Saturday afternoon, the boys and I enjoyed a playdate and ran errands, allowing Ryan some extra time alone to work on a project in the basement. When we arrived home, I expertly (if I do say so myself) balanced making dinner for the boys and their sitter with my limited time to shower and get all dolled up for our date. I managed it all in just under 90 minutes, splitting time between steaming broccoli and a steamy shower, spicing the spaghetti sauce and slathering on Blushing Cherry Blossom lotion. I wore the Little Black Dress, makeup, jewelry, heels, the whole package. As my other Mom-friends know, this amount of effort in 90 minutes is a big deal at 27 weeks pregnant, and the fact that we left on time is practically a miracle. Add the happy smiley faces on the boys with no crying when we walked out the door and you have a successful date night before ever leaving the driveway.
That's where the success of date night nearly turned into disaster. We had 7pm reservations at Cafe Polonia in Salem, a new North Shore location of our favorite Polish restaurant from downtown Boston. Clearly it's been a while since I've been out to dinner at a reasonable hour because I neglected to think about parking at 7pm on a Saturday night in Salem in October. (The 4:30pm Early Bird special on a Tuesday doesn't have such problems!) We couldn't find a legal parking spot any closer to the restaurant than our own house, so we detoured to an Italian place in Swampscott instead.
I've been meaning to try Paradiso Ristorante since we moved here in 2006, so cross that off the North Shore Bucket List. We talked about everything except the kids while savoring lobster ravioli and pescatore. Did I mention I'm 27 weeks pregnant? That means there's not a lot of room in my stomach for food these days! Skipping an appetizer and dessert makes dinner awfully short. I can't exactly savor a bottle of wine (for obvious reasons) or an after dinner coffee either (keeps me up all night suddenly!). And besides, it was getting to be my bedtime... so we went home. At 8:30pm. We're the life of the party, I tell you! Date night was perfect, I had the time of my life.