and then he was nine

He was born 1 year and 1 day after 9/11. He so considerately waited 13 hours after that day that I was so worried he would be born on. He even allowed me a good night’s sleep before I went into labor. I woke up at 6:30 am, my water broke, I walked downstairs to the rest of the family and said, “We’re having a baby today.” And he made his appearance a few hours later. Third time’s a charm, right?

Even though this year Boy 2 “qualified” for a birthday party (we only do parties every other year), he wanted to do something as a family, involving a theme park. Living in southern California, we are pretty spoiled to be close to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Magic Mountain, etc. But the only place we have never been is Universal Studios. I wasn’t sure if it would be a good fit for the ages of our kids, but it turned out great! It’s small, totally doable in one day and different than other theme parks. It is more, well, theatrical, which makes sense. The are not that many “rides” (but there are enough) and even the rides are in some ways really more like a show. The shows are mostly centered around movies, Shrek, Terminator, Waterworld. Many shows are 3D and they are all totally fun, even if you had never seen the movie (which was the case with the kids).We had lunch at Fred Flinstone’s restaurant. Please note the Brontosaurus leg that the boy is eating above. Let’s just say, hard to get a vegan meal around here…

A real highlight was the Studio Tour, where they take you through the Universal Lot where they are actually filming shows like Parenthood, 30 Rock, the Office, etc. Of course, you don’t get on the set of those, but the tour continues to many recognizable outdoor sets, like the town square from Back to the Future, Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives,

the Bates Motel from Psycho, Whoville from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas and so many others.

Fun day, right? Time to go home? No way! Next up, Dodger game!

We had total nosebleed seats, but right behind the plate. Sadly, the Dodgers did not see fit to give my birthday boy a win, but, still, a fun game.

Back home late and no time to play with the big birthday gift,

Drumsticks? Could that mean…

A drum set! He has been wanting one for a couple of years now and couldn’t have been more excited. And the best part is that he started drum lessons then next day (at least now he can play something, as opposed to randomly hitting drums).

All in all, the Second Best Birthday Ever, he declared. The first? The day he was born, of course.