Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Food Revolution Road Trip Day 9: It's Like Corralling Chickens

Places to go, things to do!
- Jake and I go whitewater rafting with Western Rafting Company via Moab Adventure Center (sorry, no photos. Too wet.)
-pick up our jeep, wander through Moab

Food Revolution Challenge:
Realize that our room has no microwave
Endure a restaurant visit from...you-know-where

One of the things I was most looking forward to on our vacation was giving Jake a taste of whitewater rafting. Hubs and I had braved the Tully river on our honeymoon in Australia and I always thought Jake would enjoy rafting as well. So today, we're up early and raring to go. I admit, I'm tired from the long ride yesterday and perhaps a day to relax might have been an idea, but can't change it now! Let's GO!

We bump along on a bus decked out in life jackets up to a spot on the Colorado where we pile in a boat with a Dad and three kids, and a couple from the Netherlands. The rafting is more like floating, really; if you want to raft the Colorado in Moab, the best time to go is early June when the river is high. The river is super low now, and it's more of a lazy float down the river with a few tiny rapids to make it interesting but I think it's a perfect way to introduce Jake without scaring him.

Our guide is STELLAR. They must jack these kids up on coffee every day, because their enthusiasm makes it fun. Another guide maneuvers his boat right up to ours and tackles our guide, sending them both into the water. We have water fights between rafts, sending all the kids squealing. Jake is loving every second of it and by the end, I convince him that next year we'll do a whole day of Westwater Canyon's class 4 rapids.

We reluctantly leave the river and return to the hotel for lunch, and I'm grateful that I did bring some cans of the healthiest canned soup I could find because we are just starving and a sandwich wouldn't be enough.

I open a can, dump the contents in the glass dish I'm holding, and look for a microwave. There's one here, right? Oh. Wait a minute. There ISN'T. Um...now what?

We find a hotel staffer and ask to use their microwave. It's a bit awkward, but I don't want to throw the soup away and we're hungry. Hampton staff, bless them, are amazing people. They let us into the kitchen and we heat up our soup. It's...okay. We're hungry and don't really care, anyway.

The rest of the day, we wander around the shops of downtown Moab, checking out t-shirts and other odds and ends where I found these gems...

An antique store has a bunch of signs that I find hilarious. Wonder if I can put that in my kitchen?

Jake is fascinated by these old keys. We look at all the touristy t-shirts, laughing at the sayings, pick up a few things here and there, and just check out the town.

Later on that evening after we pick up our jeep, we go to the Moab Brewery.

The Moab Brewery is our favorite restaurant in Moab. The menu has a lot of vegetarian options, and salads for us to order. Portions are huge so we often take stuff back to our hotel and eat for lunch the next day. The food is good, the service great, and you MUST try the home brewed root beer. This was the one stop where Jake got a tall, frosty glass of soda and then bought a growler full of more to take home. We come to the Brewery specifically for the root beer.

The hostess seated us out in a large, open area of the restaurant near some windows. Across the room from us is a family; mom, dad, grandparents, and 3 small children under 5 years old. The mom is holding a tiny baby that looks fairly new. The kids are waving around corn dogs like swords. They're pretty cute, actually. That's a handful with that many that young, I think.

We pretty much ignore them and talk about our day. There's plans to be made for tomorrow, when we go jeeping. We're all excited! Jake is telling Hubs about our whitewater rafting, and how much fun it was.

The kids across from us are finished-and starting to lose it. They flood their table with water from their large glasses, tipping them over and watching the liquid spill everywhere, then shaking the glasses to get every last drop out.

The parents sit and watch. Nobody moves, and the kids spread the water all over the table, running their hands in it and watching it drip off the sides. Eventually a waitress comes and cleans it up. She looks disgusted at the mess because by now, food is everywhere. Fries, bloated and soggy, are floating on the table. Bits of half chewed corn dogs and napkins are strewn on the floor, and it looks like someone finger painted with ketchup.

Our food arrives and we tuck in to vegetarian chili, fresh grilled fish tacos, and vegetarian burritos. It's delicious. The kids are getting more unruly and loud. Now they are running around, playing a game of keep away with a napkin. It's a fairly large space so we can ignore it to some degree, until they keep getting closer and closer to our table. Then one child launches a dirty, used napkin and it flies across the room....

...and pops Hubs in the head, landing on our table beside his plate. By now we're irritated. We look up and focus our gaze directly at the parents, who still sit, and do nothing. They call the child back to them and for a moment, the kids are quiet.

But only a moment.

Next thing we know a child is under our table, playing hide and seek. Jake looks pointedly under the table at the little boy, who grins and immediately crawls back out, and then back again, directly under Jake's feet. He resists the urge to kick the child, although he tells me later it was tempting. I tell Jake to just ignore him but by now I'm considering asking the waitress to seat us elsewhere. We have been patient enough. I know that it's difficult to corral children in restaurants, especially ones this small. But when you have FOUR adults and FOUR children, surely someone can have the balls to take control instead of sitting on their butts and allowing their children to act like THIS. It's taking every bit of self control not to snap at someone, especially the kids, and I can see that both Hubs and Jake are feeling the same way. The three of us collectively begin to glower.

Fortunately, the family soon gathers up the kids and make their way towards the door, bumping into Jake's chair and jostling him on their way out. The mother, baby in her arms, walks over and takes a deep breath,

"I'm sorry for all the interruptions," she pleads. I feel kind of sorry for her. She looks tired and, well, beaten. Obviously she was already caring for one-couldn't the other two adults have helped her out? Couldn't the FATHER of those kids stepped up and done his job? I have to give her credit for having the courage to apologize to us. We smile wanly and nod, resisting the urge to unleash our irritation on her. Truly, I just don't have the heart, mostly because I remember all to well the time Jake puked all over us, our booth, and the floor in a restaurant. When dining out with little kids, Food Revolution is the LEAST of your worries.

Tomorrow: We go 4x4ing and why is that creepy guy in the grocery store trying to give me his phone number?!

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