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Planning a Perfect Romantic Getaway

February 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It marks the perfect occasion for planning a romantic getaway with your significant other. Whether you’re trying to spark a new flame or celebrating a well-established love, we’ve delivered the five steps necessary for a superlative weekend escape.

1. Know Your Lover
“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” ~Robert Heinlein

The best way to provide a memorable getaway for your lover is to plan according to their interests. This weekend is the time to reserve seats at her favorite restaurant, buy airline tickets to the city he’s always hinting about visiting, arrange for that perfect picnic, or finally get that babysitter for the kids.
romantic-fireplace.jpg Romantic Fireplace © Arild Storaas

2. Gifts
“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” ~Pierre Corneille

Gifts are an expression of our feelings. Be sure to enhance the experience with attention to detail. We are often very generous with the present itself, but fall short on the delivery. Try to spend a significant amount of time, before the getaway weekend, on presentation. Does she love roses? Consider spreading rose petals across the bed sheets or running a warm bath with petals and candles. Does he love chocolate? Skip the yearly heart-shaped box of chocolates for a basket of hand-selected pieces from a local or online specialty shop. Jacque Torres, Godiva, and B.T. McElrath are a few of the top chocolatiers. Even better, sign yourselves up for chocolate-making classes.

3. Location
“Laughter is an instant vacation.” ~Milton Berle

If the means are available, leave town for the weekend. There are countless romantic places to venture off to either locally or globally. Venice Carnival will be in full swing, the evening lights of Paris will be shining bright, the charming locals of Hawaii will be waiting to greet you with a Lei, and New York City will be working to keep you partying all night.

If not, pick your partner’s favorite place, near home, for a day trip or weekend. Be sure to pre-arrange for any romantic details for your trip. On arrival, leave your daily life behind. This is an occasion for laughter and relaxation.
romantic-pictures.jpg Romance © Brandon Warren

4. Conversation
“We do not remember days we remember moments.” ~Cesare Pavese

This getaway is a chance to indulge in reminiscence. We rarely return to the stories of our first days together. Take this point in time to talk about your awkward meeting, funniest moments, or the instants that defined your relationship. It’s also important to accentuate the experience with photographs. Bring your favorite images on an electronic-storage device or in a nicely decorated box. Be sure to flirt and hold hands.

5. Compliments
“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” ~Mark Twain

Compliment your significant other. Our lives are often busy and we forget to express gratitude for their love. Don’t assume that planning the weekend or buying presents is enough of an indication. It surely meets the requirements, but saying it aloud has a magical effect.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
gennaroeditor.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.



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A Travel Picnic To Die For

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Features, Food

Picnics are a great way to have an authentic travel experience. It has the added benefit of saving the traveler valuable cash resources. In order to maximize the benefits of your travel picnic, we’ve created four steps to the perfect outing.

1. Location
“To leave a place is to die a little.” ~French Proverb

Select a comfortable spot that reflects the interests of the participants. It’s often best to select a place that communes with nature. Areas within reach of rivers, lakes, or parks are ideal. This approach is feasible in the urban jungle too. For instance, the banks of the Seine River (below) in Paris have popular walkways to spend an afternoon. The Great Lawn (map) of Central Park in New York City represents another great spot. The latter has Belvedere Castle within its vicinity.
travel-picnic.jpg Picnic, Seine River, Paris © Malias

2. Food Selection
“Tell me what you eat, I’ll tell you who you are” ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Picnicking is an opening to have an authentic meal. It’s easy to collect a variety of foodstuffs, from local markets, that residents eat in their daily lives. A sojourn to an Italian city or village, for example, would allow for a picnic menu that consists of fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, mortadella with breadsticks, chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano, prosciutto on wedges of honeydew, and a basket filled with figs and grapes. Add a glass of local wine or fresh tomato juice with lemon and black pepper.

Having trouble with coming up with ideas? A great resource for selecting new picnic foods is The Minimalist: 101 20-Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics.
picnic-foods.jpg Picnic Meal © Nanda

3. Guests
“Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.” ~Rod McKuen

Consider inviting a couple of locals or fellow travelers to your gathering. There is no better way to understand a location that to spend time with those who know it best. It will also provide an opportunity to learn several new phrases in their native language. If you haven’t met any residents, contemplate arranging your get-together near a smiling group of locals. Don’t be surprised if an invitation to join them is in the offing. This is especially helpful for solo travelers.

4. Conversation Topics
“Friends are those rare people who ask how you are then wait for an answer” ~Unknown

During the meal, it’s best to keep to light topics. Allow each guest to select a topic for discussion over the course of the afternoon. This makes sure that everyone has a chance to participate in the conversation. It’s equally helpful to listen to your fellow picnickers and provide feedback to their musings.

Stomach churning? Read about the best pizza in New York City.
gennaroeditor.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.


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