Ok..Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and we get asked a lot… “What is the most romantic spot that you guys have ever been?” What exactly makes a location romantic? What is that “je ne sais quoi” that makes one place better than another? Obviously, the key ingredient is the one you’re with. The sights, sounds and environs can also be spices that make the recipe work. So many come to mind, but we narrowed it down to three. Undoubtedly there are zillion other places on this green/blue globe that are amazing…we just haven’t been there yet.
So what was important to us in selecting these locations? Our first criterion is that we have experienced them first hand. Love tested; Love approved. Anyone that knows us…knows that we have a tendency to fight. So our locations must be unanimous picks. (Not as easy as it sounds). Lastly, we took Paris out the running. Why? Every other blogger is writing sappy and lovey-dovey posts as we speak about the “City of Love.” Paris is remarkable, read the other blogs…after reading ours :) Our last criterion is there must be some sort of magical/mystic quality about the location. The three places we picked all have magic.
How could we use the word romantic without pulling Italy in somehow? The Villa is a quaint and somewhat difficult to find, a short drive from Florence Italy. Is this the nicest most expensive B & B in Tuscany? No, not by a long shot. And maybe that’s what makes this place so special? You are not going to break the bank to say a weekend or even a week here. It is located smack dab in the rolling green hills of Tuscany. Take a walk down the gravel road behind the Villa, basking in the hills and scenery of Tuscany. You’ll feel miles away from anywhere. What makes the magic of this place? It is the little road behind it. Ok…Luci is a huge fan of the movie, “A Room with a View.” At one point in this chick Flick, the main characters take an afternoon ride in the Tuscan countryside. We are convinced that they came to Villa il Poggiale. It takes you back to old Italy. The B & B is quaint. Yes, it does have a humble pool overlooking a vineyard. It has the cypress trees lining the drive as you come into the property. And, yes the owners are just about the coolest people in all of old Italy. This place is magical for the dramatic setting…humble accommodations…and five star sunsets.
Now that’s Amore!
Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the remnants of the fighting days WWII. (Maybe that’s why we like it so much?) It harbors a network of abandoned war bunkers facing the Bay. Drive up along the tops of the hills overlooking the city, the Bay and the Pacific Ocean. What makes this place so special are the views, and the fog. For some meteorological reason, this place has the strangest weather. Often, you are above the fog, and just the tippy tops of the Golden Gate poke through and then the city lights illuminate the fog and it appears to been a golden blanket of cotton balls. At other times the fog rolls down the hills like water. There are a number of secluded beaches, a lighthouse, and many fragrant eucalyptus groves along the headlands. Pack a lunch and take a hike through the trails that go between each of the war bunkers…take a horse ride down to a beach or through a forest. So many options!
Bring a blanket to snuggle with!
Sirheni Bushveld Camp, Kruger National Park, South Africa—
Kruger Park is one of the largest public game reserves in all of Africa. South Africa has preserved this corner of its county to celebrate wildlife including lions, hippos, elephants, and cheetahs. Now, there are different levels of camps and lodges within Kruger Park. Similar to the location above, Sirheni is not the lap of luxury by any stretch of the imagination. You even have to do your own cooking! We found the accommodations at Sirheni the best in our Kruger experience. The camp is a collection of modern one bedroom condo-ish looking structures, which have huge back porches overlooking the Sirheni Dam, on the Mghongolo River. Your back porch is a water hole and views and access are unmatched. As we sat on the back porch we heard a rumble of cracking brush and trees and elephants walked past our porch just 20 feet away. At one point we literally stood a couple of feet away from several elephants. The layout of the 20 or so bungalows is well done to create an isolated feel. As the sun sets, you can watch animals take a drink or cool off from the hot African sun and you enjoy your own beverage of choice or cook a slab of beef on the bbq provided. In the distance you will hear elephants splashing and hippos whistling.
We share these three locations as our recommended romantic locales…so where would you recommend? Did we miss the best place?