What a phenomenal weekend!
My wife, Melissa, and I took off for a long weekend in the city. After a quick visit to Priceline, we secured a low cost hotel room near Chesterfield. The location was great and they gave us a nice room on the upper floor overlooking the lake. A very quiet and peaceful room! [pics via my Blackberry - we forgot the camera!]
We arrived late on Friday and after a bit of work from the hotel on Saturday morning, we headed out for the "Best of Missouri Market" at the Missouri Botanical Garden. WOW! What an event! For $10, we had the opportunity to sample food and drinks from four VERY large tents as well as visit all of the gardens. I would HIGHLY recommend this event to anyone! It was a beautiful day to visit the gardens as well, which you can tour at any time of the year.
After snacking around the tents we headed back to the hotel for a quick swim and hot tub visit and then we headed over to PF Chang's for our dinner reservations. Melissa had never eaten there before (only once for me!) . Our food and service were decent, but not over the top. Prices at PF's are good and you do get quite a bit food for the price. Check it out sometime.
Sunday morning found us with our friends at Windsor Crossing for their 11am service. They had some really AWESOME stage designs complete with a HUGE up lit cross and what seemed like 1000 candles (check out the pic). While there were some very creative moments, Windsor seems to cut them short with awkward transitions and nary a lingering moment. Just when everyone seemed to get into the creative element they would abruptly end it. They did this multiple times in the service we attended. Great ideas, but the impact fell short. It really makes you appreciate Meadow Heights and how we really strive for "defining moments" and opportunities for God to impact people in those moments.
After the service we drove about fifteen minutes and had a quick bite at the Cheesecake Factory. This is one of Melissa's and my favorite spots. Since it was our weekend away, we didn't want to miss out on any food opportunities!! We did manage to split an appetizer, pizza, and of course some dessert! We hit the Apple store for a few moments as well as a few other stores, but didn't do a whole lot of damage to the pocketbook!
The afternoon? Well, we decided to take in a movie at the mall. Nothing much playing in this small theater, but we managed to settle on a movie called "The Seeker." I had never heard of this movie, but it was very enjoyable and something the whole family could watch. It was a bit dark and some parts a bit scary for the younger folk, but overall a solid movie with decent acting. The highlight however was coming out of the movie theater and near the exit was a young man with a silver tray full of mints!! I have never been to a theater that handed out mints before! An interesting twist on customer service!
After another short rest at the hotel, we headed over to The Melting Pot for dinner. Neither Melissa or I had ever been to this restaurant before, but we had been wanting to check it out for quite some time. We decided to splurge and have the four course meal, which is a bit different at this place. We started with some cheese fondue with bread and granny smith apples for dipping. Next was a salad (for Melissa NOT for me! YUCK!) followed by the main course of MANY types of meats which we skewered and cooked in our broth. The platter was filled with two different types of steak, white shrimp, lobster, marinated pork, chicken and some pasta. We also had a platter of veggies for dipping complete with five or six different types of sauces. This was by far the best part of the meal! Very fun, creative and enjoyable. We topped off our night with a chocolate and peanut butter fondue complete with a tray FULL of different types of fruits, marshmallows, brownies and cheesecakes for dipping. AWESOME STUFF!! This experience took approximately two hours and overall it was very unique and enjoyable. Not sure I would go back again, but maybe for a special occasion.
Bloated and busting at the seams from a day full of food, we crashed at the hotel. Monday found us searching for fabric and design pieces for the launch of our new series at Meadow Heights Church this weekend.
Overall a GREAT weekend and a chance to catch our breaths before the long haul of projects in the next few months. Lots of stuff to do, but I'm thankful for the opportunity to spend some quality time with my wife - she is one PHENOMENAL lady and I am incredibly lucky to have her!!
Thanks for a great weekend Mel!!