Monday, March 21, 2011

Week 9 - The Deja Vu Date

This week we revisited our former standard date night.  It was bound to happen sooner or later.  It was John's turn to plan, but in his defense I was the one who suggested it. You see, I had recently been having a serious hankering for China Road, and we still live in a 110+ year old house that still needs things from the hardware store all the time.  So we slipped easily back into our old ways for one night.

We started our dinner, as always, with an order of crab rangoon.  These have been a favorite food of mine since the first time I had them, but I've never eaten them anywhere that come close to as good as China Road's. For dinner, favorite dish at CR is the kung pao beef, but I'm still nursing and Corbin isn't a big fan, so I went for my second favorite - cashew chicken, extra mushrooms.  John had the chef's sizzling hot plate.  As usual the food did not disappoint, the service was wonderful, and since we had the little guy with us several of the servers stopped to see him and catch up with us.  I love this challenge and the places we've been going, but I sure do miss having CR more often. 

Cashew Chicken, extra mushrooms

Chef's Sizzling Hot Plate

After dinner we headed to Lowe's.  As I've said before, our house is over 110 years old.  In that time it has been subjected to several additions and some really shoddy renovations, so something always needs fixed.  This trip was to price the cost of some ceiling fan replacement parts.  The fan in our bedroom is circa 1980.  Some time ago one of the blades broke off.  This left it unbalanced and therefore unusable, so as a quick fix John broke off the opposite one.  A two blade fan wasn't as effective as a four blade fan, but at least it was a fan.  Then a third blade broke off.  John found it impossible to sleep without the fan going, so in desperation he took a blade off the dining room fan and put it on the bedroom fan.  So now the bedroom fan half worked and the dining room fan didn't work at all (unless we were to take another blade off it).  It was really quite a sad situation.  During one of her visits my dear Mother-in-law took one look at the pathetic fan hanging in our bedroom and took us to the store for a new one.  Since we were planning on replacing the hideous paneling on the bedroom ceiling with drywall, we decided to wait to install the new fan until the drywall project was done.  Well, it's been some time now, and the old bedroom fan is still there, half working, and the dining room fan is still short a blade.  With the warmer weather approaching I'd like to get all of the fans in good working order, so we found ourselves looking at blades and blade arms in the fan and lighting aisle at Lowe's.  We decided to just go ahead and install the new fan. Hopefully we will be able to get that done in the near future.  I'm sure this is more information than you ever wanted to know about the ceiling fan situation in our house, but I just thought you should know how desperate we were when we spent yet another date night at the home improvement store. 

The 2-bladed bedroom ceiling fan. 
   Again, I've lost track of the total cost for dinner, but it was somewhere around $40 including tax and tip - and we have a tendency to tip a little more excessively at CR.

Week 8 - Triple Date

This week John, Corbin and I invited our friends Jarrod, Jen and their daughter Kinley to meet us at Round The Bend Steakhouse for dinner.  They live in Lincoln so we thought it would make a great halfway meeting point.  I have joked since before they were born that Corbin and Kinley will have an arranged marriage, allowing her parents and us to skip the whole dating thing, so this was their official first date. 

John had a prime rib dinner - one of their specialties, the other being various animals' testicles - and I had a steak and shrimp dinner.  Both meals came with a salad, a potato (we both had baked) and dinner rolls.  The food was good, not great, but good.  For the price we could have gone somewhere else and had much better, but the company made it more than worth it. 

We had a wonderful time catching up with our friends and the babies were both well behaved, so all in all I'd call it a pretty successful night. 

Unfortunately I haven't been able to keep my posts up to date as often as I had hoped, and now since it's been so long I don't remember the exact total, but including tax and tip it was somewhere between $40 and $50. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Week 7 - "That there Clark is an RV"

This weekend was the annual Omaha Boat, Sports and Travel show.  We've enjoyed going to this the last few years and really enjoy looking at all of the RVs.  We were, for a short time, proud owners of a mid-80's motor home, but we decided it was a little more than what we needed or wanted, so we sold it.  Since then we have talked on and off about buying a smaller bumper-hitch trailer, but until we get serious about it we love to go look at all of the various options available.
So early that afternoon we headed down to the Qwest Center to see what this year's offerings were.  We decided to keep the bambino with us, so I strapped him into the Snuggli facing out so he could see the campers too.  It was pretty cold out that day and very drafty in the Qwest, so I left his raccoon hat on.  Apparently people can't resist a dimpled baby with a raccoon hat, so we chatted with lots of strangers that afternoon.  We even had one of the camper salesmen ask if he could take a picture of him.  My husband, always the haggler, allowed the guy to snap a picture of the baby in return for a business card and promise of a great price when we're ready to buy.  It was an enjoyable afternoon and we got more ideas for what we are going to be looking for when we ever decide to take the plunge.
After we had checked out the RVs, gone back and double checked the ones we had liked, and wandered through the rest of the show's offerings we'd built up quite the appetite.  Hubby hadn't made any particular dinner plans as part of the date (it was his turn to plan), so we picked something on the fly.  We ended up choosing Wheatfields where John got his favorite french dip and I gave the house special fried chicken a try.  Everything was yummy but I had to get a to-go box for most of my meal so I could save room for dessert.  After bread pudding and strawberry wedding cake (most of which also came home in a to-go box), we were ready to call it a night.

Parking                 $8
Show Tickets        $18
Lemonade             $3
Dinner                   $43
Total                     $72

Previous balance $122 - $50 weekly - $72 = $150 current balance

Week 6 - "Free Hockey"

This week was supposed to be another try at the date we both planned, but late in the week my best friend Steph called and asked if we'd like tickets to the Omaha Lancers v. Lincoln Stars hockey game.  She also mentioned that there would be $1 beer, soda and hot dogs before the game and that she even had a babysitter (her mom) lined up for the little guy.  How could we say no? 
So we dropped the little man off with his "Aunt Donita" and headed up to the Omaha civic center.  Dinner consisted of pre-game hot dogs and beer - which is a rare treat for me since I'm still nursing.  We enjoyed the game (or at least what we saw of it), but were disappointed that the refs broke up all the fights before they had a chance to get good.  We also enjoyed catching up with friends and people watching.  Unfortunately, with the little amount of sleep we've been getting lately, we couldn't make it to the end of the game.  We left after the second period and headed home.

It was a fun night, relatively cheap, though not as cheap as it could have been, and it was nice to be able to enjoy a couple beers in the company of good friends.

Parking:          $6
4 beers:          $4
4 Hot dogs:    $4
Pretzel, water
& soda           $12
tips                 $2

Total:              $32

Previous balance: $104 + $50 weekly - $32 = $122 current balance

Enjoying the game!