Thoughts for Valentine’s Day
edited: Sunday, February 06, 2005
By Vera Saunders
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2003
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Valentine’s Day celebrations now more than ever.
Thirty-five years ago the Beatles sang "All you need is love." Instead of celebrating Valentine's Day, why not make it Valentine's month? They do in Singapore where it’s a festival, a celebration to spend more time with loved ones. There it’s the little expressions that count. Sailing down the river, playing music, serenading your sweetheart, holding hands – twenty-eight days of kindness, affection and saying that you care! In Vienna, Austria they go on a dancing date and waltz the night away to the strains of Strauss’s music.
Half of all US marriages end in divorce. We’ve all heard the reasons. We all know the consequences of ruined relationships. The health risks – more depression, more early deaths from cancer. And the benefits of a good marriage – improved cardiovascular health and that elusive feeling – happiness. And yet heartbreaking split-ups continue to soar. Perhaps we have too few role-models. The Reagans, the Newmans are notable exceptions, but, in our circle of friends, the casualties of love surround us.
The frequently cited culprit for marital break-up: lack of time robs people of romance. We need to be more generous with the Western world’s most precious gift. Pundits also point out that we shouldn’t wait till Valentine’s Day to express our loving feelings and according to CNN reporter Thurston Hatcher, Gregory Godek, author of “100l Ways to Be Romantic," says, “Giving red roses is about treating her like every other woman in the world.” It’s not individual enough.
Nowadays flowers and chocolate-coated candies are out. Creativity is in. Advice abounds. With a squirt of his favorite fragrance on all those sensuous spots, read a steamy, sexy story together, dine by candlelight, seduce your soul-mate by putting on your lacy lingerie and high-heeled ankle-strap sandals then tumble into bed for a never-to-forget sizzling sex session.
So what’s a would-be Romeo to do? Get him to surprise you. Try suggesting a whirlwind trip. To jump-start your Valentine’s Day month lovefest, enjoy a few days abroad. How about Vienna? It’s off the beaten track yet in the heart of Europe.
After a passion-filled night, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through this old-world city. Toast each other with a bottle of bubbly at an inn, pamper yourselves with a his n’ her massage, saunter along cobblestone lanes. Window shop. Soak up the atmosphere looking at buildings that date from the Middle Ages. Buy a "Sacher Torte" (chocolate cake) and send it back home in the café’s special wooden box to savor months after this, your second or is it third? honeymoon trip.
For that extra special experience, stay at the Alstadt Hotel, Vienna’s well-kept secret, known mostly to insiders. It’s a stone’s throw from the city center and the perfect love nest right in the heart of the city. Step in from the busy street; walk up the red-carpeted stairs. You’ll find instant peace, serenity, and that rare commodity impeccable taste. Immaculate, stylishly decorated rooms with a touch of the past, friendly staff whose sole aim is to make you feel at home, in winter in the lounge an open fireplace, the Altstadt is the ideal hideaway.
Have them pick you up by limousine from the airport or train station.
Receptionist Kristin says they put flowers in the rooms upon request. The Americans introduced Valentine’s Day to Austria after the Second World War. “It’s not as popular as in America, but it’s growing,” she says. Because of its distinctively decorated private and public rooms, the hotel is “romantic,” she adds.
Back home rekindle the memories.
University professor Dr. Chuck Wall, appearing on NBC’s Hour of Power, said he tired of hearing newscasters report random acts of violence so he coined the phrase "random acts of kindness." Let’s follow in his footsteps. Reach out to friends, the lonely and lovelorn. And don’t forget to say “I love you” to your honey at least once a day.
The popularity of this lover’s holiday has waxed and waned since its probable beginnings in the 1400s but now, more than ever, it’s time to celebrate Valentine’s Day one month long.
Copyright Vera Saunders February, 2003.
If you go:
Altstadt,A-1070 Vienna, Austria, Kirchengasse 41
Telephone: ++43-1/523 49 01