On Sunday Mac and I had a Date Day. Not a Date Night, a Date Day. An entire 10 hour chunk of time that was just the two of us, no kids, doing stuff together- like eating a meal, going for a walk, shopping, etc.
I jokingly called it “Mac Day” because I’d organized it to be things that Mac liked. He’s the stay at home parent, and he does nice things for me daily (packing my lunch, running errands, bringing me home flowers for no reason, etc.), so I wanted to reciprocate. However, since he’s a guy, I can’t just bring home flowers. So, I planned a day- all of it a surprise for him. He knew when we were leaving and that we’d be in the city, but otherwise, he was in the dark.
I planned a whole day in Manhattan using HowAboutWe.com (and no, this isn’t a sponsored post or anything!). I happened to notice a Sponsored Post from them on my Twitter feed because it mentioned bacon- specifically Baconery (a bacon bakery). Mac likes bacon. I wanted to take him to the Baconery. So, I clicked through and explored HowAboutWe.com. They had so many cool date ideas I thought Mac would like, that I actually paid for the membership so I could book them!
I think it actually worked out to be a good deal financially because much of what we did on our Date Day was free with our membership. Since we live in the burbs of NYC, I’m not sure it makes sense to keep paying monthly for the membership, but perhaps a few months out of the year, when there are dates we like, it would be worth it.
So, here’s what we did!
Our first stop was Baconery on the Upper West Side for a late lunch. In a word, yum.
Our HowAboutWe “Bacon Me Crazy” date entitled us to drinks, sandwiches, “bacons” (ie a strip of bacon dipped in chocolate), and baked goods to take home. I got the Wilbur (basically a BLT with avocado), and Mac got the Elvis (bacon, banana, honey). For dessert, I had a bacon strip dipped in chocolate with rainbow sprinkles, and Mac got bacon strip dipped in chocolate sprinkled with more bacon (did I mention he likes bacon?). There was a jazz duo (Beautiful Pussycats) playing while we dined cafe style. After that, we were stuffed, so we got a chocolate peanut butter bacon cookie and a chocolate bacon Rice Krispy Treat to go.
From there, we headed all the way down to the West Village where we would spend the rest of the day. I didn’t want us to feel rushed, but I also didn’t want us to feel bored, like we had a lot of time to kill, so I chose to book a Stray Boots Greenwich Village scavenger hunt- again through HowAboutWe’s “Urban Adventure” date.
This worked out really great. Since the rest of our scheduled activities were happening in the West Village, we could do the scavenger hunt at our leisure, in between the other scheduled activities. It was fun to wander less than aimlessly, with a purpose, and explore the area (although at the end of the day Mac and I agreed that we weren’t sure we would have paid full price for it had it not been included in our HowAboutWe membership).
So, standing under the arch in Washington Square park, we started the scavenger hunt.
At 4:30, we took a break at the Bees Knees Baking Company. Our HowAboutWe “What’s the Buzz?“date included a drink and two cake cups each. We chose red velvet, honey bourbon, banana marshmallow, and chocolate peanut butter. We shared the red velvet and honey bourbon at the bakery, and took the other two home. We enjoyed sitting and people watching at the bar facing the front windows, and it was nice to sit and take a break; however, we both felt the cake cups were just OK, not anything spectacular.
After our little break, we resumed the scavenger hunt. We were both thrilled when it took us to Murray’s Cheese Shop. Mac and I love us some stinky cheese, and Murray’s is the place to go for any and all cheese (except maybe American Cheese?). Since we were there, we decided to try some cheeses. A friendly and knowledgeable cheese monger gave us samples of several Aged Goudas and we settled on Aged Goat Gouda and Roomano and took home two big hunks of cheese.
Ages ago, I had recalled Mac saying that he’d really like a hat, but was never sure what fit him, how it was supposed to look, etc. So, I figured that this “Hat Trick” date would be perfect. Surely a hat shop that had been around since the 1800s would know what he should get, and have it in a size that fit him.
He was totally taken aback that I’d remembered, and totally stoked to find a hat.
The sales guy offered us Bourbon while we browsed (part of the date) and tried on hats. He offered suggestions on what would work, what fit, told us the history of the various hats as well as the hat shop. In the end, Mac narrowed it down to two different hats and wound up choosing the first hat he’d put on when we first walked in (made all the nicer by the substantial discount our date entitled us to). I think he looks quite dashing in it, and am looking forward to occasions on which he can wear it.
With hat in hand, we left Goorin Brothers and picked up our scavenger hunt where we left off, shortly completing it in Washington Square Park near where we had started. At that point it was almost 7pm, so we decided to see if we could be seated at the restaurant early for our 8pm reservation (and knowing it was an ungodly early hour for dinner in NYC, we didn’t have trouble doing so).
Another HowWeMet date (“Crave Worthy“) was our dinner at The Quarter. We had a smokey tomato bisque with grilled brie croutons, wine, and two burgers with fries. Everything was delish (although not amazing enough that we’d make a return trip)- and the menu board had several intriguing items.
With that, our Date Day was over and we headed back home. Our favorite dates- and the places we’d return on our own- were definitely Baconery and Goorin Brothers. The Bees Knees and scavenger hunt were fun, but I’m not sure that we’d pay for them outside the HowAboutWe membership. That said, Stray Boots has a Museum of Natural History scavenger hunt that might be fun to do (since we have a family membership to the museum).
The final surprise, for both of us, was that the kids were already asleep when we got home! A big thank you to my mom for babysitting!
It was really nice to get to spend a rare day alone together. It was also a trip doing new and different things together. Now that we have two kids, opportunities for adventures seem few and far between (having been replaced with parenting misadventures it would seem!). I’m looking forward to Nemo being weaned so that we can perhaps get an entire weekend alone together!
It just so happens that our date, and this post coincided with Kelly’s Show Us Your Life: Date Ideas!