Lunch by Sainsburys
We enter the Barney shop. Harry rushes straight in and finds a door at the back and rushes through. The rest of us hang back but then feel the need to follow him, as firstly, we don’t want to be loitering around the shop, and secondly we didn’t want Harry thinking that we’d abandoned him. So we peer gingerly round the door. And there’s a big room that’s a play area, there’s Harry, and there’s Barney. Yep the purple one himself was hanging out in his play area and Harry was the only other sentient being in there. Harry ran straight up and gave the purple one a hug then went off to play for a minute then came back for another hug then went off to play then came back; you get the picture right? While this was going on Steven was in the shop playing with the employees in there.
After watching this for about 10 minutes we tell Big Steve and Lisa that we are taking Ellie over to Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster and we get the heck out of there. Adrian and myself sit on a shady bench with Steven while Nanny Lesley takes Ellie on the little kiddie coaster. Well I can’t tell you what Nanny Lesley said on their return but suffice to say she did not rate this as a little kiddie coaster. Ellie pulled the, “Will you take me on now,” trick with Uncle Adrian and dragged him off. There was totally no wait for this ride: they were waiting around for people to come in. Adrian came back and I got a, “Your turn now Auntie Dawn.” I graciously agreed to accompany Ellie and she ran ahead while I dragged my heels behind. Ellie was waiting on the loading platform waving at me to hurry up so I broke into a gentle trot and joined her in a car. Well I have to echo what Nanny Lesley said. It’s a bit fast for a little kiddie coaster.
Ellie, being the mature 6-year-old that she is, had no desire to watch the Barney show so I had hatched a plan a bit earlier that was agreeable for all parties and got me away from the wretched dinosaur. Big Steve and Lisa were to take Harry to see the Barneyarama thing while the rest of us would take Ellie and Steven to the Animal Planet Live show as it was on at the same time. Us non-dinosaur watchers headed to the theatre, stopping on the way for cold drinks as it was a bit on the hot side and Adrian suffers in anything getting toward the mid-70s and above. The Animal Planet show was pretty much the same array of animals and behaviors as always but Ellie liked it and Steven sat pretty still most of the way through it before falling asleep, and anything was better than Barney.
After the show we walked back round and met the Barney watchers as they exited that area of the park. Harry had a great time in there: he loved the show and the playground was great. We’d spent nearly an hour there this morning but let’s face it, Harry has had to sit around lots of times while we went on bigger rides so when he had the chance to do something he liked we let him have at it for as long as he wanted. Only fair considering. He’d been strapped into his buggy on many occasions while waiting for the rest of us, and for the most part had dealt with it rather well. Here was something he loved and could fully participate in so away he went. Shame it was Barney though.
Now it was time for some grown-up things so we went to check on the wait time for Men In Black. We couldn’t actually find anyone waiting so left Nanny Lesley with the two small members of the party in a shady spot and went for a closer inspection. There was no wait at all: this is seriously the time of year to come here. We were straight in and shooting our aliens before you could say, “it’s a bit gairy.” One swift ride round later and we are exiting having gained the rank of…I forget but it was pretty good, which makes a change for me.
We cross the bridge. No we don’t, we go and retrieve our children and their grandparent, and then cross the bridge over to the Amity area. There’s a large crowd on the bridge looking at something in the water so I go to investigate and rush back and hustle the children out of there as the crowd is watching two ducks behaving in a very un-Disney like fashion. Well I guess when you’re at Universal you have to expect a drop in moral standards.
Anyway, a quick stop for photos with heads in the sharks mouth and on to Jaws. There’s a 10 minute wait here and I offer to sit this one out as Baby Steven is having his morning nap and Jaws doesn’t really do it for me anymore. I know the story so it’s just not gairy anymore. The others troop into line and I settle on a bench and people watch. I saw a “Make A Wish” family entering Jaws. I always get a lump in my throat when I see these families.
Shortly after this my gang return with Harry now minus his trousers. He’d got the bum seat and got the brunt of the shark splash. Oh dear. At least it was a nice day so he ran around in his pull-up for the rest of the day here. Oh and he rates Jaws as, “Not too gairy, but wet.” It was getting on for lunchtime now so we looked around for a place to grab something to eat. We normally just eat and run at Universal: I think I’ve only once ever had a full service meal here in many trips. I’ve been put off it because of that one meal: the restaurant was full of movie luvvies talking loudly so everyone could hear that they were ‘in the movies.’ So now it’s fast food all the way here. We find a place selling hot dogs and Adrian and myself order these with fries. Big Steve and Lisa wait to see what we get before they order. We were given a tray that held the biggest hot dogs I have ever seen in my entire life. Big Steve and Lisa had to have one. They ordered one for Ellie and Harry to split too. Nanny Lesley wasn’t hungry so just watched in wonderment as we tried to do justice to these things.
We found some seating behind the stand, overlooking the Jaws lagoon where the boats unload and sat down there, manoeuvering Steven’s buggy into a shady spot. While we were sitting there another British family came and sat on the table next to us. Nothing wrong with that I hear you say. Well they proceeded to unpack a huge packed lunch: thought you couldn’t bring food into Universal parks. Anyway this is the best bit. All of this food was packed in a regular Sainsburys carrier bag. For you US people Sainsburys is a supermarket chain in the UK. OK, bring some food into the park if you want, but at least don’t carry it around all day in a Sainsburys carrier bag: do you know how ridiculous you look. The man had socks and sandals on; sort of says it all really.