Saturday, November 15, 2014

Stay Calm and Eat Cheesecake

8 Oct 2014: Jacob and Dylan share a manic, brotherly selfie 
in our resort suite on Wednesday morning.

Friday, 10/3: We drove down from our beloved mountain to The Valley and met my newest grand-nephew.

Saturday, 10/4: We drove on to California, got settled into our Anaheim resort, went grocery shopping, grilled up some dinner, swam, and watched Disneyland fireworks from the roof.

Sunday, 10/5: We watched General Conference online, attended a sales presentation, took care of some details (like renting a van), and spent the evening loving a reunion with wonderful friends we hadn't seen in 30+ years.

Monday, 10/6: We spent the day at California Adventure in Disneyland resort.

Tuesday, 10/7: We spent the day driving down the California coast, stopping at beaches along the way.

And then, on Wednesday, 10/8: We took the day off!

High-carb breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and English muffins.

By this time, we were really ready for a leisurely day. We slept late, puttered around the condo, did some laundry (washer and dryer in our unit, a WorldMark feature I love!), and napped a bit. We enjoyed a big breakfast and then later Chris grilled burgers for us to enjoy with chips and dip for lunch. Jacob and Danielle decided they needed some newlywed alone time, so they spent a couple of afternoon hours wandering around Downtown Disney.

My kids enter Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Anaheim GardenWalk.

Other than laundry and meals, my only plan for the entire day was to explore the mall right across the street from our resort, called Anaheim GardenWalk. This renowned mall turned out to be not as large as I'd expected, and it was clear that it had fallen on hard times like the rest of the nation, because more than half the spaces were empty. The upper floor was entirely deserted other than one restaurant.

Danielle and Sarah make new friends in GardenWalk.
(Notice the escalators blocked to the second floor.)

We had a good time there, nonetheless, just being together. There was interesting artwork throughout, and some interesting shops, our favorite being Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. We salivated over their amazing chocolate creations, although I couldn't bring myself to pay their prices, such as $8.00 for one large, luscious, chocolate-covered strawberry. The most reasonably-priced item in the store was a $2.00 chocolate almond bar. Dylan offered to help pay for it, so we bought one, and everyone else in our group followed suit.

Danielle and Jacob

Sarah and Chris

Cheesecake Factory was directly across the road from WorldMark Anaheim!

One thing GardenWalk still had aplenty was several big-name restaurants. Right on the corner, across from our resort, was The Cheesecake Factory. A stop there was definitely built into my vacation plan!

Jacob and Dylan consider their options.

Yes, Cheesecake Factory is pricey, which is why we only go there when we vacation. (Besides, they don't have any in our rural town!) Last year in Las Vegas, the kids and I had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory inside Caesar's Palace, one we frequent every time we're in Vegas. For this trip, though, with the high expense of Disneyland, we decided to forego dining in Cheesecake Factory and instead buy a slice of their amazing cheesecake to take back to the resort for that evening's dessert. Even paying $7.50 to $7.95 per slice seems like a lot, but for us it is well worth it!

Decisions, decisions...they all look perfectly scrumptious!

It's hard to decide upon which flavor to get when everything is so tempting, but I ordered what I always order: the 6-carb slice with whipped cream and strawberries. I have a recipe at home that is supposedly like Cheesecake Factory's 6-carb cheesecake, and we do love it, but I have to say it isn't even close to the creamy flavor and texture of the real thing. I wish I knew how they do it!

Wednesday night's dinner at the resort.

When we got back, everyone wanted to skip dinner and go straight to dessert, but I turned on Mom's Tough Love and prevailed upon them to wait until later. Jacob grilled us a platter full of chicken thighs while Sarah and crew tackled a big bowl of potato salad, and we enjoyed a yummy dinner together.

After dinner and a short wait, the kids all went down to the pool for an evening swim. I joined them long enough to take some pictures and watch them splash and play.

Then we returned to the condo to savor the delectable creaminess that is a slice of cheesecake from Cheesecake factory!

No words to describe how we love this cheesecake!
(The center of my lens was still foggy from the pool.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to bake me up some decadent chocolate chip cheesecake!

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