For a few years now, Craig and I have been doing Alphabet Dating (it is supposed to be monthly, but at times we’ve gone a while with a break). Not a single person I’ve mentioned this to has ever heard of it before, and on one hand I kind of like it being our special wee thing that nobody else we know does. But on the other hand, I want to spread the word because it is a really nice way to keep your dates interesting, and get you doing something you probably wouldn’t normally. Unfortunately I haven’t blogged on this from the start, so I don’t have photos of every date, but below I’ve listed what we’ve done for each date
Letter A – Adrenalin Forest (Round One)
Letter A – Antarctic Centre (Round Two – November 2015)
For our first date of round two, Craig took me to the Antarctic Centre, based out at Christchurch Airport. The date involved a simulated storm, during which you get to experience a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius, as well as a Haglund ride, and a 4D movie. Rather cheesy/touristy, but a very cool set up and made even better by the fact that Christchurch is the base for most planes departing to Antarctica under the US Antarctic Program.
Letter B – Burgers and Beers and The Blackseeds concert (Round One)
Letter B – Beach Picnic (Round Two – December 2015)
Craig and I went to New Brighton Beach for a picnic for this date. It wasn’t raining when we got there, but it started when we were leaving. I know, it doesn’t look pleasant at all.
Letter C – Curling in Naseby
Letter C – Chocolate and Casino (January 2016)
For C date Craig arranged for us to go out to She Universe at Govenors Bay – they specialise in chocolate. It was a really beautiful and hot day, so it was perfect to sit there and an umbrella, looking at the beautiful scenery. Part two was the casino – we went in with $200 to spend and Craig taught me how to play Roulette, Black Jack, and we had a go on the pokies. We left with $80, but it was quite fun.
Letter D – Dessert at Strawberry Fare (the ultimate dessert restaurant)
Letter D – Dinner at Dux Dine, followed by Danny Bhoy (February 2016)
We had a really great D date – what better thing to do on the 5th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake, than go to a comedy and laugh the night away? Just what every Cantabrian needs 🙂
We had dinner at Dux Dine beforehand, which is a really lovely seafood and vegetarian specialist restaurant. I loved it but I think my step-dad, who was up from Invercargill, was a little miffed that there was no beef steak option.
Letter E – Exercise
Letter E – ENGAGED (March 2016)
Well guys, it wasn’t hard to beat exercise, but Craig went above and beyond and really really beat it, with an engagement proposal that I’m pretty sure would blow any girl’s mind. So excited to start planning a wedding (no, it probably won’t be W date). ❤ the future Mrs Jenkinson
Letter F – Flying Fox (Zipline in Queenstown)
Letter F – Freddy Krueger (November 2016)
1, 2 Freddy’s coming for you.. 3, 4 better lock the door…
Well, it has been almost exactly eight months since E date. I know, it’s terrible – E couldn’t be topped and I really struggled with F. Fishing was a possibility, but also not that easy to arrange when you don’t have the gears or the know-how. Anyway, I was scrolling on Facebook a few weeks ago and saw an event page for A Nightmare on Elm Street, playing at Deluxe Cinema at The Tannery. Perfect – F for Freddy Krueger! So I booked us in for the screening and the “Freddy Krueger cocktail”.
It was our first time to this cinema, and its super cute – that old school look with the velvet curtains and red carpet. I loved it.
The cocktail was something ridiculously strong, with Midori and Grenadine (I guess to look like Freddy’s jersey). It went down well!
The movie was great – not in anyway scary, but it took me back to watching it (when I did find it scary) at 12 years old, with my best friend. Aside from the brilliant music score, my favourite bits were:
1. The drunk and dramatic mother:
2. The tongue coming out of the phone:
3. (This is my absolute fav) Johnny Depp in a crop top 😂:
It was all worth it!
Letter G – Gold Panning (we went on the TranzAlpine to Greymouth and then stayed the night at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, which is just beautiful. Gold panning in the area is quite popular, though we didn’t find anything)
Letter H – Healthy (we went for a forest walk at Diamond Harbour)
Letter I – Ice Skating and Italian Food
Letter I – Inati and Improvisation – February 2019
Once again, we really dropped the ball on the dates – in our defence, it’s a lot harder to organise these days with a little one to think of, but we’re back into it and it’s going to be great!
