Here’s the back story:
In case you didn’t know or hadn’t guessed, I’m the kind of mom who LOVES to throw a house party every year for my daughter’s birthday! I love to plan all of the details, far in advance, utilize Pinterest a ton throughout the entire planning period, seek out unique things to incorporate into the party and find vendors who are amazing but haven’t been very well known (yet). From the invitations to the coordinating printables to the custom cookies and the favors, I love all of it!
I don’t know what happened this year? I started out with a fun theme in mind for Emily’s 9th birthday, even had a few amazing ideas in my “party notebook” during the first few months of planning. What happened after that was just a series of hurdles followed by some awful events. The week prior to Emi’s birthday was the MOST challenging for me! Some of the obstacles I attempted to overcome included: a water leak in our ceiling, construction of that area, a majorly unexpected auto repair, a district walk through at my workplace, a heat wave paired with Santa Ana winds, a lady who was coming to do a little spa for the girls backing out, my inability to book someone new to come and do the party and probably the worst thing…..my daughter learning 3 days before her party that the cheer program she’d been in for almost 4 years, with the same coaches, was going to cease to exist as she’d known it! Yep, I had to inform her as I picked her up from school that day and then rush her to try out someplace new with some of her friends, all of which had bloodshot red eyes from crying! I cannot describe how horrible it felt to watch her become uncontrollably emotional and pretty much cry her little eyes out for the two days leading up to her party!
Needless to say, by Thursday, I knew I had to make a Plan B for WHAT I was going to do to modify this party I was having the next day, with 13 little girls, since I’d had ZERO time to get things ready while dealing with all of the previous.
Friday, May 2nd
I woke up at 3:45 a.m. and sat straight up in bed, suddenly wide awake. It was the day of Emily’s party. A thought came to mind…Farrell’s! We are HUGE Farrell’s lovers and there’s one very close to our home inside The Shops at Mission Viejo. I went online just to look at the kids menu and saw that there was any area to make a reservation online. I assumed it would only take a reservation for small parties but sure enough, when I entered my date, time and number in our party (13 kids and 3 adults) it took my reservation! I think I let out a big sigh of relief at that point. I think I knew right then, at 4 a.m., that everything was going to be OK.
|I remember taking a picture of my laptop screen after I made my online reservation at 4 a.m. because I so overjoyed!|
We’ve been to Farrell’s a couple of different times over the past few months, including the amazing grand opening at their newest Buena Park location AND Barbie’s birthday celebration at The Shops at Mission Viejo. I don’t think it’s possible to visit a Farrell’s without having an amazing time! Each of their locations exudes a crazy amount of positive energy and the food and nostalgia are something extra special for me that remind me of my own childhood .
I actually called Farrell’s around 10 a.m. that morning, just to double check with the manager on duty that they’d gotten my online reservation and that it was going to work out for a party our size. I spoke with “Steven” and he was so helpful on the phone and he confirmed that he did have my reservation. He asked me a few questions about our party and we decided together that our party would best be seated up front, in the area closest to the ice cream bar. It’s the location where you get the most drum action and that’s a biggie, right? Steven then reviewed the staff scheduled to work that evening and let me know that he’d be having “Michael” as our server, reassuring me that we’d be in good hands. This literally brightened up my day and I hung up smiling.
When I picked up Emily from school that day and told her about the slight change in our party plans, she had a huge smile on her face! She thinks she’s this big Farrell’s VIP because she’s hung with the best of the Farrell’s peeps at some of their different locations! In her world, this party would just be one more event that she could add to her Farrell’s repertoire!
Upon our arrival, it was such a pleasure to meet the manager on duty, Steven. He greeted us at the front desk and made Emily feel special, mentioning that he already knew it was her birthday and giving her a special birthday sticker to wear! He had mustache stickers and menus for all of the girls to color and led us to our table, which was already set up. Steven was so considerate that he even sat the 3 adults at our own table, separate from the table of 13 screaming girls! It was like the reverse of having “a kids table”!
Our server, Michael, came right over to the girls’ table and was ready to get the party started! He was so patient with all of them. I don’t know HOW he had the patience to deal with the craziness of 13 screaming 9 year olds but I can confirm that the guy was like an instant hit with the girls! (obviously)
|I can’t even say enough good things about our server, Michael!|
I need to point out something else that amazed me about our server…his knowledge of the Farrell’s menu. I’m not talking about their regular menu…I mean the fact that when we informed him about one of the girls who is “gluten-free”, he turned to us and said, “you don’t have to worry, I have A LOT of knowledge about this and I will take care of her!” He then went and grabbed one of their gluten-free menus and helped her with her special order. I think that was the point he definitely won the 2 moms over in our party! (Farrell’s also offers a “nut allergy” and “egg allergy” menu for guests)
|Farrell’s has a gluten free menu!|
|They also have “nut allergy” and “egg allergy” items!|
Michael kept the Shirley Temples and strawberry lemonades flowing at the girls’ table! I must’ve apologized to him about 100 times for all of the screaming and craziness coming from their table and he just kept telling me NOT to apologize and let me know that he works with kids like this every day and enjoys it! Ha! And here I was thinking I was the crazy one!
|The Kids Mac and Cheese seemed to be a big hit at our table!|
|I ordered the Grown Up Grilled Cheese!|
Dinner was a success and we ready to move onto the best part of all! The girls knew what would come next…a special birthday sundae, a special birthday song and a whole lotta drum….. all in honor of Emily’s 9th birthday!
|The singing hadn’t even started and she was already blushing!|
|The kids sundaes are a good size and so yummy!|
By this point I was so relieved and so pleased at how everything had worked out. It wasn’t just a birthday meal out but a total celebration and all because of everything that Farrell’s has to offer in its dining experience. I just have to say “Thank you, Farrell’s!” not only for saving my daughter’s birthday party this year, but for also saving my sanity! We will be back soon!
|The girls had so much fun at Emily’s birthday celebration at Farrell’s!|