Todd and I have had date nights as long as we have been married, which is going on almost 20 years! We were super faithful with date nights before the kids were born, going out once a week and having at least one elaborate date once a month. We lived in the Chicago during our first 2 years of marriage, so there were plenty of places to go to & choose from for date night. Once we started having kids, we moved back to Nebraska and date night turned into every other week, as paying babysitters got expensive. Grandparents were awesome with helping watch the kids, so some months we got to go every week. Whether it was every week or every other week, it was a priority for us.
The past year or so we have found it more of a struggle to get out on a date night on a regular basis. Having teenagers keep us very busy on the weekends, and my health issues this past year really kept us from going out much.
Now that I am feeling more like myself, we have started going out on date nights on a more regular basis. It is still hard with teenagers, but keeping our dates short so we can run them around town is better than no date at all!
We keep our date nights pretty simple. We both are foodies so we always go out to eat.
Here are reasons date night is important to us:
~It allows us to really ‘see’ each other. There is something quite romantic about sitting across from my man and seeing the one I committed to spending my whole life with. Life can pass so quickly, so slowing down to really look my Todd in the eyes, connect with him, and listen to him with no distractions is important and time very well spent.
~It causes us to pause and ‘be’ instead of ‘do.’ We are together every day doing all that life brings our way. It is so important to just be together and slow the hustle that life brings.
~It is fun. Life can bring some pretty heavy things along the way, so taking the time to have some fun is important to us. Fun for us means connecting emotionally & of course, eating great food!
We love LOVE food. My Todd especially loves sea food, so recently I initiated a date night and took my man out to Red Lobster for their Endless Shrimp. He is usually the one who initiates and takes me out, so this was quite fun to change things up a bit and take him out. We had the BEST time.
The evening really was perfect. The weather was in the upper 70’s and the sun was just starting to set as we drove to dinner. I wore some new booties that I just got and threw on some jewelry to add a little sparkle to my casual outfit. Gotta look good for my man!
We were surprised at how busy Red Lobster was, and worried that the wait would be long, but despite all of the people who were there excited to eat some sea food, we were seated within minutes.
Red Lobster is the world’s largest seafood restaurant company, headquartered in Orlando Florida, with over 700 restaurants in the United States and Canada. Red Lobster is focused on delivering freshly prepared seafood at reasonable prices. It was obvious on this night that Red Lobster is where their guests come to satisfy their craving for great seafood!
Our waitress was super sweet and immediately took our drink orders. We ordered two of their new beer-based cocktails, that are available exclusively during Endless Shrimp & paired perfectly with our Endless Shrimp dishes. One was called the Seaside Shandy and the other was the Angry Lobster. Hands down my favorite was the Angry Lobster. Bold and spicy, the Angry Lobster features Anger Orchard Crisp Apple Cider, tropical fruit juices and a kick of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. I had no idea I was about to taste a drink that was so good that I would be thinking about it a week later. It was so good I had to text my sister to tell her to go to Red Lobster and order one ASAP. It was like tasting fall in a drink — the cinnamon apple flavor was so delicious! To. Die. For.
Both cocktails are served in a beer can-shaped commemorative glass with the Red Lobster logo & are sold with the purchase of a cocktail.
When it was time to take our order, the waitress was really great at her job and answered my questions before I even asked them! We knew we were going to order their Endless Shrimp, which is going on now and for a limited time at Red Lobster. This year, you can choose two out of 5 shrimp preparations for your initial order, and then you can enjoy as much shrimp as you would like, any way you want it, and can mix-and match different preparations.
These are the dishes that are only available during Endless Shrimp:
~NEW! Pineapple Habanero Coconut Bites — coconut shrimp bites tossed in pineapple habanero sauce
~Teriyaki Grilled Shrimp — classic guest favorite and back by popular demand, grilled shrimp brushed with soy-ginger glaze
~Hand-Breaded Shrimp– Hand-breaded shrimp friend to a golden brown.
~Garlic Shrimp Scampi — Oven-broiled shrimp in garlic, white wine and butter
~Shrimp Linguini Alfredo— tender shrimp in a garlic Parmesan cream sauce on a bed of linguine
I started out with the Pineapple Habanero Coconut Bites, and the Teriyaki Grilled Shrimp. I loved the sound of the Pineapple Habanero Coconut Bites, but was worried it would be too spicy for my wimpy palate. Our waitress told me they could put the sauce on the side, but that it was not overly spicy. It ended up being my favorite of all, and it did have a bite, but boy, was it good with the sweetness of the coconut shrimp. I also loved the Teriyaki Grilled Shrimp. My first 2 choices ended up being my favorite.
Todd started with Shrimp Linguini Alfredo and the Hand-Breaded Shrimp. He got a refill of the Pineapple Habanero Coconut Bites, and I got a refill of Hand-Breaded Shrimp, but I was getting super full by this time. We had already enjoyed the Cheddar Bay Biscuits that Red Lobster is known for. I also had a salad which was really fresh and green, topped with their Blueberry Balsamic dressing–yes, it was as good as it sounds.
Todd and I were enjoying conversation when a couple of familiar faces walked up and greeted us. My Todd is Programs Director at a non-profit organization called City Impact. He works with young people and 2 of the students we have worked with were there working the room as host and hostess. They were so professional–they were dressed sharply in all black and were communicating discretely with other team members through their headsets. They were busy with things like setting up tables, seating people in a timely manner, & bringing a high chair to a family with little ones. Todd and I were so happy that they stopped by to say hi and we beamed with pride at the way they owned the room and made service flow so wonderfully. That was a fun surprise.
We did save room for dessert and ordered the Chocolate Chip Lava Cookie as suggested by one of Todd’s students. It was really yummy. I can’t ever have dessert with out a cup of coffee, so I ordered a cup of decaf and it was delicious paired with our dessert.
It was so nice to just sit and enjoy great food with my husband. We had great conversation, just catching up on life and even setting a few goals for our family in the future. We ended up super satisfied and headed home to snuggle up and watch some of our favorite television that we had recorded earlier in the week. I love finishing date night curled up together in our cozy home!
What about you?
Have you ever eaten at Red Lobster during Endless Shrimp? If you do go during Endless Shrimp, use the hashtag #EndlessReasonsContest on social media to share your reasons for loving Endless Shrimp and be entered to win daily prizes throughout the event.
What about date night? Do you need to reclaim date night? How often do you and your significant other go out on a date? What do you like to do on dates?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.