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Monthly Date Challenge: Giraffes & High School Couples

zoo date, ice skating date

If you've been around Sometimes Photojenik for any length of time you'll know that Alex and I are in the middle of a monthly date night challenge. We each plan a date for the month, forcing us to get out of the house, try new things, and spend time with each other not doing projects and chores. This will be my last post of this kind because next month I will be starting Project 12 as created by Amanda from the Lady Okie Blog. The date night challenge is not ending- Project 12 is just going to be a more fun and comprehensive monthly overview. I'll write about our date nights, the books we're reading, the places we've traveled, and other significant events. I think you'll enjoy it :) Read below to get some fun date night ideas!

Date #1- Sarah's Date 

There's something you should know about me. I'm a born and raised Coloradoan and I don't ski or snowboard. {Or smoke pot in case you were wondering} Crazy, I know. But I have made my Colorado winters more than enjoyable by fully taking advantage of all sledding and ice skating opportunities.

I've forever wanted to ice skate on an outdoor rink or pond like they do in the movies and books. So when I saw a Groupon for an outdoor ice skating rink close to our house, I jumped on that deal right away.

Before skating we decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Olive Garden. Does anyone else like their unlimited salad as much as we do? Our minimum is three bowls, and we really hate when the food comes quickly! (Less chance to get more salad!) We enjoyed dinner and headed over to the skating rink where things got interesting.

This was certainly an ice rink but instead of a circle of ice it was a circle of slush. If you've ever skated on a slushy rink, you know just how terrifying it can be. The slush coupled with little children darting in front of us with a death wish (I was never ever one of those children), led me to wish that I would leave the rink sans-fall (I did!).

That Friday night also seemed to be a very popular date night for all the local high school couples, and I found myself thinking "get a room" more than once. You may have seen my Instagram post summarizing the night but basically skating on an outdoor rink was a dream come true... but my dream looked a lot different. I'm not sure we would go back to that rink but it was a fun night and something we can laugh about for years to come.

ice skating date
(notice the slush on the bottom left and the hoards of people bottom right)

Date #2- Alex's Date 

My California raised husband loves his seafood so he was thrilled when he got a gift card to a local seafood restaurant for his birthday. I'm not a seafood person but I like shrimp so we decided to hit the place up for our second date. Before we went, we found a coupon online for a free appetizer and used it to order the best spinach artichoke dip we've ever had.

Alex ordered a plate full of a variety of very fishy tasting things and my shrimp order was as big as my face (not kidding). As we were finishing up our meal and presenting our gift card and appetizer coupon there was some confusion with our final bill resulting in a manager to come over. I happened to mention to the very friendly manager that it was our first time eating there and that we had really enjoyed it. He replied, "Oh it's your first time here? I'll give you a dessert on the house that you can take to go" (he clearly saw the "I've-eaten-so-much-I'm-going-to-roll-out-the-door" look on our faces). Holla for some free dessert. I'm not sure if I've ever gotten free dessert just for mentioning that it's my first time at a restaurant, but I might have to try that tactic more often. Between our gift card, coupon, and a generous manager, we landed up getting what would have been a very pricey three course meal for almost nothing. Saweeeet! 

Pappadeaux seafood
(He was really excited for his seafood)

After dinner, we headed out to the Denver Zoo. Each year Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs (where our first date was!) puts on a bunch of lights around Christmas time and you go tour the zoo at night. Going to see the Zoo Lights has become a tradition for us, and we were more than ready to try it when we found out that the Denver Zoo did the same thing. If you're close to a zoo and they do this, I totally recommend it- it's so so fun!

We enjoyed walking around seeing the stellar light show that Denver Zoo produced. My favorite part was an entire light exhibit of sea creatures like dolphins, walruses, and whales that can't be seen live at the zoo. It was a chilly night and after about an hour I was really jealous of the kids being pulled around in a wagon by their parents. And there was no way we were forking out $7 for a styrofoam cup of hot cocoa. $7!!

denver zoo lights

The funny thing about the Denver Zoo Lights was there were so many people (we went pretty close to Christmas), that we would have to wait in ginormous lines to see the actual live animals. The lights were so well done, though, that it mostly made up for only getting a few glimpses of the real animals.

denver zoo
(Giraffes are my all time favorite zoo animal)

All in all, it was a fun month of dates for December. Next month, I look forward to sharing more than just our dates in Project 12!

Have you ever been to a zoo lights exhibit? Or skated on an outdoor rink or pond?

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