This happened to us last Autumn. We were heading to the east side of the Cascades and decided to stop for lunch. There’s a great little Bavarian themed town on the way that always has great choices for dining.
I ask the kids if they want hot dogs and got the resounding chorus of yes’s. I’m happy ’cause I’m craving a sauerkraut covered meat tube with mustard and an ale!
The cell reception is null until just before you get into town, so I am trying to find a highly rated place, and a parking spot while driving and being scolded to put the phone down. I’m sure the kids are parroting mom, but we’ve been in the car for over an hour so my selective listening has completely tuned out the anxiety driven wife channel asking if we’re going to be okay. The entire pass was dry, bare, no snow, no danger, and no silence. I love her, but for our safety I must zone out once in a while!
I park the van and we get the kiddos into fresh new diapers. Luckily the spot I found is steps away from a garage can, I didn’t want to walk far with these road pull-ups.
Ok Google where’s the best brat? This technique has paid off in spades for me before: read Future Yelper Here
I get directed to an address and start the walk. There’s a pretty crisp wind circling up the fallen oak leaves on the sidewalk and they form into mini tornadoes before collapsing back to the pavement. We almost walk past the hat shop.
This hat shop is legendary. Every hat you can think of is in here. We step in and play dress up for a bit. I find a bowler hat that makes me look like a McFly from the 3rd Back To The Future, Jodi puts on a huge brimmed white hat and marvelous sparkling sunglasses, she looks ready for the derby! We put the children through more wardrobe changes than a Spice Girls concert. Keenan absolutely fell in love with a propeller hat. Not joking. He was angry that I wouldn’t get it for him. But seriously, I’m not spending $40 on a stooge hat!
I later found him this one for $6 at a Halloween store!
The kids are now acting up so we skidaddle out of the shop and up the hill towards the address still on my navigation app. “In 100 feet, the destination is on your right” says the Australian Siri. There’s a few concrete steps and Presto, it’s an outdoor seating area with a walk up window. At this point, I probably should’ve just listened to my wise wife and found another place, but I’m stubborn and am always thinking there’s an adventure lying wherever I’ve been led.
I order for the family and we try to find a spot that is at least partially blocked from the wind. The wind is a little bit stronger now, and a lot bit cooler. Right next to the toilets seems to be our best bet. We set the kids up with napkins and their waters. We start to chat about the upcoming adventures we’re going to do at Grandma & Papa’s House. Trying to out talk the shivers. The gal who took our order is on break, her and a friend run down the stairs I assume they’re off to grab a hot chocolate and stand by a wood stove somewhere. Our napkins just formed a tornado and did a pretty good job traveling almost to the highway before breaking up and plastering a parked Nissan.
I got up to get a new collection of napkins when the “order up” bell rang. So I grab our lunch and head over to the condiments bar. There’s roughly 39 different mustards to choose from and a ketchup. That’s a sign folks, no ketchup on your weenie. I put a couple different spicy sounding mustards on mine, a mellow one on the kids, and ketchup on the side just in case. I left Jodi’s plain so that she could experiment with her mustard palate.
Back at the table Keenan decides he wants to pee like a big boy. So Jodi’s doing her best to keep our food from flying away, while I try to encourage the behavior we want, while secretly thinking “Really?, Now?!?” We wash our hands. The water is probably lukewarm, but our hands are pretty cold so it felt like it was scalding hot to poor Keenan. The blow dryer thing scared him to near tears. I convinced him to use the napkins at the table.
Finally Jodi gets up to dress her schnitzel. Pretty sure there’s ketchup on it. Oh, and more ketchup for the kids. My lessons are lost on these people!
The counter gal comes walking back from break, she’s eating a freakin waffle cone! I just had a cold spasm down my back writing that down.
The kids are too cold, too tired, and too cranky to enjoy the lunch. Jodi is too right that we should have sat in a restaurant. But I will error on the side of adventure every time because who wants plain and ordinary anyway?