Laa-dee-daa papaya juice Retail therapy completed we exit the store and I offer the taller members of our party the opportunity to ride the Hulk coaster. Ellie is too short and as we already know doesn’t do loop the loops, Nanny Lesley just doesn’t do this stuff, Adrian and myself rode it last trip so, well we’ve done it. That leaves Big Steve and Lisa. They looked up at it and both replied with a firm, “no.” Hulk was out then, and so was Dr Doomfall as that is just a ridiculous concept for a ride – or we’re all too scared to try it, you chose. That was the complete circuit of the park completed and we had plenty of time to spare. We walked round into Port of Entry where some of us sat on a wall and gave Steven his milk, some of us visited restrooms, some of us purchased beverages, and one of us went into the Christmas themed shop to find their Cat silhouette. I was sitting feeding Steven when an Ellie shaped blur dashed out of the Christmas shop yelling, “found it,” before rushing across to the main shop opposite to find the last Cat and collect her prize. Nanny Lesley was following on behind her trying to keep track of her whereabouts. Oh and I remember that there was a Universal employee with one of those air cannon things firing it at every person that went past and it made a really annoying noise every time she did it. After a couple of minutes Nanny Lesley came out saying that Ellie had completed her mission and was browsing the shop with Big Steve and Lisa. I enquired as to her prize and was informed that it was a small Cat in the Hat movie poster with a puzzle sheet on the back. Huh? That’s it? After all that stressing around the park, and believe me we did have a few, “I can’t find it, what shall we do,” moments, she is rewarded with a small poster. Couldn’t they at least have thrown in some candy or a button or something? However, Nanny Lesley informs me that Ellie is well pleased with her prize and that’s all that matters really. We still have an hour before park closing so we decided to nip back round and have another spin on Cat in the Hat as that’s something that we can all ride. On the way there we spot the entrance to something called If I Ran The Zoo and peered in to investigate. The verdict from us is if you have young children you must go in here. It’s an interactive playground built in a series of sections, each with many things to climb on, play with, and generally have fun doing. It was great, we spent ages in there. The children enjoyed it a great deal too. There’s even a water section in there somewhere with a shallow pool and water toys. Steven took the opportunity to go for a little paddle, helped by Mummy of course. There’s an umbrella thing in here and if you stand under it and someone presses the button you get trapped underneath by water falling all around. Of course Adrian thought this would make a great photo so positioned Steven and myself strategically underneath and pressed the button. He didn’t realise that when the water hit the floor it bounced up and got us wet. Steven’s shorts were soaked and had to come off. After being in here for ages – it’s great, you have to go in there – we remembered why we originally came round here and head off to Cat in the Hat again. Everyone goes to ride while I take Steven to dry him as best I can. Of course this is the day we don’t have spare trousers for him. I wait in the gift shop/ride exit and see Big Steve and Harry come charging through and straight out without even seeing me. Curious. So I go round to where the buggies are parked and wait there. Everyone comes out eventually and it turns out that Big Steve had to bring Harry out and put his shoes on before they would let him ride. Harry has this habit of taking his shoes off all the time. We make our way towards the park exit and as we get there we remember the gairy drum that needed picking up. We asked 3 Universal employees where to pick it up from and none of them new so eventually we had the bright idea of looking at the collection receipt and there was the location clearly marked. Drum safely retrieved, Ellie safely returned from restroom, we head back to the cars. There is a bit of a “moment” on the way back to King Kong because Ellie decided to rush ahead on the moving walkways and rushed too far ahead. Big Steve had to call her back and they had a bit of a “discussion.” Back down to the cars and back to the hotel without further incident. I dash back to our room with Steven and put dry trousers on him and dash back down to the cars where everyone else had waited for us. We headed to The Crossroads again for dinner: TGI Fridays was on the menu tonight. Put our name down for a table then dashed back out to the car because we’d left Steven’s dinner in there and then only had a minute or so to wait before we were seated. A trip to the restroom by some of us resulted in an amazing discovery: automatic paper towel dispensers. Wicked. You just pressed a button and a pre-determined length of towel rolled majestically from the bottom of the machine for you to tear away. Magic. We all returned to the table and raved about this device causing the rest of our group to go and investigate. Amazing what will amuse a bunch of tired tourists all theme-parked out. Our drinks arrive and are duly placed at our places. Our server then goes up to Nanny Lesley and announces, “your papaya juice is just on its way.” Well that set us all off. Papaya juice? What on earth is papaya juice? Yes I know it’s the juice of a papaya. But we’re strictly diet coke people and maybe the odd orange juice and now here’s one of us ordering, as Big Steve puts it, “laa-dee-daa papaya juice.” OK again you had to be there and to know my family to think this was funny. It got even funnier when we all ordered burgers and steaks and Nanny Lesley ordered a laa-dee-daa chicken salad to go with her laa-dee-daa papaya juice. Ellie’s loose tooth had finally given up its battle with survival on the trip to the restaurant so she was tucking into anything really chewable that she’d been unable to manage over the last few days. Steven had an order of garlic breadsticks off of the menu, and a banana for dessert. Who knows what everyone else had, apart from the laa-dee-daa chicken salad of course. Halfway through the meal, Mike the balloon guy came round to our table. Except Mike was now a young lady. Oh well, make Steven a teddy bear and let’s see how we go from there. The teddy bear was acceptable, Ellie’s rabbit looked good, but Harry’s motorbike looked like a dog. Still not figured that one out. Anyway, Adrian did the honors with the tip for her and she left us to finish our desserts which were – well I don’t have a clue what they were or whether we even had any. On the way back to the hotel Steven had a meltdown. Really giving it some screaming in the back he was. Basically he was tired and wanted me but I was driving and he was in the back with Nanny Lesley. He was looking at me with a really evil look on his face. As soon as we were parked and I picked him up he calmed down. Guess sometimes only Mummies will do. Adrian went down to the gift shop to pick up the stuff we had sent back by the Mousegear’s World’s Slowest CM yesterday and while he did that Steven and myself got the changing bag ready for the morning. Adrian returned and we checked out all our booty and then we let Steven shred a few tissues before all retiring to bed. Steven liked to shred tissues and things. To keep him occupied in restaurants we’d give him napkins and tissues to shred. His other great toy was the blue spoons from the food court. He thought they were the greatest: he loved holding one and waving it in the air. We had these spoons everywhere: in the room, in the changing bag, in the car, and Adrian found two in his jacket pocket a couple of days after we got back home.