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BEST DATE NIGHT YET

An unforgettably romantic evening at Mohegan Sun

By Tara St. Clair

 

Trust is the most critical element of a successful relationship. At least, that's what I think. That's why I fell for Adam so quickly. From day one, he was the guy who always called when he said he would. Who was there waiting when I arrived for our dates. Who listened to me intently. He makes me feel cherished every day. That's why these past few weeks have been odd.

In a word, Adam's been distracted. For example: when I asked if we were going back to BALLO Italian Restaurant - the romantic restaurant at Mohegan Sun where we celebrated our first anniversary - to toast two years together, he barely looked up from his laptop when he replied "Sure, babe. I'll make a reservation." What happened?

Mohegan Sun, here we come

Still, I woke up excited on our anniversary, especially when I noticed the Post-it® note on the bathroom mirror:

Two years of bliss! Your overnight bag is packed and by the door. You can check it - or just TRUST ME! Pick you up at Noon for our best date night yet!

Love, A

Overnight? And what were the odds he packed the right shoes to match the dress I'd bought for dinner? There was no time for doubt. Next thing I knew, a valet attendant was welcoming us to Mohegan Sun's luxury hotel. The lobby's glistening pool and hand-beaded autumn canopy transported me to my favorite time of year in New England. I was shocked when Adam steered me through the mysterious doors labeled Aquai, where the VIP check-in experience made me feel like a celebrity.

Our 21st-floor room had a panoramic river view, which included the new Earth Tower featuring 400 additional guest rooms; but we couldn't linger long. Adam had thoughtfully scheduled a manicure and pedicure for me at ELEMIS Spa, and mentioned that he'd be shopping while I was being pampered.

I was certain he was joking, but when we met back at the room, he was grinning like a little kid as he handed me shopping bag after shopping bag. Dream Cream and heart-shaped bath bombs from LUSH, a blingy new iPhone case from bluwire, Godiva Chocolatier's limited-edition 90th anniversary chocolate assortment and - in the final bag - a Swarovski crystal bangle. 

 

One more thing

My jaw was still on the floor when Adam said, "Come with me. I need your help shopping for one more thing." We held hands riding the escalator down to The Shops concourse; part of me felt like we were on our first date. Adam's secrecy was alluring - a nice departure from the uneasiness I’d been feeling.

He paused to toss a dime into the pool at the base of Dale Chihuly's glowing, twisty-turny, cerulean glass tower "River Blue," before leading me through the glass doors of Lux Bond & Green. I can't remember exactly when I started to tremble. Adam seemed so nonchalant as he told a saleswoman, "I'd just like to get ideas about the type of engagement ring Tara might like some day." The staff was so helpful, encouraging me to try on ring after ring, answering all of our questions.

"That was amazing," I whispered to Adam as we headed up in the elevator to dress for dinner at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain.

Oyster and lobster shooters. Crab-coconut cocktail. Adam savored every bite of a super-tender ribeye with Flay's zingy steak sauce, and he snuck his fork into my Fulton Fish Market Cioppino - a brothy dish loaded with shrimp, mussels, fresh fish and clams. As we leaned across our softly lit table, the intoxicating banter that began the night we met turned more serious and forward-thinking than ever.

I was startled when our polished waiter placed a dessert we hadn't ordered on the table, then dizzy when I realized the Lux Bond & Green ring I'd admired most was twinkling in the coconut whipped cream piled beside a slice of German's chocolate cake.

Adam helped me to my feet and then took a knee. We locked eyes as he asked me to make him the luckiest man on the planet.

Beginning a new chapter

Of course I said "Yes!"

At moments like this, most girls can't wait to phone family and friends. But I wanted to keep this between the two of us for a while. Plus, we were at Mohegan Sun - I didn’t want to miss out on an entertaining night! So, we hit the craps table, where Adam's hot roll earned us a little honeymoon money. Then, I coaxed my new fiancé onto the dance floor as a DJ put the sound system at VISTA Lounge through its paces. Irish coffees at The Lansdowne Irish Pub & Music House, and we were finally ready to retreat to our room.

As the elevator doors closed, I closed my eyes and smiled at the night. This was a man I looked forward to loving - and trusting! - forever, and not just because he packed exactly the right shoes to match my dress.

Shop for that special someone at Mohegan Sun.

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