By Julie Soderlund and Becky Warren
So we have to admit, neither of us are really all that into the upcoming Hallmark holiday. It is overhyped and obnoxious in oh so many ways. But it is also a fact of life and when in Rome…well you should just take the flowers, wine, food, jewelry and cheesy card and go with it!
So in an effort to be helpful to whomever is planning you special day(s) – yes, this year Valentines Day starts tomorrow and runs through Monday – we’ve complied a list of some suggested places to sip and dine, gifts to get and at least one way you can give back.We’d also love to hear from you about your traditions, suggestions, complaints, whatever, so please post comments below and let our entire GOTG community in on your Valentines Day secrets (remember to keep it classy).
In addition to the million places to sip a lovely glass of something on the grid (58 Degrees, L Wine Lounge, The Grand, to name a few), local wineries also have that loving feeling this weekend – head on out for a good time over the weekend and buy a bottle of something delicious for Monday night!
The Lodi Wine and Chocolate Festival is on and it looks like a lot of fun and calories – good thing we’re done with boot camp tomorrow!
In a similarly themed event, the Old Sugar Mill is also hosting a Port and Chocolate Lovers weekend, which is obviously targeted right at us.
More locally, Revolution Wines has a special Valentines Day seating and goodie bag available. Make sure you reserve to take advantage of this one.
Almost every good restaurant in town is offering a special Valentine’s Day menu over the weekend (and if you don’t have a reservation yet, you should get on that!) and many are doing the same on Monday.
A few of our favorites include:
The Press Bistro – Sacramento’s newest, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G restaurant. They are featuring a $40 three-course menu for the big day.
Tuli Bistro (a true GOTG favorite) has a five-course menu planned for $75 and for another $25 you’ll be in for the wine paring too.
Sushi (Mikuni, Kru, etc.) – Avoid the prix fixe menu and go out for sushi.
Order in – OneSpeed and Paesano’s both do take out – so order up and pick up a good bottle of wine and some yummy goodness from Freeport Bakery.
Try Something New: We haven’t been here yet, but the Crescent Club is an underground venue offering a four course dinner by sister restaurant Cafe Americain. Or try the new and delicious Ten 22 restaurant in Old Sac.
A Pedicure – This is a reasonably priced great gift for any woman – and it gives her time to herself. You really cannot go wrong.
A Night Away at The Citizen Hotel – This Valentines Day, The Citizen Hotel is spicing things up with a sizzling package for both locals and out-of-town guests. Package includes:
One night of deluxe accommodations in one of their luxurious rooms; One night valet parking; One bottle of JDV blended Herradura Tequila; Shot glasses, local citrus, salts; Housemade chips & salsa; Scented candle, heated massage oil, and love dice. Available Friday-Sunday for one-night stay only in the month of February; rates start at $219.
Ginger Elizabeth – Chocolate. Enough said.
Restaurant gift card – This one is a twofer. You can make dinner at home, save money and then go out another night when you can find a reasonably priced sitter and not be subject to whatever is on that prix fixe menu.
Mixed tape (2011 style) – Low cost and lots of points for effort. Make a playlist for your loved one – the 2011 version of a mixed tape.
And finally, because it is so not all about you, giving back this heart day is a great way to celebrate. A GOTG friend and amazing mom, Andrea Himmelberger is the president of a local organization call Mended Little Hearts. Rather than try to tell you her story, we asked Andrea to share with us (and with you) her story and a little bit about how you can help children suffering with heart defects and heart disease.
When Drew (editor’s note: Drew is Andrea’s adorable son) was born February 9, 2004, he was diagnosed with a severe heart defect and required open heart surgery at seven days old. We spent the next 10 heartbreaking weeks in the NICU before we could bring him home with us.
The following year we decided that instead of spending money on going out to dinner, we would revisit the NICU where he spent his first Valentine’s Day and bring balloons to all the babies that were in the hospital. Each year since then we’ve expanded our visits and we now include every child who is admitted in the hospital-about 100 kids in the NICU, PICU and pediatric floor. We also bring thank you gifts to the doctors, nurses and staff who take such good care of these special families. It’s a great way for us to teach our kids about compassion and loving others.
This year, Mended Little Hearts of Sacramento, a support program for parents of children with heart defects and heart disease, is holding a CHD Awareness Valentine party and Blood Drive on February 14th, from 3-7 pm. The community is invited and there is more info on our webpage www.sacramento.mendedlittlehearts.net.
There is also information on “how you can help”, and tax deductible donations are always appreciated.So get over the needle and give back by giving your blood and your money!
Happy Valentine’s Day!