Sunday, October 5, 2008

Magical Meals

There is a restaurant on a fake wharf alongside a man-made lake in California Adventure by the name of Ariel's Grotto. Yes, it is a Little Mermaid-themed restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's expensive as kid-friendly restaurants go; $32 per adult and $18 per child (infants are free). Adults choose from one of six entrees, children from three. Everyone shares an appetizer spread consisting of a small salad, a variety of vegetables and cheeses, breads and Jello laced with shredded fruits. A dessert sampler platter of eight or so different items completes the meal. Soft drinks are included in the price, though apparently the kids' lemonade is not ($6.50 each!!!). The food is far from ordinary and probably on par with many upper-echelon restaurants. But nobody pays for the food.

At Ariel's Grotto, diners, especially little princesses, are treated to personal visits from each of the five major Disney princess icons: Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White. The princesses enter the dining room and talk to the people at each table. They sign autograph books and pose for pictures with whoever wants one. $32 and $18 is the price to see all of those princesses - not just in one location but exclusively, as far as we can tell; they are not available anywhere else in either park except in the parades. The food is just a footnote. I, however, am of the opinion that the beef tri-tip I ordered, in conjunction with the appetizers and chocolate-laden dessert offering (and free pop w/ refills), was well worth my $32. It was the $18 for the girls' macaroni and cheese that left me questioning my judgement - at least until I saw our girls' faces as their favorite princesses spent time with them.

That was lunch!

For dinner Aunt Kathy had arranged a mini Locken family reunion at Kris and Vicki's house. Aunt Vicki, with only a tiny bit of help I'm told, prepared an enormous barbecue for our enjoyment with every imaginable food item present. It would have fed 50 people easily. The only people missing were Uncle Larry, Kiffy and his wife, and Todd who is on his mission. Even Aunt Vicki's parents, the Stevensons, were there and spent quite a bit of time talking with Sara in particular. Djeryd and Erik had a great time playing some sort of trampoline dodge ball with Brian's girls and Kris' boys. Erik, justifiably declared himself "the best". Madison found a huge stockpile of Barbie stuff and spread out all over the living room floor. Anna adhered herself to cousin Emily. Brooklyn was the rover, wandering around from person to person, doling out instruction and filling the air with nonsense. For his part, Karsten was the only one of the six that would let Uncle Kris near him.

After a few very satisfying hours, Brooklyn made her rounds and informed everyone that she was tired and was "going hotel" (as opposed to going home) to take a nap. And so we did.

Tomorrow will mark the beginning of our full-scale assault on the Disney properties of Southern California.

1 comment:

Leslee said...

Season, I love the way you discribe everything. You should be a writer. It is so fun to read. Everyone sounds like they are having a good time. We wish we could be with you to see their faces in person.