When I got the facebook message inviting a group of ladies from church to go out for a girls's night at The Melting Pot, I was so excited. A girls' night! I haven't done that in ages. And The Melting Pot! It's a fancy fondue restaurant that I've never been to before. I've really wanted to go because everyone raves about it, but it's pretty pricey. But hey, Denver Restaurant Week to the rescue! Every year, Denver restaurants have a week (or in this case, a month, because TMP extended their deal) where you can get a fancy dinner for the less-than-usually-fancy price of $52.80 for two people. (Because we're a mile high, get it? 5,280 feet.) It's a great chance to go somewhere you normally couldn't afford.
I really wanted to go, so I asked Aaron pretty, pretty please can you make it home from work in time to pick up the kids? Because my husband is awesome, he arranged to have someone cover his hours at work that afternoon so that he could get the kids - and help them with homework - and fix their dinner - and entertain them for the evening - and get them ready for bed - and fight with them to keep them in bed - and put them back in bed when they get out yet again. All those things that are normally my job because Aaron doesn't get home from work until they're already in bed (hopefully... if I haven't managed to put them to bed by they time he gets home they're up much too late). As excited as I was by the chance to go out for the night and to try the nice restaurant, I was every bit as excited (maybe even a little more) by the idea that I got a night off from the bedtime struggle!
We all met up at Megan's house to carpool to the restaurant. It was a group of 9 ladies from church, all of whom I know at least casually, but mostly I only interact with them on facebook or blog comments. So it was really great to have a chance to spend time with them in person instead of online!
I haven't had so much fun in quite a while. We talked and laughed and ate... oh, my, did we eat! I have to say, the rave reviews of TMP were right on track. When we ate the first course of cheese fondue with bread and veggies and apples for dipping I thought it was incredibly good. (I love bread... and adding hot and gooey melted cheese to bread - awesome!) Then the salads arrived and they were great, too. And then the meat course. We got salmon and shrimp and chicken and teriyaki steak and filet mignon. And then a plethora of tasty sauces to dip them in. It was all so delicious. And though I wouldn't have thought it possible, given how much I loved the cheese course, the meat course was even better. And then... the dessert. They brought pots of melted chocolate mixed with caramel sauce. Then lit it on fire! The flambe action was fun to watch. Then they added candied pecans. Then gave us plates of goodies that would have made a wonderful dessert all by themselves - rice krispy treats, brownies, marshmallows, strawberries, bananas, pound cake, and cheesecake - and encouraged us to dip them all in liquid chocolate. Oh yes.
My favorite quote of the night came from Chantal, who commented after her first bite of chocolately goodness: "This must be what heaven is like." I have to agree, that would make for a pretty great afterlife.
We had such a good time. It was great to get to know everyone a little better. I got tips from the professional photographer on a great new photo app for my phone (as you'll see from the quality of my pictures, I need an improved photo app!) and from the veteran bargain hunter on a new app for earning gift cards (hooray! it's like free money). I was reassured that I'm not the only mom who loves her kids, but hates bedtime. And not the only one who goes faithfully to church but hasn't heard a word of it since the kids were old enough to cause chaos in the chapel. (And not the only one to feed my kids PB&J during the service!) I confessed my secret ambition (to post something creative, innovative, or delicious enough that people pin me on Pinterest) and shared our upcoming family service project (building a library in Lesotho - more on that later).
And when I got home everyone (including Aaron) was already tucked into bed and sound asleep... nice. All I had to do was put myself to bed. What luxury!
We're really going to have to do this again. Though my budget won't stretch to places like TMP very often... maybe we can set up the next girls' night for that chic hotspot known as Chic-Fil-A. The food might not be as fancy, but company would be just as good!