Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and uninspired lovers will line up to buy chalky candy and droopy roses.
But not you.
No, you’re spending Valentine’s Day in Bend. It’s a destination brimming with creative ways to show your love (not to mention a tourism blog written by a USA Today bestselling romantic comedy author who pretty much lives to write this Valentine-themed post each year).
Here are six wintery ways to show your love in Bend.
Put a heart on it
In the olden days, nothing said “I love you” like carving your heart-fringed initials on a tree or fence post.
Fortunately, modern lovers are aware of Leave No Trace practices and the fact that you’ll be seriously, humiliatingly, publicly shamed for vandalizing public property like, say, a railing at Tumalo Falls.
The solution? Etch your heart into an icy car windshield, preferably your own. If your car is extra dirty (and let’s face it—it is if you’re visiting Bend in winter) your mark will likely stay put for the remainder of your Bend vacation.
Fall for each other
You don’t have to be a graceful ballerina to enjoy ice skating in Bend. In fact, a touch of clumsiness can work to your advantage.
Once you take a few wobbly-kneed laps around the ice, your sweetheart will take pity on you and hold your hand. Snuggle into that embrace. Really milk it for all it’s worth. You’ll still wobble, but at least you’ll have someone to catch you before your butt hits the ice. Either that or you’ll both fall, and isn’t that how half the smoochy scenes start in rom-coms?
And if you both suck, it’s no coincidence the Deschutes Brewery tasting room and brewing facility are right across the street from The Pavilion.
Build a shrine to your sweetie
“Draw me like one of your French girls.”
It’s the line from Titanic that sparked a million memes, and for good reason. What better way to show your affection than to lovingly craft a work of art in the image of your beloved?
You don’t need skills with ink and charcoal to execute this plan. Just a pile of snow and a few accessories to create the ultimate snowman or snow-woman in the image of your bae.
Pro-tip: If you opt for an anatomically-correct snow-person, emphasize your sweetie’s nicest assets while downplaying the flaws. You’re welcome.
Solid as a rock
Bend is a surprisingly popular destination for rockhounding (which I just realized sounds way dirtier than it is).
Hunting for pretty stones is a great Bend activity for all ages and fitness levels, and the cooler months are a great time to do it to minimize your risk of heat stroke. You’ll find some great ideas in this blog post.
Okay, so what does this have to do with love?
Blame it on the romance author thing, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve had great luck finding rocks in the shape of hearts. I spot them on beaches and riverbeds, forest floors and obsidian fields.
Give it a try sometime, and assemble your own collection of stony mementoes from your travels. Just be sure you’re collecting at approved rockhounding sites (we’ve got maps in the Bend Visitor Center!) and not in strangers’ yards.
Pee her initials in the snow
You’re not really considering this, are you?
Snow angels for lovebirds
Admit it: It’s been years since you flopped down in a field of fresh powder and made a snow angel. Like maybe you were eight or nine and so excited by the prospect of a snow day that it seemed like a good idea to wallow in piles of frozen water.
Making snow angels is still fun when you’re a grownup, but for different reasons. Try it sometime with your honey-bunny, then come up with creative ways to warm each other up.
Stumped? You’ll find a few ideas here.
But I think you can do better than that.
Happy Valentine’s Day!