Valentine's Day is fast approaching. This is the time for all you men out there to open your hearts and your pockets for that special someone in your life. This is not the time to procrastinate or be frugal. Splurge! Give her the sun and the moon!
OK, so you can't do that, but you can certainly make her feel like you have.
The oldest known valentine is still in existence today, a type of poem known as rondeau, written in 1415 by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It commences:
Je suis desja d'amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée...
— Charles d'Orléans, Rondeau VI, lines 1–2
To read the entire poem and see the translation go to: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Farewell_to_Love
While on the topic, why not consider an original poem by YOU to your sweetheart. No matter how good or bad you are at poetry, it will go a long way as long as it's full of your love.
Exchanging of handmade valentines probably started in the early 1700s. By the 1840s, Esther A. Howland was selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” Howland made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures, known as "scrap." For examples and directions on how to make some valentines of your own, go to Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=DIY+valentines+cards.
Better yet, why not take her on a Valentine's Day road trip? When searching for the most romantic town in Maine, Camden kept coming up on the Web and elsewhere, and with good reason. It has a beautiful harbor, a mountain behind, a very scenic downtown full of shopping opportunities, scenic architecture, great outdoor activities nearby, quaint inns, great restaurants, and you can even get on a ferry and go island hopping.
Or pick your own road trip. No matter, make sure you do whatever it is together. You can show how much you love her every day of the year, but it's extra special on this one day, so get your Valentine on!
41 Elm St.
Hart. Valentine. You get it. Take a day or two, make a reservation and have a romantic interlude at one of Camden's inns. This one often offers cooking courses, but not on Valentine's Day, so check out their website.
Camden Opera House
29 Elm St.
On Valentine's Day, this beautiful, 118-year-old icon downtown will host a special concert called Indie Artist Showcase: Real Music for Real Music Lovers, featuring three rising stars: Barnaby Bright, Connor Garvey and Chris Ross. It is billed as an evening filled with unique instrumentation, powerful harmonies, intelligent lyrics and genuine warmth on stage. Show begins at 8 p.m.
Cellardoor Winery at the Villa
November through April, Thursday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
April through October, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
Corner of routes 1 and 90
Just minutes away from Camden you'll find one of two Cellardoor Winery venues, this one open this time of year from Thursday to Sunday. They not only have wine tastings and a gift shop, but also host an exhibit of art from a local artist that rotates every month. If you want to visit the actual winery in Lincolnville, they ask that you call ahead January through March: 763-4478.
Chocolatier Blue Maine
12 Bayview St.
Wednesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
What better way to indulge your Valentine's Day desire for a confection? These are not your everyday chocolates. Try Passion Fruit Caramel, Coffee & Donuts, Fruit Loops, French Toast, Praline and even English Breakfast Tea. Yes, those are some of the many chocolates they have to choose from. Indulge!
40 Paper – Italian Bistro & Bar
40 Washington St.
A hip neighborhood bistro and bar located in the downtown area at the historic Knox Mill building. A great place to go for a meal or just a drink at the well-stocked bar.