Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Rest of the Story

It is now Monday in Anaheim and the last day of the trade show for Frank at 1:00 PM. Since we were now paying for our room, I had booked a room with a Disney Fireworks view for our last 3 nights. We only got to view them from the room one night, but it was fun to watch away from the crowds.

We had reservations at Napa Rose for dinner on Monday night. The restaurant is on the first floor of the Grand Californian Hotel on Disney property. The hotel is very similar to the Wilderness Lodge at WDW, but the decor is Arts and Crafts. The restaurant is comparable to the California Grill at the Contemporary Hotel. We enjoyed a drink in the fireplace room, off the lobby before heading to our dinner reservation. 

We started our meal with a shared appetizer of seared sea scallops in a lobster sauce - very nice. Frank ordered the venison chops, tender and cooked to Frank's desired doneness. While I selected the Duck Confit. Both dishes were good although the duck lacked a depth of flavor I would expect. (Yes, the food snob is here again). Frank won the prize for selecting the best dish of the evening. We concluded the evening with a cheese plate - just OK, but still a nice finish to the meal.

Tuesday; We purchased a 1-day Park Hoper pass so we could visit both parks on the same day, Disneyland and California Adventure. Frank had to wheel me around in a wheelchair or I would not have made even one park. Thank you my Friend. It was embarrassing, but I swallowed my pride and let him push away. We did managed to ride a few "easy" rides plus Frank rode solo on the Matterhorn bobsled ride. 

We had lunch at Wine Country Trattoria Restaurant in the California Adventure park where I had Penne Bolognese and Frank opted for the Goad Cheese Mixed Green Salad. After lunch we moved from California Adventure area to Disneyland where we rode more rides including Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (that's my speed) and the Haunted Mansion among others. Dinner was in the Grand Californian Hotel at Hearthstone Lounge, off the hotel lobby. We shared two Blue Cheese Hamburger Sliders and a Cheese Plate.

Wednesday was a fun and interesting day. We booked a full day mini-bus tour of LA and Hollywood with pick-up at the hotel - nice. We toured through much of the city with stops at Hollywood Blvd, (Walk of Fame, Grauman's Theatre, and a view of the Hollywood sign above the city), The Farmers Market (lunch), and Marina del Rey. We drove down Sunset Blvd and Rodeo Drive and through some of the residential street of Hollywood. It was a good overview tour of the area.

Wednesday evening,to complete our journey to Anaheim we returned to Orange Hill Restaurant, see PCH post from earlier in the trip. The view was so nice and the food very good that we wanted to conclude the trip with those memories. I selected the Prime Rib and Frank opted for the Filet Mignon, Both meals were very nice, but someone needs to get a handle on portion control. My prime rib was listed as 3/4 pound, while Frank's Filet had to be at least that much. Way too much food.

Friday was spent at airports and on airplanes returning to Tampa. Our flights were both FULL but uneventful - a good thing I would say.

It was a fun trip., Frank's first to Disneyland and my first return visit to Disneyland since the mid-50's not long after it opened. 

That's all I am Saying

Friday, November 18, 2011

Home Again

I arrived home last night about 12:30 AM after a flight back from Anaheim.  Both legs of the flight were delayed due to passenger boarding issues. Customers were asked to check their "carry on" luggage as the flights were FULL, and there would not be enough room in the overhead space. Since some of the people could not grasp that concept, they were lugging on their large roll-aboards onto the flight and having to check it anyway. Oh, well, that is how it goes when you are flying these days. Now, it is happy blog time (no whining).

Next, first three days of dining.

Friday: After Frank finished with Day 1 of the trade show, we had dinner at Tony Roma's Restaurant close to the hotel. Enough said about that.

Saturday: This was covered in the PCH post a few days ago, so I will jump ahead to Sunday.

On Sunday, I had lunch at Rainforest Cafe (don't bother) at Downtown Disney and walked around the shopping area for a while. The best part of the day was meeting up with a second cousin, Abigail,  who is now living in Hollywood in search of stardom. Before moving to LA she spent 3 years as a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader which is quite an accomplishment. She just finished filming a movie with Adam Sandler (small part - Abi, not Sandler) which will be released next summer. I wish her well - she deserves it.

Abi picked me up at my hotel and she drove us to the foothills east of town to Orange County Mining Company, which has similar spectacular views of the valley like last nights dinner at Orange Hill Restaurant. Abi ordered a pasta primavera and I opted for the Scallops sauteed in a mustard cream sauce.   My only criticism is that the scallops should have been seared, not sauteed. We enjoyed the meals but as with Orange Hill Restaurant, the view stole the show. It was nice spending an evening with Abi - the last time I saw her was at her high school graduation party.

I will catch up on the rest of trip over the next few days. But while you are waiting, here is a shot of Abi and me at the restaurant.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


On Saturday, I took a nice drive from Long Beach south on route CA 1 also known as Pacific Coast Highway. It was a chilly,windy, and occasionally damp day but it was a nice drive, none the less. I drove through a number of Southern California beach communities, including Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and ending in Dana Point before heading to Anaheim on I-5. My favorite was Laguna Beach which had a quaint main drag and plenty of restaurants. I stopped for lunch at Rock'N Fish. I had a nice cup of clam chowder and a large shrimp cocktail. The chowder was very good as were the shrimp.

Frank and I had dinner at the Orange Hills Restaurant about 10 miles from the hotel, high on a mountainside overlooking the lights of the greater L A area. Frank ordered a filet mignon and I opted for the bouillabaisse. The food was good but was overshadowed by the sparkling lights of the city.

O'Dark :30

O'Dark :30 is way too early to have to get up like we did Friday morning. We had a 6:00 AM departure from Tampa to Anaheim, CA,which involved a 3:00 AM wake-up call. Frank is participating in another trade show and I am hanging around the Anaheim area relaxing. We are staying at a Red Lion hotel across the street from Disneyland. It is strange walking out of the hotel and see the CA version of the Tower of Terror rising above the tree tops and other hotels. The parks here, being Disney's first, do not have the open expanse of vegetation that we find at the Florida complex. We plan on a visit to Disneyland on Tuesday after the trade show is over