Whether you’ve been planning something special for someone special for weeks, or you’ve forgotten until this very moment and now have been seized with romantic panic, the day is upon us. Valentine’s Day is Monday, and florists, candy makers and jewelry shops have been gearing up for months.
Maybe you’ve been happily married for decades, or maybe you just started dating somebody who’s really, really, really cool. Or, maybe you’re single and looking, or single and just fine with staying that way. Whatever your relationship status may be, here are a few things to cover all your bases on V-Day. All you need is love (and chocolate, and Champagne, and maybe some ice cream to top it all off).
Better than chocolate
Saturday afternoon, the Maine Maven in Orono will hold a very special truffle tasting with Maine’s own Black Dinah Chocolatiers, the Isle au Haut-based confectioners who create world-class sweets. Maine Maven will offer 18-piece ($45) or 28-piece sets ($69) featuring three flavors. There’s dark chocolate and Earl Grey tea in a milk chocolate heart, lemon-infused white chocolate in a white chocolate heart; and the limited edition Persian Love Caramel — rose-and-cardamom-scented caramel cream and a whole pistachio in a bittersweet chocolate heart. The tasting is 2-4 p.m. Saturday, and if you’d like to reserve a box of truffles, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org — they’re likely to sell out.
Of course, if you’re a true chocoholic, you can check out the annual Caribou Chocolate Festival 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Caribou Recreation Center. Sponsored by the Caribou Children’s Discovery Museum, the event will feature oodles of decadent delights, available by purchasing booklets of coupons, with six coupons for $5 or 13 for $10. Kids activities are also on the menu, from a bounce house to Wonka bingo. For info, call 764-9241.
Chocolate is also one of the main courses at The Cave in Brooklin, along with wine, cheese and other yummy gourmet treats. The Cave is a specialty shop featuring the finest in cheese, bread, wine, sweets and gourmet snacks from around the world. The Cave had a special event Friday night featuring their delicious products, but the store is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday to fulfill all your V-Day needs. Learn more at www.thecavebrooklin.com.
As long as you love me so
If your love is better expressed by getting out of the house, try taking a trip out to Saddleback in Rangeley. The mountain will offer “speed dating” on the Rangeley double chairlift. For a $25 lift ticket, single men and women will be able to share the eight-minute ride up the mountain as a way for them to meet new people interested in a romantic relationship. Participants in Saddleback’s speed dating will be given a red heart on their lanyard with the purchase of the discounted lift ticket, and then get in the lines of single men and women on the lift. For information, visit www.saddlebackmaine.com.
Alternately, you could ski, hike, snowmobile or snowshoe for a few hours, and then share a warm, hearty meal with your sweetie this Saturday in Bucksport. Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust will offer a Valentine’s Day package that includes lunch at MacLeod’s Restaurant between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. A $15 donation includes a morning or afternoon outdoor adventure on GPMCT’s many cross-country ski, hiking and snowmobile trails, and a lunch special at the restaurant. Greeters will be at the south gate near the intersection of Routes 1 and 176 to help you navigate. To reserve a spot for lunch, 348-9901.
Going to the chapel
If you’re a longtime married couple and have always liked the idea of renewing your vows — but haven’t had the time or money to get around to it — you’re in luck this year. Bangor Baptist Church will offer a special evening service for couples who want to renew, led by pastor Tom Obey. For just $5, you and other like-minded couples can take part in a romantic event, complete with refreshments and prizes. The mass renewal 5-6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14; to register, call 947-6576.
If you’re on your way to the altar and want to get some fun ideas for your coming nuptials, you’d do well to visit the first-ever French’s Point Four Season Wedding Show 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at French’s Point in Stockton Springs. The elegant wedding venue will have 30 vendors in floral, photography, music, entertainment and more, and the show is free and open to all. Vendors will offer goods tailored to all four seasons, and French’s Point will offer minispa services (by reservation only) in the bridal suite, ballroom dance demonstration and instruction, live musical performances, s’mores, sleigh rides and a fireworks display. For a full itinerary, visit blog.fpmaine.com.
Sparkle and shine
Thinking of getting something special for your sweetie? There are plenty of options to think outside the box, and to shop local while you’re at it. Maine Jewelry and Art on Harlow Street in downtown Bangor has an array of Maine-made items, from love knots and heart earrings by Riverside Designs to fun, funky pendants from Moxie Kin and KSL Designs. Yo Mamma’s Home on Main Street in Belfast is offering a 25 percent off sale through Valentine’s Day on all jewelry, classy to cool. Archipelago, on Main Street in Rockland and specializing in all things local and coastal, will give away a four-piece box of Black Dinah Chocolatiers truffles (we can’t get enough of them!) with a purchase of $50 or more worth of jewelry.
Deliver the letter,
the sooner the better
Want to do an old-fashioned Valentine’s Day? Pick up a cute-as-a-button card through Ferdinand, the Portland-based screen printing company. Sentiments range from sweet to sassy, so whether it’s for your sappiness-deprived boyfriend or your love-to-love-you girlfriend, there’s something for you.
Cards not big enough for you? Give your significant other a valentine they’ll never forget, with a singing valentine courtesy of the Maine-ly Music Chorus. The barbershop chorus will come to your house (provided you live between Stockton Springs, Lincoln and MDI) and sing you two songs and present you with a card and a rose. The cost is $35; to reserve a time, call Maine-ly Music president Dan Rhodes at 469-2782. Singing valentines are available Feb. 12-14.
If you’re single, Valentine’s Day can be one of the more irritating holidays of the year. Fear not, happily unattached folks: Story Slam comes to your rescue. Get your feelings off your chest with the monthly storytelling event organizing by Bangor MothUp 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, at the Big Easy at the Charles Inn in downtown Bangor. The theme this month? Singles Awareness, of course. The cost is $5 to listen, or to put your name in to tell your story about being single.