Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve: Cool Ways to Say ‘I Love You’

You’re sure to win hearts with these dashing moves

BY February 23, 2016

They say the best things in life are free, but what they really mean is that someone else bought them that stuff. (Can I get an “Amen”?) And as we stare down yet another Valentine’s Day, it’s safe to assume that one more year of chocolates in a box shaped like a left ventricle just won’t cut it. So this year, if you’d like there to be a next year, you need to bring your A game. And to prove our love for you, we’ve spent an inordinate amount of time researching the coolest ways to say, “I love you”—je t’aime (French); ich liebe dich (German); te amo (Spanish)—in Southwest Florida. Remember, you can’t put a price on love. (And not expect to hear from the authorities.)

Message on a Plane

Look! In the sky! Is it a bird? No! Is it a plane? Yes. Oh. But it’s a plane with a personalized message such as “Marry Me, Bob!” or “I Love You, Mrs. Robinson!” Actually, it could be whatever you want as long as you don’t go on and on about it—you have only 32 spaces to work with (plane banners make tweets look like War and Peace). Just contact Naples Air Ad, a division of ExecAir in Naples. It costs approximately $450 per flight hour, but, honestly, anything longer than an hour is going to really hurt your neck. In case you’re curious, “Will You Marry Me?” is their No. 1 sign. If you want something totally unique, you can order a custom sign up to 30 feet tall by 75 feet long with whatever words and graphics you like for about $5 per square foot. By the way, if you were thinking of skywriting, it doesn’t work in Florida due to wind shear. Call (866) NOW-2FLY.

A Tattoo

There was a time when all you needed to do to show your love was put on some Barry White and crack open a cold one. But those days are dead and gone forever. Now, you need to really make a statement. And few things say, “I love you” like ink. True, Jimmy Buffett has gone on record (literally) as saying they’re a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling, but that’s being a defeatist. This is love, and it will last forever. End. Of. Story. But why a tattoo? Well, skin is our largest organ. And Dr. Ruth says that our largest sex organ is our brain. So, if you think about it with your brain, having “I love you, Amber” tattooed across your collarbone makes total sense. And if things do go south, rest assured there are a lot more girls named “Amber” than you might think. By the way, we charge reasonable rates to spellcheck any and all tattoos. Check out Howl Gallery/Tattoo in Fort Myers at howlgallery.com.

You’re as Cold as Ice

Few things say “permanence” like an ice sculpture. Well, OK, maybe the aforementioned tattoo, but that’s probably it. And though we can’t say an ice sculpture has the same visceral weight as risking Hepatitis C, you can’t discount the romantic appeal of witnessing two life-sized dolphins kiss while they drip endlessly onto your living room carpet. Ice sculptures are surprisingly affordable (think $400 and up) and can convey virtually any representation of love: kissing swans, kissing lovebirds, that infamous scene from Lady & The Tramp. (Although it should be noted that ice spaghetti has a very short lifespan and you’ll quickly end up with just two frozen dogs staring at each other. But sometimes love is like that.) Locally you can check out Sculptured Ice Occasions (sculpturedice.com) in Naples or Brenton’s Ice Sculptures (brentonsice.com) in Fort Myers.

Write a Love Song

Not much else has the emotional power of a love song written by you expressly for your lover. Just ask Taylor Swift, John Mayer or Alanis Morissette. And though we do have the annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest at the beaches of Sanibel and Fort Myers each fall, we suggest you head to wikihow.com and follow the simple steps provided. You’ll be done in a jiffy. Or, if that is too much effort, visit song-lyrics-generator.org.uk and merely input the pertinent info about your beloved: four adjectives that can be used to describe him/her, two vegetables you both enjoy, your favorite animal, a condiment, a verb and a body part. What could possibly be easier? I tried it and it was lovely. Sure, it sounded a lot like Miley Cyrus singing Folsom Prison Blues, but that’s the kind of stuff that tugs at my heartstrings.

Puttin’ on The Ritz

There are a lot of lovely hotels in our area, but only two are called “The Ritz.” And only one of those is on the beach. So if you want to impress someone, book an Ultimate Romance Package (and be quick about it because it’s available only Feb. 1-28). It includes a Club Level View Room (the 14th floor) overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, welcome champagne and roses, a poolside cabana and a mesmerizing couples’ massage. The Club Level features an endless array of culinary and beverage offerings throughout the day along with the kind of personalized service only The Ritz can offer. We then recommend you take things to the next level by booking the very exclusive sunset dinner on the beach (available to only one guest per night). You get a custom menu, more roses, a rose-petal walkway (of course) lit by lantern shine and more champagne. It’s a night you’ll never forget. (Unless you keep drinking champagne.)

Horseback Riding on the Beach

If you’re willing to drive up to Bradenton (yeah, we know), there is an experience that places you squarely on the cover of a romance novel. We’re talking about horseback riding in the surf of Palma Sola Bay, the birthplace of HorseSurfing (that’s a trademarked term, in case you were wondering). You’ll ride elegantly for a mile along the golden sands before taking your steed into the warm, calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Sometimes riders are taught to horse surf. And though they can’t guarantee it, occasionally riders are met by curious dolphins. John Wayne never had that happen to him. Check out beachhorses.com.

It seems totally plausible that you could combine all of these options by riding horses to The Ritz where you’ll get tattoos on the balcony of your room next to your ice sculpture while you sing your song as a plane flies back and forth over the Gulf of Mexico with a banner that reads “I LOVE YOU MORE THAN WORDS CAN S…” Hmmm, maybe you could hire two planes.

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