Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Kings County Record is still down on the internet so here is a copy of my column this week for those who prefer to read it this way.

Whalen's Wanderings

A Valentine's Date Outdoors

This column is for all those outdoor enthusiasts out there who might be looking for an idea for Valentine's Day. I would not likely be classified as a romantic. In fact my wife would likely say my idea of romance is giving her burnt toast for breakfast in bed. Now in my defence, she likes burnt toast. For you true blue outdoor enthusiasts though this could be romance at its best, I stress could.

In this part of New Brunswick we have some incredible places where you can let your creative juices create a romantic date while outdoors in February. Snow and ice add a romantic overture to any outdoor activity. Cold temperatures simply mean that you can get closer to your significant other. Here are some possible date ideas to get your juices flowing but don't be scared to add your own flare to the scenario.

Everyone loves sliding, but sliding at night with some candles lighting your path adds a whole new feeling to the activity. Cuddling on the toboggan or doubling up on a crazy carpet provides some personal contact while adding an extra layer of fun and enjoyment. To top the date off be sure to have a lantern at the bottom of your sliding hill along with a thermos of hot chocolate and maybe a light snack. Your sliding hill should be easily accessible, yet isolated enough that you'll be certain to be alone and this is where you will have to do some research. It wouldn't be right if I told you everything.

Snowshoeing is an activity that anyone can do. You don't have to be great at it to enjoy it. In fact it might be more fun if you are a bit clumsy on your snowshoes. In the winter time the snow reflects a great deal of light back into the night time sky. When the stars and moon are out it definitely makes a loving mood for you and your partner to enjoy one another's company. A walk to the Bluff or another scenic ridge makes an idyllic destination for a date and the lights from Town just add more romantic flare. Don't forget to take a headlamp and a warm drink to top the date off.

The last idea, but definitely not the least romantic, is to pitch a tent in your backyard and snuggle in for a night of cuddling. Light a candle lantern and spend the night reading to one another, doing puzzles, or simply talking. Unlike camping away from home, this method is a bit less stressful. There is no packing gear into a vehicle, no worrying about weather, and no campsite fees. If you really want to impress the object of your affection, make them breakfast in bed. No one can resist the feeling of snuggling into a warm sleeping bag while sipping on hot tea and a hot cereal. If you make toast just make sure it is the way they like it.

I want to say happy Valentines Day to my wife. You inspire me.

Ben Whalen is an avid outdoor enthusiast and environmentalist, who promotes healthy and sustainable lifestyles in Kings County. For more of his writing check out http://www.whalenswanderings.blogspot.com

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