Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Organ Stop Pizza

Just to let you know right up front, this post is one great big advertisement. I am not ashamed of it, nor will I apologize. This place is just too good to keep to myself.

Out of all the foods that I serve to my children, the one thing that every single person in our family enjoys eating is pizza. So, last night, when our family decided to meet another family that is currently living on the road and my husband suggested a pizza parlor we all agreed. The place he picked is a place in Phoenix, Arizona called The Organ Stop Pizza.

Now, I had never heard of this place, but my husband told me that they had a big pipe organ that they played while you ate. I had visions of an old pizza place I used to go to when I was a kid called Shakey’s Pizza. They used to play a player piano as you dined. My fond childhood memories did not prepare me for what awaited my eyes. First of all, this place was two stories tall. Second, the entire dining room was covered with musical instruments. They were mounted on the walls, ceilings, and even balcony railings. As I stood looking around the room, I wondered where the organ was. There were pipes running all over the place, but the actual organ itself was not in evidence. Then, we sat down and I looked through the window at the front of the room.

The room beyond the window was filled with large padded boxes. As my gaze traveled higher along the windows I saw pipes. Massive pipes, tiney pipes and every size in between. Then looked back around the restaurant, I realized that this entire dining room was one massive instrument and we were sitting right in the middle of it. I figured they must hire someone to walk into the windowed room and play the organ while we ate. The only thing I couldn‘t see was the actual keyboard for the organ.

Finally, after waiting about 10 minutes, I saw a little man walk through a door near the organ room and I got the boys ready to listen to some fun music. Suddenly, I saw the padded boxes in the window begin to quiver and shake. They were the bellows pumping air into the massive organ. The lights began to dim and the opening bars of “Oh Canada” began to play as a Canadian flag was dropped from the ceiling. A gorgeous organ rose up out of the center of the stage. Then the song switched to our National Anthem, the American flag was flown and the lights blazed forth as we all stood with our hands over our hearts and spot lights lit up Old Glory. I had to choke back a few tears as the sound swelled around me.

As the rest of the evening continued, I just sat amazed. Most of the time, it sounded like we were listening to an entire band. If the organ played a march, the drums mounted on the walls started playing along. There were bells, cymbals and even xylophones that came to life and started to play. From time to time, there were also other little surprises along with the music, for instance, the enormous disco ball hanging in the center of the room lit up and began to spin, and they blew bubbles from the ceiling during the song from Little Mermaid. My little boys favorite was when the stage curtain came up and little cat puppets were dancing along to the song that was being played.

But, one of the most amazing things to my family was the fact that they were allowed to make requests for certain songs. So, which song did my family pick? Well, I’ll tell you the theme song from Sponge Bob Square Pants was their second choice, but the ultimate first choice was…..Star Wars. So, it was with joy filled hearts that we listened to the first few notes of the Star Wars Theme Song. As the organist played through each of the musical themes of the show, my little boys’ eyes opened bigger and bigger, until finally one of them exclaimed, “Mommy, he even knows the Darth Vader song!” Oh Joy! Oh Rapture! OK, so maybe you aren’t a big Star Wars fan, but I have to say that sitting there feeling the very walls vibrate with the sounds coming from all around you, you can’t help but get caught up in the moment. The only thing that would have been better for me is if he would have played the opening theme song from The Phantom of the Opera. Oooohhh, I get chills just thinking about it.

Now, I do have to admit that the idea of meeting a new family and getting to know each other over pizza was a little bit hampered by the fact that none of us could hear each other, but it was definitely an experience that we all enjoyed. However, we remedied our inability to speak by going into the parking lot and talking inside Howard our RV for a little while. So, if you are ever in Phoenix, you have got to check this place out, but don’t plan on doing much talking while you are there. Just sit back, eat, and enjoy the music.

To check out more about our fellow traveling friends with triplet teens check out their blog - The Coast to Coast Trips! Thanks to their daughter Kimberly for these great photos!

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