Sunday, May 8, 2011

Week 17: Home, Home on the Range

My turn.  The original plan was to spend the afternoon at the Wildlife Safari Park then have dinner at the Lodge Steakhouse at Mahoney State Park.  Our plans changed a little, as they sometimes do, but it was a great day! 

Corbin is quickly outgrowing everything, and it was time to upgrade him from an infant carseat to a convertible one, and since I had a 20% off coupon we decided to stop at Babies R Us on the way to the park to pick up a new carseat for him.  After a quick stop for that and a couple other things for him, we headed to the park. 

The Wildlife Safari Park is a drive through park divided into several sections for various animals.  There is also a place to park where hiking trails take you into the woods to bear and wolf exhibits.  We saw elk, pelicans, cranes, turtles, bison, deer, owls, a bear and several other varieties of wildlife. Although we hiked back to their enclosure, we weren't able to spot any wolves.  The park was much bigger than we'd expected, and we enjoyed the beautiful spring afternoon watching the animals and hiking in the woods.  We did, however, finish much earlier than I'd expected.  Cost for 2 with our Zoo membership was $11 - Corbin's admission was free.

It was only a little after 3 and the Lodge Steakhouse didn't open for dinner until 5.  We had realized there were a couple more things we needed to shop for - Mother's day cards and a sun shade for Corbin's window in the car - so we decided to head back into Omaha for an early dinner and the rest of our shopping.  I had recently read that Jazz had added new menu items and I was craving fried okra, so we headed there, although the sweet potato fries were the only new menu item we ended up trying.  John had scallops Lafayette and I had a shrimp poboy with sweet potato fries.  We shared an order of the okra and Corbin had some cheesy grits that he shared with his dad.  Total was $42 with tax and tip, but I had a $20 for $10 groupon so our cost was $32.   

Current balance of the date night fund is $110.

Week 16: Happy Birthday to Me!

It was John's turn to plan and it was the night before my birthday.  A new restaurant had recently opened in the local outdoor mall, so he took me to give Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers a try and then to pick up my birthday present that he'd ordered online.

Freddy's is a casual, fast-food type place complete with a drive thru.  The menu was pretty simple: burgers, hot dogs and chicken fingers pretty much covered it, and of course, the frozen custard.  We each had a burger combo.  The burgers were good, and a bit unusual in that the edges were very thin and crispy.  The fries were very thin cut and tasted like they were real cut potatoes.  Nothing stood out as spectacular, but it was all good and I'm sure we'll go back sometime.  Cost was about $13 for 2 combo meals.

Once we were finished eating we headed over to Best Buy to pick up my birthday/mother's day present that John had ordered.  I am the proud new owner of a new ipod touch. It was a great present and I'm enjoying it very much.  We then wandered the mall a little and after debating the available dessert options decided to head to Wheatfields where John had his favorite bread pudding and I celebrated my birthday with a big slice of strawberry wedding cake (half of which had to come home with me).  It was scrumptious as usual.  Cost was about $10.  When we were done we headed home to get the little one to bed. 

Strawberry Wedding Cake

Week 15: Quiet time

This week was my turn to plan.  I am, amongst other things, a wedding officiant and had a ceremony to perform this weekend.  Since it was at 4 I decided there was plenty of time for date night afterwards, but since things had been rather hectic for us for awhile and we were going to have a big and busy day on Sunday what I really wanted was a quiet night at home. 

Once my wedding ceremony was taken care of, I stopped at Panera Bread for take-out.  I was having a real hankering for their divine mac and cheese, so I got that and half a sandwich and soup and half a sandwich for John.  We ate together as a family then put the little guy to bed.  Once he was out we started the rest of our date:  2 hours with no technology.  No smart phones, laptops, TVs, iPods, etc. We turned everything off and spent the next 2 1/2 hours giving each other back rubs and talking.  It  was absolutely wonderful and we have decided to implement mandatory tech-free time several times a week.  Total cost was about $25 for dinner.

Week 14: The Annual Birthday Bash

It was John's turn to plan, but we both had a pretty good idea of what we would be doing.  Several of our friends have birthdays in April and every year for several years now they have thrown a joint birthday party. 

In keeping with his decision to try places we've never been before, we started the evening at Lansky's for dinner.  Although we had both heard good things about them, neither of us had ever eaten there.  For those of you who aren't familiar, it is a casual place that serves mostly phillies, pizza and pasta.  John and I each had a philly and we split an order of breaded portabella mushrooms, an order of fries and a trip to the salad bar.  Everything was delicious.  I especially enjoyed my philly after the addition of horseradish sauce and we both agreed that the mushrooms were the best side.  The portions were generous and the prices were very reasonable.  Cost was around $25.

After dinner we headed to the Country Bar where had a beer while visiting with friends and wished the birthday boys and girls the best.  Cost was less than $10.

Week 13 - Just "Wing" it.

It was my week to plan.  John would be spending the day Saturday helping the fire department burn down a house, and since this usually is a pretty physically exhausting day I decided to just wait until he was done and see what he felt up to doing.  It was a beautiful spring day and the little guy and I actually went out and spent the day watching the house burn down. 

Once we got home, got cleaned up and rested a little we started discussing what we wanted to do.  After a very short discussion we agreed to head to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and a beer.  We sat and relaxed over wings, onion rings, and a beer. It really hit the spot after a long day in the sun.   By the time we were done we were pretty well wiped out, so we called it an early night and headed home.  Cost was around $40 with tax and tip.

Training Burn