It was a good night, a rare opportunity to get dressed up, put on our cowboy boots and enjoy a grown up date night. The setting was inspiring, #OnLoveMountain….really, that’s the name of this magical place. There was a beautiful red Barn…yes, that one you are picturing in your head right now. As we got out of the car, there was a red carpet complete with velvet ropes leading to the Belgian-horse drawn carriage that escorted us to the field.
We love our time with our daughter, but we are also intentional about carving out time for just the two of us to create new moments, new memories that we will treasure for a lifetime. Tonight was definitely one of those moments.
The carriage carried us into a grass field – the perfect day. In a week full of rain and anticipation of rain to come, there was a 70 degree, windless, Arkansas spring evening on top of the mountain. The ground was dry and not muddy, the temperature was perfect, and the wind stopped blowing for 3 “too” short hours. The wind had been so strong earlier in the day that they had to abandon the decorations they planned because the wind blew over the flower vases they originally set. They had to duct tape the tablecloths under the tables (unbeknownst to the guests) so they would not blow away. But for 3 short hours there was no wind.
We were escorted to a field set with beautiful tables, overlooking a pond reflecting the picturesque setting sun, serenaded by a harpist. You can’t make this stuff up. We were there and we promise it wasn’t a fairy tale or a figment of our romantic imagination. This scene was created by the Reaper family who owns the Wedding Barn. It’s in Pangburn, just a few miles from our parents’ cabin, where we got married.
The area had been segregated from the rest of the field using a string of clear bulb lights about 6 inches off the ground. The tables were immaculately set with golden charge plates, real silverware and cloth napkins. The wait staff were all sharp and dressed in all black and attended to everyone as they arrived. The different courses for the night came out individually as people were ready for them, not all at once to be left cold on the table.
The food was exceptional….shrimp cocktail, followed by a salad topped with local strawberries and an amazing vinaigrette. Between courses, a professional photographer took photographs of us on a giant rock, overlooking the pond with the setting sun as the backdrop. As the pork loin and chicken dinner started, a duet consisting of a cello and violinist played classical music setting the background.
We had the opportunity to meet a lovely couple, Adam and Britney. They have three young kids and it was evident that they were enjoying their grown-up date night too. He had tried to surprise her with tickets for the event but I think she found him out. They both had wonderful stories to share about their kids and their jobs. We even swapped some fun stories from the guys’ days in the military. He is in flight school and she is from Louisiana and loves gumbo so we had plenty to talk about. They were truly a joy to spend time with and we hope our paths will cross again. Maybe we’ll have them over for gumbo or if we are lucky, he will invite us to take a ride on a plane someday.
The field overlooked a pond at the horizon line at the top of the mountain, and the sunset came across the right side of the field to create a romantic ambience. Gifts were left on the table including a packet of wildflower seeds, complete with planting instructions, and strawberry jam, made by the owners’ sister.
The meal was amazing and delicious but the crowning moment was during dessert, just as the sun began to set, as a lone bagpiper began to play in the distance. He marched in step, wearing a traditional kilt and braided hair. The highlight of his half hour of continuous playing culminated with the most beautiful rendition of one of our very favorite songs, “Amazing Grace”. There may have been a tear or two as the beauty of the evening was overwhelming.
The music, the setting, the food, the connections we made with those around us and each other. It was the perfect night. Tonight we were blessed by this family who opened up their venue and created the ultimate setting, an awesome backdrop for the quientessential date night. The next event planned is in just a few short weeks, May 19th, and an opportunity we will be sure to enjoy as #OnLoveMountain hosts a Mother/Daughter Tea.