Valentine’s Daze: What to do if … You’re hopelessly in love

Valentine’s Day is coming and, as we are required by law, The Post is going to give you things to do on Feb. 14. But it would be irresponsible of us to further the myth that there is one Valentine’s Day. In fact, there are many, all of them dependent on a person’s circumstance and relationship status, all of them requiring different activities, sometimes dramatically so. With that in mind, we have come up with what to do with five very common, very recognizable Valentine’s scenarios.

Previously: New Couple… Are We A Couple?


After nearly 10 years of singleness, I finally met my Valentine. Not yet a year into dating, he popped the question. We opted for a simple ceremony on the beach—site of our first date—attended by a few close friends and family. The groom wore board shorts; the bride, flip flops.

In exchange for a traditional honeymoon, I suggested we take a mini-honeymoon, once a month, for forever. He agreed and we planned the first six months. This month, my hubby, who has proven to be the romantic one, is planning our 17th honeymoon: an overnight, six-mile backpacking hike into the nearby mountains, (please, let it snow!) Since our honeymoon will be the weekend after Valentine’s Day, I volunteered to plan our Valentine’s celebration.

Our city offers lots of romantic options. I could quickly and easily opt for a cozy cocktail overlooking Pine Avenue at Bo-beau kitchen and rooftap, the neighborhood romance of Cafe Piccolo or take in the gorgeous view of downtown Long Beach from the patio of the Maya Hotel’s Fuego.

My husband would be fine with any of them. But romance for me is taking into account my man’s favorite foods, hobbies, places he wants to visit, things he wants to experience and setting up a moment for him and experiencing it with him. He has a wide variety of interests (gardening, beekeeping, hiking, woodworking…) and has an abiding fascination of the ocean, he’s a recently retired county lifeguard. But my husband isn’t a demanding man; I could bring home a flat of vegetable plants and he’d think I was the bee’s knees. (We talk like that.)

Still, I want this to be romantic. But after a decades-long hiatus from Valentine’s Day activities, I’m out of practice. Valentine’s Day for me was, well, it wasn’t. The first Valentine’s Day I celebrated alone was actually a Galentine’s Day. My two single friends and I met for a drink after work. We counted the number of couples in the restaurant and vowed we would be there for each other again next year unless we coupled up.

The following year, they both met their loves. I worked late. The rest of them are a blur.

Jellyfish can be very calming. Romantic? Why not? Photo courtesy Sunset Marine Labs

Given his long and professional relationship with the water, I went searching on Instagram and stumbled upon Sunset Marine Labs in Signal Hill, the first commercial jellyfish husbandry lab in the world. That sounds romantic, right? As a lifeguard, my husband has had countless interactions dealing with jellyfish stings this, I thought, offered the opportunity to see the creature in all its placid beauty. But, it turns out that Sunset closes at 5. I work until 5.

Another of his interests is beekeeping. He has kept bees and helped other beekeepers on and off for ten years or so. I check into the local bee sanctuary here in Long Beach, run by Long Beach Beekeepers but their classes are held on the weekends.

Maybe a paddle through the waters of Alamitos Bay. I could pack a sack dinner and we could snack in our 2-person kayak.

Or, a meal with a view! Vue Bar and Restaurant, located at the top floor of the Holiday Inn, they’re offering a three-course meal for $99 per couple.

Vue Bar+Restaurant because planes are sexy. Photo courtesy Vue.

A builder of model airplanes since he was a teen, his collection is under glass in our family room. He even has a few awards. A view of the landing planes, sushi on the menu and I’ll even smuggle his binoculars so he can check out the airplanes up close. Romance!

But, really, when you’re actually in love, does it even matter where you go or what you do? No, really, I’m asking, because I’m considering a Valentine’s Day rife with jellyfish and bees.

Does any of that make sense? Don’t ask me; I’m in love. 

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Andrea Estrada is the Post’s advertising manager. She’s been in advertising since the age of 17, a career path that has taken her from community papers to European publications to local newspapers such as the Daily Breeze and Press-Telegram to, now, the Post. Ironic since, as a kid, she sold Girl Scout cookies each year and “hated it,” thinking to herself, “I’m never going to sell anything.” Fortunately for the Post, she changed her mind.