I think the last time I celebrated Valentines Day with a gift I was 12-years-old and the then love-of-my-life-there-will-never-be-another gave me a Michelle Branch CD. I gave him a sweeeeet t-shirt from the coolest surf shop in town. We broke up two weeks later.
Since then, social media rolled into town. On V-day, Facebook is rife with pictures of flowers, presents and chocolate.
Sure, all those things are great but you know what's better? Spending time together.
It may get you a bit of ribbing from your mates but what's that saying... Happy wife, happy life, happy husband, happy wife?
So with that in mind, here are six ways to spend Valentines Day with your partner in crime in Hamilton and the Waikato.
HOW ABOUT A PICNIC?
Try the Hamilton Gardens, or the lake, or the Taitua Arboretum. All you have to do is pack an array of delicious goodies and some bubbly into a picnic basket, grab a blanket and whisk your other half to your chosen destination. It ticks all the boxes for a Valentines Day evening - it's thoughtful, romantic and most importantly, it's about spending time together without forking out a lot of money.
LISTEN TO SOME SWEET, SWEET MUSIC
This year's Valentines Day happens to coincide with another big date - day one of the Hamilton Garden Arts Festival. There's a couple of different things happening, like Symphony in the Gardens at the Rhododendron Lawn, 8pm. General admission is a gold coin donation, or $25 if you want to go all out fancy and secure you and your partner the 'best seats on the lawn'. If comedy is more your thing, try the Bitches Box, straight off the heel of a packed season at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You'll find this one at the Medici Court 6.30pm. Tickets are $35. Click here to see what else is on the festival's calendar for February 14.
VISIT THE ZOO, YOU MIGHT SEE SOMETHING NEW
If you haven't been to the Hamilton Zoo in awhile, Valentines Day could be the perfect time to go. Sumatran tigers, giraffes, baby bison, zebras, spider monkeys, red pandas, the list goes on. It's a pretty neat way to spend the day, if you ask me. A nice stroll, rare, exotic and cute animals... perfect ingredients to make a good day.
SUNSET AT INSPIRATION POINT
Inspiration Point near Whale Bay, Raglan, has stunning views of the Tasman Ocean and Karioi mountain. Having watched a sunset there earlier this year, I unapologetically recommend it, cheese factor and all.
TILL'S LOOKOUT RESERVE
This is a notorious ''pash point'' in Hamilton, according to a colleague. I'd never heard of it until this week but hey, I hadn't heard of the Blue Spring near Putaruru until last year either. You can find it on Melva St, on the western boundary of Hamilton. It's a moderately steep walk to the top but you'll be rewarded with views of the city and the Mormon temple. And maybe a sneaky pash.
DINE OUT AT ONE OF HAMILTON'S FINE ESTABLISHMENTS
Hamilton's in an eatery glut, so why not take advantage of it. There are about 115 places to grab a bite to eat in the city centre alone, not to mention the many more to be found in the suburbs. Word to the wise: this is the one day of the year you definitely want to book ahead.
- © Fairfax NZ News