Saturday, May 2, 2009

Was It Us?

Last night, we went to one of our favorite festivals of the year -- the Long Grove Chocolate Festival. It's pretty much what it sounds like: a festival devoted to all things chocolate.

Of course, they have the requisite kiddie rides that the wee ones love and the random vendors, but they also have things like donuts on a stick dipped in chocolate. And cocoa apple pies (yes, I bought a small one, and no, I haven't tried it yet). And chocolate martinis. And chocolate fondue fountains. And a chocolate fashion show.

We usually go on Friday mornings when it opens and wander until we're done. This year, I had to be at Little Miss's preschool -- twenty minutes in the opposite direction of my house -- by 11:15, so we went in the late afternoon. And I discovered that the vendors pretty much close up shop at 5:30 instead of 6pm when it officially ends.

We hadn't eaten dinner by the time we realized it was shutting down, so my husband walked ahead with Little Miss, and she picked out a restaurant for us to eat at. My complaint was that a sit down restaurant with two overtired and hungry children was not the best idea.

I was overruled, and we walked into Victoria's.

We were the only patrons there. For most of us, it's easy to find something to eat, but Little Miss is trickier with her dairy allergy. In talking to the cook and the waitress, we finally agreed that she would just eat nacho chips with chicken and tomatoes on top. Picky girl overruled a few other more "normal" options.

As my husband's soup and father's salad arrived, we were still the only patrons.

It finally dawned on me the likely reason. Victoria's is a Mexican restaurant. Although it's the weekend of Cinco de Mayo, no one's really eating in Mexican restaurants right now. In fact, the local paper called our publicity chair on Thursday to confirm that we were still having our Cinco de Mayo event at the preschool.

Yep, that swine flu has everyone paranoid.

On the plus side, it was rather nice to not have to worry that the wee ones were periodically forgetting their inside voices. And the service was great, not to mention the yummy food.


septembermom May 2, 2009 at 5:51 PM  

Glad that you had a nice quiet dinner as a family. I feel bad for restaurants like Victoria's. It would be a shame if lovely Mexican restaurants had to close if business slows down significantly. Too much paranoia right now. But I guess people are nervous. May 2, 2009 at 8:45 PM  

We don't have school or any activities all next week!

Enjoy normalcy - we don't get to have it here yet!

Dawn Parsons Smith May 2, 2009 at 11:06 PM  

It's a crazy world now! We have no official cases here and I'm 45 miles from the border! YIKES!

WeaselMomma May 3, 2009 at 6:19 AM  

Sounds like the perfect eating out experience! Empty restaurant and yummy food! The festival sound great too.

MaBunny May 3, 2009 at 8:57 AM  

Oh that surely sounds like a festival I would LOVE to attend, not to mention , so would my hubby and kiddo.
We had our small cinco de mayo celebration at our school on Friday - some parents showed up but not alot. It was still good though.
We have whole IDSs closing around us, and our school did a deep cleaning this weekend before reopening tomorrow.

Hyacynth May 3, 2009 at 1:13 PM  

There was a chocolate festival in Long Grove, and I didn't know about it?!!?? Oh, the remorse. Seriously, I need to remember to look for this next year in the spring because I am so there!

We ate a Mexican restaurant last week, and I never even gave it a second thought. Wow. I'm a little surprised that everyone is that paranoid.

Melisa Wells May 3, 2009 at 3:18 PM  

OOH: PLEASE remind me next year when the LG Chocolate Festival rolls around!!

BTW, have you taken the kids on a tour of the LG choc factory? SO fun, and cheap, too! Maybe we can take a group field trip this summer? The boys and I loved it! (there are free samples and a stop at the "seconds" store at the end...

Michelle May 3, 2009 at 7:48 PM  

septembermom - I'm with you. I do feel badly about about this -- on top of everything going on with the economy.

iheartbowheads - Yikes. There are plenty of schools like that around here, but not our ... yet. I'm fully confident that we'll get there though.

Bee and Rose - That's actually pretty good being so close. Our closest case is the next major school district south of us. And getting closer by day....

MaBunny - Here's hoping that it all works. I've heard that a ton of places -- including Chicago -- that have canceled their Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Hyacynth - YES, how did you not know about it? There's also Applefest and Strawberryfest yet to come this year! go go go!

Melisa - Will do. Are you interested in any of the other fests? And no, we haven't, although I've been meaning to. Let me know when you're up for it!

Cookie May 4, 2009 at 11:38 PM  

the swine flu paranoia has hit hard!

Michelle May 5, 2009 at 9:22 PM  

Cookie - Oh it totally has... there were so many Cinco de Mayo events canceled that the paper covering our event called three times to confirm starting last Thursday!

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