Sunday, June 25, 2017

My Daughter and The Melting Pot

I love fondue. But I'm too lazy to make it on my own. It's why I'm excited when I get to go to The Melting Pot.

It's something I do with my mom every year for my birthday. We've been doing it for over ten years now.

It would always be the two of us. This is because my husband Tom does not like fondue.

I know! I'm baffled too. How can a person NOT like fondue? But I took him to The Melting Pot before, and I'd be all, "Isn't this amazing?" and he'd be like, "No. What the hell is this?"

My son felt the same way. He's never been a fan of melted cheese, so the cheese fondue made him cringe. He has autism, so he's weird about certain foods, and that one seemed to freak him out. He practically sank back into the booth as our waiter prepared the cheese fondue.

So no boys. Fine.

And no Natalie, my daughter, because....well, my daughter has always shall I put it? Stubborn. And wild.

The Melting Pot is no place for a stubborn and wild child because there's a burner right in the middle of the table. I pictured her placing her entire palm against it to prove me wrong when I told her that it was hot.

"I'll see for myself," I imagined her saying, and then the shock on her face as she realized that, oh crap, mom was right. And then we'd rush out for the ER, and I'm sorry, I would NOT want to leave before the chocolate fondue, third degree burns or not.

So Natalie stayed home.

Until she turned ten. My mother said she could join us if I agreed. I said I'd ask Natalie and I won't lie, for a second I debated NOT letting her come because it's nice to go out to eat and not have to deal with children. But as they get older, it gets easier. You can tell them, "Hey, sorry, no iPad," and yeah they might give a dramatic sigh, but they'll understand that they'll have to sit there and, you know, CONVERSE.

"Natalie," I said, "did you want to come with Nona and I to The Melting Pot?"

I thought she'd shriek with excitement and thank me for inviting her. Instead she went, "Maybe. I might want pizza."

Because Tommy was staying home and eating pizza.

"I thought you liked the fondue. You remember the cheese? And the chocolate?"

Natalie's face lit up at that. She is my daughter, after all. "It's the stuff in that silver pot?"

I nodded.

"Oh! Well then, yes! I'll come!" She clapped her hands. "Unless I want pizza that day."

In the end, she decided to come. There was a brief moment of fear when she started waving her poker around, but then she understood that it wasn't supposed to be used to attack.

"It's not a lightsaber," I reminded her.

She did seem happy to be there with us. The girls.

And I was happy when I got a drink. (And yes, that's a Diet Coke next to it, because I need a Diet Coke with every meal.)

Natalie loved the cheese fondue.

"I see why you like this so much," she said through a mouth full of cheese and bread.

"Yes! It's amazing," I answered through a mouth full of cheese and apple.

We always get the four course meal when we go. You get the cheese fondue. A salad. Meats and/or seafood. And chocolate fondue.

Natalie thought cooking the meats and the seafood was a bit strange. She said the broth we cooked everything in was "too spicy." So she didn't eat as much of that. Oh well, more for me.

Not surprisingly, the best part was the chocolate fondue.

I mean, it's amazing. We went with the Yin & Yang, but there are so many fabulous selections:

"If you ever get asked on a date, tell them to bring you to The Melting Pot," I told Natalie as I ate a brownie dipped in chocolate. "And ask if I can come too."

Natalie gave me a Look.

(And I was only semi-joking.)

We had a wonderful evening. By the time we were finished, I was stuffed, but the calories are SO worth it. I can't wait to go back.

Have you ever been to The Melting Pot?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How To Hang With Dolphins At Sea World

If you've ever wanted to swim with dolphins, Sea World has you covered.

Over at Discovery Point, there's an area where you can sign up to do this. I knew I would prefer to take photos, because I just am not into being in chilly water. But my daughter and mother were eager to try it. And my husband surprised me and said he'd do it too!

You sign up for a time and then before you even get in with a dolphin, you go through an orientation about safety. And then you have to put on wet suits, and I'm glad I didn't have to do this, because I'd probably have struggled to put one on. There are ALL sizes though---from the petite to the extra, extra large. Maybe even beyond that.

Before anyone gets in, a few rules are repeated. If there's a large group, it is separated into smaller groups, each with their own dolphin. In our group, there were three groups total.

There's an area for people who are watching.

People get to feed and do the moves that the dolphin understands:

Everyone gets to kiss the dolphin, and yes, there's a photographer in the water to capture moments as well.

Here's when my husband kissed another woman:

You can take a family photo with the dolphin, who I assure you, is treated like royalty. I understand completely that there are people who don't agree with Sea World, but I encourage you to do more research on all the good that Sea World does.

If you can swim, you can paddle out and the dolphin will bring you back. If you cannot swim, it's okay, you don't have to do that part and usually they'll give you extra fish to feed the dolphin.

And then everyone says goodbye:

Then it's over, and if anyone has any questions, they are encouraged to ask:

The total time for the orientation, plus the swim was about an hour or so. Then afterwards you can check out your photos!

If you'd like to book a dolphin swim, be sure to check out Discovery Point! This is not a sponsored post, I'm simply sharing an experience we enjoyed.

Have you ever swam with dolphins?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Hey, It's Okay

I got this idea from Glamour magazine. You can link up any day of the week. All you have to do is make a list of what you're okay about. Simple! Please do not link up a post that has nothing to do with Hey, It's Okay. It's rude. To the lady who keeps linking up religious posts that has nothing to do with this: stop it.

Hey, It's Okay.... have had a good birthday. I won't lie, I totally pigged out. have been annoyed on Father's Day because my husband's job told him he had to work at the last minute, and we had plans that we had set for over a month. But hey, that's the military way! not care that Beyonce had her twins. Yay another rich person gave birth. be seeing Cars 3 this weekend. My son used to LOVE those movies--we had so many of those mini cars. He even says he's excited to see the third one. "Memories." be staying with my parents for a few days. Mom takes me to The Melting Pot as a birthday gift, plus it's fun to hang out with them. My husband probably appreciates the quiet house. have totally picked Taco Bell for my birthday dinner.

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