Opportunities are a part of every day life. No matter what the situation, you always have a choice, whether you realize it or not. However, there are few moments in life in which you have the choice to participate in an event so amazing that you will not only never forget it, but that it will make you happy every time you think about it for the rest of your life. Sometimes it is a job offer for that company you idolized as a young child. Sometimes it is getting that new car that you have worked so hard to buy. Often times, though, it is the simplicity of the events that makes them so special. For me, attending my dad’s 50th birthday party was this amazingly simple situation.
Every so often, I drive back home to Southern California for a visit, a weekend away, or sometimes an event. Over the weekend of September 11, my family had planned out a wonderful birthday celebration for my father, being that you only turn the big 5-0 once in a lifetime! My mom and my aunt planned to take my dad to Disneyland for the day, but my father knew nothing of this plan. Over the course of about 6 weeks, my mother, sister, aunt , uncle, grandmother, and I planned the execution of this party.
I left friday evening and drove to my aunt’s house across town, where I stayed the night. The next day, my aunt, uncle, cousins, grandma and I all drove to Disneyland to surprise my dad. We decided that it would be a bigger surprise if I met them inside, so I went into the park and waited in Town Hall for the rest of my family. When they arrived, I walked up to my dad, said happy birthday, and gave him a big hug. He was so surprised and happy to see me there that he almost cried, a face filled with so much joy that I will never forget it and even remembering it now makes me smile.
Until around 2 p.m. our family wandered the park, gathered fastpasses, and enjoyed the many rides of the Happiest Place on Earth. When 2-ish rolled around we found ourselves in New Orleans Square, meandering through (having just finished Pirates of the Carribean). This is when the biggest suprise of all came into play: lunch at Club 33.
Most people will read that and think “What’s the big deal about that restaurant?” Well, I’ll tell you! It is called Club 33 because it is located at 33 Royal Street. This restaurant was designed by Walt Disney back before his untimely death. The design for this restaurant was to be exclusive only to a select few people of Walt’s choice. It was attached to his own private office above Pirates of the Carribean so that he could entertain lunch guests amidst his work. In the design of the rooms for the restaurant there were talking animals, using the technology similar to that in the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Also, it was designed to give the illusion of enchantment: in the chandaliers there are built-in microphones that were to be used so that no waiters would be seen until they were bringing food or beverages to the guests, seemingly as if they knew exactly what each person wanted!
Unfortunately, since Watergate this technology is not used, but is a mere memory of Walt and his passion for being at the forefront of the future. There are a few other unfortuantes along with the fact that the technology is now for show, not use. There is a waiting list of longer than 14 years to become a member. Due to this fact, you need to know someone who has a membership in order to get a reservation in the first place.
Enough about the restaurant though. The meal was incredible! Being together with my family in such an incredible place was almost too much to bear, but I stuck in there. 🙂 Lunch took a total of almost 3 hours! There was a seafood bar, a dessert bar, and then the main course, which consisted of items like Filet Minion, rack of lamb, or an apricot-glazed chicken breast. I had the chicken breast and I have never tasted anything like it! The only way to describe it was euphoric; I felt like I was floating on cloud nine after our meal. Unfortunatly, none of the costumed cast members wandered through during our meal, an oddity in the restaurant where the characters usually love to hang out.
After lunch, we hung around in Disneyland for a while longer so that we could use our fastpasses.
When we had finally finished in Disneyland, we wandered over to Disney’s California Adventure. We spent the remainder of the night over there.
We went on Soarin’ Over California, The Monster’s Inc. ride, Turtle Talk with Crush, California Screamin’, and the Hollywood Tower of Terror. After all this was over, we were about to leave the park when I remembered that the new waterworks show, World of Color, had just started. We went to that show and were left in awe at the sheer brilliance put into this incredible performance! There were streams of fire, images of the movies that were matched with the songs playing, and lights and colors covering the entire spectrum! It lasted almost half an hour, and at the end I was almost too stunned to leave the spot I had become rooted in. Finally, I gathered the will to move and we all went home.
If I learned anything from this weekend it is that no matter what you do, make it worthwhile. The littlest things like seeing your parents smile just by being there to see them are priceless and some day, you will be able to look back on them and smile yourself! 🙂