VALENTINE’S DAY… A Reminder Why Every Day Should Be (Even in 2021)

VALENTINE’S DAY… Why Every Day Should Be.

It’s become my yearly tradition now, so I’m back again this year to extend my personal take on Valentine’s Day. Luckily enough for me, my wife feels the same way as I do. So, as always, I’ve added a few more pics from this year’s travels (which has become quite a lot the past few years now), but with the same message… Every day should be a day of expressing love and appreciation, not just once a year on a Hallmark generated Holiday.

We actually were able to avoid the masses the day after Valentine’s in 2019 at the JW Marriott in DTLA.

Let me start right off by saying that as we’re now into the year 2021, following a devastating 2020, celebrating isn’t the easiest. But it is also a time to be reminded, you don’t need to go out on the actual Valentine’s Day to show the one you love, just how much you do. In fact, after all, we’ve been through, these days it’s even more important, and appreciated.

For over half the year here in the LA area, in 2020 into 2021, just going out to enjoy a nice meal was impossible. Luckily, when we could, we supported restaurants the best we could while enjoying time together.

Since I started this blog a few years ago now, and normally my wife Nicole has been the one to look them over before I upload them to correct my endless bad grammar and spelling. I know, can you imagine a writer not being an English major? Luckily, I’ve never claimed to be. Needless to say, when I originally wrote this, I couldn’t have her edit this particular blog since I wanted it to be a bit of a surprise as an ode to her on Valentine’s Day…

Our first Valentine’s Day together back in 2008. Started out with dinner at Morton’s in Beverly Hills then on to The Magic Castle in Hollywood.

so excuse any of my writing errors. Hopefully, I’ve learned to improve my skills some over this past couple of years now and there will be quite fewer mistakes than when I first started my writing.

I wouldn’t be where I am today in my world of business if not for Nicole. Here we are on the red carpet of the Bonzo Bash event during the NAMM Show Convention in January 2015.

So then why am I releasing a special blog on Valentine’s Day if I basically don’t believe in this so-called Holiday? Why also am I placing this in my “Journey” category? Well, as far as the “Journey” part, I’ll cover more of that in just a bit.

My favorite single spot in the world, standing in Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It meant so much that Nicole & I were finally able to make it back in March 2018 and now will be there once a year… until 2020 happened.

As far as Valentine’s Day, I’m not against any excuse for showing anyone you care about your love for them, it’s just a shame it took a card company to create a day most do that now because they feel obligated to or else.

The place of our 1st date… Hollywood’s oldest private club, The Magic Castle. As a member of over 20 years, here we are enjoying Friday afternoon “members only” brunch in January 2016. Sadly, it’s been closed for almost the entire 2020 and there’s no idea when it will reopen in 2021.

Take Nicole and me; I’ve always treasured the little things we do daily since we started dating, from moving in together, to getting married. We always give each other a kiss and say “I Love You” as the other heads off to work. We try to stay up waiting for the other to come home from work, whether she’s closing down her restaurant or I’ve got a show…

It seemed like an eternity getting back to Italy, but we made it happen on my actual Birthday, at the Colosseum in Rome, none the less, September of 2018.

We always chit-chat after each other’s work when we’re done, day or night. We always text each other while at work if we can, even though we just saw each other a few hours ago. THOSE are some of the little things that couples don’t always do, that frankly, we couldn’t live without.

At least every year, we manage to spend quite a lot of wonderful times in Palm Springs. This was July of 2019, which was actually perfect, not too hot, and almost a ghost town.

Heck, we’ve been guilty of even sending cute love texts to each other when we’re on opposite sides of the couch watching TV. Those may be the best of all!

As a Foundation Club member, there’s no better view than the one at the top of the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. It’s a must when we visit, as it was here in August of 2009.

Yet, there’s no card for that, no flowers for that. Speaking of those Valentine traditions, I can’t remember a time I did those “traditional” things for Nicole… because the best time to give a card or flowers is ANYTIME! I love just running into the local grocery store to pick something up and seeing some beautiful flowers, of course getting those for her, “just because.”

You want Romantic… how about a Gondola ride through the canals of Venice, Italy? Yeah, had that covered this October 2018.

The same while stopping at the drug store, passing the card aisle, seeing some cute ones, and thinking she will get a kick out of it, and again, getting it for her… “just because.”

Cruises have always been one of our favorite times spent together. Especially when you spend a day in places like George Town in the Grand Cayman Islands. Here we are back in November 2009.

Then there’s the scramble to find a place for dinner on Valentine’s Day. That guilty need to take your loved one to a restaurant they’ve always wanted to go to. WHY then on this day? Well, Nicole and I are a bit of “foodies” as they’ve coined it these days, which is even more of a reason we do not like to wait for a special day to go somewhere we’ve always wanted to try.

Since Nicole and I first started dating, The Stinking Rose in Beverly Hills has been a go-to restaurant of ours. Naturally, on our Anniversary in 2019, we had to drop in.

So then why be that way with someone you love or are who you are wanting to spend time with… just go.

Stepping back in time for the night at The Ciacada Club in Downtown LA back in March of 2008.

Make any day special that way. Especially with Nicole and I always working, we’re lucky to get literally one night off together a week, so we try to go out to either dinner that night or brunch that day.

Nothing like High Tea at The Huntington Gardens, as we stopped by for the full layout in April 2019.

Either to try a new place we’ve heard about or one that holds a warm spot for us. Fancy or mellow, it doesn’t matter, because WE ARE TOGETHER. Crazy concept huh?

Just another magical night at The Magic Castle, with our besties Jennifer & Tracy. This time celebrating Jennifer’s Birthday in March 2016.

