Your best Valentine’s Day ever

Surprise, surprise, I’m not a hopeless romantic. I’m not one for mushy movies or books or gushy poems or sappy sentiments. I’m pretty sure the only love letter I’ve ever written was to Joey of New Kids on the Block when I was about 12. (Sorry, honey.)

But I always get a little goo-goo-eyed around Valentine’s Day. I like the idea of having one day dedicated to acknowledging the one we love. However, in my house, Valentine’s Day is pretty

much ignored. With our wedding anniversary in late February, the day of red and pink roses usually takes a backseat.

But if we really lived it up on Feb. 14, I’d love a day like this. A girl can dream, right?

Spa Day at the Peninsula Hotel

I can’t think of a better way to start off Valentine’s Day than with a Spa Journey at the Peninsula Chicago. Spending half the day at one of the city’s most luxe hotels, using the hotel’s fitness center and taking a dip in the pool would certainly be the perfect antidote to a long week with the kids.

The Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior St., (312) 337-2888.

Flowers from A New Leaf

With arrangements that go beyond long stems and baby’s breath, I wouldn’t mind for a minute if a bouquet from A New Leaf appeared at my doorstep. They only create bouquets from seasonal flowers, so my ideal February bouquet might be full of tulips and calla lilies. Hint, hint!

A New Leaf, 1818 N. Wells St., plus two other locations in the city,

Lunch at RL Restaurant

After an indulgent spa morning, we’d walk north a couple of blocks and dine in the wood-lined walls of RL. Not only is the food delicious, but the club-cozy atmosphere adds a level of glamour and intrigue to a regular old lunch date.

Ralph Lauren Restaurant, 115 E. Chicago Ave., (312) 475-1100.

Chocolate from Kilwins

No perfect Valentine’s Day would be complete without a sweet treat. Instead of fancy chocolate, go for a slab of delicious Kilwins fudge, which comes in mouth-watering flavors like Chocolate English Walnut. Nothing says I love you like that!

Kilwins, 1405 N. Wells St., (312) 654-1962.

Dinner at North Pond

I’d cap off my indulgent Valentine’s experience with dinner at what has to be Chicago’s most romantic dinner spot-in the middle of Lincoln Park-North Pond. Nestled among the vast trees and bodies of water the park has to offer, North Pond’s chef just was nominated by the James Beard Foundation in the “Best Chef: Great Lakes Region” category for 2011.

North Pond, 2610 N. Cannon Drive, (773) 477-5845.

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