travel, hike, eat. repeat.

my adventures are often on a budget… and always clumsy.

#30daysofthanks the boy who cried war horse

Zan and I make it a goal to go on two real dates a month. I italicize reallll because we have casual date nights all the time – cooking, curling up on the couch and laughing at Modern Family, taking Theo for walks around the neighborhood… we do a lot of every-day-living kind of date nights. But we make a special effort to go out – in a way that encourages wearing more than pajamas, a few times a month.

This past Friday, the plan for date night was Ping Pong Dim Sum and the movie Argo. I ran home from work, took Theo to the park for a quick game of fetch and ran back in time to shower, change into clean jeans (what a novelty! what a rarity!) and straighten my hair (what is this, prom?!)! I even put on a touch of makeup (seriously, it’s getting out of control now!). The evening was romantic, the chill pulling us closer together as we walked hand in hand down the street, into the restaurant.

We saddled up next to each other at the bar and toasted. We went in for a kiss….. and his phone buzzed.


Work beckoned. Have I mentioned the insane hours he has worked the past few months? It’s the name of the game when you work in anything political – and he had Romney as a client (had! past tense! yay!). He’s a political media buyer – you can thank him for those obnoxious ads on tv! So when work beckoned at 7:30 on a Friday night, well, he couldn’t ignore it.

We stuffed in some dim sum, then had some frantic moments rushing out, hailing a cab and skedaddling back to his place so he could deal with the situation.

Needless to say, it was still a nice night, but it wasn’t quite the date night we had in mind.

Earlier this week, he told me we had plans for Wednesday evening. He wouldn’t tell me what. If you don’t know me well, you’re about to know me a little better: I love surprises. I love surprises like Olympians like competing. I LOVE THEM.

I assumed a re-do of date night – dinner in Chinatown, maybe, and on to the movie we missed.


The cab drove right past Chinatown – never even through it. It went through McPherson, over near the State Department and on down until… wait. Wait!

He dropped us off at the Kennedy Center.

Zan walked into Will Call and picked up our tickets for War Horse, the much-acclaimed, Tony-laden production that was sure to MAKE ME BAWL. Another tidbit about me: I don’t do animal stories – not books, not movies, not anything. I stopped all that after seeing Babe 2: Pig in the City. I was 12 and I cried the entire movie. Cannot handle.

Yet, I was stoked. So totally stoked.

We headed up to the Cafe – which serves surprisingly delicious ready-to-go sandwiches and salads (we’re talking smoked turkey, brie, apple butter, tomato, arugula on multigrain – omnomnom!). We stuffed food in our mouths, stressed at the time crunch (7:22, bite chomp swallow, 7:23, we really gotta go bite chomp swallow). We stuffed the rest in my purse for intermission.

The show is great. Wonderful. Captivating. Compelling. A tear-jerker. Well done. A marvel in puppeteer’ing and direction. The acting is spot-on. The storyline grabs you in the first moments and doesn’t let you go until the final bow.

I cried.

Y’all, I really cried.

I had to remind myself over and over and over again they’re not real horses, but still.  I kept crying.

Zan handed me tissues. He put his arms around me.

And after the show, we talked and laughed and held hands even though it was freezing cold in the 30 minute taxi line.

So I’m thankful for date night, for Zan, for live theater and for what a true treat it is every single time I’m able to experience it.


As rad as it is, the Kennedy Center isn’t always a $50 weekend-approved date. It can get pricey. But they do  have special. If you’re disabled, a full-time student, military or on a fixed low-income, you might be able to get Specially Priced Tickets. And for the rest of us, Goldstar is offering 30% off ticket prices for War Horse, on November 9th and 10th – $59. Also check matinees for discounted tickets. See their schedule here –

I’ll be writing about something for which I’m thankful most days in November. Follow me here or on twitter @dccyndi. Join the conversation in the comments or on twitter, using the hashtag #30daysofthanks! For what are you thankful today? Thanks for reading!

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