Thursday, January 31, 2013

DATE NIGHT: ROCK CLIMBING

John and I try to squeeze in date nights as often as we can.  Usually this averages out to once a month, maybe slightly more often.  Maybe.  Usually we do dinner and a movie for several reasons - we love to eat out at fun restaurants sans kiddos, and we like to see movies in the theater when we can.  Also, our lives right now take an enormous amount of energy, and it is so nice to be able to relax on a typical date night.

But, last year, this friend posted on her blog about a rock climbing date with her hubby, and it looked like a lot of fun.  Then, this friend and her husband did it last week and posted a pic on Instagram.  Since we had a date night on the horizon I thought this was the week.  We should do something different.  John loves trying new things, so a rock climbing date was right up his alley.

We started with a quick sushi dinner.  Yum.  Sushi is so pretty.  We wanted something light before trying to climb up a wall.

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Then, we headed to the Little Rock Climbing Center, which is a couple of miles from our house.  As we drove up, the number of Jeeps and X-Terras in the parking lot could have been a tip-off that we might not fit in real well.  After signing waivers, getting our gear rented and a quick belay lesson, we were ready to climb.  Since we both worked at summer camps, we were familiar with the systems and harnesses, which definitely helped.

I told John right away that I had no interest in climbing anything that slanted towards me.  So, we mostly stayed on walls where it was straight up or at an angle that said, "Yes, I am friendly.  We might get along."

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And it was fun!  The challenge of doing something outside of the norm was rewarding.  We didn't worry ourselves with routes or specific rocks, we just climbed in whatever ways worked for us.  There were different places where we got to belay one another, which is always an exercise in good communication, i.e. "If I fall, will you catch me?"  (John did say that to me when he thought I wasn't paying attention.  He was mostly mistaken.)  Several routes were self-belaying so that we could climb at the same time.  There was an extremely romantic kiss at the top of one rock wall.  I'm sure people there thought we were a bit nuts.

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It felt like the kind of date we would have gone on while we were dating, and it was fun to be in an unusual environment with one another.  I like sharing new experiences with John.  Climbing is also its own subculture, and watching that play out all around us was fascinating.  Most of the people there spend a lot of time rock climbing;  they seemed to be wearing a uniform of sorts as well - their own specialized gear and chalk bag, slim-fitting racer back tanks and capri pants of some sort or another.  Oh, and muscles.  They have their own community, and it seems to be a kind one - though one I would probably never belong in.  I was a little disappointed with how the rock-climbing affected by gel manicure, and I am not looking for extra excuses to do ab work-outs.  (though I probably should be)

We rounded out our evening with a run to Kroger for dessert.  We also got a lot of sprinkles.  They are for CFA, but they can double as maracas.

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Though we will not be joining the climbing center anytime soon, it was a great out of the ordinary date night!

In other, totally unrelated news, I found my prom dress from senior year in my closet while on the hunt for a cocktail dress to wear on our upcoming cruise.  I went ahead and tried it on.  Low and behold, it fits!  Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo!  My mom made it for me, so you might be able to see where I get a bit of my own drive to make stuff, though to be honest, I don't think I could make a dress like this.  Way to go, Mom!

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So, now I am scheming how to use this excellent find with two daughters who are somewhat obsessed with Cinderella.  There may be a princess date night in our future!  Stay tuned.

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