Recently my husband Ray shocked me when he texted me from work, “Don’t make plans for tomorrow night.” It was payday and he intended to take me out somewhere new to eat for Saint Patrick’s Day.
I prayed before going into a cute little shop on the square in town called What To Wear, which has beautiful clothes but is very expensive. I asked God for a bargain, thinking I’d be doing good if I could find a new shirt for $30.
God gave me favor and I found an olive green and black striped shirt on the winter clothes rack for 80% off–it was only $10! I wore it on our date.
The green brings out the green in my hazel eyes. I felt very Scarlett O’Hara-like, pretty, and happy.
Ray doesn’t usually offer to take me out on dates; he’s usually tired after his work shift and just wants to rest and relax at home. I often have to be the one to suggest a date, so I was excited when he texted me. I had no idea where he was taking me, which made it even more fun.
You have to understand that normally, I don’t like secrets. At Christmas time, I always shake my gift boxes, trying to guess what is inside! Usually I would’ve hounded him to tell me where we were going. But I decided to just be patient and let him surprise me.
He knows I love Mexican so he took me to a contemporary Mexican restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas called Frida’s. Here he ordered a dish he loved but I’d never tried called ceviche, a seafood dish popular in the coastal islands of Latin America.
Ceviche is usually made from raw fish cured in citrus juices, and spiced with chili peppers, chopped onions, cilantro, and salt. It’s often accompanied by other foods to complement its flavors like sweet potatoes, lettuce, corn, plaintain, or avocado.
Ours came with avocado and apple slices, which sounds like an odd combination but is very tasty. Ray ordered sweet potato fries to go with it. It was very unusual tasting and delicious.
He ordered pork tacos seasoned with achiote paste, sliced purple onion with red beans, and their specialty drink, a cilantro-jalapeno margarita, which he’d never had before. He thought it was okay.
I ordered chicken flour tacos with cilantro and chopped onions. I’d say the ceviche was best and highly recommend it. Their chips and salsa (always my favorite part and I could eat them every day) were delicious.
The waitress had seated Ray and me at a table near the bar. I noticed there was a young man with a scraggly beard in a leather jacket, blue jeans, and boots, sitting at the bar with a beer, eating chips, and thought instantly of my sister Maria.
She went through a painful divorce and she really wants a godly husband, although she now has a huge crush on Australian actor Dominic Purcell, star of Prison Break. She posts pics of him all the time on Instagram. (You can follow her there @manibraka.)
I wanted to snap the leather jacket guy’s pic and text it to Maria, but Ray probably would have objected–just as I’d protest if he went around taking random pics of pretty women with his phone.
When Ray and I walked outside, we noticed the Harley beside our car and we both decided that it must belong to the guy in the leather jacket at the bar. It’s the kind of bike Ray has always wanted, a Harley-Davidson Softail Classic. I did take a pic of this just for Maria. (She’d probably prefer the guy!)
Ray and I were going to go to a movie after we ate, but the theater didn’t have one we wanted to see, so we walked around the shopping center. Ray spotted a coffee and dessert shop called Decadent, and we were both drawn like a magnet in there. Ray commented that our middle daughter Eden should work in a place like this, since she loves coffee and baking cupcakes.
Ray was the one who originally wanted to go in there, and when I asked what he was ordering, he said, “Just an espresso.”
I looked at him like he was crazy! He was NOT taking me into a shop with coffee and dessert, and just getting me a drink! Naturally I ordered a frappe and the calorie-laden, rich, chocolate cheesecake, with caramel syrup drizzled on top. Heavenly!
I winded up only drinking a little and throwing away the frappe’, much to Ray’s chagrin. Honestly, McDonald’s is even better! I’ll definitely be going back for the cheesecake, though!
Next we went into a toy store that Ray wanted to see. The children’s books, counting bears, and fun science experiments like a rock tumbler reminded me of our homeschooling days.
I looked at everything wistfully and said, “Leah sure grew up fast.” Ray sighed deeply and said, “Yes, she did.”
Finally we found a charming place to sit outside with rocking chairs by a fireplace with beautiful, colored stones. It was very relaxing. The cheesecake and the fireplace–looking at the stones–were my favorite parts of the evening.
As we sat there, Ray jokingly commented about all the yuppies. Just then a young couple came by us, walking their adorable black, lab puppy. I wish I could have taken its pic because the puppy was so cute. but I didn’t want to violate the gray line of stalkerism.
The puppy peed on the sidewalk as we chatted with them and the couple seemed humiliated and apologized profusely, while the woman sprayed the urine with a cleaning mixture in a spray bottle, dabbing it with paper towels. I was shocked she had to do this, and for the moment I was glad we didn’t have a puppy. As they walked off, I told Ray I didn’t know there was an ordinance that you had to clean up after your pet.
This reminded me of the funny scene in the movie Kate and Leopold, when the female police officer ordered Leopold to clean up his room mate’s dog poop on New York City’s sidewalk and he disgustingly refused, because he was royalty (a baron) from the 19th century.
We sat by the fireplace awhile, talking some more. Ray then wanted to stop by a sushi bar, but unfortunately it was closed. The last place we visited at the shopping center was another restaurant just to see their menu. We were stuffed, so we didn’t order anything. I loved their giant coffee cup decoration. This would get you going in the morning!
Overall, it was a very fun Saint Patrick’s Day date. I hope you had a great holiday.