Finally Valentine's Day is here - your day, reserved only for you and your significant other.
Party people have New Year's Eve, families gather for Thanksgiving, children delight in presents on Christmas, and everyone has a birthday. But for those who find themselves romantically paired in the middle of February - whether it's a new spark just igniting or an older flame looking to be rekindled - Valentine's Day is a day for couples to celebrate themselves. Allow me to offer some suggestions on how to make this day as sweet and special as your relationship.
The Perfect Gift
Don't let the advertising fool you - your home may need a new dishwasher, but Valentine's Day is not the time to purchase home appliances.
When did appliances become gifts anyway?
The best Valentine's Day gifts are small and able to slip discretely from jacket pocket to table at a moment's notice, or a romantic treat for the two of you to enjoy in privacy.
The thoughtful gesture of a handmade card, sentimental soap box, or piece of Melissa Joy Manning jewelry from Seaside Papery in Coronado will set the tone for the evening's romance. (seasidepapery.com) Edgier urban couples can indulge in designer jewelry from Mixture in Little Italy. (mixturehome.com)
For those looking to skip the romance and head straight to the seduction, Lavish in Little Italy has packed several essential oil products into one fantastic Valentine's package that includes their Red Hot Stimulating Massage Cream and their Tantric Spice Soap. Lavish's natural products are good for your skin and their Valentine's package promises to be good for your love life! (lavishproducts.com)
Relax and Renew
Nothing kills romance faster than stress and a busy schedule. Between juggling careers, family time, and your trips to the gym, time spent with your partner can begin to consist of nothing but quick meals and falling asleep at the end of the day. Before heading out for your Valentine's Day meal, spend some time rejuvenating your body and quieting your mind with a visit to one of the fabulous San Diego spas.
Away Spa at the W Hotel offers a Lovers' Yoga class for couples or side-by-side spa treatments including massage and their chocolate berry beautiful facial. The Catamaran Spa in Pacific Beach will also allow you to indulge your passion for chocolate this February with a Cocoa Scrub or a couple's Chocolate Massage.
Of course if you're thinking that a massage is a nice treat but it doesn't quite give you the all-day hedonistic luxury that you were hoping to indulge in, check out the Love Potion No. 9 Package at the Rock Spa within the Hard Rock Hotel. This six hour treatment is composed of eight services, including facials, body scrubs, lunch, and some Love Potion No. 9 for you and your partner to apply to each other. With a spa adventure like that, you might feel inspired to skip dinner and head straight for your hotel room.
Food, Shelter, Romance
When Valentine's Day turns into Valentine's Night, thoughts turn to satisfying other cravings; continue your romance over an intimate table in one of top San Diego restaurants.
The Prado located in the middle of Balboa Park is romantic every day of the year, but this February 14, the Cohn Group will be upping the romance factor by offering a set menu of three courses with optional wine pairings.
Instead of wine, sake can be paired with the six-course set menu at The Guild Downtown. The sometimes-unexpected food pairings will delight the palate and design aficionados will enjoy the restaurant's décor.
Chef Damon Gordon at the Ivy Hotel's Quarter Kitchen offers a five-course set menu with dishes composed of the finest ingredients. Can you refrain from gazing into your loved one's eyes long enough to decide between ordering the blackened hamachi, pan-seared jon dory, lobster risotto, or the slow-roasted arctic char? Pursuing the set menu options before arriving at the restaurant means less time spent deciding and more time to engage your loved one in witty banter and romantic repartee.
After an indulgent day of massages and gourmet meals, a trip home to bed can only serve to break the spell - regardless of your sheets' thread count. The end to a perfect Valentine's Day is found in the luxurious surroundings of a San Diego hotel suite.
The Grand Del Mar offers the Grand Romance Package for those looking for romantic post-dinner surroundings, and includes breakfast and two 60-minute spa treatments. Couples looking to extend their Valentine's celebrations over two nights might prefer the Mediterranean Magnifico Package which includes dinner for two, champagne and caviar, and a choice of two rounds of golf or two 60-minute spa treatments.
For those looking to shorten the trip between the dinner table and the hotel room, The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma has a Valentine's Day Room Package that combines a night in "The Jewel" room with a special three-course dinner, or a couple could choose to celebrate Chocolate Lover's Month with chocolate desserts and cocktails.
The sleek and stylish Keating Hotel shortens the trip from table to bed even further by offering a four-course meal in the privacy of your hotel suite with their Intimate Valentines Package. If the chocolate-covered strawberries don't get you desiring to indulge in romantic adventures throughout the year, the bubble bath and couple's massage will remind you that quality couple's time should not be reserved for only one day a year.
While San Diego singles may opt for Valentine's Day parties and all-night entertainment, never be ashamed to celebrate your couple-hood on the most romantic day of the year. From spas to restaurants and luxury hospitality, explore San Diego to make the most of your 2008 Valentine's Day.