our day at disneyland was pretty uneventful, as disneyland days go. because of the triple-digit heat, the hub and i were loath to stand in line for a single ride. and my usual go-to ride when it's hotter than the 7th circle of hades, "it's a small world," was closed for renovations.
my sis told me the next day that there's some controversy in regards to these renovations, because they're adding disney characters to the ride. while this seems trivial and damn near natural, considering the fact that it IS disneyland, i'm rather annoyed at this. why fuck with a tried-and-true formula? it's one thing to christmas-ify it in december, but small world doesn't need a permanent makeover that totally commercializes the damn thing. okay, maybe i'm not making sense. i know what i mean.
being hotel guests, we were given the opportunity to take advantage of "magic morning" - entry into disneyland an hour before it's open to the public. now, the hub and i had no interest in taking advantage of this, but i knew the girls would jump at the chance to ride space mountain or indiana jones at 8:00 in the morning. but they didn't get up till 7:30, and being girly girls, it took them a full hour to get ready and out the door. heh. i DID, however, get a picture of them all rocking the tees i'd made with the teen's picture on the back. i'm not going to post it, because you can't see it anyway, and they all look grumpy as hell.
the hub and i took our sweet ass time getting ready, playing with the bean and getting everything packed up. hell, we'd paid for that suite, and we were going to stay in it until the very last possible minute. and at ten to eleven, we called down to have bell services pick up our bags and put them into storage for the day.
it was already hotter than hell when we stepped outside in search of something good for breakfast. but of the two restaurants in the hotel, one was only open for dinner, while the other offered a character breakfast - with a nice, long wait for a table. eff that noise. we checked out la brea bakery in downtown disney, but the only seating was outdoors. bleh. so we decided to check out the eats inside the park instead.
we ended up standing in line for cafe orleans - a little table service restaurant in new orleans square, not far from the site of our fabulous club 33 dinner.
the doors were closed, as they were cleaning up between breakfast and lunch service, and they were accepting reservations. this sounded silly to us, because the line wasn't very long, but as we stood there in the sun, we overheard some lady say "it takes half an hour to be seated if you don't have a reservation."
so i trucked on up to the hostess, who informed me that immediate reservations were all booked up, but that we could continue to wait in line or take a reservation for about half an hour later. ugh. and as i stood there, contemplating, a nice man came up and said "she can have our reservation, we decided not to wait."
whee! so we were "dave, party of 2." the server didn't need to know that dave's not here. and pay no attention to the fact that the hub's shirt most definitely didn't say "dave." heh.
it was a relief to be seated inside, with the air conditioning on full blast, even though it'd only been half an hour since we stepped inside the gates of the park. fighting our way through the crowds was tiring as it was.
after perusing the menu, i ordered a lovely, refreshing mint julep and decided to go with the monte cristo sandwich. i was happily surprised to see it on the menu, because i always thought you could only get those at blue bayou during lunchtime. nothing like a ham, turkey and swiss, dipped in egg batter, and fried with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. sounds like nasty shit, i know, but it's oh so good. really.we lingered over our meal, feeding the bean more of her freeze-dried apples and water and enjoying the comforts of being indoors. and then we had to leave, because we knew there were lots of folks waiting outside to eat. besides, i'd had so many mint julep refills, i was ready to float away.
we meandered through critter country, shook our heads at the hordes of hot, sweaty folks standing in line for splash mountain (a 75 minute wait! with fastpass return times of 6:00 that evening!), and stopped to take random pictures of the bean here and there.
the heat had obviously gotten to us, because before we knew it, we were shelling out $17.50 (plus tax) for one of these battery-operated fans attached to a squirt bottle. that's right. but we had fun playing with it and squirting cool water at the bean, who scrunched up her face but laughed in delight.
and when we got truly bored, we made our way back to main street, where we knew we could find seats inside one of the shops. and after weaving through several souvenir stores, we found two open seats next to an old-fashioned woodburning stove (thankfully, not in use at the time) with a checkers game board between us. we parked our asses in those chairs for the next couple of hours, just chatting and peoplewatching.
i had to laugh at this poor disney employee, who had to follow a character riding on horseback preceding the parade.
how much must it suck to have THAT job, wheeling a shit wagon in 100-degree weather, in a wack ass costume, no less?
and then the bean needed a diaper change. we hated to give up our sweet seats, but finally we got up and headed towards the baby care center, not too far down main street from where we were. i'd always seen this place during previous visits, but had never needed to use it till then. and it was nice - there was a changing room with several cushy tables, tiny toddler butt-sized toilets, high chairs for feeding, and even a private nursing room. and, of course, there was a wide variety of baby items available for sale - like formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, etc. how convenient!
we met up with the girls to see how they were doing, get them something to eat, and then went to one of the shops in adventureland to buy one of the girls a pair of shorts. silly girl - even with the heat of the previous couple of days, she'd only packed jeans to wear, and was sweltering in the heat. oy. and i couldn't stop laughing at the teen - she'd screamed so much riding rides, she had no voice left. she definitely gets her love of amusement park rides from her mother.
once they were fed and clothed properly, they took off again to stand in more lines for more rides. i decided to grab a snack at bengal barbecue.
i chose a safari skewer - bacon wrapped asparagus. seriously, two of my most favorite things in the world, ON A STICK! what could be better? i munched happily as we continued our stroll through the crowds, back towards main street and our comfy chairs by the (nonlit) stove.
sadly for us, when we got there, our seats were taken! but the occupants were obviously on the verge of leaving, so we did the "hover and sigh" and sure enough, they left in search of other members of their party. oh yeah.
and before we knew it, it was time to meet up with the girls for our dinner reservation at blue bayou. it was nice to walk past the waiting crowds right up to the hostess and be seated immediately. and when we were seated, i looked up behind us and eyed the balcony we'd stood on just the night before, during our tour of club 33.
since i'd had such a big, heavy dinner the night before, i decided to go with the shrimp-topped mahi mahi. it was yummy, even though it was garnished with white asparagus.
i'm sorry, but asparagus has no business being white. i'm no racist, but my asparagus must have color to it - preferably green, thankyouverymuch.
the bean enjoyed smashing a piece of celery with her two teeth:
and our birthday princess went with macaroni & cheese from the kids' menu.
we pored over the "pirates"-themed dessert menu and HAD to go with the "flying dutchman cookie boat." and then we took some fun pictures as we waited for it to be served.
after dinner was over, the girls were off to ride even more rides, and we headed back towards cinderella's castle to find a nice spot and wait for the fireworks. on the way there, we spied the disney "dream suite" - one group is chosen randomly every day to spend that night in this fab, luxe suite created in what was supposed to be walt disney's personal apartment in new orleans square. sadly, today's group was not us. boo.
we managed to find an empty bench right in front of the castle, and we settled in to wait for the fireworks as we did more peoplewatching and the bean took a nap.
i fully expected her to wake up once it started, but she actually stayed asleep - and what ended up waking her up was the crowds of people cheering loudly as each set of fireworks lit up the sky. so i managed to get a quick shot of her watching her very first fireworks show.
we finally left the park at 11:00, after the girls used their late-night fastpasses for splash mountain. after dropping off one friend who needed to get home, we took the others back to our house for a sleepover. they laid out sleeping bags in the living room, we put the bean down for the night, and we happily fell into our own bed for some well-deserved shuteye.
of course, we still had one more hurdle: the teen's birthday party the next day. the alarm was set for 8am, and i groaned at the thought.
gotta love birthdays!