[Preface: Friday --After a 500 mile drive from Grand Canyon Village to Anaheim via Interstate 40 and a bit of Route 66 through Kingman and Oatman, Arizona and some grueling traffic on I-15 just past Yorba Linda or so, the family (DW, DS age 5.5) and I pulled up to the Disneyland Hotel at around 6:30 PM, Maybe 7.]
Still running on empty from a long drive from the Grand Canyon, we slept in until nearly 7:30. Then jumped out of bed and into the showers o catch our 8:10 AM breakfast at the Carnation Cafe. After devouring Mickey Icons with fake syrup (we left the bottle of real Vermont Maple Syrup we always carry in the room, silly us), we rode up and down Main Street on horse trolley and Jitney, then onto the Disneyland Railroad to see dinosaurs. Well, we didn't make it, as darling wife mentioned to the kid something about weasels, and so we had to de-train at Toontown and ride Roger Rabbit, once, twice -- no FIVE times in a row.
Then, with much cajoling, we managed to convince the boy to ride the Matterhorn. He thought it was too fast and scary. Told him it was no faster than his Austrian Holzschlitteln or his skis. He believed us (well, it was true), and so it was he took his first bobsled ride. And he liked it, too.
But it cost us a long, hot wait for Alice in Wonderland and a shorter but just as toasty wait for Storybook Canal Boats, before we convinced him to get back on the train in Toontown and see the dinosaurs. He liked the dinosaurs, so we stayed on for another lap, but somewhere along the way he shifted gears and decided that Autopia in the sun would be a good idea, so it was off the train again at Tomorrowland. A mere 15 minute wait for cars proved him correct, and this brought us up to lunchtime.
A short Rocket Rodds break, back on the train, more dinosaurs, then he and Mom went back to the DLH while I went to check the Carnation Cafe for my missing Hotel Charge voucher. Sure enough, they had it: in the excitement of the morning, I neglected to sign my check, write in a tip, or take my card. By now the heat was such that I only wanted to walk as far as the monorail station (is that any closer than the Sierra Tower?) and ride back to air conditioning and a pool.
The Neverland Pool was bath water warm, crowded, and kinda milky from sunscreen, sweat, and pink pool drinks from the bar -- but still better than the now approaching 103 degrees F desert air. After a couple of Bahama Mamas, I no longer cared. We soaked until we wrinkled, and then dressed in our disgustingly Disney matching Mickey Tiki outfits for a wildly expensive meal at Napa Rose.
Yowza, what divine dining: John, our waiter took good care of us. And so did Executive Chef Andrew Sutton: we were seated at 5:30, and before the place was too busy, I took my boy up to check out the action in the open kitchen. We were warmly greeted by Andrew, who took the time out to talk a little to to the kid and shake his hand.
For dinner, I had Pheasant and dumplings, followed by bunny rabbit. Darling wife had bunny, too, and young 5 year old had the "kiddies" salmon -- plus copious portions of my appetizer and Mom's rabbit meat. For dessert, son and wife split some white cake thing, which I paid little attention to as I was thoroughly engrossed in my "Napa Wake up" espresso and Bailey's mousse thing. After dinner, William asked if he could thank Andrew for the wonderful roast bunny, so waiter John brought over a piece of paper and a pen for him to write (well, Mom actually) a thank you note. But then another waiter appeared, and said there was a brief break in the now busy kitchen action, so son got to hand deliver his note and thank the executive chef personally. Maybe it was just cast member politeness, but Andrew seemed truly appreciative of the young man's praise and interest in fine dining. It was a small but significant Disney Moment.
So, back to the parks, or rather, THE park. We shuffled into Disneyland again, and bee-lined towards Plaza Gardens for just a little bit more dancing with the Saturday Night Regulars. But we called it quits early, so we could retire to our 8th floor tower room in time to watch fireworks in our Jammies. Sadly, it was not to be -- the wacky weather brought unusually high winds into play, and it appeared that both the 9 PM Fantasmic and the 9:30 PM fireworks were cancelled.
So here I sit, eight floors up with both sliding glass doors open wide unto Downtown Disney, hot natural air before me mixing with artificial conditioned air from my back, watching the other tourons and locals mingle below. It's almost midnight, and we have a busy day of flying elephants and pirates to face in just another 8 hours or so. Goodnight from Disneyland...