This was the first time we spent a birthday together and I really wanted to do something really special for Mark. He kept mentioning to me that he hasn’t had a special birthday in the past and I knew I had to fix that. I had an idea of what I wanted to do for his birthday about two months in advance, so I was excited to finally be able to put the plan into action. His birthday was a span of two days with a lot of fun, food, and laughs.
Day 1 was his real birthday. We love Disneyland and I knew he would love to be able to spend a day at Disneyland with me (even though we go plenty of times, each time is always different to us). Being able to experience the Disney magic as well as strangers telling you happy birthday would be a memory in its own. I kept searching for the best restaurant to take him to, since I didn’t want to eat snack food like we usually do, but my poor wallet would have been so sad if we went to some of the places I wanted to go to. Little did I know that there was a turn around during the night. The day was a little bumpy in the middle, but it turned out to be a great day for the both of us.
In the first minutes into Mark’s birthday, we were playing a two person game of Monopoly. It’s been a while since I played the game and I learned about some rules that I never knew existed in Monopoly (like auctioning property when someone doesn’t want it. When did that happen???)
Eventually our game of Monopoly changed into whatever rules we wanted to do and we ended the game midway (since it was about 2am and we were tired). I was waking up early the next day (okay it wasn’t that early… 9:00 is early to me!) to make Mark breakfast. I wanted to start the day right with some breakfast since we hardly ever wake up early enough to eat breakfast.
This was my first time making pancakes, and they ended up different sizes and with different thickness. I’m not the best chef, but it’s the thought that counts, right? I topped it off with some strawberries to give the plate some color and vitamins. Now I have a ton of pancake mix that won’t be used until the next eternity. If anyone knows any recipes that uses pancake mix, let me know! Maybe I’ll have a breakfast for dinner night one day… Off topic!
Off to Disneyland
We got to Disneyland a little earlier than we usually go, to do as many things as we wanted to before getting tired. We stopped by guest relations to get Mark’s super awesome birthday pin. I loved being able to see a little smile on his face every time someone said happy birthday to him.
It was HOT, probably close to 100 degrees. He really wanted to go on the Grizzly Rapids to get drenched, but we passed by it once because the line was too long and when we came back to it, the ride was closed. I survived getting soaked again. I always end up getting the most wet on that ride and the people who want to go on that ride hardly ever get wet. Even though it was hot, walking around in wet socks is uncomfortable. We went on a few of our favorites: Toy Story Mania (he beat me for the second time!) and Soaring Over California, along with a couple other rides and ice cream before going to Disneyland.
It was the first day of the Halloween theme which was exciting. I love when Disneyland is decorated. It adds so much more festivity to the park. The Haunted Mansion was still closed when we went which was kind of sad, but we will probably end up going on the ride in a few weeks (Nightmare Before Christmas theme! My favorite!). Indiana Jones is also closed until December for renovations, which made Mark sad because that is one of his favorite rides. Let the birthday boy go on his favorite rides!
We made a stop at “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” because Mark had never been before and he wanted to see what it was about after seeing it on Modern Family. The show started off with a group of singers that sang patriotic songs and they sounded really good. It was a good tribute to America and worked well with the theme of the exhibit. We also got to applaud those who served in the military when the group sang the songs that represented a certain brigade. Mr. Lincoln is a very lifelike robot (which I thought was kind of creepy especially when it stood up. I wasn’t expecting that, but I was waiting for it to start walking). The video shown gave a good background about President Lincoln’s life and was followed by a speech by the “President.” This is a good place to visit if you’ve never seen it. It’s the same show that Walt Disney produced way back and it’s a good break from walking around and the heat. There are nice exhibits around the theater where you can see the history of Disneyland as well as Disneyland artwork.
After “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” it was getting darker and we were getting hungrier. Mark brought up that he wanted to get Korean BBQ after we rode a few more rides and I said yes to that (love KBBQ and both of us didn’t know where to eat). Previously, I’ve mentioned that I wanted to eat at the Blue Bayou, since… well it’s the Blue Bayou and every Disneyland fan has to eat there at least once. I’ve always thought that it’s so cool that Pirates of the Caribbean goes right past the restaurant. We were walking around New Orleans Square and I pointed out the restaurant again before going to the bathroom. After I got out, the little trickster told me that he made a reservation at the Blue Bayou. WHAT?! I thought he was lying. He couldn’t have made a reservation. You have to make a reservation days in advance. He kept telling me that he made it and that the wait was about 20 to 40 minutes, but I still didn’t believe him. Wasn’t I supposed to surprise him since it was his birthday? But it ended up being him surprising me! Like I said, the little trickster! We waited for about 40 minutes and we were getting more and more excited about being able to eat there. We were going to be able to eat at one of Disneyland’s most coveted places to eat!
