Friday 29 September 2006, 10:38 pm

When it was Mary's birthday, I took her to Disneyland for the day. She promised she would take me to Disneyland for mine. We even bought a season pass when we were there earlier this year. But Mary is taking a class on resumés and job interviews next week (yeah, it's time for us to start looking for jobs again). So we took our Disneyland road trip this week.

On Friday, we hopped back on the freeway, and 90 minutes later we were checking into a hotel in Anaheim, ready to spend the rest of the day in Disneyland.

At Disneyland, we went on all our favorite rides in both parks, and a few new ones I don't remember going on before: Pinnochio and Snow White. I tried a new strategy on the Astro Blasters ride and I came within 100 points of Mary's score, but she always beats me. This is the first time I even came close, though. Space Mountain was very fast this time! On the Tower of Terror, people on both sides of me were screaming and grabbing the handles. leaving me nothing to hang on to. I still had lots of fun! The line for Haunted Mansion was very long, because they had just changed the theme to The Nightmare Before Christmas, and this was the first day open with the new theme. It was funny instead of scary. We liked it. They also changed the Pirate of the Caribbean to match the movie more. Mary liked it, but I'm not sure if I did. It seemed to have a few stretches with nothing going on, and the music doesn't play all the way through the ride.


Eating gluten-free in Disneyland is very possible but always a chore. This time, we obtained the special gluten-free menu from City Hall on Main Street. It turns out that eating gluten-free in California Adventure really means manually eliminating the gluten yourself: that is, eating the hamburger without the bun, etc. We'd rather find a hamburger served on a gluten-free bun. To find that, you have to go into Disneyland park or to one of the outside restaurants. Here are the choices that particularly appealed to us inside the park: Instead of waiting in the long lines, we decided to wait while sitting on our bums in our favorite resort restaurant: Storyteller Cafe in the Grand Californian hotel. We've always had wonderful luck here finding gluten-free alternatives, and this time was no exception. The chef actually came out to chat with us several times. One of the waiters later told us that this particular chef had been with the restaurant since the hotel had opened, and that he had been the one to push for gluten-free alternatives on the menu. Anyway, he helped us eliminate questionable items from the grilled salmon meal, and he also made us gluten-free macaroni and cheese (Mary loves this), and, ta-dah, two different pizzas made on gluten-free Kinnikinnick crust. This is the first time we'd had gluten-free pizza since we found that restaurant in Sedona last April, and it was a real treat. We got one with ham and pineapple, and the other with sausage and pepperoni. The chef even discussed with us how he gets the Kinnikinnick crust to be tasty: defrost only part way in the microwave, but make the pizza with the crust still slightly frozen. Don't put any oil on the crust. Bake the pizza in a hot convection oven. We don't have a convection oven at home, so he suggested trying an oven hotter than usual, 375 or even 400 degrees. He also suggested putting the crust directly on the oven grates instead of on a stone.

Counting the Points

We were both surprised that we lost a couple pounds even while we were away at Disneyland and San Diego. But there was a heck of a lot of walking in there ... too much maybe. We both came back sore.