And you know what?! It was very happy indeed! Aside from being comfortable outside (pleasant weather, “dressing in layers” meant a sweatshirt at night – not a sweater, down jacket, hat, scarf, and gloves), there were a few literary highlights:
NUMBER ONE!! I had dinner with Sandy from You’ve GOTTA Read This and Heather from Raging Bibliomania! Sandy and Heather have spent time together before (and, in fact, are in the Books, Babes, and Bordeaux book club), but it was the first time I had met either of them.
Were we all shy? Were there long, uncomfortable pauses in the conversation when we didn’t have anything to say to each other? No. and no. Was it as if I had known them for years? Did I wish that we had more time (more than the 3.5 hour dinner, plus the time we spent “recalculating” the route back to the hotel) to spend together? Yes. and yes.
Wonderful time with wonderful women! The food was great – we ate at Citricos, a Mediterranean style restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort, I started with a “Citripolitan” and a bottle of something red that Sandy ordered. Heather and I ended with warm Chocolate-Banana Torte, while Sandy had the Seasonal Berry Gratin. Yes, we had appetizer/salads and an amazing meal, but I hit the highlights with drinks and desserts.
We talked books, of course – our current book group picks, the difference between chick lit and women’s fiction, various ways book groups create their reading lists, the fantastic home delivery service offered by the Orlando Public Library, Heather and Sandy’s involvement in the Central Florida University Book Festival … I’m sure there’s more that I’m forgetting.
Mid-meal, around 8 o’clock, we looked out the window in response to some loud banging and popping (and ooh-ing and aah-ing). The Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks display had begun, and we had a perfect view from our table. Really, dinner with book friends can’t be beat!
Phillip, one of the chefs, gave us his card; I’m sure Sandy and Heather will likely return before I do … the commute is a bit more tolerable for them (as long as Sandy’s GPS is working!). Oh, and J and the kids were at the pool when “mom’s book blogger friends” picked me up, so they remain anonymous
NUMBER TWO: We had breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table on Thursday morning. This is an all-out Disney character breakfast, which starts with a meet-and-greet photo with Cinderella, followed by a table service breakfast (decent food, and they kept the coffee cups refilled … very important at the start of a long day in the them parks!). The younger kids got magic wands and swords (! I’m not a fan of the swords, magical or not!), and there was a hokey/cute ‘wishing ceremony.’
Various Disney Princesses filed in, chatted with the kids, posed for photos, and signed autograph books. We met Cinderella, Jasmine, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), and Snow White. And … our favorite … Belle! We told her that she was our favorite, since she is also “too fond of books.” She smiled and told to keep reading and “have a magical day.” She did look a bit threatened, truth be told …
NUMBER THREE: Okay, segueing from breakfast with the princesses, I have to say I’ve been thinking a lot about Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. I haven’t yet read (and haven’t yet bought) the book, but I know enough about it to be interested.
This week I saw a lot of young princesses – girls who visited the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, “a beauty salon where little girls are magically transformed into little princesses.” Packages come in three levels (Coach, Crown, and Castle), include nail color, hair style, and make-up, and run $50 to $190. I’m not kidding. Click the link to view some photos and see what little boys get in the Young Knight package.
There’s a big difference between children playing dress-up and this marketing machine that is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. It’s not limited to Disney, though. Any nail salon will give a manicure to a girl old enough to sit still for it; I’ve stayed in a resort which offered “my first facial” and “mommy and me” spa treatments. Even before reading Orenstein’s book, she’s got my attention … and has me evaluating some of the messages I’m sending my own daughters.
That’s all the Sunday Salon chat for this weekend … what are you up to?!