Disneyland 2013 – Day 1 – Arrival
I will never forget how different it was when I started dating James. His world seemed fast and he was confident and ready for an adventure. A few months into dating, we were grabbing breakfast at a Google cafe when a friend asked what plans we had that weekend. James shrugged and said, “I dunno, Disneyland?” and we both sort of laughed. But with the whole weekend to ourselves before kids, we thought, “Why not?” James had a great time, and loved it much more than he thought he would. I had only been twice as a child, but we started going twice a year until we had Alice. The last 5 years we’ve gone in December and stayed at the Grand Californian which I believe makes all the difference.
Just the top half of the lobby tree. I think they added juuuust a few more lights from last year’s tree.
We had been going with my parents the last few years which really made the trip magical. They would switch taking kids on rides, I’d nurse, then I could go on a few with James, and they’d spoil the grandkids rotten! We also had a tradition of dining at the Napa Rose for dinner but not all together. They’d eat first, then come back to the hotel and tuck the kiddos in bed while James and I had a nice quiet meal to ourselves. Since my Mom’s still in isolation, she and my Dad couldn’t make it this year.
James and I have never not taken Alice and Patrick to a restaurant because it hasn’t been deemed “kid-friendly.” This is something I tell all my Mommy friends who want to know what to feed their kids just learning how to eat, or when to take them to a restaurant. Kids eat whatever you’re eating, so give them everything. And we took Patrick out to eat the first night out of the hospital (hello, Mommy wanted sushi!!) and checked out early with Alice to go grab a dinner at a steakhouse. There’s no such thing as kid-only restaurants. I say that any place that serves food is a place I take my family. We do not do phones or electronic distractions as meal time is a chance to hang out, catch up, and enjoy food. Of course I would never take my kids places if they got up and down, screamed, or threw things. I’m really glad that they’re well behaved and enjoy their food.
The Napa Rose is a restaurant James and I enjoy dining at for their long meals, great wine list, and seasonal menu. We arrived at our hotel on Monday and walked around, unpacked, relaxed, then it was time for dinner. We arrived a few minutes early and got a table in front of the fireplace and James ordered a glass of wine while I started with my fave there – their Napa Rose cocktail.
My Mom bought Alice this dress last year at Disneyland since they didn’t have one in her size at the time. She was finally able to fit in it, so I thought it would be a perfect night to wear it for my Mom. Alice could not stop adjusting her skirt to make sure everything looked perfect.
We started our meal with a few salads to share with the kiddos. This was the baby field greens with marinated cucumbers. Alice is on a huge cucumber kick so she pretty much devoured all cucumbers in sight.
And we also had the tempura fried lobster with asian greens. The kids did not enjoy the lobster (horray, more for me) but I love that they tried it.
Alice ate one of my favorite sides, the truffle mac & cheese served in the cutest baby copper pot.
I had the grilled Black Angus beef tenderloin, hazelnut potato gnoochi, and brussel sprouts. Patrick also wanted to order the beef tenderloin, but I was able to talk him into sharing with me. Boy did he love this dish! James had the sauteed venison, hunter sausage, pork roast, and bortolli beans. James loved his so much that now I have get to cook him venison. I doubt I will get anywhere close to the Napa Rose, so if you have a recipe, send it my way!
The chef suggested the ice cream sundae for Patrick and Alice, and this is what showed up so they were pretty much in heaven.
James ordered the chocolate mousse and Patrick requested the gold flake. He cracks me up.
I had the salted caramel cake but in true Jeannette fashion, ate around the chocolate. I like ordering desserts like this for James cause I know he’ll eat it up.
It was an incredibly relaxing evening with a few of my favorite people and I think we should do long dinners more often.