Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dining with Daisy, and our non-Disney day

Saturday was going to be a bit unusual for us. Our "deluxe" park passes were blocked out, so we planned a non-Disney day. But I did want to start it off a little special. The PCH Grill at the Pacific Pier Hotel has a character breakfast featuring -- you guessed it -- Daisy. Sure, sure, it's got Mickey and Minnie and friends, but I was there to see Daisy.

(I'm pretty sure that, when I booked the breakfast, it was billed as breakfast with Lilo and Stitch, but that Daisy was also there... but it's now hosted by Mickey.)

We arrived just before our 7am reservations, and were taken to meet Mickey for a photo op. Yeah, I'm a sucker. I bought it...

As we waited the minute or so to meet Mickey, Daisy came out from the back room... saw me, froze, did the shocked up-and-down scan and made a heart shape with her hands. I honestly think it must be a tiny thrill for them.

Then we were quickly seated... off in a corner. This was actually okay by me, since I would be able to see the room. We were a little nervous after our bad experience at the Plaza Inn, where we were told that, if we wanted to see a character, we should just go over to them ... and we got ignored by the characters. But at PCH Grill, the characters were super engaged, and came by repeatedly. We played with Minnie, Pluto, and Stitch…

Of course, the highlight was Daisy. She and I had a little "oh, no, I know you're not putting your feathers on MY DUCK" moment, which was hilarious, at least to the three of us.

Every now and again, the characters went to a dance floor, inviting kids to come dance with them -- pretty cute.

As an added bonus, the food was surprisingly good, there was a good range of vegetarian and omnivore dishes, and our server was super friendly and nice. We even had grownups seated at the next table, which meant there wasn't any awkwardness when the characters did stop by.

Oddly enough, about 15 minutes after we arrived, Daisy disappeared, and we didn't see her again until we were checking out. I just kept thinking about how devastated I would have been if we hadn't seen her. LUCKIEST PEOPLE ALIVE. Seriously. But she came back out and played with us for a little while before going to work the room.

I, of course, was giddy and weepy and So Very Happy.

We then walked back around the park to the hotel, where we showered and napped to prepare for the rest of our totally awesome non-Disney day. What was so awesome, you are asking? Well...


I have no idea why I wanted to go there, but I did. We walked around the park, saw excavations and fossils and the saddest diorama ever:


Next stop on our random tour of Los Angeles places to visit: Sunset Boulevard. Here's the one sad thing -- I knew Wil would be thrilled to go to the Rainbow. Heck, maybe we would even glimpse Lemmy! And, since the Rainbow serves lunch, we thought that a Saturday early afternoon would be great.

But nope. On weekends, the Rainbow opens at 5pm. (Cue fail horn.) So we walked around a bit, had a drink at Rock and Reilly's, and walked around some more. It was amusing sitting on a sunny terrace drinking a cocktail while tour buses came by, telling stories of the Whisky a Go Go (next door), the Viper Room (up the street), and the Rainbow (down the street).

We decided not to wait till 5, but to press on -- next stop, the Venice Beach boardwalk. It was funny, because I have gone for a couple of runs along there when I was in town for work, but it was always first thing in the morning and theerefore very quiet. It's much, much busier during the daytime! We watched muscle men, beach volleyballers, rock bands, artists, and the entire parade of people. We sought out the location of the Xanadu mural, but it was essentially all fake. Still, it meant that I spent a lot of time humming "I'm Alive" while we walked around, so I've got that going for me... which is nice...

Our final stop -- for an early dinner -- was Azteca, the Mexican restaurant on Main Street in Garden Grove where we ran through during... Star Wars? Avengers? Who knows. But a Mexican restaurant with a serious Elvis theme? Count us in.

We walked in, sat down, ordered house margaritas... and then discovered that there was only one vegetarian item on the menu: a blue cheese salad. Oh. But the margarita was nice, the atmosphere was lovely, and we were still happy to patronize a business that had an Elvis impersonator out at the crack of dawn, entertaining half marathoners!!!

Slightly foiled, we drove back to the hotel, dropped off the car, and got takeaway from Gandhi Palace, which we ate on the balcony before laying out our gear for Sunday, Another early night!!!

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