Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to break the budget

People struggle with the same
problem every year: what is
there to do on a college budget
on Valentine’s Day? Now, some
couples will take the quick
and classic option of making
reservations at the most fancy
restaurant in town and topping
it off with a bouquet of roses for
whomever.
This is expensive, however,
and though it is a nice idea, it’s
not entirely original. Please also
rule out the option of sending your
sweetheart several loudly colored
balloons and plastic fl owers.
To begin with, fl owers and
chocolates do not have to be the
only gift. Play to your partner’s
hobbies or interests. Leave no
stone unturned.
For the actual date, get
creative. Do not panic and pick up
the phone for reservations at the
nearest upscale restaurant. There
are endless opportunities within
Anchorage for an original date.
If your signifi cant other does
not mind getting a little chilly,
drive out to Beluga point or
McHugh Creek to watch the sun
set or enjoy the natural scenery.
These locations are quiet at the
end of the day and far enough
from the city to see stars at night.
McHugh Creek also features a
waterfall and a lookout point that
has a perfect view of the ocean
and it’s horizon. The bonus here is
that you will only have to pay for
your gas on the drive.
An alternative to this is
packing a picnic and driving out
somewhere that looks out onto a
pretty view. Eat in the car and stay
warm, maybe wait for the stars to
come out, and cuddle up with your
signifi cant other.
But maybe you don’t like the
cold or romantic silliness. There
are plays to see, both serious and
funny ones, that will be centered
on a Valentine’s theme, and there
will be others that have nothing to
do with Valentine’s Day. Cyrano’s
and UAA are always offering plays
for a relatively low price compared
to other large theatres such as the
Anchorage Center for Performing
Arts. Out North is also an option
to be considered by theatergoers.
Okay, the outdoors and theatre
still aren’t good enough? Plan a
movie night and pick whatever you
want to watch. Cook dinner. With
so much information at the access
of everyone’s fi ngertips with a
computer, it would be easy to fi nd
a creative, cheap and delicious
recipe for the night.
One idea that has original merit
involves writing down random
ideas of what to do and having
your partner draw from them.
Go crazy with your ideas. Make
up the strangest, funniest things
imaginable. Do the activities in
the exact order that your partner
picks them. (This author takes no
credit for this idea. See Page 05.)
What if your signifi cant
other and you have a thing for
photography? Take a camera
and go chronicle your activities
of the day with it. Go out to the
movies, walk around downtown
or even see a sports game. Just
don’t forget the camera and a large
enough memory card for plenty of
pictures.
Valentine’s Day should not
mean lacy pink cards from
Hallmark and expensive dinners
followed up by cheap chocolates.
It can be a good excuse to spend
a day fi lled with activities that
require nothing but enjoyment or
a day for relaxation. It does not
have to be a couple’s exclusive
holiday either. Friends can get
together and have just as much fun
as anyone else on Valentine’s Day.
It just requires a little thought.