Rich’s Birthday Dinner at Pahrump Winery

We’ve been back from the cruise for almost a month now and almost recovered from our Pneumonia. Sorting through the GoPro photos/videos we took last month, I just realized I hadn’t posted Rich’s birthday dinner at the Symphony Restaurant at Pahrump Winery.

We’ve lived near a few wineries and they’re one of our favorite hangouts, so it’s really wonderful that we have a winery just about 50 minutes from our home in Las Vegas. And the restaurant is superb!

Here are a few pics from Rich’s birthday. Rich took a few from the GoPro and I took a few from my iPhone.

Rich started off with the Soup of the Day and went for the Ribeye with Mac n Cheese and  asparagus. I started off with my usual Lobster Bisque (yum!) and  I went for the Filet Mignon with baked potato and green beans. We also each had a glass of red wine (can’t remember what kind – waiting for Rich to get back to me.)

They brought us a complimentary creme brulee dessert for Rich’s birthday.

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The 20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: TOC

20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 1

20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 2

20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 3

20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 4

20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 5

20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 6

20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 7

The 20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 7

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera
What: Carnival Miracle
When: August 13-20, 2016
Why: The 20th Wedding Anniversary Celebration Continues

Another sleepy morning at sea relaxing in our cabin. We finally made our way out of our cabin around 11 am and checked out the formal photos from last night. There was a very good photo of Kathy that we purchased.

We walked the promenade briefly and then headed to the atrium lounge for a couple glasses of Domaine Chandon Brut for sipping while we relaxed.

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At lunchtime, we headed up to the Lido pool where we got lunch from the poolside grill. Kathy had a cheeseburger and fries and Rich had a couple hot dogs with sauerkraut and fries. We listened to the DJ music as we ate.

We made a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and received a t-shirt for Rich.

Then it was time to head away from noise and crowds of the last day at sea and head back to our cabin for a rest. The debarkation information was waiting for us in the cabin — we’ll meet in the Bacchus Dining Room on Deck 3 at 7:45 am to be the first off the ship tomorrow morning.

We had a long rest in the cabin. Finally it was time to pack and then get ready for dinner in the buffet. Kathy had salad, jambalaya, and a bite of pizza. Rich had jambalaya, cornmeal chicken, ricotta ravioli, and a couple slices of pizza. A few bites of carrot cake ended the meal.

Back in the cabin after our last turn down service, we poured the last of our Merlot and sipped it while sitting on the balcony watching the ocean go bye. 8:00 pm was time for our movie, St. Vincent, and then bed time to rest up for debarkation tomorrow.

Disembarkation and Final Thoughts

Carnival had a nice setup for the walkoffs who were either Platinum or who had Faster to the Fun. We got to wait in the dining room with coffee, juice, and pastries, while we waited for the all-clear. We didn’t have to wait long and then we were back in the parking lot to pick up our car, load our bags, and drive the 4 hours home to Las Vegas.

We made really good time – it might have only taken 3.5 hours to reach home. The kitties were happy to see us and we were happy to be home. Unfortunately, during our first night home, we woke up sick and called 911. Kathy was taken to the emergency room and as it turned out, we both had pneumonia. We’re both much better but still recovering.

We may have had enough cruising for now – tired of getting pneumonia after cruising even though we got our flu shots and pneumonia shots and wash our hands religiously. I guess all it takes is somebody sneezing or touching something to get sick in these tight quarters.

But as we put together the trip diaries and some of our photos, we recall what fun we had, and we’ll probably cruise again.

In the meantime, it’s time for some Disney!

20th Anniversary Cruise Part 2: The Fun Ship, Day 6

This morning’s breakfast was some coffee from the Lido and breakfast bars we brought from home.

We relaxed in the cabin until 10 am when we went to the Bacchus dining room for Seaday Brunch. Kathy had eggs over-easy, hash browns, and bacon.

Rich started with the Flaming Tomato Soup and then blueberry pancakes with a side of corned beef hash.

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Then it was to shop. We found a pink cap and t-shirt for Kathy and a dressier hat as well.

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We stopped briefly back in the cabin on our way to the Serenity Deck for some reading and the drink of the day, Mai Tai.

