CAUTION: DO NOT READ THIS (unless you believe in love!)
My car’s disc player was serenading me with Placido Domingo singing a medley of Billy Holiday's “Blue Moon” and Johnny Mercer’s “Moon River”. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I couldn’t help but feel that Domingo was singing the story of my second life…a life that began 30 years ago when a then-young widow met the recently widowed man of her dreams.
“Blue moon”, Domingo crooned, “you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own. Blue moon, you knew just what I was there for, you heard me saying a prayer for someone I really could care for. And then there suddenly appeared before me the only one my arms will ever hold. I heard somebody whisper ‘please adore me’ and when I looked, the moon had turned to gold...”
“…AND WHEN I LOOKED THE MOON HAD TURNED TO GOLD”
Then Domingo segued into “Moon River”, the unforgettable classic immortalized by Audrey Hepburn, in the classic 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany's”. “Moon River, wider than a mile, I'm crossing you in style some day. Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker, wherever you're going I'm going your way.Two drifters off to see the world, there's such a lot of world to see…”
And yes, we were two drifters off to see the world, and what a wonderful world we did see. So, grab your Valentine and drift around the world with me because “there’s such a lot of world to see…”
“TWO DRIFTERS OFF TO SEE THE WORLD…”
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Allow me to start spreading the news. Just in case you haven’t heard, New York, New York is a city so great it says its name twice. And what a romantic trip it will be when you wake up in the city that never sleeps with the love of your life. New York is a city for lovers.
|LOVE IN THE BIG APPLE|
There is nothing you cannot experience in New York; nothing you cannot taste there; and nothing you cannot buy your Valentine there. And, there is nothing that could be more romantic than hiring a horse-drawn carriage to clip-clop you and your sweetie through Central Park.
|CLIP-CLOP WITH YOUR LOVE THROUGH CENTRAL PARK|
VENICE, ITALY: I love Venice…and so will you! Venice has been called the faded beauty in the family of Italian cities…“her blondness now from a bottle and her perfume slightly stale”. Call it what you may, Venice is still one of the most romantic, beautiful, magical cities in the world. It is unique. It is fantasyland. It is Disney World on steroids.
|THIS SAYS IT ALL|
Reserve a table for lunch at the Cipriani Hotel overlooking the Venetian Lagoon. Hotel Cipriani Venezia, is more than a hotel. It is a romantic state of mind…a paradise of dreamy fountains encircled by enchanted gardens, cerulean waters and the mysterious light of a lagoon. Nicknamed “The Chip”, the hotel is la dolce vita… the sweet life. It is the perfect in perfection, the serene in serenity and the romance in romantic.
|CIPRIANI TABLE FOR TWO OVERLOOKING THE VENETIAN LAGOON|
After lunch, opt for a gondola ride that will glide you through the undulating canals of this floating city. Be sure to hire a gondolier that sings. It may cost you a king’s ransom, but how many times in your life will you be serenaded in a gondola with the love of your life?
|AS THEY SAY IN ITALIANO…THAT’S AMORE|
BERMUDA: The romantic chain of approximately 138 small islands, which we collectively call the island of Bermuda, is an exquisitely delicate watercolor framed by a shimmering turquoise ocean under a “pink cloud of oleanders”. Flawless spun-sugar pink beaches and the fabled moongates scattered throughout these breathtakingly beautiful islands, have made Bermuda a honeymoon haven for old, or newly wed lovers.
|TOPIARY MOONGATE AT THE GIBBONS ESTATE|
The mystical moongate, one of the national symbols of Bermuda, is said to bring good fortune and everlasting love to those who kiss beneath it. The moongate at Bermuda’s palatial “Pink Palace”, the Hamilton Princess, has earned this reigning Grande Dame hotel the name of ‘Honeymoon Heaven’.
A KISS BENEATH THE MOONGATE PROMISES EVERLASTING LOVE
VOW RENEWAL ON A CRUISE: On many cruise ships, you can arrange to have your wedding vows renewed. While sailing on the Silversea Whisper from Ft. Lauderdale to Santiago, I was invited to attend a surprise vow renewal ceremony celebrating 35 years of marriage for a Florida couple. Only husband Barry, and the ship’s staff, were in on the surprise for Barry’s wife Susan.
Invitations were sent to friends of the couple instructing them to dress up to the nines and to appear promptly in the Observation Lounge at a designated date and time. When guests arrived, they were greeting by a waiter serving flutes of champagne. They mingled with each other as well as the with the ship’s Master, Social Director and Hotel Director. Still not a clue as to what was about to happen.
RECEPTION PRIOR TO VOW RENEWAL CEREMONY
After a bit of socializing, the Social Director asked everyone to take a seat. She proceeded to call Barry and a surprised Susan to the front of the room. By the time the touching ceremony had concluded, there were both tears and smiles. And then there was the kiss. Corks popped from bottles of Dom Perignon, bubbly flowed, and more luscious luscious hors d’oeuvres were served. Memories are made of this.
|TEARS, SMILES, AND DOM PERIGNON|
SUNSET KEY, FLORIDA: Yes, the sun sets. It happens every night. It happens everywhere in the world. But when sunset occurs off a tiny island, a 10-minute ferry ride from continental America's southernmost city of Key West, it is one of the most romantic places in the United States to have dinner with your sweetheart.
|SUNSET AT SUNSET KEY|
That flaming moment when the great orange ball seems to drop off the edge of the universe--is a fiery celebration that will be etched in your memory forever. It is the sun, the green-blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and your Valentine. Even more delicious than the stone crabs you might choose for an appetizer.
STONE CRABS AT SUNSET KEY
If time…or budget…is limited, there are plenty of places you can find LOVE close to your home. Look for other versions of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture in Indianapolis, Indiana (the original), or in Arizona, Louisiana, Vermont, Utah, Nevada, Maine, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, California Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
There is never a shortage of LOVE!
|LOVE IN PHILADELPHIA, THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE|