Monday, July 18, 2011

Memories Made at The Melting Pot - Happy 19th Anniversary!

Today John and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary with a very special date night at The Melting Pot fondue restaurant in Portland, Oregon.

Now this is a way to start out a day!

It was AWESOME!! The company was marvelous, the fondue was delicious, the ambience was romantic and having a 3 hour date with my husband was a true delight!

This was our first trip to The Melting Pot and after our amazing experience there, I would highly recommend this place to other couples for a great date night, especially if you're having a special occasion like an anniversary or birthday.  It is in downtown Portland but there is a parking garage right across the street where you can get validated and even though I'm not a big city kinda gal, this Monday night outing went quite well.

One neat thing is that you enter the restaurant from the street level by descending a circular flight of stairs. So in essence you're dining underground but it really doesn't feel that way once you're inside. 

John surprised me by having long-stemmed roses in a vase and a bouquet of balloons ready for me when we were there.  He definitely scored points in the romance department!  Before we sat down, the hostess took a picture of us.  She took one on the restaurant's digital camera and then at the end, we were presented the photo in a nice black folder with "The Melting Pot" embossed in the frame area.  Definitely a keepsake... and good marketing too.  We'll definitely be back in the future.  They made us feel special from the beginning until the end.  It's so nice to have such a wonderful date night like that, especially when you're not used to getting out in the evenings!

There's a bit of a glare from the scan but this gives you an idea.... 

We sat in a table in sort of a secluded area.  If you've never been to a fondue restaurant like this before (conceptually, it's similar to La Fondue in Los Gatos, CA), your food is prepared directly at your table. We had a four course dinner which consisted of cheese fondue, a Caesar salad, a tray of meat and seafood (steak, chicken, salmon, shrimp and teriyaki beef) and dark chocolate fondue with a platter of goodies to dip!

The waiter cooks the cheese fondue and chocolate fondue and we were responsible for cooking the meat.... or should I say JOHN was responsible for cooking the meat!  I did cook some salmon and shrimp and if you know my level of culinary expertise, you will know that this was not my normal fare but it was fun to do and delicious too!

For the cheese fondue, we dipped bread and apples.  I passed on the broccoli... as did John... For the chocolate fondue, we dipped a whole delicious array of goodies including Rice Krispie treats, marshmallows covered with Oreo sprinkles, pound cake, bananas, strawberries.  Everything was quite tasty!

The waiter and all the staff were especially nice.  The manager, April came over to greet us.  I was impressed with all the personal service.  Oh... speaking of which, they had a card for us with our names on it, handwritten wishing us a Happy 19th AND when the dessert plate came out, a separate plate with Happy 19th Anniversary, John and Karen was written in chocolate!  How cool was that!!  Classy and fun!

The best part of all was the man I was with.  John and I have had lots of twists and turns in our journey. We've climbed up many hills, found peaks and valleys but throughout all the seasons of our marriage, we have found that no matter what the weather, we love each other and we're dedicated to making our marriage last.

To that extent, we also did something else special today.  John and I sent in our application to the IRS to receive 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status for Autism Empowerment.  We founded and incorporated Autism Empowerment in Washington state in early June, held our first board meeting in late June and after about 60 pages of 1023 application forms and attachments, we are well on our way to being recognized as a publicly supported tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) non-profit.  

You will be hearing a lot more about this in upcoming blogs.  I didn't want to mention too much about it until we had our paperwork turned in but soon John and I will both be blogging about our programs, mission and goals!

But for now, it's back to our anniversary date!  I know for some 2 1/2 hours alone in a restaurant might not seem like much of a big deal but for us, it definitely was!  Last year we weren't able to get a sitter for our 18th anniversary on the 18th so this year, John made the call rounds WELL in advance... and fortunately the sitter we got is a neighbor and great with the kids!  I love it when a plan comes together!  (Quick... name the 80s TV show reference...  I'll give you an "A" if you get it!!!)

Well, it's time for our oldest to go to bed.  Justin was so sweet!  In our family it is a tradition at midnight to go into the bedroom of the family member who is having a birthday and sing happy birthday to him or her, even if that person is asleep.  At midnight last night, Justin had his alarm set and came in to wish John and I a Happy Anniversary.  It was selfless and sweet and one of the reasons I love him so much!  Ryan was also amazing today.  He initially did NOT want a BABYsitter because after all, he is NOT a baby, he's going into Kindergarten so after discussion that he was going to have a big boy sitter, he was copasetic with the idea and all went well.  Great behavior from both... a fantastic gift for them to give to us... as stress-free nights are not always the norm!