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After sweating too much, we headed back to the cabin to finish our drinks. Then Rich went up to the Lido buffet to make a salad for Kathy and get some Caribbean food for himself.

We enjoyed our shady restful cabin with a little time on our balcony where we spotted our one and only dolphin of the cruise. We rested in our cabin until 5 pm when we got ready for our final formal night dinner.

We arrived at opening and requested a booth for another anniversary dinner celebration.
Kathy had Chesapeake crab cake appetizer and terriyaki salmon. Rich had clam chowder (not very good) and the salmon.

For dessert, we both had a few bites of the Grand Mariner soufflé. Kathy had a decaf coffee, and Rich had another Limoncello.

We each enjoyed a glass of Santa Julia Malbec from Argentina.

A photographer stopped by to take some pictures, and then the wait staff surprised us with an anniversary celebration — chocolate heart cake with a macaroon and a candle. They sang Hoppy Anniversary to us. Very lovely.

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We strolled the promenade deck briefly before heading to our turned-down cabin, a little time on the balcony, and then a movie, The Imitation Game, which was very good.

The 20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 5, Puerto Vallarta

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera
What: Carnival Miracle
When: August 13-20, 2016
Why: The 20th Wedding Anniversary Celebration Continues

Today is our Anniversary Day! 20 years ago today we were joined together by God forever in the sacrament of marriage at St. Stephen Orthodox Church in Cupertino, CA. A very special blessing that we celebrate today.

We woke up with the ship already docked at Puerto Vallarta. It was stormy, raining pretty hard. It’s the first time we’ve seen PV this way. It remained cloudy all morning, although the rain stopped before long.

We relaxed in our cabin with room service breakfast: cereal, banana, coffee, and juice. And then we continued to relax until lunch time. We’ve been to PV 3 times in the past year and we didn’t plan to do much today. We might have gotten off the ship to stroll the shops and grab a quick bite if Kathy hadn’t sprained her toe. We’d heard there been more violence in PV, but staying close to the ship would probably have been okay.

So, we strolled the promenade again, taking videos of PV. (Videos to be uploaded.)

Then we stopped in the Lido buffet for a salad for Kathy and a grilled Reuben sandwich for Rich.

The next stop was the Serenity aft pool area, where we settled in the shade to read our books and enjoy the drink of the day, the Sunburst (vodka, mango, and peach schnapps).

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After reading, we headed back to the cabin to rest before our anniversary dinner at Nick and Nora’s steakhouse at 7 pm. At 2:30 when I went to take a rinse in the shower, we found that the hot water wasn’t working. Guest Services told us that it would be fixed by 4:30 pm. It actually wasn’t fixed until 6:30 pm, forcing Kathy to shower in cold water.

Nevertheless, we got ready and headed to Nick and Nora’s at 6:45 pm. We were seated at a table for two by the window and had excellent service, although the whole experience was better on our May 2015 cruise, including the awesome photo of us at the table together.

We ordered a glass of Kathie Lee Gifford Gifft Red Blend wine for each of us and were served an amuse bouche, a mini slider, which was quite tasty.

amuseKathy had the lobster bisque, iceberg lettuce salad, and the filet mignon, medium.

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Rich had the baked onion soup, Caesar salad, and five-spice rubbed ribeye. We each ordered the ginger ice cream for dessert.

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Then the servers surprised us with an anniversary dessert, a cookies and cream tart and two glasses of champagne.

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It was a lot of food, but it was all delicious, although Kathy was starting to not feel well, which, little did we know, a portent of things to come.

Still, we had great service and a wonderful celebration of our 20th anniversary.

After 8:00 pm, we headed back to the cabin for 8:30 pm sailaway and another sip of our Merlot in the cabin.

The 20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 3, Cabo

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera
What: Carnival Miracle
When: August 13-20, 2016
Why: The 20th Wedding Anniversary Celebration Continues

Breakfast was pastries and coffee from the Lido enjoyed on our balcony. Then it was time for another wonderful walk around the promenade deck.

We returned to the cabin and changed into our swim suits and headed to the adults only Serenity Deck at the aft of the ship. We claimed two loungers under partial cover and jumped into the aft pool with soothing cool water.

