Today also featured a lovely lunch outing with Gaston and Alice. Gaston's recent obsession with New Orleans means that he constantly wants to go to Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. We usually go to the express area after a day at Disneyland, but he likes to go into the fancy sit-down area sometimes, and today was the day we did that. It was really nice, and our server was very accommodating. We looked at the regular menu and thought, "Hrrrmm..." and since we didn't immediately say, "Oh! We can order this thing!", Gaston and Alice asked if they had a kids menu we could order from. So not only did our server bring us the kids menus, she also brought us some crayons so we could color and play the games that are on the other side of it. The sad thing was that the standard restaurant crayon set comes with the primary colors (of light and paint, so yellow as well as green), which means no purple. And hello, it's a New Orleans themed restaurant, obviously you have to color it in Mardi Gras colors! Fortunately, we remembered our elementary school color lessons and were able to use blue and red to make purple. But then Gaston got jambalaya on my place mat, so I opted not to keep it. I always have trouble with color schemes anyway.
So we ordered some pasta with meatballs, and it came with fries and Oreos. And vegetables with dipping sauce, but we gave those to Gaston and Alice, obvs. They ordered from the grown up menu, a seafood jambalaya and a fancy kind of macaroni and cheese. And then we all had dessert! They had a double chocolate bread pudding souffle, so naturally Athena and I ordered that. Gaston, Alice, and the server all agreed that it was probably too rich for them, but for my part, I don't think it was chocolaty enough. We decided to get it with ice cream, and the server was like, "Yeah, you're going to need that to cut all the chocolate," so I was expecting some seriously intense chocolate, but it was just average chocolate. Really good chocolate, though. Unfortunately, I didn't much care for the bread part. But other than that, it was pretty awesome.
Gaston ordered Bananas Foster, the famous New Orleans dessert. He wasn't sure if he wanted to, because it was one of the pricier items, but then he realized Athena and I had never seen the dish prepared tableside before, and decided he had to make it happen. It was pretty awesome to see. Basically they cook the bananas and everything right in front of you, and then they pour something alcoholic on it so it all goes up in flames. They wait until after that to sprinkle the cinnamon on top of it, so you can see little cinnamon fireworks as it drifts down to join the bananas and brown sugar and everything. (This was another thing we disagreed with the rest of the party on. They were like, "Mmm, bananas, yeeeesssss!" and we were like, "...Bananas make us sad." But anyway, it's nice to know that we can all get along anyway.)
So we had a good time and were very full by the end of it. We keep forgetting, despite the recent frequency of our trips to this restaurant, that the New Orleans way of doing things is to make sure you are very well fed.
Anyway, the last couple of times Alice came down, we talked a little about how we're drowning in work, so she was worried the whole time about whether or not we were going to get everything done, and maybe afraid they were bothering us with all the interruptions. To be honest, yesterday we were a little annoyed, but only because of the bad timing which was partly our own fault (and partly Ken Akamatsu's fault, for turning in UQ Holder! late). But more than that, we need to get out and have fun with friends or the work is likely to kill us that much more quickly. So I'm really glad that we have friends who care enough about our health to hold off on inviting us places, but I'm also glad that we have friends who will insist on inviting us anyway. Gaston and Alice balance each other very well.
Today I'm thankful for having a nice relaxing day, getting to have a nice lunner at a nice restaurant, getting to spend time with good friends, getting a ride home from the store, and the beautiful post-rain weather.