As spring break comes to an end and Passover and Easter collide onto the calendar, I decided to give myself a gift. A gift of an experience. And that was to take my three granddaughters and spend the holiday weekend at Universal Studios with them. Just me and them.
Off we went and I have to tell you it was an indulgence that was well worth every penny, not just because of the memories that I made but just because it turned out to be exactly what I wanted, which was to spend time with all three granddaughters. Time is so fleeting you just never know, I mean one day they’re born then they’re in preschool, then kindergarten, then they’re in middle school and they no longer have time for hanging with a grandparent. If you ever wondered whether you can become obsolete, try to spend time with your grandchildren as they enter middle, and high school. Overnight you will learn the meaning of the word “insignificant. Those babies that you cuddled and guarded and protected, and those babies that you subsidized so they would have the very best experiences. Experiences that you did not have and that you could not give to their parents have now moved into their own lives and they just don’t have too much time that they can give to you, not because they don’t love you, just because they’re busy living.
So this little excursion with the three girls was just my way of squeezing out a little selfish time for myself with them. A little intimate time to sneak into their heads, and explore their thoughts. It was an opportunity to get to know what is going right, and what might not be working for them. A time to encourage them, reset them, and scold them if it is needed. Mostly, at the end of each night, once settled back at the hotel, ready for sleep, we all had a fun time recalling funny things we remembered. They told stories about me that they remembered from when they were toddlers, and two-year-olds growing up. And I told stories about the things they did at that age. We laughed out loud until our eyes watered. Those nights were priceless. Just moments, stolen from time, before they become so busy, that it will be impossible to get us all together again like this. Or, that I get so ancient that I won’t be able to keep up with them.
I have to say that all the bicycling I’ve been doing really helped because for three days I walked around Universal Studios for miles and miles and miles strolling, or running after a four-year-old, and all of the souvenirs and goodies that were purchased.
I must’ve been a real site because I had this boho fanny pack that I put around my waist and I had all kinds of things you need with three girls at Universal Studios like quarters! Here’s an observation, pretty much universal studios is a cashless environment. Everything is available on credit or debit cards. Digital money. So, it makes no sense to me then, to find a feminine product dispensing machine in the woman’s bathroom with the only option to purchase requiring the use of quarters. Why no digital purchasing option? This is Universal Studios the most futuristic and technologically driven environment that I can think of.
Now you can get cash by going to an ATM machine, pay an almost 4 dollar fee to get that cash, which you then have to take to one of the local shops or restaurants and stand in a 30 to 40 minute line, to purchase a ridiculously overpriced item you don’t need, for instance, a soda for nine dollars, and then insist on paying in cash and hope you can talk them into giving you $2 back in quarters, so you can then go back and stand in line again for another 30 minutes, to use the woman’s bathroom, and purchase the feminine products, using your newly scored quarters! Really???? Universal, surely you can do better than that! I’m going to share this with someone at Universal, and mention a feminist sight to them. Especially since a large majority of their visitors are pubescent girls and young women who may not have quarters handy, and need the product. But they all have an atm or credit card. Come on now, Universal, are you going out of your way to make it as inconvenient as possible for your female fans? Switch out those obsolete coin machines, for the kind that can accept credit cards. If parking lots can do it, surely you can make this happen too.
Enough of my rant, back to the things I packed in my fanny pack. So quarters and sanitary products go in the pack, and God knows you need a plastic poncho in case it rains in Florida and you need a comb.
You are going to get splashed and your hair is gonna look weird, you need a comb! Oh, and because you’re a senior citizen, and you can’t see shit without your glasses, you are going to need to have some lens wipes. When your eyeglasses are splashed and you try to clean them with your clothes or a napkin, they’re going to be cloudy and you will not be able to see. So you need an alcohol wipe to clear them up. While you are at it, through in a couple of band-aids for blisters on your feet. And don’t forget the ibuprofen.
Also, I recently purchased a water-resistant poncho for myself that folds up into its own pouch. It has an elastic hoop and you can attach to your fanny pack. Wait, and around my neck, I had my park pass and my four-year-olds pass. Then my bandolier iPhone crossbody case hung across me too, with my car keys attached. Hey, I was hands-free. I also looked cool, in an eccentric urban clutter kind of way, especially with my Versace Cat Eyeglasses. LOL!
I was hands-free up until the time we left Harry Potter world. After that, we had wand case’s, T-shirt bags, and some kind of round pink fluffy thing that’s scented and purrs when you squeeze it, but Olive just had to have it, and it comes in three sizes. I had to talk her down from getting the great big Beachball size.
And, yes, I had to carry all that because I wasn’t gonna leave it in the old cheap, who cares if someone takes it, folding umbrella-stroller and chance that there’s honesty in the world.
Back to all my bicycling, I was in great shape because I ran, speed walked, climbed, stood, stooped, jumped and rode rides with that little four-year-old of mine and I wasn’t breathless and my joints didn’t give out on me. yay!
I also managed to keep up with the 14-year-old and 11-year-old speed walkers and their ever-changing pubescent hormonal emotional reactions.
Thank God for beer and wine!
But, like I said, the experience was priceless!
Here are my galleries
Mardi Gras Parade
Blue Man Group
Back at the Hotel