Sunday, November 20, 2005

Date Night

Before I had kids (well, A kid so far), the concept of "date night" seemed completely looney to me. Sure, I referred ot having "a date" with my husband, but I really took for granted the ability to go out and just enjoy each others' company. Not so, anymore, my friends.

Even after more than a week together on vacation, including a grand total of about 24 hours in a car together, Chris and I were desperately in need of some time for just the two of us. It's not that having a child with you is a horrible thing, nor is it a complete deterent from having a grown up conversation. However, it is guaranteed that that conversation will be interrupted and sporadic, and generally unsatisfying, if conversation is important to you.

So before we even left for vacation, I booked a sitter for last night so Chris and I could go see the new Harry Potter movie. Originally, we planned to go see it with our friends, Kristen and Jack, who have become regular double dates for us since early June. However, due to the schedule with their kids, it turned out they could not go.

So as we planned an evening with just the two of us, I realized that we had not had such an evening since my birthday... a little over four months ago. Where does the time go?! So even though it was just dinner and a movie, I was excited to spend some alone time with my husband.

Now if you are bracing yourself for a "disaster evening" blog, then you can relax. Not only did the evening go well, it was GLORIOUS. We headed to Crossroads Shopping Center for dinner (which is where we had already purchased our movie tickets in advance). Crossroads is an outdoor mall, which means there are tons of stores, but you pretty much have to get in your car and drive from store to store... it's not the most walkable place. There are a few restaurants, all of them chains, so we set our sights on Olive Garden or Red Lobster. No, not glamorous, and not even the best choices, but we could eat at either place for a modest price and find something on the menu we liked.

Unfortunately, Cary at dinner time is really atrocious, as I have stated in my previous entry about the cactus fiasco. We had hoped that by arriving right at 6 we wouldn't have a horrible wait. Our movie was at 7:45 and with tickets in hand, we weren't too pressed for time. However, upon arrival at said restaurants (they share a parking lot in this particular location), not only were we unable to find a parking space, but there were at least six other cars circling the lot.

Those who know me know that despite my penchant for Disney World, I do not like to wait in lines. I find it very unproductive. So, we start reviewing the other choices nearby and settled on Houlihan's. We have eaten there before many a movie because it is NEVER crowded. Not sure if it's the location or the food, but people just don't really go there. And apparently it finally caught up to the place, because upon pulling into the parking lot THERE, we found it all but boarded up and condemned. Time for Plan C (or is it D?).

We decided that table service was just not going to work out, so we headed to Bear Rock, a sandwich place that you more generally think of for lunch. Chris laughed at how we were spending our one evening out as adults together at a place where we could have easily taken Athena. But still, it was tasty.

Our conversation was depressing (death, estranged families, etc.), but very rewarding and grown up. I had a piece of cheesecake for dessert and didn't have to share with anyone. And then we enjoyed a really, REALLY good movie. The Harry Potter story is just plain GOOD, and the fact that the world's best actors line up to play even the smallest parts in this series really makes for wonderful entertainment. As for special effects, the Quidditch World Cup was truly delightful and real, and the dragons were perfectly done, as far as I'm concerned.

So our next evening outing is another double date in December to see Narnia. I'm excited, of course, but I think we need to do more Daddy/Mommy alone nights too. There are just not enough days in the year to get it all in, are there?

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