So I dropped the ball on Thursday’s post…. but I started writing this at midnight, so it still *kind of* counts, right? This one is a little different, as I wanted to share about one of OUR personal favorite date nights that Eric and I often take. He even took me on this date on my birthday – yes, it’s THAT perfect (at least to us). So lets backtrack a little so I can explain how these came to be. I feel like since the very beginning of our dating relationship, I’ve always been in school. We met in undergrad (and have been dating since Jan of 07), and then I was in grad school until June of 2011. So as you can imagine I was always swamped with exams, presentations, and lots & lots of papers. Not just a few that are due randomly, but it seemed like something was ALWAYS due. In grad school I quickly learned that this meant work ALL through the weekend. Aww, poor husband (so glad he put up with my swamped and hectic educational lifestyle all those years!) So a perfect date for the two of us was (and still is) “Bookstore Date!” This date could happen at all times (so not just for date night per say) – we would go mornings, afternoons, or late nights until close. I would bring my school books, laptop, and notes and glare at people sitting at the small cafe tables until they felt bad that I had 40+ pounds of educational material in my hands. You can just imagine it – as soon as someone so much as picked up a napkin or drank their last drop of coffee, I was hovering like a hawk. I HAD to get us a table. I mean, come on, it’s date night (and I’ve got work to do!) Eric would wander looking for fun books and magazines and later join me at the table. He often surprises me with a yummy latte or tea (always a hot beverage)! We sit for hours – usually across from one another, but if we’re lucky some places have “panera booth” style tables that allow us to sit next to one another. Me with my pile of textbooks and him with his fun reading. The soft chatter and grinding of the coffee machines in the background. I actually work better with distractions going on around me – it focuses me (can’t explain it, but it does). It’s the perfect atmosphere. When I would want a break (or was getting antsy), we would chat about life, reflect on our relationship, or talk about what he was currently reading. When I felt mentally depleted from the insane amounts of work, I would head over to the magazine section and either grab a cooking, wedding, or home magazine. I would come back, sink into my chair, and relax with a good read. It made for a perfect reward. Now that I’m officially out of school (whoohoo), I am happy to announce our bookstore dates usually involve me getting to actually enjoy stacks of magazines and fun novels. I probably grab more wedding magazines NOW than when I actually was planning our wedding (gosh I love this industry!) It’s a chance to get out of the house and still relax together. We also love that local bookstores don’t mind if you sit and read the material while in store (just make sure you treat it nicely – no bending of spines!) This makes for a great budget date! And it’s really special because it’s a great place to reconnect, chat about us, and just be – sipping on my non-fat raspberry white mocha, cozy in my chair, hand-in-hand with my husband. And although I’ll admit I own a kindle, there is something magical about a bookstore. I could spend HOURS reading titles, staring at cover art, and immersing myself in a great read. I’ve recently noticed our local bookstore has a new outdoor patio – so maybe Henry (the puppy) can join us for a family date next time. Happy reading & relaxing with your loved one!