It’s not that I thought going to the new Shirokiya soft opening was going to be a good idea. It’s more that I didn’t have any other ideas for a Tuesday and Madison didn’t immediately bristle at the suggestion. This is an automatic win. Madison is a chronic and epic whiner. Ironically, she didn’t whine all that much today – only when I denied her permission to eat Mentos before lunch.
I didn’t even know where the new Shirokiya was until I pulled into the lower Bloomingdale’s parking lot and made out what looked like an incredibly long line. So, that problem kind of solved itself, but had I known why the line was so long, I probably wouldn’t have gone at all.
The four of us got into the line at exactly 11, the initial start time for the event. The line extended past all the doors for the lot, down the adjacent wall, past a corner then down that wall. It stretched all the way down until a loading access road, then curled back. This first picture is us at what was the end of the line at the time.
“Do you think it’s worth it?” I asked Madison. “Sure!” she said. I don’t know how she could have made that judgment because neither of us really understood what the event was. I was under the impression that it was a usual operation – to work out the kinks before the grand opening on the 25th of this month. That’s not what it was. It was a free food giveaway. I only learned this 25 minutes into my 45-minute wait. It was too late to give up by then.
I knew Cole and Avery would get hungry before we got into Shirokiya, and I suppose that worked to our benefit. Madison and I could feed the twins while in line, then feed ourselves once we got inside. Featured here is Madison’s dual feeding technique. It was a stroke of genius and she employed it when we moved along in the line. When we were stationary, I fed Cole. “That’s a pretty clever feeding method!” a woman in line said to us. I thought so, too.
So once we got near the entrance I could smell the food and feel the air conditioning. I can’t tell you which one was more welcomed. I can tell you that Japanese tourists love Cole and Avery, though. Several couples came up to us and shouted excitedly at them. I could make out the words “twins”, “cute” and “baby”. I am a fake Japanese, remember?
Imagine a better but some how less crowded version (because no one has wagons) of the Costco sample fiesta. That’s what this was. The food was pretty good, the area is spacious, and it’s going to be great to eat there in July, when the hype has died down a little. For today, it was a little rough with the stroller, but everyone was very kind about allowing us the right of way. Madison ate breaded shrimp, a quarter of a cheese burger, two small buns, and two mini musubi. I didn’t have much to eat, but as you can see, it was my favorite thing to eat, so I think it was a win. Did a part of me want to keep getting in line for the sushi? YES. But I didn’t do it. I knew eventually Cole and Avery would remind me that they were very well-behaved by being much less well-behaved.
The only downside was a lack of drinks. They had all the drink coolers zip-tied shut. I had to stare at ice cold Cokes the entire time, but could not reach them. Madison and I stopped by Starbucks before heading home and driving on the H1 with three lanes closed. Surprisingly, traffic was still better than when I drive home from work during the school year. Was it worth it? No, but that’s because Lynnette wasn’t there. She would have loved it. If she were there, she would have waited in line at every single vendor to make sure she got her non-money’s worth. I would have been marooned with the kids while Lynnette hunted down samples of everything, but she would have had a great time because she loves free food more than she loves free alcohol, and she loves free alcohol. Also, she loves free food more than she loves me, but since I also love free food more than I love myself, I can hardly hold that against her.