Mystery Dates

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July 28, 2012 [My Life] Several of you have asked about the “Mystery Dates” I plan for my husband, so I thought I’d write about them here.  I got started because my husband works so hard and I thought he needed a little break, but if I asked him if he wanted to do something specific he would say he was too tired. One day I happened to ask if I could plan a mystery date and he said, “Sure!” I like to stay home, so it even made it more fun for me. I look for things that aren’t expensive, don’t require a lot of packing, are local to Perth, and especially things we have never done and probably never would do otherwise, and are outside our normal experiences. Just trying to create memories, basically.

Lately, I’ve been inviting friends…but even they don’t get to know what it is (which is a little scary but it’s turned out well so far.) All of these are low cost or had a GroupOn type coupon that made it so. Usually, Jim will be a little grumpy the day before or the day of the mystery date but he goes and is a good sport and afterward says he really enjoyed it and had a great time.

A few people ask me if he plans mystery dates for me. He doesn’t and honestly it never even occurred to me to want him to or wish he would. I have so much fun doing them, I can’t think it would be any more fun for him to plan one and I certainly don’t need him to do that to make me feel loved. Here’s the ones we’ve done in and around Perth, Australia where we’ve lived since Sept 2009.

1. We aren’t big beach people, but the first one was Sunset on the beach with dinner at restaurant (this was before we had a car in Perth and the cabbie didn’t like the traffic so dropped us off about a mile from the beach so we unintentionally got in a good walk too.)

2. Inexpensive evening at an observatory about 90 min from Perth, called Gingin. Adorable…they showed old NASA movies first, coffee in a hodgepodge of cups, then we went outside in large room without a roof and three telescopes and looked at limitless stars…it’s one of the darkest areas in the world…little ambient light.

3. Ten-pin bowling (what Americans just call bowling). This we did with one other couple and it was a blast…yummy chips (fries) Coupon.

4. Day trip to Bindoon, near Perth, where so many English orphans were used in an unfortunate manner as slaves (a whole other story as well) but is now a school. It was Easter time and we had a picnic then impromptu joined up with the Catholics who were walking the Stages of the Cross, up a hill overlooking the area. (We aren’t Catholic but thought we would join them anyway).

5. Catamaran sailing for 2 hours on the Swan River….the coupon said training first (we’ve never sailed) but that consisted of a Uni volunteer telling us to sit there and there and don’t let that hit you! It was a marital challenge and I got to practice a lot of GEWife principles…you know the “do it like this” temptation when you know he is turning the wrong way. Then his hat flew off and we had lots of fun circling to retrieve it–a really fun memory. Coupon.

6. Afternoon Acting Workshop – another I was quite nervous about but he was a good sport and had a great time. It was actually a lot of fun and laughing the whole time. Free

7. Overnight at New Norcia, a Spanish Monastery in the middle 0of the Australian Bush, that has a dorm-hotel, and a bar-restaurant that plays Tennessee music. The host told me Garth Brooks was Australian. What a hoot! We toured the cathedrals, the school where the children were taught (that’s a whole other story), and walked the grounds.

8.  Barefoot Lawn Bowling. We had never lawn bowled before, an old tradition in Perth. The barefoot part was just part of the coupon and to be clever. We invited some friends to join us and it was lots of laughter even though it was misty rain. Coupon.

9. Self-Defense Class – I was really nervous how he would respond to this one, especially when we got in and I saw it was all women! Yikes! He was such a good sport. He stayed and participated, allowing himself to be used in demos with the instructor.

10. Kayaking on the Canning River. We invited six friends to participate too…different friends than before because of availability..and it was much fun! Followed by fish and chips nearby. Each paid their own way and we just got to enjoy one another’s company. It was a bit scary not only being responsible for making sure my husband had a good time, but the others as well. But they did. Coupon

11. Christmas in July and Murder Mystery at a Bed and Breakfast about an hour south of Perth at Peel House Manor. A nice getaway. Very relaxing. Coupon.

12. Perth Museum to see exhibit on the Australian military who were left behind for almost a year during one campaign. (Sorry I don’t remember the details, but it was very moving and one of the best exhibits I’ve ever seen). My husband is retired Army Reserves Colonel so I knew it would be meaningful to him. We were able to walk since we live near downtown Perth.

13. Afternoon trip to Fremantle Shipwreck Museum and Maritime Museum – The Maritime museum is excellent.

14. Afternoon trip to Fremantle Maritime Museum reprise for a special exhibit “On Their Own” about the children sent here from England on their owWe took some friends with us and had fish and chips at the E-Shed after. Low$

15. Day trip to Penguin Island about an hour south

16. Caversham wildlife park, afternoon trip to see and pet the Kangaroos and Koalas.

17. Perth Zoo – really beautiful zoo!

18. Outdoor movie with picnic at University of Western Australia facility.

There are probably some more, but I’ve generally avoided the traditional things like dinners, movies, rock climbing, sky diving, etc. I’ve focused on local sites as well as things we would never have done normally. It’s really been a lot of fun.
Send me YOUR ideas for Mystery Dates and maybe I’ll use them too! – Karen



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