When chocolate doesn’t cut it

Carl Robinette

Mon January 25, 2016 1:40pm

When cupid readies his bow and takes aim at your wallet this Valentine’s Day, you can fire back by skipping the traditional overpriced dinner at an over-seated restaurant and give your Valentine a true romantic experience.
If the ceremonial exchange of chocolates and flowers is not enough to keep your special someone from breaking your heart, these delightful date ideas will earn you enough brownie points to last until spring.
The Gondola Company in San Diego offers a splash of Venice with paddled gondola rides along the canals of the Coronado Cays. Blankets are provided and a mandolinist is available for additional charge to play music as you bob along San Diego’s calm waters. Bring a picnic as food and beverage are aloud and corkscrews are provided. Each cruise is about 50 minutes and reservations are required.
The drive-in movie theaters in Chula Vista and Santee are a great way for parents who can’t find a babysitter to get out to the movies. Since they offer double feature pricing, it is a great bargain. Pick up a pizza or takeout from your Valentine’s favorite restaurant. Have the young kids skip their afternoon nap and bring plenty of blankets and pillows. Bring a few Valentine’s decorations along. Once the kids are asleep in the back, you can turn the front seat into your own private love nest for the second movie.
The San Deigo Gas Lamp Segway Tour allows you and your honey to cruise the cultural hotspots from the Gas Lamp Quarter to Balboa Park with a romantic stop at the Inez Grant Parker Rose Garden. Bring sunblock and cash because there are a lot of tasty treats, art and gift shops along the way.
Hire Old Cars offers chauffeur-driven classic show cars from 1927 to 1972. When you’re cruising in the back of the Ford, Chevy or Caddy of your Valentine’s dreams you’ll be fogging up the windows in style. Roll up to a dance club and turn heads with your hot wheels or take a leisure cruise up the coast and enjoy the plush custom upholstery .
Hot Air Balloon Rides offer stunning sunset vista and a bird’s eye view of South Bay along with the entire county. Private rides can be costly as the balloons hold several people. More affordable rates are offered when you join a general admission flight with strangers aboard. Companies like San Diego Balloon Rides, Sportations and California Balloon Rides offer competitive pricing.