Every Saturday my dad takes the girls for their "Grandpa Date" leaving Zach and I free to have a date of our own. This is an amazing gift to us and something we really enjoy. Zach and I look at the money spent on our date nights as an investment in a strong and healthy marriage, but lately we've been doing a lot of dinners out and the cost has been adding up. We decided this summer we would challenge ourselves to come up with inexpensive date ideas. We're aiming for two $5 dates a month, one $10 date and one $15 date a month. That's a total of $35 for the month, which seems pretty reasonable to me.
Last night was a beautiful, cool and breezy night. We started our date at a donut shop by our house that has $.50 hot chocolate. I love this place. It's independently owned and the owner is just the nicest guy. He always gives the kids a free donut hole and asks me how I'm feeling and how much longer we have until the baby is born. His prices are great and the donuts are very good. It's the kind of local place I like to spend my money. Zach got a hot chocolate and I got a decaf coffee.
We took our drinks down by the marina at White Bear Lake and walked around looking at the boats. Fishing opener isn't until next week so it wasn't very crowded, but it was beautiful. We finished our coffee and Zach suggested splitting an ice cream cone at a new ice cream and barbeque stand that opened by the marina. It was insanely delicious. One scoop of chocolate marshmallow and one scoop of cake batter fudge made with tons of real Wisconsin cream for $3.50. We sat out on the adirondak chairs eating ice cream and talking before heading to the beach.
The water level is low at the beach so far this year, but it was beautiful all the same. By next week the lake will be full of sailboats and canoes, but for now it was empty and very peaceful.
So, for $5 we had a lovely date, just as lovely as if we had gone out to dinner and probably even nicer than going to a movie. We had time, just the two of us, to talk and reconnect after a busy week and we went home to the kids feeling refreshed and happy.