By Scott â€œScotty B.â€ Whytsell
February is here and whatâ€™s that smell in the air? No, not that one sillyâ€¦LOVE, love is in the air. At least that is what the card companies want us to believe, but as most of the male readers out there know, this is the month where many of us stress out and act like robots shopping for cards, candy and flowers, hopefully not at the last minute! Blah, blah, blah! How about a new twist on this concept?
With Valentineâ€™s Day falling on a Sunday this year, why not celebrate LOVE & LIFE by going out for a ROMANTIC GETAWAY WEEKEND? Whether youâ€™re madly in love, or just looking for mad love; here are a few creative suggestions for you. Iâ€™ve also included what I feel to be the most appropriate, albeit most obvious, accompanying bud for each destination.
Depending upon your budget, you first should decide whether you want to stay somewhat local, venture up state, out of state or out of the country. Rather than dealing with traffic and crowded lines in shopping malls, go online from the comfort of your home to websites like Orbitz.com or Travelocity.com to book transportation and lodging for your exciting and adventurous weekend.
Los Angeles: LA Confidential
Pack your overnight bag and donâ€™t forget your edibles! Book online with Amtrak.com to take a train up to LA. Round trip ticket prices for two from San Diego go for a mere $116 for the 2 hour and 40 minute ride.
A visit to Santa Monica Beach & Pier is one of the most romantic things to do in Los Angeles. Casually exploring the pedestrian Third Street Promenade makes for a great afternoon. The street is lined with bars, restaurants, shops and street entertainers. Just follow the fresh ocean breeze 2 blocks west, and youâ€™re at Santa Monica State Beach and Pier, with its famously retro seaside amusement park and ferris wheel.
San Francisco: Chocolate Thai
What goes great with California wines? Chocolate! Flights from San Diego to San Francisco can be found from around $400 each. For the most romantic sunset walk, the walking path at Crissy Field provides a west-facing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Time it right, starting about an hour or so before â€œofficialâ€ sunset and you can watch the lights come up in the city on your way back.
Out of State
Hawaii: Maui Wowie
Airline tickets to Oahu start at about $620 per person. If snorkeling is on your list of things you like to do, youâ€™ll find Hanuama Bay a nice â€œsnorkel and sandâ€ excursion for the day. You can rent your gear there. The water is fairly calm, and the underwater visibility of the coral is quite nice!
The bay is easy to get to, even if you donâ€™t have a car. Currently, Bus 22 takes you straight through Waikiki and east to Hanuama Bay.
Feeling a little hedonistic and have your passports ready? Take the short 7 hour flight to Montego Bay. A driver can meet you at the airport and transport you safely to the 7-mile white sandy beach of Negril. Pack lightly because the average temperature for February is a very comfortable 75 degrees. For truly authentic taste of Jamaican hospitality, I recommend staying on the beach at â€œMomâ€™s Placeâ€. Rooms are priced at $65 or $75 depending on whether you want air-conditioning and the food they serve is to die for!
Hope the suggestions I give here spark the â€œtravel bugâ€ in all of you. Happy Trails!