Though I suppose that's not really where the story begins...
I mentioned that we weren't able to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with my family, right?
My father's hometown in southeastern Iowa has many Irish people in it. His family took up residence there only a few generations ago. They came over from across the pond when the railroads were going up along the Mississippi. Yep, my gramps worked on the railroad.
Um.. where was I? Oh yeah. St. Patrick's Day.
There are several parties and events that take place on the weekend nearest St. Patrick's Day in and around my dad's hometown. Including a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner with music from McNamara's Band (a Big Band that my grandfather helped start, he was one of the original members back in his baritone playing days.. or was it tuba? I can't remember now.. my dad sings with them now and a few of my cousins play..). This year there was also a performance at the Grand Theater with traditional Irish music (my dad sang at this too), bagpipes, and my dad's cousin's Irish dance class dancing.
We were all looking forward to going but, unfortunately, my dad came down with the Man Plague a couple days before. Seeing that my father really needed to be able to acquire adequate rest and we were not so interested in bringing home any illnesses involving regurgitation and defecation.. we decided to stay home. Everyone was sad, but we decided to make it an awesome weekend anyway - after all J had taken Friday off! So a date was planned for Saturday night. Our first in... a long time.
We discussed ideas of what we might like to do.. things like dinner, a movie, bowling, and what not.. Well, we planned on taking the kids bowling over the weekend already, so we decided to skip that. Dinner and a movie? Sure, why not. We planned to see Coraline in 3D at 4:30 and then have dinner afterward before picking up the kids.
We dropped the kids off... at 4:30. Oops. We talked about different movies we could see, but unfortunately finding movie showings during dinner hours is rather challenging - are the theaters and restaurants in league with each other on this? I smell conspiracy..
We decided to just head over to Joe's Crab Shack - our chosen fueling station - and have a long leisurely dinner. Can't remember the last time we did that! (geez, you'd think we have memory problems... ginko biloba, anyone?) After that? We figured we'd wander around the mall, maybe get something pierced or inked.. you know, whatev.
Dinner was fun. Well worth missing a movie for.
I got myself a pomegranate margarita with pop rocks. (actually, J ordered it.. he always picks me drink for me.)
J's drink was easier to pick.. we saw they had a margarita that was not only made with Patron, but also with Patron Citron (J's favorite.. in case you want to send us some..) AND it came with a free shaker! 'Hey, we need a new shaker!' Yeah.. ours broke.. don't ask.
'Hey, babe? What's that thing stuck on your head??'
I swear, he'd only stop staring at my boobs when I'd take the camera out. I think he likes me.
Now, we also have a strange habit.. nay, obsession.. with
Our waiter was nice enough to not laugh at us. And even allowed us to take his picture.. while he tied on our bibs. I totally did not tell him I would put his picture on the internet.. so if you see him.. um.. just tell him 'Hi'.
Doesn't J look happy? See.. I told you he totally has a crush on me.
Anyway, we ate a TON of food. Then we headed over to the mall to walk off our dinner and look for a piercing pagoda. Never found one. BUT we did find Glow Golf.
When we first started dating.. well, even before that actually.. we used to play a goofy old 1997 mini golf computer game. I'm not real sure who had more wins.. he'd probably tell you it was him, but I'm pretty sure it was probably me. Because I'm awesome. But I teased him relentlessly about the fact that I'd totally kick his ass on a real flesh and blood course.. (did you know mini-golf courses are made with flesh and blood? yeah.. think about that the next time you swing a club..) Which I did. Repeatedly. While we were dating.. and beyond.
Naturally, we couldn't pass up an opportunity to swing some putters at glowing balls. So we
He totally cheated, by the way. I mean, I still won.. but he was keeping score. I'm actually not sure who's score he cheated on more though, mine or his.. He's such a gentleman.
(But I would have won even if he hadn't cheated.. I think.)
After our rousing round of mini-golf, it was starting to get late. We decided to swing by the Cheesecake Factory and pick up dessert on our way out (our dates don't 'end' when we pick up the kids..) and head back to our sitter's house to pick up the kids. Once slice of pistachio cheesecake and one slice of vanilla bean cheesecake in hand and we were on our way. But not without first TwiPic'ing the 'Ass stance' sign by the pond..
'Need help? Get ASS STANCE!'
And what date night would be complete without asking a random stranger to take a picture of us and
It was an awesome night. Even if our Saturday evening wasn't spent celebrating St. Patrick's Day with my kinsmen or watching a 3D animated movie or paying someone to put more holes in my body.. it was well worth all the extra exercise I will have to do to work off the cheesecake and bragging rights on 'I'm still the better putter'.. and some real quality time with my wonderful spouse, remembering all the reasons we love to hang out together.