Then it was time a our Mai Tais as we relaxed on the loungers. It was getting very hot, so after our drinks we were back in the pool for an extended time.

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Not us – we don’t take camera or iphone when we plan to swim in the pool.

We were getting hungry, so we headed to the Lido mid-ship pool where we visited the grill and had cheeseburgers and fries with iced tea.

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Miracle still doesn’t have Guy Fieri’s burgers, but oh my goodness, these look delicious!

After lunch, it was back to the aft pool where we soaked in the cool water while chatting with a couple from Twentynine Palms. The wife grew up in Fountain Valley just like Kathy.

Nap time followed and then we prepared for dinner in the Bacchus Dining Room again. We got a table for two at the upstairs railing overlooking the traditional diners.

Kathy had Cajun shrimp flatbread appetizer and the tilapia entree. Rich had the ahi tuna appetizer and the baked ziti entree.

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Rich had a small glass of Limoncello, a tasty Italian lemon alcoholic drink. As you can see, the Miracle has that wild and crazy Farcus decor, but the service is the best we’ve had at sea and we love the booths we often get in the dining room – the only ones I’ve seen on a cruise ship in my 16 cruises.

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We’d heard so much about Carnival’s Chocolate Melting Cake and couldn’t wait to try it, but too late, we looked up the calories and they were a whopping 770! And that doesn’t even include the scoop of ice cream, which was amazing together! If we’d known, we would have shared. Oh well… we were celebrating!

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After dinner, we enjoyed a lovely stroll on the promenade deck where we got a terrific view of Cabo San Lucas at night. When sailaway started, we headed back to our cabin balcony where we said goodbye to Cabo while sipping some red wine. (Videos yet to be uploaded.)

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We ventured out one more time around 9 pm to check out the shops onboard and have another short stroll around the promenade.

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We returned to our cabin to tonight’s towel animal.

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Finally is was time to turn in for the night. It was a little difficult getting to sleep after we had the chocolate melting cake, but we finally drifted off awaiting our sail-in to Mazatlan.

The 20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 2

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera
What: Carnival Miracle
When: August 13-20, 2016
Why: The 20th Wedding Anniversary Celebration Continues

(Btw, once again, Rich wrote up the day’s report on our iPad, and Kathy inserted the photos for the report.)

We were up around 8 am. Rich went up one deck to the Lido deck to get pastries and coffee for breakfast that we enjoyed on our balcony.

After breakfast, we headed out for a walk around the promenade deck with a lovely view of the water. The sun was still hiding behind thin clouds and the walk was very pleasant.

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At 10 am we were ready for the Sea Day Brunch in the Bacchus Dining Room. We started with their great bread basket and Kathy’s favorite Cappuccino muffin. They brought us fruit plates to tide us over to the main course, Huevos Rancheros. Rich added a side of bacon and a side of corned beef hash that we shared. We had coffee to drink, no Bloody Mary’s today. The meal was delightful.

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After brunch, we stopped back in the cabin for our books which we took to the Alchemy Bar where we found our cozy reading corner.

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Then we ventured to the Serenity Deck, the adults only deck at the aft of the ship where we continued reading while enjoying the drink of the day, Blue Margarita. We had a nice shady spot that was very relaxing.

But we weren’t finished relaxing yet — we headed back to our cabin and sat on our still-shady balcony until the sun finally encroached.

IMG_7275Then it was nap time until dinner.

Tonight was formal night, so we dressed and headed to the dining room at 6:00 pm. We were immediately seated at a table for two by the window overlooking the ocean.

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We each had a glass of Layer Cake Pinot Noir. Kathy had the Shrimp Cocktail appetizer and the Lobster and Shrimp entree. Rich had the Blackened Pork Tenderloin Tart appetizer and the Striped Sea Bass with Lemon Beur Blanc and Sour Dough Potatoes entree. We both had the yummy butter pecan ice cream for dessert.

The service and atmosphere were wonderful at dinner and we are looking forward to returning to the dining room again soon.

After dinner, we headed to the show lounge for the live show, Heart of Soul, where 8 performers danced and sang soul music. It was very entertaining. We watched from our box seats at the side of the stage.

