4 years ago
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Year of Dates August 2013
For our August date, it was part regular date night & part anniversary celebration. And since I was offered a new job yesterday, it was also a new job celebration date!
Months & months ago, I asked my Facebook friends for recommendations on a low-priced, CLEAN hotel in our town. A wonderful friend of mine from high school offered us a FREE night! Her husband travels extensively for work and they have oodles of free nights built up in 'points' on their credit card so they cash them in regularly for family trips, date nights, etc. But she said there was no way they could possibly use them all before they expired, so they offered us one for our anniversary date! Such a giant blessing!!!!!!
We stayed at this hotel.
Upon arrival to our floor, we noticed a little room marked "Club Floor Lounge" and wondered what exactly that was. We checked into our very warm room, turned the A/C wayyyyy down and got settled in.
On our way to the elevator, we noticed that the Club Floor Lounge was open, so we peeked in. An older lady dressed very nicely greeted us and welcomed us to the lounge. She invited us to sit and have an appetizer and a drink. We could choose from a selection of beer & wine (no thanks) or soft drinks (yes please). Our appetizers were southwest egg rolls and coconut shrimp. Both were very tasty! The concierge hostess (we learned that was her title) advised us to check with the front desk and let them know that our room wasn't cooling off because, as she said, it is their job to make sure our stay is perfect!
We left the lounge & headed downstairs, stopping by the front desk to let them know about the hot room. They were ready to move us to another room right then, but we told them we were headed out to eat and would be back in a couple hours. They told us they'd send maintenance up to check on things & we could check back with them when we returned.
So off we went on our scavenger hunt and to find a place for dinner.
Our first photo on the list was a picture of us at the location of the pizza place where we first met & started dating. That restaurant burned down many years ago and a Mexican restaurant was built in its place. It went out of business a year or so back. Since picture #5 was of us kissing, we decided to combine the 2 and take a picture of us together, standing where we kissed the very first time---in the parking lot of the pizza place where we met!
This is the building currently standing at the location of the old pizza place.
This was about the 3rd try at this pic. I kept aiming the camera in the wrong direction or Larry would lick my face or something. He was still acting silly in this one, but I decided to go with it anyway! ha ha!
The next picture on the list was a holiday character. I thought for sure that we could hunt at toy stores or Walmart and find a Santa Claus or something for Valentine's Day or even a ghost/witch/goblin for Halloween, but we never found anything! Now that the date is over I'm realizing we should've visited Hobby Lobby who put out their Christmas items in July! Fooey!
The next picture on the list was a picture of each of us on playground equipment. We drove by several parks, but there were always kids there and we were trying to find a slide or swings we could play on without an audience. Plus it was blazing hot & the idea of getting out in the heat was less than desirable. So while we were in Toys R Us (more pictures there later) we snapped these pics. It's sort of like playground equipment right? (My pose was Larry's idea--he thought I should kiss Dino rather than just sit there.)
I really didn't get one of Larry for this. He's nothing but silly 24/7 so it was hard to nail him down for this one!
The next picture on the list was Larry with a stuffed animal. I swear, he was giggling just before I snapped this picture. He's not a big smiler for pictures unless he's acting completely crazy.
The next one on the list was really just for our entertainment, so I'm skipping that one. (Don't worry. We didn't do anything R-rated in public!!)
Around this point, we detoured from the scavenger hunt to look for dinner. We started out attempting to visit a local Hibachi place. Larry wanted to take me somewhere I'd never been to celebrate my new job and I mentioned having never been to this place. So we went and checked in with the hostess.
After about 10 minutes of sitting to wait for our spot at the hibachi table, I had a change of heart. It was very loud, very crowded and honestly I just wasn't in the mood to share the table with a bunch of strangers. I wanted a quiet corner where I could talk to my sweetie. So we went to the hostess to tell her that we'd like to pay for our drinks so we could leave. She asked why & I explained. She offered to seat us on the sushi side of the restaurant (quiet, more private, booths for families & couples, etc) so we agreed. However, once sitting at the table and looking at the pricey menu for about 15 minutes without a single waiter/waitress stopping to even say hello, we gave up & left. There were oodles of waitstaff passing by our table over & over. Even the manager passed us several times. Not a soul stopped to ask if we were ready to order, if we needed drink refills...nothing.
So we moved on and drove around to see what else we could find. We landed at Panera Bread. I've heard people rave about this place since it opened but have never been there 'til last night. If you're unaware of what it is, Panera Bread is sort of like an upscale deli. Yummy food! But for my sweet little country boy of a husband, the menu was a little hard to understand. ha ha! He ordered a steak bagootie (baguette) and even when the cashier & I both corrected him, he continued to call it a bagootie. By the time we left, he was quite sure how to pronounce it, but loved saying bagootie just to mess with the staff who kept giving him funny looks when he said it. ha ha!
On our list of pictures to take was one of Larry striking up a conversation with complete strangers about something crazy. If you've seen the TV show "Impractical Jokers", you know what I'm talking about. Larry was created to be on a show like that. He can pull off those kind of nutty situations without cracking a smile. I, on the other hand, would die laughing before I could get the first word out. I attempted to take a picture of him having this conversation without looking too obvious, but all I got was this blurry one as he walked away from the table of the people he talked to. (Some random couple who was also eating at Panera Bread.)
Since I had taken several goofy pictures of Larry, it was only fair that he get a picture of me doing something embarrassing in public. So he got one of me picking my teeth after I ate. It was only sort of posed. My Sierra Turkey sandwich was really a tooth-sticking thing! But even so, he thought it was hilarious when he snapped this pic.
The last pic on our list was our monthly self-portrait date pic. I got results similar to previous months. ha ha! Oh well, he played along!
We grabbed a sweet treat before returning to the hotel. God bless Andy and his banana coconut concrete!
When we returned to the hotel, the front desk ladies told us that the maintenance man had adjusted something about our A/C unit & everything "should" work now. But they told us to call if it still wasn't right. The moment we walked back into the room it was clear that it was not right. It was sort of like walking into a steamy sauna. We walked over to see if the A/C unit was even still ON, but realized that unless your hand was (literally) 1-2" from the vent, you couldn't even feel the air blowing. So one call to the front desk fixed that. We got a fresh new room with a brand new air conditioning unit that worked beautifully! It looked exactly like the first room so I didn't take a 2nd picture.
I slept soooooooooooo well. The pillows at Holiday Inn Express hotels are THE BOMB. Not too hard. Not too soft. Not too thin. Not so fluffy that you lay down and suffocate in the feathery plushness that wraps around your face. I swear, every time we visit a Holiday Inn Express, I want to smuggle the pillows out. I'm telling you folks. I went to bed looking like this.....
....and woke up like this. THAT is the image of a great night's sleep! (For anyone who thinks I always have good hair days, here's proof that I don't! LOL)
While Larry showered this morning, I pulled a little bit of a Pinterest-inspired prank. If Larry had been appalled or said that it was really bad, I would've taken it all apart, but he thought it was hilarious. Pillows & rolled up blankets give the illusion of someone still sleeping in the bed when you leave a hotel room. (grin)
Upon check out this morning, the staff gave us two coupons for the hotel restaurant's breakfast buffet (for the trouble we had with the air conditioner last night.) It was very yummy!!!! Freshly made omelettes and every other kind of breakfast food you can imagine. It was great!
Our date night was wonderful! I'm so glad we're taking the time to do this every month! Last night, Larry requested that I give him this same gift next Christmas---another year of pre-planned dates! I'm already brainstorming for our 2014 Year of Dates!