Thursday, April 25, 2013

Surprise Date Night

I mentioned on Monday that Owen surprised me with a special date night on Saturday.  If you are a parent, I'm sure you know that date nights are hard to come by, and this one was extra special so I made sure to document with some pics for posterity!

First let me start off by saying that this is a review of sorts, however I was not asked by Harrah's Casino and Hotel to do a review, nor was I compensated as such.  As a matter of fact, they really wouldn't want to pay me after they read this, but....I'm jumping ahead of myself :)

Owen called me up on Friday afternoon and told me that my job for the night was to pack an overnight bag because once I got off work on Saturday he was taking me out for a date night and the girls were staying with his parents.  If you know my husband you know that surprises are NOT his thing, so I almost didn't know what to say, other than blurting out, UHM, ok.  He would not give me any clues as to where we were going or what we were doing, he just told me I could wear my work clothes in the car but that I'd want something nicer to change into once we got there.

So at 4:30 on Saturday afternoon I bolted to my car; we dropped the girls and the dogs off with Nona and Papa and we hit the road.  Owen had to call OnStar to get directions (just like a man, can't figure out how to get anywhere but at least he asks for directions!!) and THEN the secret was out of the bag - we were headed to Tunica for the night!
Looks pretty, don't it??

Tunica is about an hour's drive south of Memphis - a straight shot down Highway 61.  As a matter of fact, once you get out of the city limits it's really a short drive - most of the hour drive is just getting out of the city. We've been down there a few times but I've only spent the night down there two or three times.  The last time I stayed at Harrah's it was actually called the Grand Casino and it was still pretty new - it has aged quite a bit since then...

We arrived at the Terrace Hotel and went to check in; Owen told me he'd gotten us a jacuzzi suite for the night (score!) in a non-smoking room.  This is pretty important for me because you are allowed to smoke in the hotels down there and my allergies just don't tolerate it all that well (probably another reason we don't go down there more often).  But when we went to check in, we were advised that all the non-smoking suites were occupied and that our only option was a smoking room.  UHM.....not acceptable??  I could tell Owen was getting mad and I didn't want this to ruin our night so I just told them that was fine and they told us they could come Ozone the room once we left for dinner.

We get upstairs to our room and we walk in and again, Owen starts to get mad - the room is not anything how it was described to him on the phone.  Overall, it wasn't terrible - but the room was kinda bland and in desperate need of an upgrade.  
 A view of the bed from the window
The "couch and chair" by the window
 The TV from the bed (Owen was PISSED because the TV was supposed to be bigger....typical male priority)
Now the jacuzzi tub didn't disappoint, it was HUGE but the dated wallpaper in the bathroom was peeling in places and looked pretty dingy, probably from this being a smoking room...

We changed clothes and called the front desk to tell them we were leaving so they could come Ozone the room and then we headed over to the casino to go to Paula Deen's buffet.

The line was long to get in but it moved very quickly

I had been dying to try Paula Deen's ever since it opened but for one reason or another we had never made it down there so when Owen said we were staying at Harrah's I was SO excited that I would get to eat there!  Since it was Saturday night they had an expanded seafood menu - but it was also more expensive.  Owen and I ate for right at $60 and sadly, I don't think it was worth that much money.  I've been told breakfast is better, and perhaps we should've done that but we had to get back home the next morning for the Earth Day 5K.  Some things I tried were REALLY tasty, and others were not so hot.  I was SUPER excited to see this:
 Take a look at this dessert bar!  It was HUGE!
And this was maybe half of it - I'm telling ya, a dessert lovers dream land (and if you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know I'm a dessert lover!)

And I know what you guys are thinking - just how many of those cupcakes did Kristen try?  To answer you - none.  I am a cupcake snob and after the so-so dinner, I didn't want to disappoint myself with a cupcake so I opted for a few other yummies.  Owen tried the coconut cream pie and chocolate cake, and I tried myself to the bread pudding, a small chess square, and a piece of that strawberry cake seen in the top left of the bottom pic.  Reviews as follows:
Coconut cream pie = could eat a whole one by myself
Chocolate cake = dry and not very chocolatey
Chess square = again, dry and not as flavorful as a normal chess square
Strawberry cake = just ok; I had high hopes because I could tell it was made with fresh strawberries but I just really couldn't taste them.  And it was dry.
Bread pudding = well, I'll let my pic tell you what I thought of that
Hands down the best thing I ate there.  Not quite as good as the bread pudding at O'Hanas, but....

When we got back to our room we found that the housekeeping staff had left the Ozone machine in there....#epicfail people.  We called them to come remove it and I could at least tell they had run it but honestly my eyes were still itchy and red.  Oh well.  After stuffing my face I decided that a relaxing jacuzzi bath was in order before hitting the bed and I do have to say that the bath tub delivered on its promises.  That bed did too because once I was all warm and relaxed I laid down on it and don't remember a thing until the next morning.  After grabbing a quick breakfast at the coffee bar downstairs, we headed back to Memphis.

Overall, we had a good time but Harrah's needs to do some hotel renovations and improving on their customer service before we will stay overnight there again.

QOTD:  What's your favorite thing to do on date night?