After the Kickoff Luncheon, we drove straight over to Universal Studios. It was Texas Longhorns day
at the park and there was supposed to be a parade with the band. However, some idiot scheduled the
parade too early... so no one who attended the kickoff luncheon could make it for the parade. Regardless,
we set out to enjoy our day at the park.
The first thing we did was head to the Studio Tour. I hadn't been on the tour since I was a little
kid and Jonn had never been to the park before. We had a really great tour leader... very funny and cute.
The backlots were simply amazing. It was fascinating to see how small the sets actually are when
they look so expansive on the big screen. Besides the normal stuff (cityscapes, western town, Jaws, King
Kong, Psycho, etc.) they also had sets up from the Whoville movie, War of the Worlds, and a fun little ride
themed from The Mummy. But the really amazing part was when they drove the tram into the street
from Desparate Housewives... and then pointed out how nearly all of the houses on that street had been
used time and time again for decades. Kind of freaky to think of the Desparate Housewives living in houses
previously occupied by Leave it to Beaver and The Munsters!
After the tour, we found a place to sit down and eat. At the table next to us was a rather attractive group of
young men wearing UT gear. When we got up to leave, Jonn asked where they were from... they replied
from Austin. About that time, one of the guys, Daniel, had this look of recognition on his face, pointing
to Jonn's shirt saying "You're the guys I saw on TV!" Apparently he had seen us on KXAN in Austin
when they did a story on our t-shirts. None of the other guys at the table knew what he was talking about
when he went on to say that "Don't you know these guys? They've been on all over the place!" We then
went on to explain the t-shirts and the whole story about them. Also at that time they all kinda got
this look of recognition on their faces, pointed to me, and asked "were you the guy that asked the
question..." and I replied "yeah, I was the question guy!" at which point they all laughed, remembering
me from the kickoff luncheon just a few hours before. It was such an ego boost to be recognized like
Turns out these guys were trumpet section leaders in the Longhorn Band. We stood and talked for a while...
figuring out people that I knew from my days in band.. they asked about the directors I'd had... we talked
about the bowl trips we'd all been on... it was totally hilarious.
We then hit the other rides in the park... Back to the Future... Jurassic Park... Backdraft. By then, the
park was closing so we made our way to the front of the park. There, we went into the main gift shop
so Jonn could find a hat for himself. While in the checkout line, the guy behind us (wearing a burnt
orange shirt) started talking with us. Jonn noticed it first, but his shirt said "Texas TUBA!" which
was hilarious because the trumpet guys from earlier had mentioned those shirts! I wanted to know where
I could get one for me, but he was just a freshman and couldn't really tell me how.
We left the park and walked though the CityWalk Mall on our way to the parking garage. We stopped in a
few stores, one of which was a sock store. While walking around, a guy clad in USC made a joke
to the cashier about a UCLA tie... when I laughed we started to strike up a conversation. Even though
they were USC fans, they were from Texas (Richardson, specifically). The two adults were originally
from Los Angeles, each having worked in the film industry as producers, directors, and the woman as
an actress. Even the son had worked in some commercials! We stood and talked for a while, even
exchanging business cards. As we were about to leave, we took a picture of the five of us... and
with us standing together, a UT fan standing to the side commented "wow... that's an odd combination!"
We finally made it out of Universal and headed back to the hotel to relax... but just for a moment
as we still had one more event that night.
Jonn at the entrance to Universal
UT Trumpet players
Jimmy and Jonn with USC fans Joel, Joan, and Mark in the sock store