I’ve never been the gushy Valentine’s Day hearts and flowers type of girl, and back in my single days, I was quite vocal about this made up holiday as just another excuse to spend money to show you love someone. And heaven forbid, if you didn’t have anyone in your life at the time, society made you feel like there was something wrong with you.
There’s a battle going on at the theater this weekend, and it should come as no surprise that Robert and I want to see the movie “Old Fashioned.” We want to support those who are seeking to bring another message about love and romance to the theaters – one that is pure and wholesome. Obviously, I won’t ever see the “other” movie, nor will I read the books. Philippians 4:8 says, “ Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Why on earth would anyone want to willingly put garbage in their hearts and minds? (Don’t answer that – I really don’t want to know.)
Anyway, in spite of my misgivings about the nature of Valentine’s Day, Robert has made it a goal of his over the years to change my mind. And in a way, he has. Not about the specific day – well, I don’t hate it anymore – but I don’t believe that showing love should be confined to one day a year. But I’ve learned to appreciate the mushy and romantic gestures my wonderful husband comes up with, this year was particularly special.
First, and this was my idea, we headed to historic Commercial Street in Springfield. If you’re a native, you know that this is not the most romantic location in town, and is known for being run down. However, Commercial is home to Askinosie Chocolate – Shawn Askinosie has become one of the premier chocolate makers in the world, and operates his business on a direct trade basis. (Go read his story – it’s really quite amazing.) The point of our little side trip was that we signed up to take a tour of the chocolate factory, which was led by Shawn himself.
We got to see the not-so-fancy equipment that makes awesome chocolate, and had lots of samples.
That’s a lot of peanut butter!
And of course, we had to buy an assortment.
After our yummy excursion, we headed south to Branson, Missouri. First up was a practical stop at the Tanger Outlets. I wanted to get some replacement Crocs so I wouldn’t fall and break my wrist again, but it was so crazy there and so hard to find a parking spot that we didn’t buy a thing and I ended up ordering my Crocs from Zappos before we were even able to get out of the parking lot.
But we didn’t have much time to shop, because we had dinner reservations at The Keeter Center. You might remember we had an anniversary dinner and Sunday brunch here in December, and liked it so much we returned with my sister and brother-in-law for a Christmas brunch. We’d tried to go last year for Valentine’s Day, but didn’t think about it soon enough and reservations were booked well in advance. This year, though, Robert was on top of it.
For dinner we got to choose from a fixed menu, with appetizers, salad, entrées, and desserts. I had the roasted Brussels sprouts, the pear salad with goat cheese panna cotta, filet mignon with mashed potatoes and asparagus, and the dessert trilogy of crème caramel, flourless chocolate cake, and ricotta cheesecake. Delicious doesn’t begin to describe it.
Thanks for a lovely date, sweetie. I love you.