Ever hear of the term “Date Night?” Of course, who hasn’t? That not only applies to couples going out just as much as people just starting to date, but remembering there are nights other than just Friday and Saturday.

Our first date was The Magic Castle and 14 years later we’re still enjoying Magical times there. July 2018.

There are seven nights in the week, all with something you can find to enjoy together. A concert, a play, a movie, a comedy show… you get the idea, finding something to do with each other.

We’ve enjoyed many concerts together over the years, seeing our friends Guns ‘N Roses probably more than any other band. Here we are backstage after their “Not In This Lifetime Tour” at Qualcomm Stadium in August 2016.

Lastly, as Valentine’s Day falls this year on a Sunday, I’ve seen so many scrambling to figure out what they’re going to do on this DAY. Well, why just this day and or night? Why not the weekend?

The most Romantic city in the world… Venice, Italy! OK, so maybe not a quick weekend trip away, but worth planning for, that’s for sure! This moment here, cruising through the Grand Canal in October 2018, breathtaking!

Maybe it’s too late now, but Valentine’s falls on a Monday in 2022. So maybe plan on taking your loved one away for a surprise romantic weekend before or even after next year’s Valentine‘s Day?

We made sure this past year to get out to Palm Springs for either a night or a few. Even turning Christmas time into a little extra something.

Especially if it’s harder to get out during the week if you both work, what a great excuse to go away for the weekend… JOURNEY!

Goofing around during Carnival in Cozumel, Mexico back in January 2008.

Anyone that knows Nicole and me, know we live to travel. It holds the trifecta to my blog… “JOURNEY.” Nowhere have we had more romance than in our travels. Our second date was to San Diego & Mexico… yup. Nicole took me to Scottsdale, Arizona for my Birthday when we first started dating, then once on a mid-week cruise out of San Diego to Cabo San Lucas for another Birthday. I proposed to her on a jetty on a secluded beach in Jamaica.

The newly engaged couple on the beach just below Dunns Falls outside of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. In the background is the jetty I proposed to Nicole on. November of 2009.

We were married at a private estate on the beach just outside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The newly married couple, with the sun setting on the bay of the sleepy little town of Bucerias, Nayarit. A short drive from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in March 2011.

Spent our 1 Year Wedding Anniversary and belated Honeymoon in Puerto Rico.

On our 1 Year Anniversary in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico with the Castillo San Cristobal behind us, March 2012.

In fact, on our very first date, I asked her where in the entire world she would like to travel to, and she said one day she wanted to see Tuscany. So for our 2 Year Wedding Anniversary, we spent 2 weeks in Italy, starting off in Rome,

One of the most awe-inspiring places ever, inside the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, June 2013.

then off to Tuscany in Siena and Florence…

Nicole & I and Jennifer & Tracy, just enjoying a little after-dinner gelato in Florence, Italy. June of 2013.

and then ending up in the most romantic city in the world, Venice.

My third favorite visual spot in all the world, though not from this angle, Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy. Here on another gorgeous day looking into the Piazza, not out to the canals, my favorite view, in June 2013.

Best of all with that trip? We did it with our best friends Jennifer & Tracy who had never really gotten a chance to do a real honeymoon, and other than going to Puerto Vallarta for our wedding hadn’t been out of the States. Now the travel bug hit them, and they’ve been traveling and discovering what two people seeing what this world has to offer together is all about.

We truly do Eat to Live as well as Live to Travel. Dining at Arnaud’s in New Orleans is the best example of that. Our favorite place in The Big Easy was a treat again the past November of 2019.

Yes, those are some pretty big trips. But there were endless small ones done in between and we continue to do at a moment’s notice. Simply heading into Orange County…

Even quick jaunts down the coast to Huntington Beach became a meaningful excursion, during this past year.

with the countless trips to Disneyland,

One of many visits to the Happiest Place on Earth… Disneyland, back in October of 2009 for the yearly Halloween fun.

the drive’s out to Palm Springs,

Our go-to overnight quick trip… Palm Springs. Here in September 2009 taking the boat to dinner at the Desert Marriott.

as mentioned in San Diego,

Little did we know that heading to San Diego in January of 2020 would be the last trip basically we would take for quite a while. At least we ate like royalty at Lou & Mickey’s in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.


plus Santa Barbara and Ventura,

Enjoying a beautiful June 2018 day strolling around Ventura Harbor.

a little more up the coast to quaint Solvang,

One of the cutest places ever is the little Danish town of Solvang. It was so worth the 3-hour drive from LA in April 2018.

Las Vegas, quick boat rides to Catalina Island, weekend cruises to Mexico, and in our own backyard attending Los Angeles Dodgers games all summer long.

As Vin Scully always said… “It’s time for Dodgers baseball.” This means another fabulous day or night for us at Dodger Stadium, which sadly was our last game, in August of 2019.

We’re in Los Angeles, and if you are too, take advantage of that, or wherever you live, go out and do more with whomever you care about. Take your next day off or two together and go overnight somewhere, JOURNEY… “just because.”

Not the easiest of quick trips to do for Nicole with her & boats, but when we finally get there, Catalina Island is always such a wonderful place to be. Another beautiful day here in September of 2012.

I’ve been lucky enough to have someone like Nicole to share my life in this way, and I know I can’t be the only one. Use this Valentine’s Day to remember you actually don’t need Valentine’s Day to either say “I Love You” or to show someone just how much you care about them. Do it whenever, for no reason other than, “just because”… just because you do love and care about them.

One of my Top 5 visual places in the world… Piazza del Campo in the medieval town of Siena in Tuscany, Italy. Here we are in June of 2013.

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