Monday, September 24, 2018

belated birthday merriment

so you know how i almost always head into disneyland on my birthday...it's pretty much an annual tradition for me.  but this year it was a little tricky, what with september 18th falling on a tuesday during a week that the bean was prepping for a 3-day science camp out on catalina island.  the hub and i had been talking about going to the 'land for a day date for months but had never found the right time, and so we decided that it made the most sense for us to kill two birds with one stone a day late.  this way we weren't rushing to get back home at any particular time for school pick-up, and we could take our time and hopefully take advantage of what passes for off-season at the happiest place on earth.

after the bean was safely on the bus with her classmates to camp, we headed home to get changed and make our way down to anaheim for a day of fun.  it's also become tradition for me to make myself something fun to wear, and this year was no different.  i put on my fun new skirt, snipped the tag off of my sparkly new birthday ears, and sat back to enjoy the ride.


we were a little taken aback to see super long lines to get into the parking structure.  so much for my hopes for an easy breezy weekday jaunt to disneyland.  checking social media told me that not only was it the first night of the annual halloween parties, but that a special halloween-themed collectible popcorn bucket had also just been released that morning.  it sounds a little crazy, but popcorn buckets are serious business for the hard core disney collectors out there.  no worries, though - we were going to have a great day no matter what.


i snagged us fastpasses for the guardians of the galaxy ride, which also gave us some time to walk around.  it'd been quite a few months since the last time the hub had been at california adventure, and so he wanted to check out pixar pier and other stuff that's changed in the last year.  our fastpass window opened up about half an hour after we arrived, and we were on the ride in no time.  he'd done the tower of terror a handful of times before, but this was the first time he was getting to see it since it's been re-themed.  it was a blast, as always.


we had a lunch reservation at cathay circle, and the halloween party meant that disneyland was closing early that evening, and so we decided to head over there for awhile.  as we made our way down buena vista street towards the exit, we ran into an old friend who didn't have time to stop for a picture with me, but i got one anyway.


with fastpasses in hand for space mountain, we decided to enjoy a leisurely ride around the magic kingdom on the disneyland railroad.


and what's a trip to disneyland without a couple of castle pictures?


after we took our turn on space mountain, we found time to squeeze in a pre-lunch stop at big thunder mountain.


at carthay circle, we were seated at a small table where we sat down and perused the menu.


martini for the hub, pimm's punch for me (because i clearly hadn't had enough pimm's the night before).



with the hub still on his low-carb/keto diet, i got to enjoy an order of their special fried biscuits.  these are served warm and stuffed full of jalapeƱo white cheddar cheese and bacon, with a delicious honey butter on the side.


the unagi glazed soy salmon was really, really good.  i enjoyed it far more than i'd expected.


and my s'mores cake came out with a fun birthday greeting on it.


even better, a little while later the hub and i headed to the grand californian hotel, where i got to head into the spa while he enjoyed a cigar and adult beverages on the patio at napa rose restaurant.


i was treated to a fantastic 80-minute long massage, which included hot stone therapy and a coconut something-or-other scalp treatment.  it was lovely to take a long hot shower afterwards to freshen up before joining the hub on the patio that overlooked part of california adventure park.  not too long after that, the old lady and her special friend joined us and we all enjoyed cocktails and a couple of appetizers before dinner.  this was the hamachi and lobster served with heirloom tomato relish:


and the heirloom tomato salad with a housemade crouton and apple bacon cider vinaigrette.


as we walked through the grand californian on our way to downtown disney, we found a fun station with halloween treats near the lobby.  the hub bought us a round of chocolate chip cookie shot glasses filled with rumchata.  they were so good:


we ended up being seated at naples for some pizza and salad, and when the balloon artist stopped at the table the old lady and i each got something fun.


it was a great end to a really fun day.  another disneyland birthday celebration, check!

