Roses are red, violets are . . . What??

Yes, it’s just five days till Valentine’s Day! It’s the countdown to the most romantic day of the year, so are you ready for it?

If you’re like most of us, you aren’t.

We all know the old favorites: a card, some chocolates and flowers, specially red roses. But it might be time to think out of the box. Think about what your love interest would really like, whether a gift card to a favorite store, taking a cooking class together or a snowmobiling getaway. Think about it and surprise that special someone in your life.

Do they like wine? How about going to a wine tasting – here’s a link to the Maine Wine Trail. And although it’s not a winery, The Vault right on downtown Lisbon Street in Lewiston often hosts wine tastings. and

Looking for a romantic movie, song or book? There’s a link for that!

If you’re really broke, buy a few candles with a soft scent, a few roses (later gently pick the petals off and put them in a tub of warm water scented with a nice moisturizing body oil), add a card, some soft music and viola! You have a romantic evening. (It’s on a Friday, so make sure you farm out the kids for the night!) Order out and have dinner delivered.

Are you creative? Then write a poem, or make a book of coupons to give — you know the kind I mean. Whatever it is, get inventive!

Meanwhile: local Road Trip! Here are a few places in L-A you can go to get your creative juices working . . . or take along your soul mate and make it part of a memorable Valentine’s Day.

If you’re looking for more “do-it-together” ideas,  check out “Check it Out” and “What’s Happening” in the Sun Journal.

Orphan Annie’s Antiques

96 Court St., Auburn


Not just your ordinary antique store, you can find just about anything you can think of here, including jewelry, vintage clothing, books, old magazines, records (78’s and 45’s), glassware, bakeware, pottery, antique lamps and lots more — along with a warehouse containing three floors of more things (open Mondays). Find something together that represents your love or a mutual interest. (A Richard Nixon/Spiro Agnew campaign pin anyone?)

Artio’s Books Plus

180 Turner St., Auburn


If you live in the L-A area you have probably driven by this quiet used bookstore many times. Now is the time to check them out and find a book that your special someone would like to read. Or buy a book or two together and read to each other.

Maine Gourmet Chocolates

170 Main St., Auburn

Owner Stephanie Bernatchez has one of the most amazing chocolate shops I have seen in Maine. She has a wall lined with awards for her chocolates, and once you’ve seen and tasted them you’ll know why. Love or just lust? Who cares.

Top It Frozen Yogurt

168 Main St., Auburn


And while you’re at Maine Gourmet Chocolates, take a few steps over to this shop, operated by Stephanie’s daughter Corrie Bernatchez. Frozen yogurt is great in winter too, specially with all the choices of toppings she has to offer. Take home a pint. There’s nothing like froyo for your mojo.

Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary

Montello Road, Lewiston

This is a great place to go hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in winter. The rest of the year you can bird watch, picnic, walk and just enjoy nature in this quiet, 372-acre wildlife preserve. Located off Montello Road between East Avenue and Old Greene Road, you can’t miss it. The couple that bird watches together . . .?

Lost Valley Ski Area

Brookside Lounge

200 Lost Valley Road, Auburn


On Valentine’s Day evening, the popular local ski area is hosting a Southern Comfort night in the Brookside Lounge with music by D. Ross. Nothing says romance like some night skiing and then some apres skiing slopeside.

Flagship Cinemas

730 Center St. Auburn


855 Lisbon St., Lewiston


Ahh, the sweet darkness of a movie theater. And “Frankenstein” on the big screen! Wait, that’s Father’s Day. For Valentine’s Day, why not surprise your sweetheart with two tickets to a rom-com or rom-dram? Check out the listings on the Monday before the big day to be sure, but movie buffs are already predicting four good possibilities: “Labor Day” with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin; “Endless Love” (a reboot of the 1981 film); “About Last Night” (a retelling of the 1986 classic, this time involving two couples); and “Winter’s Tale” with a star-studded cast way too big to list here. Go. Laugh. Cry. Then go home. The rest is up to you.

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