Is it possible a herpes infection could causea painless large lymph node and then very mild blisters that go unnoticed? Or will nodes occur w/ obvious

Variations. In presentation can occur . Try to see a doctor for examination and accurate diagnosis.
Doubt herpes. The symptoms of herpes, whether oral or genital, can be quite subtle, atypical symptoms are not rare, and I can't say your symptoms definitely aren't herpes. But as you started to write, an inflamed node almost always would occur only with obvious skin lesions and would be tender. Very rare to have lymph node inflammation enlargement from HSV without overt outbreak, tenderness, and often fever.