Although I tend to prefer nontraditional or more personalized date options, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, I want to do it up right! I’m talking roses, candlelit dinners and the type of gift that comes in a perfectly wrapped and ribbon adorned box. This holiday brings out the best in me (or the worst, depending on your opinion of romance) and helps me appreciate those timeless, starry-eyed traditions.
If you’re not a fan of Valentine’s Day, I understand that you have already stopped reading, and I can’t say I blame you. For those who wish to whisk their loved one away on a romantic adventure, read on!
For me, the best way to start out a “date day” is getting some fresh air and (hopefully) sunshine. My newly found passion for snowshoeing has trickled over to something my husband, Andy, is also required to take part in now. My perfect Valentine’s Day would start out with a STROLL (not looking for cardio today!) through the lovely trails along the AuSable River in Michaywe. Yes, I would want to hold hands with Andy and probably make him stop to take one too many photos because it’s just the perfect backdrop for such a special day.
After you let the fresh air rejuvenate you, then it’s time for a surprise! One of the best surprises I’ve ever received was a couple’s massage at Treetops Resort. I think it’s important to note that this is entirely out of character for my husband, who would rather suffer with a stiff neck than let me rub his shoulders. THIS WAS A BIG DEAL. He set the whole thing up without even giving me a clue other than “put your hair in a ponytail.” When you simply need to re-center yourself, entering the spa seems to lift all your cares away. Knowing your partner is by your side, relaxing and feeling equally tranquil makes it that much better. The couple’s room at Treetops is soothing with a contemporary ambiance that will appeal to men and women alike. Trust me, this one is a winner and you will score extra brownie points if it’s on Valentine’s Day.
At some point in your romantic excursion, you will need to refuel. When we have something to celebrate, Andy and I usually head to locally owned and operated Bennethum’s Northern Inn. I barely sit down before asking “you want calamari, too, right?” It’s not just my favorite hard-to-find appetizer drawing me back in though, it’s the creative, monthly themed menu. While you can always count on some of your favorites (please don’t ever take away the warm, doughy garlic bread that magically arrives just before my meal!), the ever-changing entrees entice you into making a new mouthwatering discovery on each visit. Finish it off with a decadent red velvet martini and your sweet tooth will thank you!
Although I’ve never combined all these “favorites” of mine into one day, I can only imagine how perfect it would be! With a little planning, you can make your stay in the Alpine Village a romantic getaway to remember for many years to come. And if planning isn’t quite your thing and you accidently overlook that it is indeed Valentine’s Day, Hogan’s Jewelers right downtown has an excellent selection of stunning jewelry that they will wrap up in one of those perfect little boxes with ribbons for you.
By Christy Walcott