Hearts and Cherubs

1850 Valentine designed by Esther Howland A “Mechanical” Valentine

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that you just can’t ignore.  Red ribbons and pink flowers drip and drape over counters. The scent of chocolate thickens the air with its sweetness.

Don’t misunderstand me … I love this excuse to spoil and kiss and snuggle with my darling. But the truth remains that a lot of marketing goes into those plastic ribbons and oversized boxes of candies. Just how many bonbons does it take to express your adoration for someone, anyway?
Because time is such a rare commodity, and because spending the average $103 on cliches isn’t in most people’s budgets these days, maybe this is the year to make a real effort to be  more creative. The not-so-typical gift could be more precious than any diamond and longer lasting than any sweet.
Here are some new ideas for Valentine’s Day (or for any day, really) when you want to express delight in that person who brings  joy to your life.
  • If your eyes fill with stars whenever you look at one another, be sure to visit the Cincinnati Observatory. On Friday, 2/11, there is an interesting public program which includes star gazing from 7:00 – 8:30PM. On Sunday, 2/13, just drop by the Observatory any time between 1:00 and 4:00PM for a fascinating tour of the facilities.
  • For a mini road-trip that includes tasty stops along the way, consider going on a Hot Chocolate Tasting Tour. Of course this can be done anywhere, but the folks in Western North Carolina have some pretty delectable options!


  • Few sounds are as romantic as the clickity-clack of a train rolling along the tracks. Add a nice dinner and you have the perfect evening for two – or more since this is a family-welcoming event.  The Whitewater Valley Railroad excursion will depart from the Connersville station on Friday at 6PM or Saturday at 5PM for a fun train ride to dinner in Laurel, IN.


  • This could be the most memorable Valentine’s Day for any couple within 100 miles of a White Castle restaurant. Do it up right and dress well, wear the special earrings, splash on her favorite aftershave and savor every moment. Yes, with reservations, you can be pampered at your local White Castle! It’s fun and different and wonderful!


  • Sometimes the best way to share our love for someone is to simply hold hands and stroll together.  Here are a few Walking Tours that are ideal for sweethearts of all ages. And just in case you can’t resist the urge to nibble a bit of chocolate afterall, it’s a fun way to remove all the guilt and most of the calories!





  • For the entomologist in your life, here’s something very special! For a mere $10 you can name a Madagascar hissing cockroach in their honor! What says love more than, “Hsssssss”?


There are so many ways to give something unique to that wonderful soul you adore! Cooking lessons, a candle lit evening with soft jazz and some bubbly, a professional or at-home massage, artistic outings at a local paint your own pottery studio, dancing under the stars in your own backyard … the ideas are as endless as your love for one another.

As a dear woman told me when she had lost her husband of 68 years and I was newly engaged,” Cherish these precious days together. Cherish every precious moment together.”

Cherish and enjoy!

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