Most Romantic Valentine's Day Ever

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Barb and Charlie
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Barb and Charlie

Love Don't Cost a Thing "My sexiest Valentine's Day happened when my husband Charlie and I were first married and had very little money. My husband got red light bulbs, put them in all the lamps, put on sexy music, and invited me into the living room. We danced for hours, shared a few beers, and just enjoyed being together. It didn't cost very much but it was a lot of fun." -- Barbara Bartlein, 52, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Ron and Lisa
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Lisa and Ron

Home Alone "Just before Valentine's Day, my husband Ron was laid off. Since we were low on funds, we decided not to exchange gifts. But when I got home from work that evening, the kids were eating the dinner my husband had prepared for them. Ron handed me a glass of wine and my favorite red satin pj's and told me to get comfortable.

"Then he led me to bedroom -- what a beautiful sight. Ron had an Italian dinner on the table, with little red-glass candles. He was playing my favorite Frank Sinatra CD. I felt so special that he had done all that. No diamonds or gold or overpriced roses could have made me any happier. When I sat across from him and looked into his eyes, all of our problems went away. We were the only people in the world." -- Lisa Stabley, 40, Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania


Venetian Valentine's "My best Valentine's Day ever was in 1993. My then-girlfriend Ruthe and I had just arrived in Venice on the first day of Carnival of Venice. The day was great. Lots of walking the city, enjoying the party atmosphere and food, sightseeing, nuzzles, and smooches. As night fell, we made our way back to the main canals. Grabbing a handful of fresh-cut lilies from a street merchant, I asked Ruthe if she'd like to take a gondola ride. She eagerly agreed. After a long and very cold search, we finally glanced down just as a lone gondola was docking below. We got in and pulled away from the shore, floating off into the darkness. We returned to shore as husband-and-wife-to-be.

"A decade later, we remain happily married and have expanded our family to include two wonderful sons. And every February 14, I repeat this simple message: Thank you, Ruthe, for saying 'yes' in Venice." -- Bryan E. Wright, 36, Cincinnati, Ohio

Susan and Steve
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Susan and Steve

Second Time's the Charm "When we were dating, Steve had always said that we should know each other for two years before we decided to get married. So when Valentine's Day came just a few weeks before our two-year anniversary, I was wondering if he was going to propose. That night he gave me a really beautiful box from Tiffany's that had a really expensive bracelet. I thought, well he's definitely not going propose. So I was kind of mad and wondering if I should break up with him.

"Later, we walked down to a nearby marina and he said that he wanted to look at a boat. It was really dark outside and I had to walk down this grassy hill in heels, so I was complaining about it and saying, 'Well why do I have to look at it?' And then he said, 'Well I just wanted to ask you to marry me!' I was so thrilled and kept saying 'Are you sure?' We met friends later to celebrate with champagne and he said, 'You know, you never did answer me!' We laughed about that. I definitely wanted to get married. We had the ceremony in Las Vegas, where Elvis married us. It's the second marriage for both of us, and we can definitely say it's better the second time around!" -- Susan Adams, 50, Seattle, Washington

Fran and Steve
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Fran and Steve

Ooh-La-La "Two years ago on Valentine's Day I had sent a singing French Maid telegram to my husband Steve's office. Turns out the 'girl' had an Adam's apple and was a fella. Steve vowed to get revenge for the present. Then last year, Steve told me to get dressed up on Valentine's Day and meet him at his office. He said he would be driving us to our destination for the evening in his car. We drove for about 20 minutes. He was awfully quiet. Then he turns up this dark, winding road. I see beautiful lights from hundreds of windows. We round one last bend and pull up to a gorgeous 100-year-old castle. He looks at me and said, 'This is where we are spending the night. A castle for my Queen.' We had a wonderful romantic evening in this luxury-hotel castle -- though it was a while before I realized there wasn't going to be a prank. Sometimes an Old English theme can be more romantic than Frisky French!" -- Fran Capo, 37, Howard Beach, New York

Northern Exposures "A few years ago, my boyfriend, Chad, had been working up north for a month. I missed him terribly. One night, he called to tell me he wanted to do something special for Valentine's Day. He said I was to pack a suitcase, and leave the rest up to him. As soon as he was home, I tried getting the information out of him. Where were we going? But he wouldn't give in. He just looked at me, with his sexy smile and said, 'You'll see!'

"When the day came for us to leave, we headed west from our home in Calgary. We drove past elk herds and through the mountains -- the scenery was breathtaking. Finally, we drove up to a beautiful hotel. We had cocktails in the bar, and when we went back up the fireplace was blazing and the water in the jacuzzi was steaming -- but they weren't as hot as we were!" --Chasey Casha, 39, Calgary, Alberta

Continued on page 3:  Romance Rev-Up Tips


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