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Our First Date Night With a Babysitter: Craft and Vine Roanoke

Last Friday night was kind of a big deal around here! It was our first date night hiring an actual, bonafide babysitter! And you know what? It was fan-freaking-tastic. But also a tiny bit nerve-wracking, not going to lie! It was actually a little hilarious upon “hiring” her though and it made me feel way old. I texted her after a friend gave me her number, and to assure her that I wasn’t a crazy psycho person, I also sent her a cute picture of us with the kids. She responded basically with, “Love to! Let me ask my mom!” Baaahhh am I really 30 and hiring a high schooler to watch MY kids?! WHAT IS LIFE?! Well, it’s been.a.minute since I’ve babysat, and neither me nor Adam knew what the “going rate” is these days for babysitting. When we asked around, we heard anything from $10-$20/hour, depending on # of kids. So when we asked our babysitter what she charged, (and I’m SURE she was just being super polite) she said $8/hour. I literally laughed out loud and responded with, “Oh, don’t worry! We’re gonna pay you more than that! *laughing emoji*” $8/hour?! To babysit OUR little wildlings?! I think she was hugely underestimating what she was agreeing to! HA!

Anyways, the babysitter was a high school girl from church, so we knew our kiddos would be in good hands. A was super pumped, and in case you don’t care to read how the night turned out – A was OBSESSED by the end of the night and absolutely LOVED her. She’s been begging ever since for her to come back – “When is Miss XYZ going to back???” Before we left, we gave her the run down on putting B to bed and hanging with A, and we headed out! I tried not to over complicate things, and played it cool as if I wasn’t freaking out a little on the inside. (First time NOT using a family member!)

We met up with some friends of ours at a new-ish restaurant in downtown Roanoke called Craft & Vine. It takes up the the third (top) story of a multi-purpose building on Oak St. and is surrounded by large windows that conveniently face west. Craft & Vine has a really cool, modern, but classy vibe and decor on the inside, with a unique menu to match. We had reservations at a 6 topper in the back past the large bar, near some large navy blue couches, and I couldn’t get over the views from our seats. From one window, we could see tree tops and the Roanoke water tower, and from the other windows, nothing but the Texas sky! The weather was gorgeous Friday night, so as the sun began to set, they raised (lowered?) the window shades to open up the large windows and let the fresh air roam throughout. The sunset view was breathtaking, and truly gorgeous. I wish my pictures did it justice! You know when you eat at a beach-side restaurant and it feels like the view is endless? It was kind of like that.

Their menu felt like the perfect size, and we all quickly honed in on the “Shareables” section. We opted to order several of each and split it all between us. I know for sure at one point we had at least 3 of the Garlic & Pork Gyoza (think dumplings), Smoked Beef Brisket Lumpia (think egg rolls), Chicken & Waffles (jalapeno cheddar waffles!), and the Slider Trio piled on our table and every last bite was devoured! Seriously, it was all delicious and there wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like. Adam also had a small plate of Nigiri Sushi. Their drink menu was quite extensive, with I can’t even tell you how many beers and wines on tap, as well as several mixed drinks. I think everyone had their personal favorite, so I’d say we were able to taste test a pretty good sampling of what they offered and I don’t think anyone was disappointed. For dessert, two couples split a Chocolate Decadence, and one split the Chef’s Monthly Cheese Cake which ended up being a peanut butter cup flavor and it was.to.die.for. We split the ticket 3 ways, and called it a night!

Long story short – if you’re local and looking for a DELICIOUS date-night spot, check out Craft & Vine! 10/10 would recommend! I already can’t wait to go back! The only downside I’ll say is this – as with most “nice” restaurants, the portions aren’t huge. So, a “shareable” is honestly not that big – I’d say two average people could split one at max. But since we had a large group, it worked out well ordering several different ones, and multiple of each, for us all to pick at. However, the view and the ambiance definitely makes up for this.

It felt so good to go out with friends and not be on a time crunch. We all had babysitters, and were able to just relax for a bit and enjoy each other’s company. I think one of the hardest parts about becoming a parent is being able to relax and feel like “the old times”, like back before kids entered the picture. I’m sure we spent too much, and way too much, but we all just kept saying, “this doesn’t happen often!” And it’s true! Kidless date nights and outings with adult friends don’t happen often, but when they do, you’ve just got to soak them up and do them right!

When we got home, B was sound asleep in his crib after taking his bottle like a champ, and A and our babysitter were playing a game in the playroom. I’m so proud of us for taking this big step towards parental independence! Is that even a thing?? If not, I’m claiming it as a thing. Sure, we utilize my in-laws pretty often, but it’s nice to know that we now have the confidence to be able to use someone else when we need to and that it’s not as scary as it might feel! Plus, A LOVES her soooooo date night again next weekend?! I’m down!

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