29 04 2010

birthday button

Last Saturday, my girlie turned eight. There is something so much more grownup about eight than about the previous ages she has been. That is partly because it is more grownup, of course, but there is an element much deeper as well.

Even so, she spent more time in the rented stroller than her four-year-old brother did. Go figure.

subs and monorail

The day was actually hard in some ways. One being that I was overtired and had this really fantabulous headache that no amount of free ibuprofin from the nice nurses at First Aid would knock out, but primarily that my daughter was unusually sensitive to any sort of stimulus or lack thereof (which is, of course, what a ride is all about) and she ended up crying (LOUDLY) on several rides (Subs, Peter Pan) and being close to it on others (monorail, Disneyland Railroad, Tarzan’s Treehouse). It was very hard for me to find patience for, but of course I did.


Finding lunch was harder than I had expected. Earlier in the week, I’d made reservations at the Blue Bayou, our favorite restaurant, but chickened out when I realized how much it would cost to feed a family of four there. It didn’t seem so awful ten years ago when it was just my husband and I. So we decided on gluten-free pizza. Unfortunately for my sensory-sensitive children, there is a Very Loud Rocket right outside that gives off a refreshing mist, but the kids could not handle the noise. So we headed back to Fantasyland to the Village Haus for gluten-free hot dog buns. Only problem was that after waiting in line for 30 minutes, I discovered I’d misread the list and this place didn’t serve hot dogs at all. At this point, we’re all hot and hungry and miserable and the only place I was sure we could eat at was… the Blue Bayou. And that, my friends, is the story of how I paid $91 for lunch. It was, at least, delicious. And the chef was FABULOUS with us. The waiter even brought the Birthday Girl a free dessert; the only gluten-free thing he could find was a bowl of fruit, but he put a candle in it and, frankly, I think it was about the sweetest thing ever.

blue bayou lanterns

blue bayou gluten free birthday dessert

After that, the day turned around. My son, who is reliably sensory-sensitive, and who I expected would want to avoid certain things, actually loved more than I thought he would.


the boy loved the monorail

We had decided that the birthday “cake” would be Fabulous Dole Whip, which is both gluten- and dairy-free (just don’t read the ingredients, it’s not much actual food). So we stuck some candles in (The Husband, despite many reminders, forgot the matches) and sang the song.

birthday "cake"

Earlier in the day, my son and I took a ride on the Disneyland Railroad while his sister met Goofy and Minnie for autographs and hugs. Elliott has sworn off characters; he calls them “creatures” which is oddly appropriate, I think. A woman sat down near to us with a video camera. It was so classically stereotypical, I wish I had a copy of her video. She panned the camera around the train car and to her family while narrating in a syrupy slow Southern manner, “Well. Here we are on the train. Yeah. We’re all here. U-huh. Yeah.” Loved it. As it turns out, she was celebrating her birthday, and when a conductor on the train heard that, he ushered her party into the super fancy car at the end of the train, the Lilly Belle. So when my family arrived at Main Street Station, I asked a conductor if we could ride, too, and 20 minutes later there we were sitting in the posh car named after Walt Disney’s wife.

grand canyon from the lilly belle car

As night began to fall, we were heading to our last ride, Casey Junior, when my son spotted Monstro, the Storybook Land whale. His exact words were, “THAT. I want to go on THAT.” Once on the boat, he was so seriously excited that he squealed with what seemed to be every ounce of energy in his body, “Oohhhhhh! We’re going into his MOUTH!” I wish I had it on video, it was damn cute. The lady on the dock was having fits of laughter over it.

matterhorn at sunset

By the time we got to Coke Corner on Main Street (which actually DOES have gluten-free hot dog buns!) it was getting really late. By the time I waited 15 minutes in line and then another 15 minutes for my “special order” GF buns (which ended up being rather dried out and crusty – disappointing for sure, but I didn’t care as I was exhausted and starving) it was 9pm and there was no way we were going to be able to leave the park before the fireworks. My son hates fireworks, and despite the fact that my daughter generally loves them and, in fact stood directly under them with me last summer, she broke into fits of panicked wailing at them. Under normal circumstances we probably would have waited them out in the Penny Arcade, but we’d been at the park going on 12 hours at this point and so we each grabbed a kid and ran for the trams. And then we slept.

My daughter turning eight? That deserves its own post.

teacup bokeh




3 responses

29 04 2010

Happy birthday to Margie! I love that the chef made her a birthday pile of fruit, that’s so sweet. (There, a free pun for you)

29 04 2010

Wow, that was quite a celebration! I’m exhausted and overstimulated myself after reading that! I am so glad you guys all had a great time as a family 🙂

29 04 2010

i’m with jess, what a day!
that last photo is perfect.
and yes, 8 is a big one!
happy birthday margie.

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