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,