Love is what makes life divine.
Love is the frosting on the cupcake, the cherry on the sundae and every little beat of the heart.
It's so wonderful and crazy to think that this is my fourth Valentine's day to celebrate with Jason. Every year we plan something fun and romantic, and it's truly a holiday I get so giddy over. In 2010, for our very first Valentine's Day as a couple, we went to Palmer's in San Marcos partly because it's pretty much (or at least was) the ritziest restaurant in town and partly because we had never been and were interested to check it out. Jason gave me a gorgeous silver necklace with a black and white diamond heart-shaped pendant, and I gave him a hand-painted picture frame with a picture of me with our dog Fozzie and cat Hunter. The next year we celebrated our relationship in New Orleans, one of our favorite getaway spots! We dined and drank to our hearts content and returned to Austin with a couple of, what I consider to be love-themed, street art pieces from Jackson Square. For our third Valentine's Day together, Jason treated me to dinner and a movie at one of our favorite local spots, the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. For the holiday, the theater hosted a "Princess Bride Valentine's Day Feast" where they showed the classic love story, The Princess Bride, and served a four-course meal with drink pairings. We had been to one of the Alamo's feasts before for New Year's Eve when they showed The Apartment, and we obviously enjoyed ourselves enough to try out another. For Jason's gift, I reserved two spots at a Whole Foods cooking class where we learned to make some traditional southern comfort foods.
This time around Jason was scheduled to work in the evening so we went out to dinner last night at Salty Sow, which I'm pretty positive is my new favorite place ever. We ordered duck fat fries for an appetizer which were perfectly crisp the way fries should be and served with two soft poached eggs on top and bernaise sauce for dipping. Jason ordered the candied pork belly, I ordered the petite bone-in fillets medium rare with red wine bone marrow sauce and mushrooms (OH MY YUM!) and we shared the bananas foster beignets for dessert. Probably one of the best meals I've had in a long time. I'm not a huge lover of red meat, but I do enjoy a nice bright pink fillet from time to time, especially when it's paired with a magnificent, flavorful sauce like that! Oh, and if you ever find yourself at this lovely little eatery in east Austin, I highly recommend the house-made blood orange Blanche frozen margarita. So, so heavenly. As you can imagine, we were both quite stuffed and happy at the end of the meal. When we returned home, Jason surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of red roses, a heart-shaped box of assorted chocolates and a card in which I found the sweetest handwritten message that got me all teary-eyed! I got him a couple of Dogfish Head beers, some candy and a sweet little card as well.
It's such a treat to be so in love with your best friend and to be able to share something so intimate and personal. No two relationships are the same; each one has its own qualities and reasons for survival. I feel so lucky to have found love and to have made it to nearly four years with this remarkable guy. Here's to many more Valentine's Day celebrations with him!
Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day to you too!