John and I are going to head to bed soon as well.  We're watching Nero Wolfe on DVD... fun series if you like mysteries and John got me Bones for our Anniversary so we'll try that one out next.  We cherish our late night TV show time right before snoozing.  

I cherish my Aspierations friends as well!  Thanks for being patient with me and my sporadic blogging.  I should have more time for this quite soon!

Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

And John...  HAPPY 19th ANNIVERSARY, sweetheart!  I love you!  Here is to another amazing celebration for our 20th and many decades of celebration thereafter!

Best wishes and happiness to all,


  1. Happy Anniversary, Karen & John. My goodness you age well, Karen. What is your secret?????????

  2. Seriously, you guys are making it harder for yourselves... how are you going to top THAT for the 20th?

    Actually I'm very jealous. My wife and I rarely get couple time and when we do, we don't use it wisely. There's usually no plan - it's all last minute... and sadly there's no fondue restaurants (that I'm aware of) near us. In fact, I've never seen one in Australia.

    Congratulations on reaching such an impressive number. You're an inspiration to all couples out there!

  3. It's the A-team.

    The real question is, why is google blog so screwed up that no matter how many times I log in to post a response with my google account it won't let me.
    And that answer is becuase they need to hire someone with aspergers to write their code because their site is full of problems.

  4. Congratulations on 19 years Karen and John! I loved hearing about your special celebration and so glad you had such a wonderful date! That place sounds YUMMY! You both are two very special people and deserve every happiness in the world! You both look great and I enjoyed the pictures. Here's to the next 19 years!
    Big Hugs!

  5. Hello everyone! Thank you so much for all the kind comments and anniversary wishes. I apologize for not responding here sooner. The day after I posted my last blog, I woke up with a severe sore throat and it was off to the doctor's to be confirmed with strep. Ugh... I sort of had a feeling on anniversary night but I wasn't going to let a sore throat ruin our big date night!

    Anonymous 1: Thanks for the compliment. Not sure about any special aging secret aside from good genes but I do drink lots of water, stay out of the sun and try to moisturize when I remember!

    Gavin: I'm not sure WHAT we're going to do for our 20th! John and I have been wanting to take a trip or a cruise... At this point it seems like a stretch but you never know. We came across a website called Autism On The Seas that intrigues us and soon we've heard there is going to be a Disney cruise out of Seattle to Alaska so maybe???

    Anonymous 2: A-Team is right! Winner, winner! Sorry about the Google blog goof ups. There have been times here when I have had some major challenges with the blog cooperating... I think hiring someone with Asperger's to do their code is a great idea! My oldest son would likely want to give it a try!

    June: Thanks so much! The Melting Pot fondue and food was SO YUMMY! We've been wanting to go there literally for years and so it was such a treat to do so. I'm going to have to make that meal last quite awhile! :-)

    I'll be blogging again shortly, just as soon as I'm feeling closer to 100%. Between iron infusions last week and strep this week, I'm exhausted!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I like delicious fondue with bread to

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I Also Love Pee!!!! Please Give Me A Butt Rubbing On Next Tuesday!!!

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    George Washington
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    George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 1797
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    George Washington (February 22, 1732 [O.S. February 11, 1731][b][c] – December 14, 1799) was the first President of the United States (1789–97), the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the convention that drafted the current United States Constitution and during his lifetime was called the "father of his country".[4]

    Widely admired for his strong leadership qualities, Washington was unanimously elected president in the first two national elections. He oversaw the creation of a strong, well-financed national government that maintained neutrality in the French Revolutionary Wars, suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion, and won acceptance among Americans of all types.[5] Washington's incumbency estab

  10. I don't mean to dog spot you, but I've kind of been stalking you lately and that green shirt you have looks a little crusty. Otherwise, please love me like you do. I wish of a little hug from a big man and you seem like the perfect figurine. Pick me if you feel like you want to bring this further.

  11. oh yeahhh karen lets hop on the love bike and go downtown and do what we need

  12. Karin. You are my role-model in life. I hope you are not dead. Please reply if you are a living person because you have not posted in a while.
    Love, Hot Skinny PP