I spend a lot of time talking about how to save money here. It’s kind of what I do.
Today, I’m going to talk about the best way I’ve wasted money during my vacation this week.
First, so my feelings are completely understood: A vacation is about experiences and memories. I could spend all day at the park with my kids, or I could spend a memorable meal with them. Which will they remember longer?
It ain’t the park. They are there almost every day.
Of course, if the restaurant is McDonald’s they wouldn’t remember for long, either.
Tuesday, after a long day of hands-on, interactive museum-going, we took the kids to a Japanese steakhouse. Teppanyaki, where they cook the food at the table, complete with fire, spatula spinning, and airborne food.
I’m the only one in my family who has seen that before. Honestly, watching the art, the skill, the banter, and the giant fireball leaves me as wide-eyed as my kids.
They loved it.
Watching the chef throw a bowl full of rice across the table made my son’s jaw drop.
Seeing the chef carry fire from one side of the grill to the other on his fingers made my youngest squeal and beg for more fire tricks.
Getting squirted by the chef when he was putting out a flare-up made the middle brat giggle, possibly because the squirt gun was a little kid, dressed up as a fireman, with his pants down. She got “peed” on and loved it.
Aside from cooking-as-a-show, the service was fantastic. There was always a waiter nearby to keep our water glasses full or to provide “little kid” chopsticks, which are modified with rubber band to remove the need for skill to eat. They had the courses perfectly timed. The minute the salad was cleared, the soup was delivered. When that was done, the chef rolled up to start on the rice. My two-year-old was eating white rice without complaint for the first time.
Giggles and squeals. Three days later, they are still talking about it. My 11-year-old, who’s trying so hard to be an unimpressible teenager, says it was the coolest restaurant he’s ever seen.
Frugal, it wasn’t, but the memories were worth the money.