After the show, it was time for a lovely stroll around the promenade deck. This is a special time for walking the promenade — a little humid, a little breezy, the sound of the ocean, and the moon shining. Very romantic.

Then it was time to call it a night and head to our cabin. We caught a glass atrium elevator up to our cabin and happened to get into the elevator with the Cruise Director, Adam. We made it back to the cabin to unwind and eventually drift off to sleep. We were greeted with turn down and a frog towel animal. Ah cruising!

The 20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 1

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera
What: Carnival Miracle
When: August 13-20, 2016
Why: The 20th Wedding Anniversary Celebration Continues

We started celebrating our 20th anniversary, which officially occurs in August, with the Valentine’s weekend kickoff trip, and the Mexican Riviera cruise on the Love Boat (Crown Princess) in April. We were undecided about what to do on the actual anniversary. We thought about celebrating somewhere locally in Las Vegas but really wanted to leave the desert for a week in August just to get away.

Naturally, we thought about Timber Cove Inn in Sonoma and made reservations. At one time, we’d made ressies at the Grand Californian. In the end, we wanted to go someplace where we could totally relax and be pampered for a week so we chose to cruise. And, in summer, out of L.A., this means Carnival. We’d had a good time on the Miracle in 2015 so we decided to book it for anniversary week. Our Princess cruise was the more romantic, formal celebration and our Carnival cruise was the fun, casual celebration.

We drove in Friday from Las Vegas, leaving home around 2:45 pm with a stop for a couple of Del Meat burritos at Del Taco in Barstow. We hoped to arrive at our destination by 7 pm, but there were three separate accidents along the route, so we didn’t arrive at our Residence Inn Fountain Valley-Huntington Beach until 8 pm.

We were exhausted but our king studio was lovely and comfortable. As Elite members, we were upgraded to a corner room with a fireplace. We’d like to return during fireplace weather. We sipped a glass of wine and snacked on some popcorn supplied by RI.

We slept in, Rich got our breakfast from the lobby, and we got on the road to Long Beach around 10:15 am. Another accident slowed us down on 405, but we arrived at the Port of Long Beach a little after 11 am. We parked in the top level of the parking garage and took this photo of the ship.

IMG_7249We checked in through the Faster to the Fun line and were soon waiting to board around 11:30 am.

Unfortunately, Carnival had a technical glitch, and we did not board until 1:30 pm. The waiting time was not totally wasted as we met and chatted with an Oregon honeymoon couple, first-timers who asked us for lots of advice. That made the time more pleasant.

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Once onboard, we dropped off our bags in the cabin, and headed up one deck to the lido buffet. We stopped at Chopsticks where we had rice noodles, rice, and chili spice beef. Rich also had a slice of cheese pizza. We had iced tea and dessert – fruit and cookies and lemon meringue pie.

We returned to our cabin for a rest until the muster drill at 4:30 pm in the hot sun on the promenade deck.
After the drill, we were back in our cabin for a big snooze. We were so tired, we ordered room service dinner: roast turkey sandwich, BLT, and Caesar salads.

After dinner around 9 pm, we headed out to Sam’s Piano Bar where Josh entertained us on the piano for 2 hours while we enjoyed our Martinis (Vodka for Kathy, Gin for Rich). We took some video and will upload it later.

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We stumped him with our Meatloaf request but he said he’d work on learning it. We checked in later in the week but never really made it back there to see if he’d mastered Meatloaf – lol!

We were back in the cabin around 11:30 pm and asleep by midnight.

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Friday, Getaway Day

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 1: Disneyland

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 2: DCA

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 3: Dinner at Carthay Circle

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 4: DCA, Soarin’ & Sunday: Beach Breakfast

 

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 4: DCA, Soarin’ & Sunday: Beach Breakfast

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Anaheim
What: Kathy’s Birthday Trip
When: July 8-10, 2016
Why: Kathy’s Birthday

After that marvelous dinner, our first order of business was to ride some rides! Woo hoo! So we headed for the new “Soarin’ Around the World,” figuring if we only did that one, so be it. The wait time said 70 minutes but we got in line anyway. It ended up being only about 40 minutes, which was awesome.

