Saturday was date night.
I took Natalie out with some friends for a night on the town in Grand Rapids. We started the evening with dinner at The 1913 Room at the Grand Plaza Hotel.
Talk about classy! We had two waiters, two waiter-assistants and a butler. Frankly, I’m just not used to that kind of service. It’s been a while since Natalie and I were at a restaurant of that caliber.
Saturday was also prom night. Anyone else feel like prom is getting out of hand? I went to high school… we did the whole formal thing. There were limos and tuxedos involved, but that place was packed with prom kids. Fortunately we couldn’t hear them. …but what is with extra-stretch Hummers and taking their dates out for a $250 dinner? When I was in high-school, washing dad’s car, buying a flower for my girl and taking her out to Olive Garden was top-of-the-line. Times are a-changin’.
Anyway, Natalie got the Beef au Poivre and I got the New York Sirloin. Natalie and I have pretty much written off sirloin steak from any restaurant because it usually just comes out a pretty crappy steak… but I figured at the 1913 room, anything on the menu was a safe bet. I’m sure it was delicious, but I caught a nasty cold earlier in the week and by Saturday, I could barely breathe. Food just doesn’t taste the same when you are sans-sense of smell.
They brought us our choice of several different kinds of bread and water, along with a champagne-topped sorbet to cleanse the pallette between the starter and main course. We followed it up with dessert, where I got some more champagne-sorbet (the alchohol from the first helping cleared my sinuses and made me feel better so I went for some more) and Natalie ordered… some chocolate cone thingy with a Frenchy name. I think it was filled with chocolate. I dunno. It looked like one of those kids’ clown sundaes you used to get that had the ice cream cone as a hat, only it had melted and now all you had left was the hat, some saucey cold stuff at the bottom with some chocolate things floating in it. Natalie said it was delicious.
Following our extra-ordinary meal and experience, we headed outside into the rain for phase 2 of our date-night. I’d arranged with my friend to reserve a horse and carriage ride through downtown Grand Rapids at night so we could see the lights.
What a beautiful time! We rode the clip-clop and snuggled with our dates under the big furry blanket, under the covered carriage as we listened to the rain fall softly. We could hear the trot of the horse, along with an occasional whinney, and the subtle creaking of the carriage over the city sounds and drizzling rain. We crossed over some stone bridges and passed fountains and rivers, saw the lights of the city and the traffic and enjoyed the magical moment and the cool breeze.
Both prom and anti-prom members looked and pointed in awe as we trotted by. Limos and extra-stretch hummers impatiently followed our 4 mph carriage on the main roads… but we didn’t care. We just liked watching the girls in their dresses, turn to their dates and ask, “why didn’t we do a carriage-ride like THEM?”
One thing to note: taking an hour-long ride in a bouncy carriage with a full bladder is a poor combination.