Last Friday, I was ready to do some double-duty celebrating. First of all, it was my 22nd wedding anniversary, which is no small feat considering that I account for one-half of the relationship. Secondly, I was rarin’ to go on my 52nd new activity of the year. I suggested to my husband that he choose what we would do for our night out…provided I could blog about it. Being the romantic guy that he is, he did not offer to take me to a closet-organizing workshop or a tour of the sewage treatment plant. He suggested date night at Ace Gillett’s Lounge beneath the Armstrong Hotel.
(Just exactly who was Ace Gillett? Take a minute to find out here.)
I’d been hearing nothing but good things about this downtown destination. Classy. Swanky. Ritzy. Chic. Coincidentally, those are the very same adjectives that could be used to describe me…in an alternate universe. In fact, the very idea of swanky makes me a little nervous, but I did my best to get polished up in my dress jeans. As my husband and I were leaving, our younger son—and resident expert on Norse mythology—counted the eight bangles on my wrist and told me I needed to add one more because Odin wears nine golden arm rings. Mine were silver, but of course I added another anyway, because one never knows when one might need to channel the power of a Norse god on a Friday night.
The outside entrance to Ace’s doesn’t look like much—a steel door at the bottom of cement stairs—but I loved that about it. And the sign at the inner door inviting patrons to “come as you are” sealed it. (Having grown up in Fort Collins, I know that we pretty much “come as we are” to everything, but it’s nice to know that it’s okay.) Downtown was hoppin’ for First Friday, but my husband and I arrived early enough to get a nice table for two. These days, I save most of my imbibing for special occasions, and this certainly qualified. I ordered the refreshing Stark and Dormy—rum, ginger beer, and lime—because it reminded me of Snoopy.
We shared the fruit and cheese plate, and then—as we apparently hadn’t consumed enough dairy fat—the crème brulee trio. Everything was delicious, but frankly the food was the last thing on my mind. It’s been a long, busy summer, and my husband and I hadn’t been out together without our boys in a very long time. The music provided the perfect backdrop as we talked and laughed and remembered that we’re more than just a mom and a dad—we’re still husband and wife through thick and thin.
As the evening wore on, more and more patrons trickled in from above us at street level, and my husband and I eventually decided—somewhat reluctantly—to give up our table. I left Ace’s feeling that he had chosen the perfect place for our double celebration. It’s truly classy but not pretentious or expensive, and I felt comfortable from the moment I walked in. From what I could tell from the merriment all around, everyone else did, too. I honestly can’t wait to go back. Maybe I’ll even try the fried banana sandwich.