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We chatted with the couple next to us in line and then we were seated with them on the ride vehicle.

We hadn’t expected to like it – after all, we loved Soarin’ Over California and while we were interested in maybe a Soarin’ Over Florida or a Soarin’ Over America, we weren’t that impressed with POV videos on YouTube.

The experience was so much better. We loved it!! We were seated close to the far end and it’s true about distortion in that location. But overall, it was great! And we all clapped at the same ending as “Soarin’ Over California.”

After Soarin’, we peeked into our favorite gift shop, Rushin River Outfitters to see if they had any more of those fluffy tigers. They didn’t.

And the we stopped in and rode Mermaid, which is so fun!

Then we headed for Luigis Rolickin Roadsters, the replacement for the Luigis tires ride we’d never been on. But this ride was fabulous and a great addition to Cars Land.

One of the CMs wished me “Happy Birthday” in Italian and so I said, “Grazie,” of course. 🙂

I was craving an ice cream so Rich suggested the Cozy Cone in Cars Land. It was dark by now and the setting was awesome! We love this place – really takes me back to my childhood.

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We took our cones to watch the Racers zip by – FPs were gone by this time so we had to give it a pass this trip, but it’s almost just as much fun sitting there and watching.

And then we headed back down Cars Land and caught some of the Disneyland fireworks over the Cozy Cone.

We’ve been wondering if we should get another Disneyland AP this fall and, perhaps, DCA alone would be worth the cost. Love this place!!

By this time we were ready to head back to the resort so, of course, we manage to time it with everybody leaving Disneyland after the fireworks. Oh no! And that meant, standing room only for the shuttle going back to our resort. But the ride was short, but longer than usual because the driver managed to hit every light. 🙂

We were exhausted when we climbed into bed but so happy that we managed to ride so many rides and have so many wonderful experiences in Disneyland Park and DCA. It had been a full but fruitful day. And the dinner was truly memorable. The only day was memorable.

The next morning we checked out, retrieved our car, and drove to Norm’s for breakfast in Huntington Beach. Then we drove south on PCH, took a drive around Newport Beach hoping for a parking place so we could take a quick walk on the beach. But the parking lot was already full at 10 a.m. so we hit the road and drove home.

What a short but fabulous weekend birthday getaway!

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 3: DCA, Dinner at Carthay Circle

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Anaheim
What: Kathy’s Birthday Trip
When: July 8-10, 2016
Why: Kathy’s Birthday

Rich wrote this post highlighting our dining experience at Carthay Circle.

Dinner and Drink Selections

DRINKS

Kathy & Rich:
Carthay Diamond Martini (60th Anniversary Cocktail)
Classically prepared with Hendrick’s Gin (Rich) or Double Cross Vodka (Kathy), Lillet Blanc Dry Vermouth, and Gourmet Truffle Olives served with an Ice Sphere

APPETIZER (Shared)

Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits
Stuffed with White Cheddar, Bacon, and Jalapeño with Apricot Honey Butter

ENTREES

Kathy: Carthay Shellfish Cioppino
Royal Shrimp, Black Mussels, Manila Clams, Snow Crab Claws, Ramen Noodles, Lemon Grass, Pineapple

Rich: Grilled White Sea Bass (Sustainable Fish of the Day)
Avocado Relish, Tree Ripe Peach-Almond Gazpacho

DESSERT (Shared)

Meyer Lemon “Cracked” Meringue Tart
Fresh California Strawberries and a Birthday Candle

Details

When the parade ended, we followed the end of the parade, and then entered Carthay Circle restaurant. After a brief wait in line, we approached the desk to check in for our 6:10 pm dinner reservation.

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The hostess was friendly, and she asked us if we were celebrating a special occasion. We said yes, it’s Kathy’s birthday, remarking that the hostess’ name was also Kathy.

She invited us to sit in the lounge and wait to be escorted to our table. Soon, she returned with a personalized Happy Birthday pin for Kathy. Very nice.

