I’ve pondered the concept of date nights in this space before. (Specifically here and here, if you’re curious.) Then a few weeks ago I was reading my favorite blog when I read a post that inspired me to finally take definitive date night action – a whole year of them. Ben’s birthday was right around the corner, so it seemed like the perfect time to coordinate such a feat. I began brainstorming, and a spreadsheet. But there were two glaring roadblocks that needed to be addressed first. I started with the first, babysitting. I did the math and figured that if each set of grandparents and aunts and uncles took two months I’d be covered, so I sent an email asking if that in lieu of a traditional birthday gift the grandparents/aunts/uncles would offer their babysitting services for this grand birthday gift. Then I worked on the second, budget. Having a child has been a gateway to discovering all the amazing free things in our city so I was pretty confident I could rock 12 dates on a tight budget. I set it at $25/date. I’m ambitious like that.
The emails came in, the Google searches returned great ideas and this is what I came up with:
March: Biscuits and gravy at Lankford Grocery followed by checking out some bikes and cycling around Buffalo Bayou Park.
(Sidenote: We did this last Saturday, and it was amazing! Ben and I were long overdue for time doing something new together. It had been over a decade since I rode a bike, but after rediscovering the hand-brakes I got in a groove and it was such a fun (and beautiful) way to see Houston. This year of dates might also do wonders for my rocky relationship with this city.)
April: Early afternoon movie at Sundance Cinemas and happy hour at Blue Fish Sushi.
May: Benjy’s classic happy hour and then experiencing a sunset under James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace.
June: Finally see Jurassic World at Discovery Green.
July: A Friday night moonlight cruise on Lady Bird Lake.
August: Crossing Killen’s BBQ off our bucket list.
September: Migas and a stroll along the Austin Boardwalk.
October: An afternoon of beer and bocce ball at the Brooklyn Athletic Club.
November: Live storytelling at The Moth. (We might even get brave and throw our names into the hat.)
December: An evening of Christmas cheer at the iconic Lights in the Heights.
January: Wine tasting and trying out the hype of Common Bond.
February: Open Mic night at Rudyard’s Pub, a nod to our first Valentine’s date together.
Once I got going the list just kept growing, so I’ve started a second for “family dates” this summer…