Day 4: January 3rd, 2006


Universal Studios


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 that.

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.

<< Back to Rose Bowl Kickoff Luncheon Go to Texas Longhorns Bash >>
Jonn at the entrance to Universal
Jonn at the entrance to Universal
UT Trumpet players
UT Trumpet players
Jimmy and Jonn with USC fans Joel, Joan, and Mark in the sock store
Jimmy and Jonn with USC fans Joel, Joan, and Mark in the sock store