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A Wonderful Surprise

I mentioned I wouldn’t leave you hanging too long about Ben’s birthday surprise right?

Any guesses?

Well – I knew it involved steak, since that’s both of our favorite dinner options. Vegetarians we are not 😉 The big surprise was that Ben was taking me to this ridiculously awesome steak house he’s been telling me about for ages… 2 1/2 hours away!

To add another twist – our Realtor called to ask if we’d like to do an open house that weekend. With everything moving so slowly on the house front, we didn’t feel like we could miss an opportunity. So – first thing Saturday morning we scoured, scrubbed, swept, pruned, mowed, and prepped the house as much as we could. Mom and Dad came over for last minute paint touch-ups on the fence.

Remember the before?

Here’s the after:

Not bad eh? I thought it turned out great!

After cleaning, I ran home to shower and pack a quick overnight bag, and then we were off for Madison!

In WI there are only 2 seasons: Winter and Road Construction

Along the way I spotted this:

Remember the whole scrambler debacle? Looks like the padding was missing on Ben’s side and he had some serious bruising! Poor guy!

We arrived at our hotel an hour before our dinner reservations – plenty of time to walk around and check out the room.

They need to fire the housekeeper – I can make a bed blindfolded with less bumps – ha ha

But – here’s the cool part:

A whirlpool in the room. How cool is that!?

We got 2 free drinks at the hotel bar so we decided to head down there for a before dinner cocktail. The bar was really cute

But my drink was 75% booze. Egads! I like it weak and fruity!! 🙂

Then it was time…

Ben took me to Ruth’s Chris Steak House – the supposed epitome of all steak houses with guaranteed melt-in-your-mouth steaks.

Even the landscaping was awesome 😉

And a cute date never hurts either

This place was so cool – but the lighting was very dim so it was almost impossible to get any photos without using a blinding flash (and that would have been pretty un-classy).

Our waiter was named Diego and he was phenomenal. Super sweet and attentive. I loved how most people go there for special occasions – so if you are, say, celebrating an anniversary they scatter rose petals on your table. If it is a birthday, then you have little birthday confetti. So cute.

They started by bringing us out hot homemade crusty bread with whipped butter

Followed by a wonderful salad with baby arugula, homemade croutons, tomatoes, red onion, and amazing blue cheese dressing

Then the main course – filet! This was super cool. They serve the steaks on 500 degree plates! It’s crazy and so cool to hear the steak sizzling as they place it in front of you

Cooked perfectly. Unbelievably tender, juicy, buttery.

We each got a side too. Ben chose the fingerling potatoes with crisp bacon and spicy dijon

While I got the sweet potato casserole…. and promptly fell off my chair in supreme food-ecstasy

Just beyond words really.

As I was trying to discreetly snap food pics to show you, apparently I wasn’t quite discreet enough. Our waiter saw and immediately offered to take a picture of us. Pardon the weird lighting – I need to fig around with my camera settings!

If all that food wasn’t enough, we got dessert too. Mine came out with a tiny lit candle. I loved the little detail.

Strawberry shortcake with chocolate truffles. My tummy was too full to finish this!

It was such a wonderful night and what a A+ birthday gift for me! Thank you Ben!!

We jumped up bright and early at 7am, grabbed some continental breakfast,  and quick hit the road. We made it back to Green Bay about 10:30 and the open house was at noon! More scrubbing, fine-tuning, tweaking, etc until the last moment.

Sunday afternoon was spent making cookies for my co-workers (you have to bring in a treat for your birthday) and catching up on laundry.

It was a wonderful week of vacation. I wouldn’t mind another one right now! 🙂


5 Responses

  1. Hi Ali, looks like a great time!!! Love the photo of you both! I see nothing but happy in those faces! Hope your Tuesday has gone well so far!!

  2. Yum! I want some of the potatoes with bacon!!

  3. What a WONDERFUL birthday! I LOVE Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse!!! I’ve been there twice and both were secret shops so I was reimbursed for my visit. It’s been years since I’ve been there. I’m thinking a babysitter for our anniversary this next year. LOL! So glad you got to experience it. It was so worth the drive, wasn’t it? 🙂

  4. […] to our busy weekend schedule – watching the Packer game on my birthday and going out for the most amazing steak ever the following day, we are just getting caught up with birthday with my […]

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