There are a lot of great reasons to go to Red Robin.
1) It's loud. If you have ever eaten out with a 14 month old, you know why this is good.
2) They have cool colored lamps all over the place, and for a boy obsessed with pointing to the "luz", this is advantageous.
3) There are balloons at the door for every child. Daniel loves touching balloons - and hitting them, hitting with them, and (strangely enough) kissing them. I know, it's weird.
4) They have a great Cobb salad, which is perfect for sharing with a hungry little man.
5) The people who dine there tend to be nice laid back folks who are easy to talk to. Tonight we sat next to a sweet couple from Sun City Grand who came all the way out here to be around kids and young families. Daniel loved them.
But the best reason to go to Red Robin:
6) They have great ketchup.
Yup. Giant bottles of original Heinz ketchup - no generic substitute. And it's the really big squeezable bottles that shoot powerful jets of ketchup into a beautiful mountain of red sugary goodness. Daniel, if I haven't mentioned it before, loves ketchup. I think he'd eat it for breakfast with a spoon if we let him. While we waited for the food I gave him a few fingertips of ketchup (since I forgot the graham crackers at home ... which reminds me - he said "cracker" today! No lie!)
He ate everything in sight, but only once it was dipped in ketchup. And since this was a special Mommy/Daniel date, I conceded to his ketchup wishes. It was a lovely meal. We chatted about the weather, the presidential election, and gas prices. We shared iced tea mixed with cranberry juice, and split the drink's orange wedge for dessert.
After dinner, we went to the park just to run around in the grass and kick a ball around. And after park time (during which Daniel rescued many a rock from the sand volleyball court) we transitioned directly into bath time. Naturally. At the end of bath time, I noticed that Daniel's fist was still clutched tightly around one of the rocks. Since it was squeaky clean and smelling of lavender soap, we decided to keep it - we named it Rocky.
Every good dinner/bath date ends with a kiss - and tonight was no exception. Fernando taught Daniel how to blow kisses (cutest thing EVER) and recently Daniel started making the "mmmah!" sound with each kiss. Tonight, before bed, I asked him for a kiss and he leaned in to plant one on me! It was a very sweet moment - even though he has yet to learn how to close his mouth while kissing... :)
It's been a good day.