Read the extended version of our experience of the Blue Bayou here.
Dinner was amazing and was such an experience for both of us. The bill was something we’ve never seen too, but it was all worth it! We were both really happy and full. After dinner we went on Pirates of the Caribbean, just to be able to say that we ate at that restaurant. When I was a kid, I thought that the people at the restaurant were fake. We tried to go on Ghost Galaxy, but the park became a lot busier after it got dark so the wait was 85 minutes. We decided to go home since we had a fun and successful day at the parks, going on plenty of rides and of course, eating at the Blue Bayou. We were both happy being able to spend the day with each other at one of our favorite places. We want nothing more than to make the other person happy. Day 1 = success!
Happy Birthday to my baby <3
Read about how our day at Disneyland lead to the Blue Bayou here.
The Blue Bayou. This was the one restaurant in both parks that I really wanted to eat at and I was able to have the chance to eat because of Mark and his spontaneity. He got us a reservation when I was in the bathroom and completely surprised me. I didn’t even believe him at first when he told me! We waited for about 40 minutes, talking about what just happened and how excited we were to be able to eat there.
As soon as we walked in, I saw that this restaurant was nothing I’ve ever experienced before. The dark but romantic lighting , hanging lanterns, all set on the back porch of a New Orleans mansion overlooking the bayou. Dark lighting usually connotes quietness, but there was the perfect amount of hustle and bustle. Each table was in it’s own little world, taking in this experience as we were.
The menu is simple, one page of main courses ranging from surf and turf to chicken to jambalaya. It was an easy decision for me since I don’t really eat anything other than chicken (there are exceptions to this but what I eat is complicated. I’m very picky!). Mark went back and forth between the surf and turf and the crab cakes until the waitress came and eventually decided on the crab cakes.
Each item on the menu comes with a gumbo or a salad. I chose the salad, since I’ve never tried gumbo before and didn’t want waste it if I didn’t like it, and Mark chose the gumbo. Most of the time we end up choosing two different things so we’re able to try more dishes and it works out! Best of both worlds. For my first time trying it, I thought the gumbo was really good. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I liked blend of spices in the soup base (I don’t know how to describe food that well) and the rice. There was sausage in the gumbo, but I avoided that. The salad was delicious; a vinaigrette dressing topped with blue cheese and pecans. That had to be the best vinaigrette I’ve ever tasted. It wasn’t too sour and worked really well with the blue cheese.
Our main courses came and we were very happy with how they tasted. We were so full at the end. I ordered the chicken, which also came with Bayou potatoes and seasonal vegetables (mushrooms and green beans). The way the chicken was dressed was really well, sitting in a sauce that complimented how the chicken was cooked. My favorite part was the potatoes. I’ll be honest… I almost cried when I ate them. That’s how good I thought they were. First off, I really love potatoes and the Bayou potatoes were something on a different level. The potatoes were cut so thinly, made in a light cream sauce with the perfect amount of spices that equaled heaven. I could go on all day about how amazing I thought the potatoes were and I’m still thinking about them today. Mark was laughing at me because of my reactions the whole time.
Hi this is Mark typing, I’m going to start describing my crab cakes. The crab cakes I had were delicious. They were served to me on a plate with soft sliced potatoes and green beans. The 3 crab cakes themselves were full of authentic, and thick crab meat. Moreover, the crab cakes were perfectly salted, and right after one takes a bite into the fullness of the cakes, the hint of butter that we’re encapsulated into them just lofts in one’s taste buds (It made me giggle). Not to mention the beurre blanc sauce that was poured along the side of the plate, it was dark orange and creamy, filled with anxiety, and one cannot help but graze their crab into its rich pool.
This was such a great way to end our evening, spontaneity at its best. There was no better way to spend the night, at this restaurant on his birthday. I would definitely come back to this restaurant some time in the future (those potatoes though!!!). I also want to try the Monte Cristo sandwich. I’ve read a few reviews that said that was a really good eat and I like turkey which is perfect! Next goal: Blue Bayou lunch stop.