I've been mulling over our recent trip to Disney and all the different sights, sounds, foods, cute things said, reactions, etc. And one of my favorite memories was of a waitress at the new Yak & Yeti restaurant in the Animal Kingdom. It was the restaurant Tim and Megan picked out (each couple was given the choice of one sit-down favorite) and it was so new, Megan had to call again and again to finally be able to make a booking - they had to have an opening date before they could take bookings. It was THAT new!
They got a reservation for 5pm one day - we arrived and the hostess was coming out the door as we were openining it. "We're closing!" she said. "But we have a 5pm reservation!" I replied. She said, with a hint of resignation (not a Disney trait usually), "Are you the party of 13?" Yup, that was us. Turns out another large party had shown up at the last minute and they had seated them thinking they were us. Well, they WEREN'T and we weren't giving up our reservation. After a bit of waiti\ing and hearing them to and fro on the phone ("so and so can't handle that much at once - I know - but they were the ones with the reservation") we were beginning to feel a bit unwanted, truth be told. And if it hadn't been Tim and Megan's choice and so hard to come buy, I would have been tempted to tell them to stuff it.
But we waited and eventually the semi-hostile hostess told us our table was ready. We traipsed back to the two tables set out for us (the only single table long enough to accomodate us having already been taken by said earlier party of interlopers - in the same room, right next to us I might add). So two families sat at a large round table and two families sat at a square table next to it. The long table next to us was noisy, rude and rambunctious. I was thinking, "Wow, this is going to be some 'fun' dinner."
Then Dawn arrived, our waitress. First of all, she looked a lot like Marisa Tomei. And she had a lovely smile. And she made us feel welcome. She told us she'd be taking the larger round table orders first and then the smaller table - she didn't want us to think we'd been forgotten. Service was excellent, the food was excellent, and we soon ceased to even notice the long table of rude people sitting where we thought we should have been. We all tried different things, the kids were happy with some novelty we'd bought earlier in the day. Dawn mentioned that the children were the best behaved she'd seen - they'd had kids who screamed the entire time, ran all over the place, threw things across the room. Must be a battle zone sometimes.
As the meal wound down and we noticed we were the only ones left in our dining room, perhaps the entire restauarant (Animal Kingdom closes at 5pm - the animals DO need to get their beauty rest, you know!), Dawn started visiting some with us - how old are the children? was this our first trip? how was our stay going? We visited with her a bit and we told her about how we'd been coming since 1980 and had always looked forward to taking our grandchildren some day - back when our own children were barely in school themselves. I told her about the 3 babies born this year, about how close in age the two sets were, our hopes that they'd always be close especially since they each had another cousin close in age. She related how she and her daughter had been coming for years and she had the same hope some day.
Our bill was brought and I paid it. When we got up to leave, she came over and told me, with tears in her eyes, "You really touched my heart! I only hope that one day I'll get to be a grandma like you are!" and she enveloped me in this huge bear hug. It was really sweet, really touching. And right then I had one of those "I'm doing something right" moments and felt quite at peace.
For me, it was a Magical Moment indeed.
And thanks, Dawn. It was a GREAT evening and I hope you DO get to bring your grandkids to Disney World someday!