Friday, September 21, 2018

it was quite a happy birthday indeed

birthday week has been a whirlwind of crazy fun, as always.  i love birthday week so much.

my actual birthday was actually really quiet considering that it was a tuesday, so the hub and the old lady were at work all day while the bean was at school, leaving me to enjoy most of the day at home doing whatever the hell i wanted.  heh.  i kicked it off with an 6am barre class, wearing one of my favorite shirts:


and then when i got in the car after getting my ass kicked in class, i found this in my starbucks app:


and when i got home with my treat i put my special birthday ears on and snuggled mollydog.  i have problems, i know.


so because i didn't have time to do it earlier, i spent most of my birthday doing what i love most...sitting at my sewing machine making myself a dress to wear to dinner.  i managed to finish it just before everyone got home, and we all got ourselves ready and in the car to head out to burbank for dinner.  i'd chosen the tam o'shanter because prime rib sounded delicious, and it had to be early enough to get the bean home at a decent time since we had to have her at school by 6am the next morning for science camp.  this meant we had an earlybird dinner reservation...just like any self-respecting old lady would.


i'd requested to be seated at walt disney's table, but because we had one too many people in our party we had to settle for sitting next to it.  the bean was quite enchanted when we explained the significance of table 31 to her, and our server told us we were welcome to sit there and take pictures and examine the table as long as someone else wasn't being seated there.



then it was time to sit down and get down to the business of checking out the menu and making some choices.



when the old lady and i both opted for a pimm's cup, our server told us that there was a special jumbo sized version that we could order instead.  it was meant to serve 4 to 6 people, but the hub and her special friend both insisted that we'd have no problems polishing it off, and so we went for it.  it wasn't until the hub did a little reading in the extensive cocktail menu and realized that it was literally a full gallon, with a $50 price tag to go with it.  LOL forever.


it came with a ladle for serving, like a punch bowl.  cheers!


we settled on some shrimp cocktail and deviled eggs for our appetizers:


and then the main course arrived.  mmmm, prime rib with creamed corn and spinach, plus yorkshire pudding and mashed potatoes.  i'd skipped lunch, so i was extra hungry.


presents included the leopard tieks i'd been hoping for, along with several new pairs of lululemon workout pants that i'm excited to wear and a special edition shirt from the old lady and her special friend that they'd gotten at the lululemon in hawaii.


i'm not quite sure why i was making this face, because lord knows i was more than stoked to be opening presents.


along with the chocolate souffle and c.c. brown's hot fudge sundae we'd ordered for dessert, i was serenaded with this cute little cup o'english trifle.



if you're wondering how we did with that gallon o'pimms cup, here's all that was left by the time we got up and left the table.


muahahahahahahahahahaha.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

science camp time!

so i'll have birthday recaps later, but first...

the bean is off to science camp!  we dropped off her luggage and sleeping bag yesterday at school (which sounds funny until you realize how much easier it is to have it all done before the day of), and then we were all up at 5 this morning getting ready to drop her off to board the bus.  they were instructed to be at school no later than 6am for a 6:15 departure time, and when we pulled it up it was still dark outside.

she's been super excited and antsy for this trip, and the teachers have both said that this is their most favorite school trip of all time.  they're going to have so much fun, snorkeling and playing games and learning about oceanography and all sorts of fun stuff.

we found one of her BFFs as soon as we got out of the car.


inside, the class all gathered around to chatter and giggle and start making plans for who got to sit with who on the bus.  lots of photos were taken.


the required photo with her best guy friend:


and when the third musketeer walked in, i made sure to get a shot of them together.


the hub was there too, mingling with the other parents and holding the door open as the kids started filing out with luggage in hand to load onto the bus.  and of course, the old lady was there to see her sister off too.


we were chatting with other parents as the kids started lining up for the bus, and when i spotted the bean next in line to get on board i scampered over for one last hug.  i said "hey, have so much fun!" with arms wide open and she looked over at me with a big grin and said "BYE MOM!" and waved without hugging me back.  YARG.  haha!

the bus takes them down to the port, where they board the boat that'll take them to the island the long way...we're talking a 2-hour ride vs. the express ferry that most of us take when going there for vacation, which only takes 45 minutes.  heh.  the dramamine is at the ready and i put the sea bands on her wrists too, even though i'm fairly certain she's not prone to seasickness.  but hey...better safe than sorry, right?

and now the hub and i are off on our day date to the happiest place on earth...so i didn't get to be at disneyland ON my birthday this year, but that's okay.  this way we can just relax and enjoy the day without having to rush back for school pickup.

see?  everybody wins!
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