The Valentine’s Day holiday (?) is on the horizon. What are your thoughts on this? I may have a surprise for you. We really don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day here. Its true. While I enjoy trying to be romantic, from a creative point of view, I find lots of times it can catch Mom off guard and so the exercise is wasted. She never wants anything (allergic to flowers and trying to swear offf of the Christmas chocolates) would rather save some money, and so we don’t indulge.
This family tradition started off when I was a restaurant manager years ago and, of course, I had to work that day, one of the busiest of the year. Folks, don’t go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day looking for a special night. With all those other lovers out there, a romantic experience is just too hard to pull off, from a restaurant perspective. And who wants to wait that long for a table anyway? Go the day for before or the day after.
So we may do some cards, but we even decided against that this year, based on the price of cards for a piece of cardboard. Being unemployed has made us thrifty!
We have gotten in the habit of of traveling to some place warm for Valentine’s Day however, trying to escape some of the winter blues. This is our gift to each other. With both of us getting 2 paaid vacations each year we enjoy taking the nice vacay to escape the cold. Valentines Day seems like th eperfect time. The rates in the Caribbean are affordable this time of year. The water is still plenty warm to swim in and you really don’t have to work too hard to get a tan or a burn.
Our routine is to find an all-inclusive somewhere so we don’t have to worry about money or finding places for meals. We started this ‘family tradition’ a few years back when we went to Jamaica. I have an entire story about that trip. Mainly, the point is beware, although we did have a very romantic Valentines sail! But after our nice trip back to Jamaica this past fall we have reconsidered.
We also traveled to the island of Curacao, close to the equator. Hard to get any warmer than the equator! We enjoyed our trips there, going back 3 times. I actually ‘re-proposed’ one year in Curacao (on one knee and everything), being able to afford a slightly larger diamond this time. Bam! Caught her off guard again. (see first paragraph above).
Most recently we ventured down to St. Lucia, one of the British Virgin Islands. We stayed at a wonderful Sandals resort. The island actually had 3 Sandals resorts. We were able to spend time, eat and indulge in any one of them. Advertised as a ‘luxury included’ resort (yet still an all-inclusive – kind of a contradiction in terms), the resort was great. The food and restaurants were even greater! I actually tried caviar and escargot for the first time…at an all-inclusive (!).
We had a chance to do zip lining for the first time and even took a day trip on a sailboat to a live volcano and some Botanical Gardens in the heart of the tropical rainforest. On a funny note, if you haven’t ever been to an active volcano, think twice! The intense sulfur fumes emitted by the volcano actually makes it hard to get close enough to see the real thing. It took some courage and your Dad in the privy has nothing on a volcano!
Possibly the most thrilling part of the vacation however was the bus ride to the resort, on the other side of the island from the airport. The resort bus had to navigate around two tall mountains (the huge Pitons..really, that was their name ~ you’ll see) on a narrow road with hair pin turns and steep, steep drop offs. I wouldn’t go faster than 15 mph on some of these roads in my car, clutching the steering wheel the whole time. This old, air conditioned school bus, that can hardly make it up the one side, had us swaying and rocking and really looking forward to that first drink at the resort. We laughed about it as it was the only thing we could do. The lap of luxury!
Which brings me back to today’s blog. I was thinking about our Valentine’s Day trips this weekend. We can’t make one this year as we are squirrelling away our time and dollars for the big move later this year. So it left me with thoughts on Jamaica, Curacao, St. Lucia and Costa Rica.
Mom wants to visit Costa Rica later this year for our next trip. If any of you have been there you are welcome to offer any advice or tips.
But for those of you that are stuck in some place cold right now with snow piled up to the windows and would love to be some place warm, I offer a quick, fun picture video of our St. Lucia trip (especially if you are sitting in 6 feet of snow right now). Grab something tropical to drink, rub some suntan lotion on for that tropical smell, click ‘play’, kick back, relax and come on along with us.
I hope you all have a happy and wonderful Valentine’s Day.
We’re going to try to stay warm this year!
How about you?
What are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions or experiences?