Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fire Hazard Dining

Before I explain the title of this blog, I wanted to clarify for the two those that asked - I did not stay at La Costa by myself. I shared one room with a roommate, and the other 10 girls on my tennis team (ranging in age from 38 - 60) helped with the cost of the rooms too. We had 6 2-queen sized beds rooms and 2 of these living room / dining room / kitchens. It came out to about $390 per person for the whole weekend. Not bad considering the Marriot charges ~$200 per night for a standard hotel room.

Now, about tonight...

My son's elementary school coordinated with California Pizza Kitchen to host a fund raiser for this school. From the hours of 5 PM - 7 PM, droves of elementary school students (and their families) would desend upon this restaurant in order to support the fund raiser.  20% of the total bill went towards the school's Booster Club.

I dragged Mama DB's family with us to this glorious event, but I failed to prepare her family for the mad house restaurants become when hosting school fund raisers. It is complete chaos. Children everywhere. Parents wondering how long it will take to get food jammed into their children's mouths. Because you know nearly every family showed up at the same time, and every child is whining about hunger... or boredom from waiting.

We had 7 people in our party, and I was told it would take 30 minutes to seat us. I should have known that THAT was a completely lie. It usually takes about that long to seat 7 people in any restaurant here. Added to that the fact that children are climbing the windows of the restaurant I think would only add to the wait time. I should have said as much to the hostess who is barely keeping her composure in the face of chaos. But I didn't have the heart to shatter her "happy place".

After 45 minutes, we were finally seated. The wonderful thing about this particular restaurant for this event was that one of the waitresses came outside to offer some kid pizza slices to all of the ravenous children wailing outside. This was a brilliant move, in my opinion. I don't know why more restaurants don't do this! My children were occupied for another 15 minutes eating their pizza slices, and peace reined outside.

Anywho, I mentioned that we were finally seated... next to a couple trying to have a romantic dinner. That's... not going to happen. First of all, we were about a butt width away from them (A "butt width" is the width of the tables to allow a person to squeeze themselves into their seat). We had 4 very vocal, hungry, restless children.  Now multiply our table by 40, and you get the idea of the noise level in this restaurant.

I leaned over and apologized for the noise we were certain to generate, and I could tell that my gesture was appreciated though ironic. The guy told me that he requested this table at the end to avoid the noise, but - YEAH RIGHT!

Then a napkin from some other table landed between our tables.

They left about 5 minutes later.

We had a lovely meal. Children behaved, parents ate delicious meals, and the waiter shared stories about how he missed Houston. All in all, a lovely dinner...

... that I didn't have to cook or clean!

Which is all I really care about.  The fund raiser was just an excuse.


Don said...

Could an overwhelmed grandparent get alcohol in this place? For their digestion, of course.

Anonymous said...

I am right there with you Don! the Bride's MOM lol

Mama DB said...

We were just fine, actually. You know, apart from me freaking out that the kids were playing ring-side to the pick-up parking. We had a lovely evening and I had a DELIGHTFUL lunch today, leftover Tequila Chicken Fettuccine totally rules all.

Seriously, thanks for showing us a good time!