After a brief wait, a host arrived and asked if we had dined at Carthay Circle before. We told him we had (Valentine’s Day 2015). He then escorted us up the stairs to our half-booth table just across from the table we had last visit. Our server Ernie quickly arrived to wish Kathy a Happy Birthday, take our drink and appetizer order, and tell us about the fish of the day.

We both ordered Martinis – Gin for Rich and Vodka for Kathy. The martinis were fantastic, perfectly made and delicious. And what can we say about the “biscuits!” They are not really biscuits in the traditional sense. They are hard to describe, but they are fried balls of goodness with an incredible cheese, bacon, and jalapeño filling. Rich ate them with apricot butter while Kathy ate them straight.

IMG_7122Kathy’s Vodka Martini/Birthday Pin

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Basket of Carthay Circle Biscuits

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Inside the Biscuits

We took Ernie’s suggestion for the light fish dishes, and we’re glad we did. Kathy’s cioppino was definitely light but full of flavor with a wonderful variety of seafood and yummy noodles and broth. Rich’s dish was so flavorful, he savored every bite. The combination of peach and almond in the gazpacho (more of a coulis) was delightful.

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Kathy’s Cioppino

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Rich’s Sea Bass

After perusing the dessert menu, we decided to share the lemon tart. Ernie delivered the dessert plate with a lit birthday candle adorning it, once again wishing Kathy a Happy Birthday. The perfect ending to a perfect meal.

IMG_7099Meyer Lemon Tart with Birthday Candle

Service throughout the meal was superb. Ernie was friendly, knowledgeable, efficient, and attentive. He was assisted by the equally adept Ryan (who we had seen on a YouTube video as a tour guide for 15-minute The Story of Carthay Circle Restaurant tour that occurs every day at 10:30 a.m.).

You can watch it here via Tim Tracker’s YouTube Channel:

Everyone we came in contact with wished Kathy a Happy Birthday, a nice touch for our sumptuous celebration.

Carthay Circle is one of our favorite restaurants on Disney property, in fact, it’s one of our favorite restaurants anywhere. We love the food created by the brilliant Andrew Sutton, the mostly unsung and under-rated chef of Napa Rose and Carthay Circle. We met Andrew at the 2010 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, and he’s as humble and gracious as he is talented. If Disney offers the cooking experience with Andrew Sutton at next year’s Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, Rich would love to participate.

Napa Rose creates a lovely dining experience, but for atmosphere, Carthay Circle wins out. The beautiful recreation of the Carthay Circle Theatre–where Walt introduced the film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”–is stunning. And the service is much more Disney-like–friendly and fun.

This was a totally delightful experience, an ideal way to celebrate Kathy’s birthday with a terrific, memorable meal in stunning surroundings with top-notch service.

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 2: DCA

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Anaheim
What: Kathy’s Birthday Trip
When: July 8-10, 2016
Why: Kathy’s Birthday

We headed out to the shuttle stop and I realized I’d forgotten my wrist wrap and it was a bit hot out – it seemed too early to return to the park. So we returned to our room to relax for a bit and considered doing the DD valet park thing again, even though they’ve tripled the rates. In the end, we decided to stick with the shuttle.

The bag check wasn’t as annoying this time – everybody was sent on to the metal detector, which worked better we thought. Less confusion. The crowds were low, of course, so maybe the morning’s are just too busy for that. We entered DCA and I started recording the walk to Carthay Circle.

We continued on to Golden Vine Winery where we were planning on grabbing a glass of wine before our dinner reservation. Oh boy, do we love this part of the park! It reminds us so much of our San Francisco days with trips to Napa/Sonoma and even Livermore just a couple of years ago when we were living there again. We love wineries!

The seating at Golden Vine was full and the parade was about to begin. So we got our wine and stood in front of the Trattoria restaurant and enjoyed a fabulous elevated view of the parade.

Our wines were:

Kathy: Casa Vinicola Zonin Proseco (Italy)
Rich: Albert Bichot Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis (France)

The “Play” parade was so much fun. This is just a small part of the beginning:

By the time the parade finished, it was time to make our over to Carthay Circle for our dinner. Naturally, the crowds were all headed our way. Great timing, huh? lol!

Next: Birthday dinner at Carthay Circle – can it get even better than Valentine’s Dinner, 2015?