How do you get excited for breakfast? After all, isn't breakfast just the bagel you pound down so the caffeine and acid in your coffee doesn't burn a hole in your stomach?
Oh, but this really was a special breakfast. Breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen where you don't have to seek the characters out, they come to you. SWEET! (Of course we did have to seek out our food in the buffet line. Hmph.)
The restaurant was in one of the other parts of our hotel facing the pool. (Right next to the espresso shop, actually.) Our biggest morning challenge was dealing with the fact there were three little girls who loved pushing elevator buttons, but only two button pushes required for each trip. (Our solution? A rotating assignment based on who had last pushed a button. Works great except the one kid that loses out typically says, "I never get to push the button," and pouts in the corner. (At least that's what Clara did.))
Once we made it down to the lobby, out to the pool area, then into the other lobby (swanky hotels have more than one lobby, maybe in case someone famous were to show up like the winning quarterback of the Super Bowl) we patiently waited for our turn to go in. Rafiki (or something like that) was there to greet us. Unfortunately, our kids didn't know Rafiki so he seemed a rather strange and scary fellow. (After all baboons are carnivorous.)
(Funny story, actually. I wanted to confirm that baboons are carnivorous so I turned to your friend and mine, Google. Google said, Yep and I bet you'd like to know more. Like where you could buy primate food. Well, duh! I sure do! (You never know when you're going to need primate food.) So next thing I know I'm cruising the primate food aisle at primatestore.com ("Everything for Primate Lovers") where they have Zupreem Marmoset Canned. Huh... didn't know I could buy marmoset in a can. I think I might have to indulge in a can of that. Probably tastes just like chicken. In the end... we're done having kids, but a monkey might not be such a bad addition...)
Once Rafiki left us to terrorize some other small children we were shown to our seats and almost immediately were startled by this massive crash in a big open space right next to our table. It was just like when you're at the fancy restaurant and somebody drops a dish and you don't want to look, but you do anyway because after all we're all human and we just want to feel superior to someone else. Except this time the poor sod that was gonna get fired was Goofy.
Nah! It was all an act. Goofy proceeded to try to clean up his mess, but kept dropping his pots and pans as soon as he picked them up. Silly Goofy! So we sent the kids to help. They tried their best, but in the end they all started banging on the pots an pans and making an awful racket. Even Nana tried to help. Thanks to Nana's help Goofy got everything picked up and headed out. Phew. Disaster averted.
Breakfast was actually pretty good. The kids ate cupcakes and M&Ms and ice cream. I had an all bacon breakfast and I think Amy had an apple or something healthy. I remember lots of characters coming by to talk, sign autograph books, and look at Henry's toy. Unfortunately, I hadn't had any caffeine yet so it gets a little hazy, but I do know that poor Peter Pan was pretty much ignored by the girls and Henry almost took out Jasmine when she tried to abscond with his fancy toy. There was also a congo line and a bunch of people doing the Macarena, but I think I might have hallucinated that. (No, that actually did happen.)
We spent a solid two hours talking with whoever showed up and watching Goofy's little performances a couple of times. Amy's statement of age (21) was accepted by a gullible busboy, which was laughable since we all know she just turned 29. When it was finally time to leave we caught Pluto on the way out and then had to face brilliant sunshine and a bunch of educators at a conference drunk on hope. (They'd just been to some incredibly motivating presentation and they were all talking about how they'd change the world.) I'm not sure which was more difficult to look at.
The kids were doing great after loading up with sugar at breakfast (how often do you hear that?) so we thought we needed to burn some of that energy off. What better way than through shopping? (Yeah, I've got some suggestions, too, but nobody listens to me.) Each of the previous days when we headed to Disneyland we ran the gauntlet of rampant consumerism pretty successfully. This time, though, we went back actually intending to buy stuff.
Granted, I don't spend a lot of time in toy stores with kids, but even I could tell this was going to be tough. The goal was to find one Disney souvenir for each kid. Naturally, they wanted the first thing they saw. (And the second, and the third...) We tried to convince them that there might be something better just around the corner, but each of the three girls pretty much stuck to their guns and wound up with their love-at-first-sight gifts. At least they were quiet toys.
Back to the hotel (oh, crap, who's turn is it to push the button?) and a quick change into swimwear. The pool looked awfully inviting, but even in Southern California February ain't July and there was a noticeable shock when getting into the water. Luckily, there was a kids' water slide that occupied the girls for almost the whole time we were there. Henry didn't get to go in, but did watch from the patio.
The plan had been to do dinner of some sort with the whole crew, but Clara and Lilly had had enough and cracks in their happy faces were starting to show. I ran out to buy hot dogs wrapped in pretzels (only half as nasty as you think, but twice as bad for you) and Amy and I settled in for an early, if not peaceful night.