Having survived the night, I woke to be almost pleased that today would be a sort of rest day. It involved no theme parks anyway, which would probably be for the best as I had no doubt already infected half of North America, like some sort of mid 70’s Elton John.
A few months ago, based on Freddie’s absolute obsession with The Minions, I had booked a character breakfast with them, as recompense for not doing Universal this year. To be fair, I don’t think he knew that was the case, but the grandparent guilt is strong even when there is no reason for it. Today was that day and after resting in my pit until 9am, we were all up, ready and out by 10am. In the plan, I had given us an hour to get to Universal, but thankfully in half that time, we were self-parking and making our way into the Royal Pacific.
We know this hotel fairly well having stayed here a couple of times but it still took a long walk, a compass and a generous helping of the force to find the location of this breakfast.
It was waaaaayyyy down there, right out at the back of the hotel.
We were still early and after checking in we waited about ten minutes for anything to happen. Judging by Freddie’s reaction here, this booking had been a wise choice.
After those ten minutes, Gru and a Minion (I’m not sure which) appeared for some meet and greet action. Freddie, having been all-in on the cardboard versions wasn’t immediately that confident with the lifesize equivalents.
To their credit, the characters were very patient and won him over eventually.
With our photos done we were then shown into the “dining room”. This is where it started to get a bit odd.
The breakfast was in one of the conference/meeting rooms which had been filled with a few large round tables and some more cardboard versions of the characters. Despite the event being about half full, they were still having parties share tables and we really hit the motherload.
We were joined by a family of three, Mum, Dad and what we assumed was their son. Nothing too odd there. However, the son was in his late twenties, maybe early thirties and had a definite, Alan from the Hangover vibe.
Despite being British, we attempted a hearty good morning and got nothing back. We were served juice and coffee and unleashed on the buffet, but “Alan”, in an unnecessarily rude manner, refused everything. No drinks, no food, no manners. He just sat at the table looking around with a permanent scowl on his face. His Mum and Dad tucked in, but still, not a word from them. We carried on regardless.
Freddie was especially taken with “the gurls”.
The food was fine, if nothing too special. The whole event felt weird though. The choice of room lacked any sort of atmosphere and it felt like we were just sat in a random, bland conference room eating breakfast….because we were.
Still, this is what we came for….
Freddie had ample time with all of the characters and I had three trips to the buffet. Everyone’s a winner.
Our table sharing friends took about two photos with the characters, with the son not taking part in that either, and then immediately left. Honestly, they were just weird. Not like us perfectly normal folks!
After about an hour we were done eating and meeting and we made our exit. As we were three days from going home, Louise, of course, decided she needed some new “more comfortable” footwear, so we popped into the onsite boutique to purchase probably the most expensive pair of flip flops in the northern hemisphere. It’s fine.
We strolled back to the car and made our way back to the villa for some serious resting. I rested so much that there isn’t one photograph of the entire afternoon. That camera stuff can really take it out of you. I didn’t swim due to me still not being any better. Instead, I sat inside unwisely eating all of a family size bag of Cheetos and watching endless re-runs of Two and a Half Men, pre-Kutcher of course.
Everyone else was in and around the pool, blissfully unaware of my fight for survival. and orange fingers.
At some point folks got ready and at 6.30 we left the villa again, heading up the I4 again towards Universal for our trip to Teak Neighbourhood Grill. We hadn’t booked, or let them know we were coming. We did that once and we got such a fantastic welcome and red carpet treatment that we felt a bit guilty and awkward with all the attention, so we wouldn’t be doing that again! On the drive, I slumped to new lows of illness. I had a headache the likes of which would have made a lesser man moan about being ill all the time. I was really struggling.
You can almost see my headache here….
Ah yes, Freddie had the camera again.
If anyone would like to see the 47 other photos like those, just let me know.
After a forty-minute drive, we arrived and only had a five-minute wait for a suitable table inside. As we were seated, I took some more pills and went to the restroom and expelled vast amounts of fluid from my nasal area. Seriously, it took about five minutes, three toilet rolls and a couple of flushes. As soon as that was done my headache lifted and I cannot express the feeling of relief and euphoria involved. I floated back to the table full of joy and empty of snot, ready to order.
We skipped appetisers, planning to focus on the wonders of the entree menu and for me, it was an easy decision, despite the vast amount of choice.
The Cronie burger was, once again, magnificent.
Louise had the French Dip.
Rebecca had a Green Salad.
Emily had the Trooper Burger, with the meat substituted for an Impossible Burger.
Tom also had a burger. Its name had Pig in it, I think…..don’t hassle me, I was ill.
The food was delicious and it made us happy.
Cocktails were involved, Emily had a blueberry beer she had been craving since our last visit and Tom, Rebecca and Freddie shared a Brownie dessert.
Yes, they did finish it.
The service tonight wasn’t the best we’d ever had here, but the food made up for it. With tight pants, we loaded our full bodies back into the car and drove directly home as fast as was legally allowed. It was straight to bed for me, again praying that I might make it through the night.
Till the next time…….