful Seussian conductor's outfit, complete with a "star upon thars".
The "Car-o-Seuss-el" may have been my favorite there, even though I didn't ride it (because I wanted to take pictures). All the different critters are Seussian creations, and they all do something special for the rider. Even the bench that Oksana and Aunt Ali are on above had a horn Oksana could honk, and the inside layers would come bulging out when she pushed down on the honking button. Some of the creatures had cowbells the riders could clang; Drake could raise and lower his creature's head; OJ could turn his creature's head from side to side. Little touches, but they really made the ride special and extra charming.
The story of the Sneetches is one of my favorites.
And later, when we ate our Dippin' Dots inside Circus McGurkus, the Sneetch train would snake in and out of the building, transporting riders through the delightful circus tent. And we would wave and holler at them "What up, Sneetches?!" It never got old. (And by "we", I mean "my husband and I", naturally.)
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Last week we had a family reunion with my dad's cousins. We all met in Orlando, Florida to spend a few days visiting and having fun. The first night of the reunion we gathered for a large dinner at the Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon. Pictured above are three generations of Nommensens and their descendents.