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Put some romance in your holidays
Give a romantic gift and you might get a little back.
This holiday season, you might want to forego giving a gift of snow tires or a vacuum cleaner and find something more on the romantic side to give your special someone.
Whidbey Island has a lot to offer in that department.
Probably the most obvious choice for a romantic gift is the girls best friend. Diamonds, after all, make killer stocking stuffers.
Jewelry as a whole is romantic, said Gloria Carothers, owner of the Jewelry Gallery in Oak Harbor, but diamonds really symbolize romance. ... Someone once told me that a woman will never forget the circumstances under which she gets a piece of diamond jewelry.
Carothers said she specializes in ideal-cut diamonds, including Hearts On Fire, which is considered the worlds most perfectly cut diamond.
There are many jewelry stores to shop on the island. In Oak Harbor, theres Geralds Jewelry, Island Jewelers, the Jewelry Gallery, plus A-Lot-Of Rings and Things north of the city offers estate jewelry. Theres also a few stores in Langley.
Dave Fikse, owner of Geralds Jewelry, agrees that a gift of a diamond is one of the best ways to express romantic feelings. He travels to Antwerp, Belgium, each year to purchase high-quality diamonds directly from the stone cutters, cutting the price by cutting out the middleman.
It doesnt get a whole lot more romantic than a diamond... he said. A diamond is a very personal gift. It was intended strictly for you.
The act of giving a piece of diamond jewelry can also be a romantic experience. Fikse said a gentleman who recently purchase a diamond ring took his wife for a romantic evening at a fancy restaurant. She was pleasantly shocked when the ring came out on the dessert platter.
Carothers said a particularly popular romantic gift right now is three-stone setting on rings or necklaces. The diamonds represent the past, present and future. She is having her annual holiday sale starting Dec. 1.
A romantic gift can also be an experience. An evening together, for example, at the Captain Whidbey Inn near Coupeville can kindle or rekindle any fire. The inn, after all, was named best bed and breakfast get-away in the Northwest by Evening Magazine.
John Stone, proprietor of the Captain Whidbey Inn, suggests that a stay for two at one of the inns three cottages could be just the ticket for a romantic gift. Each cottage is in a secluded spot overlooking the cove or lagoon. Each has an outdoor hot tub on the deck and a fireplace inside. All you need is a little champagne for the perfect evening.
A couple can sit in the hot tub, he said, overlooking a lagoon and cove beyond with boats bobbing in the water.
The fanciest of the three cottages also has a a claw-foot-style Jacuzzi and fireplace adjacent to the master bedroom with its king-sized bed and down comforter.
Stone got the idea for a perfectly romantic 16-hour getaway from guests who live here on Whidbey. The idea is that after a long workday, a couple will leave the kids with relatives and go out to dinner at a nice restaurant perhaps the Oystercatcher or Christophers in Coupeville.
Afterward, they can go just down the road to the Captain Whidbey Inn. They soak in the hot tub, make a fire in the fireplace, pop open a little bubbly and spend the night gazing in each others eyes, Stone said. In the morning, they can eat a delicious breakfast at the inn and then go back to work.
Surprising a significant other with a 16-hour vacation, Stone said, could be the perfect gift in any season.
Another choice for a special night out is at the Kasteel Franssen at the north end of Oak Harbor. Scott Fraser, head chef and restaurant owner, said the atmosphere is all about romance, with coziness, warmth and candlelight. Its the high-class joint where Oak Harbor residents go to propose marriage and celebrate anniversaries.
Its also a place for celebrating the holidays with a romantic flare. Fraser describes the menu as a blend of European cuisine with Northwestern ingredients. Its the kind of place that serves such luxuries as escargot, lobster, buffalo short ribs and even ostrich.
For a complete romantic experience, Fraser suggests staying a night at the windmill-shaped hotel next door. There are fancy rooms with jacuzzies and fireplaces. He said they offer special sweetheart package deals for a meal and night in a special room.
That way, Fraser said, you dont have to worry about having too much to drink. You can just walk to the hotel.
Finally, another popular and romantic gift is a certificate to a spa. In Oak Harbor theres the Gallery Salon and Day Spa, which offers relaxing experiences in cleanliness. The spa offers manicures, pedicures, hair styling, make-up application, massages, facials with steam, exfoliation and a face rubdown and even lunch.
People are always getting gift certificates for birthdays, anniversaries and Valentines Day, said Mistiann Lapo of the Gallery Salon. Its a nice, calm atmosphere. Its definitely a romantic gift to get.
Editors note: An incorrect version of this story appeared in the holiday gift guide included in the Nov. 20 Whidbey News-Times.
You can reach Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or call 675-6611.