Inati is a local fine dining restaurant – the word (which I initially thought was Italian) is a Maori word which means to share, so naturally it’s share plates. We were on a bit of a tight schedule as we were booked in for 8.30pm and had to be at the Court Theatre (a ten min drive) for the show starting at 10.15pm, and so we had a drink, two small plates and dessert. They were all beautifully plated, and absolutely delicious taste-wise, but fine dining does make me a tad uncomfortable – I don’t know if that is the Southlander in me, but I would just prefer that the wait staff are cheerful and friendly, rather than serious and trying to impress me. I know this is what it’s all about, but I guess it’s just not really for me.
The improvisation (Scared Scriptless) was brilliant – it is on every Friday and Saturday nights, and it’s basically Whose Line is it Anyway, with lots of audience interaction (which made me nervous to start off with, until I realised they weren’t going to pull me up on stage… phew). It was very very funny and well worth $20.
Letter J – Japanese (Ace Wasabi)
Letter K – Kayaking
This is one of my favourite dates that we did – it was quite spontaneous, on a beautiful Waitangi long weekend. We popped over to Lyttelton and googled where we could hire kayaks. This man’s details came up and we rung him.. turned out it was just from his house. It was lovely too because it was totally trust based – we took them out without pre-paying, and just put the money in his bank account.
We had lots of fun drifting around, stopping at a beach for a picnic, going in caves etc.
Letter L – Live Comedy (Michael McIntyre)
Letter M – Maize Maze
This date was pretty hilarious – we went to a maize maze out in Prebbleton. It was totally for children, but we did manage to get ourselves lost a couple of times. It was a beautiful day but the ground was quite muddy, and me being me, I managed to slip over and get mud all over me.
Letter N – Night Biking
Letter O – Orana Park
Letter P – Ping Pong (Craig kicked my butt!)
Letter Q – Quiz Night
Letter R – Rowing on the Avon
Letter S – Salsa Dancing
Letter T – Tagliatelle (Craig bought us a pasta machine to make this)
Letter U – Under the Red Umbrella brunch (we struggled with this one)
Letter V – Cafe Valentino – again this one was a struggle, and unfortunately the go-to for struggle letters is food!)
Letter W – Wagon Stay
This was one of our most recent dates – right before I went to Dubai. We went out to Waipara and stayed in an old train wagon for the night – it was backpacker style, so pretty basic, but cute and nice to get away from the city for a night. We took wine, and a word game (Scrabble) and had dinner in Waipara.. it was very sweet.
Letter X – Venuti
Venuti is my favourite Italian restaurant, and Craig knew I had wanted to go there for V date, but it was booked out. So he booked us in for X date, and very sweetly arranged with the chef to have an X shaped brownie brought out for dessert… the excellent part was that I had decided to order the brownie anyway, so it made the surprise even better.
Letter Y – Yamagen
When I first moved to Christchurch, I was pretty poor – I think I started my first job here on about 24K.. that is $373.00 in the hand per week. Needless to say, while paying rent, food, power etc, I barely had enough to do anything let alone dine at the famous Yamagen Teppanyaki restaurant, which at the time was located inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel. I moved up in the world, but then the earthquakes happened and the Crowne Plaza was destroyed. Four years on, Yamagen has re-opened in Victoria Street, and so Craig and I went there for Y date.. it was as magnificent as I’d always imagined 🙂
Letter Z – ZENBU
Unfortunately this time round between football and an upcoming trip to Thailand, we didn’t have time to do what we had initially planned for Z date – Zorbing in Rotorua; so this is on the cards for the next round. See you in two years, Rotorua! Instead, Craig booked us at ZENBU, a gorgeous little Japanese Fusion restaurant at Church Corner. I’ve never been to any of the restaurants at Church Corner, and I was pleasantly surprised by this gorgeous wee place. Our waitress asked us what the special occasion was, and we explained to her (as much as we could, because there was a slight language barrier) that we have dates starting with letter of the alphabet. They decided to surprise us but bringing out a dish (at the end of the night) with “Congratulations” written in chocolate sauce, with a wee candle in a dollop of cream and two little chocolate love hearts. They dimmed the lights and even played a congratulations song. It was hilarious and gorgeous – some of the regular guests even started singing along. When we paid, they gave us a little origami love heart. The food was really good too, and I love that they don’t really use carbs but it is still so satisfying! Highly recommend.
Such a lovely way to finish off our alphabet dating – can’t wait to get into it again!
❤ Laus and Craig