Thursday night has been our date night for about forever. Since the second baby came along, it's more often a family night. Occasionally we manage to trade friends for free babysitting, but mostly it's the 4 of us. Here are the rules:
1) Dinner (usually eaten or at least prepared at home) must be easy to fix and easy to clean up.
2) It's just us
3) We MUST leave the house.
Since we are the spontaneous type, we seldom come up with a plan more than a few hours in advance. Yesterday we had the conversation early. Like at 10am.
P: What do you want to do?
A: I don't know. What do you want to do?
P: How much is in the budget?
A: $2 [thanks Dave]
P: Oh. We could geocache.
We had Nachos for dinner. I use Juanita's tortilla chips because they are awesome. (One day I was standing in Winco trying to decide which tortilla chips to buy when a Hispanic woman came along. She looked at me; she looked at the chips; she grabbed the Juanita's off the shelf and put them in my cart. "Buy these" she said, and then she was gone. Like a tortilla chip angel. I've been eating them ever since. Not the same ones. I buy new bags. I guess she wasn't that kind of angel).
Then it was on to Geocaching. It can be a challenge with two small children. Caches are often hidden very well and in obscure locations--too obscure for strollers and the like. We managed to find a couple at an off the beaten path park in the area. Benton was able to help in the hunt too, which was very fun.
I also had a coupon for 79 cent ice cream cones at Arctic Circle (yes, they do still exist outside of Dallas, Oregon). So after an evening of treasure hunting, we spent $2.37 on swirl ice cream cones. They even gave us a baby cone for the baby. Nathaniel wasn't quite prepared for the cold, but once he got used to it, he managed his own cone quite deftly. He comes from a long line of ice cream eating experts.
So we went over our budget by 37 cents (not including gas, but that comes out of a different category). I have to say, you just can't put a price on squeezing into a booth and eating ice cream with your three best guys.
PS We also went to Safeway where I bought 10 boxes of cereal for under $10.