Gal pals, welcome!
Ok, so I didn’t spend a whole lotta time coming up with the title for this post. Could you have guessed? Thought about going with something Harlequin-y. So I consulted Wikipedia for a list of Harlequin titles in search of something that might sound right. The title of the first Harlequin romance novel was The Manatee, written in 1949. Not quite the ambiance I was hoping to create. Although very possibly more accurate for our love life and date nights than, say First Come Baby… written in 2013, whose story line could be any number of things. Ha! Won’t elaborate further… Decided to just make up my own title. Safer.
Here’s what I am hoping for this series of posts. Thinking maybe we can all use a little inspiration for our date night adventures. And by adventures I am talking activities with nothing more than a PG-rating, girls! But over here at the palace, we often fall in the rut of movie dates. And we go see movies that often aren’t worth seeing (“Alita,” I am looking at you). With popcorn and drinks, a movie date can run close to $40. Then if the movie turns out to be a flop you wouldn’t rent from Red Box, we’re talking a lot of wasted money.
Why Date Nights?
Dusted off my librarian’s hat and did a little research into why date nights matter to our relationships. The first 2 articles that popped up basically said the same thing. And now I am going to say what they said so it will be out there on the Internet 3 times! To paraphrase, date nights are opportunities to:
- communicate. Unless you both stay on your cell phones the whole time. Or one of you falls asleep through a dreadful movie. Not mentioning any names. But I guess even that is a form of body language, though.
- try something novel and new. Research indicates “that a deficit in fun and novelty is toxic. A balance of activities, interesting to both, which emphasizes novel and different experiences can help increase intimacy.” [source] PC accompanies me on creative dates and I accompany him to sporting events. Win-win because we both are broadening our horizons, increasing our range of experiences.
- reignite that romantic spark. No elaboration needed.
- lessen stress. We all get caught up in our own day-to-day junk. Date nights give us an opportunity to temporarily kick some of that day-to-day stuff to the curb, to befriend/be a friend to our partner. To offer them some emotional support for stressors in their lives.
- strengthen our commitment to one another. Date nights build ‘we-ness’ and strengthen the bonds that built our relationship in the first place. They offer an opportunity to leave the rest of the world behind for a little bit and just focus on each other.
But don’t take my word for it. You can read these same things from the experts I borrowed them from at For Your Marriage and Couples Therapy, Inc. Both websites whose names sound much more authoritative on relationship health than mine. Or do they?
Dear Date Night Diary
So, here’s my first date night diary entry.
Dear Date Night Diary,
Tonight my Prince and I enjoyed a date night away from the castle and the responsibilities of the kingdom. And I, lil ole me, yours truly, planned the whole thing as a belated Valentine’s Day date.
I made reservations at Operation Outbreak for an Escape Room adventure. Then booked a room downtown at the boutique-y Hotel Indigo. Planned that we could do a kind of downtown pub crawl for dinner and drinks near the hotel after our escape activity.
This date had several qualities going for it. Novelty. We had never participated in an escape room. And novelty. We had never stayed at Hotel Indigo. Then there were opportunities to communicate over dinner and drinks. And to strengthen our bond by working as partners in the escape room. Oh, and we even reignited our romantic spark…
We checked into our room first. It was trendy and ultra modern – completely different from our home. Had a view overlooking downtown and the pool.
Even the bathroom was pretty.
Baker Street Mystery
Sadly, this was the part of the date PC seemed most excited about. Not the room, the king-sized bed, the view…
Operation Outbreak features several different Escape Rooms. For our first experience I chose Sherlock Holmes: Baker Street Mystery. Participants are not allowed to use cameras in the rooms so I can’t share what the room looked like. But it represented the story line and time period very well.
And, no, we didn’t break out! But yes, we did have fun!! Will do it again.
Dinner and Drinks
We enjoyed a cocktail at the hotel bar before heading to the Escape Room. Not sure if that dose of liquid courage helped us or made things worse when we were trying to think through our escape. But the bar was very pretty. I had a specialty drink, The Rising Star, with rosemary, chili rum and pineapple. PC had his fav, Long Island Iced Tea.
After our attempt at the escape room, we drove back downtown, parked the car and then began walking in search of a place to have dinner. Right around the corner, we passed a restaurant/bar, Mac’s, that was showing the University of Tennessee-University of Kentucky basketball game on their big screen TVs, in addition to serving fresh seafood and homemade cheesecake. Our search was over.
Tennessee, my alma mater, lost but KY has become my home away from home lately so there were no winners or losers really. I was happy either way. PC ate steak and shrimp, I had tuna. Food was pretty good but pricey. Might have been better off missing the game and eating at Craft & Social where we know the food is yummy.
Nightie Night Cap
Hotel Indigo has a lovely open-air bar/patio/pool area that is heated in the winter. We enjoyed a night cap poolside, under the stars and overhead heaters.
And then it was time to retire to our room. Where I slept like a champ. Our bed was very comfy and the pillows were perfect. When it comes to hotel rooms, I am a lot like a kid. Have to check out every nook and cranny, every drawer, every cubby. I get a kick out of sleeping in a different bed, a different room, a different space. Kind of fun, don’t you think, Dear Date Night Diary?
Our date nights are not usually this long or involved! But this was a special occasion – Valentine’s Day. And I felt like we needed a little time away from our day-to-day. The following day our date continued with the backwards date I had listed on my 2019 Winter Bucket List. Will be sharing more about it soon.
Tell me about a recent date night you’ve enjoyed. Or a girls’ night out? A special family fathering? Either in a blog post or comment below. Then make this a terrific week!
Thank you for spending a few moments of your day with me. I am always so glad to see that you’ve stopped by.