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33 Ways to Spark a Romance at the Cabin

By Sue Sondreal
Published: February 1, 2005
Photo by Tracker Marine on Table Rock Lake, Mo.
Ah, it’s the season of romance. Roses,wine, candle light, the perfect, poetic words breathlessly whispered.
Or is it, “Arrrgh, romance”?
The “R”-word conjures images of passion and perfection that most of us mortals can never hope to achieve. But take heart, if you have a cabin, you have it made.
Knotty pine, cool evenings, a stone hearth, stars sparkling overhead, a breeze gently caressing the treetops. Cabins are by their very nature romantic, so you need only add a little something special, a little twist to tradition.
But don’t fall prey to the commercialism of romance. You see, the secret of romance is that it isn’t really defined by Hallmark and FTD. It is, rather, defined by you as a couple.
Here are 33 suggestions for sparking romance at your special getaway. The most important element? Just spending time together.

Photo by Maureen Steltz, on the occasion of her 20th wedding anniversary.
1. Snuggle under a blanket with a flashlight and read something together – love poetry, ghost stories or your cabin journal – whatever suits the mood.

2. Pack a picnic basket, then set off in your pontoon to find a beach for a private picnic.

3. Play poker using Dove chocolates, then read to each other – with feeling – the romantic messages inscribed on each wrapper.

4. Sit barefoot, sole against sole, and team up to refill fishing reels. One of you holds the spool of new line while the other winds it onto the reel.

5. Collaborate to write a rhyming love poem: write one line and then pass it to your beloved, back and forth until your “masterpiece” is completed. Feel free to be sincere or silly.

6. Fill a low, wide basin with warm, scented water and soak your feet together, then take turns slowly drying and massaging each others’ tender toes.

7. Take a walk holding hands, but not uttering a word.

8.  If you have a hot tub, try a late afternoon soak while sipping a frothy blend of orange juice and ginger ale.

9. Turn on a colored mood light to cast a beautiful glow, and dance to the “The Lovers’ Waltz” by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason.

10. Wrapped in blankets, bask in the glow of an old-fashioned bonfire.

11. Bribe the kids to make and serve you breakfast in bed. Then enjoy, even if it is Cap’N Crunch with macaroni and cheese.

12. Just for the fun of it, decorate your pontoon and tour the lake.

13. Together, peruse the season’s collection of photographs, laughing, reminiscing and selecting favorites for a season-ending photo montage.

14. Spend an hour in the woods picking wild berries together. Then, after stashing the berries inside, doff the briar-scratched, sweaty clothes – and lunge into the lake for a cooling splash.

15. Team up as culinary partners and bake those wild blueberries or blackberries into a luscious pie or rustic galette for dessert.

16. Tie two inflated inner tubes together, hop in and float, side by side, through a warm afternoon.

17. Celebrate your anniversary each year by planting a special tree, shrub or hardy annual alongside the cottage. Be sure to log the location and species in your cottage journal.

18. Traipse together to the dock to watch the sunrise and savor dark, rich, early morning coffee.

19. Lantern in hand, head to the canoe or rowboat and take a silent, late-evening cruise, communing with bullfrogs and other creatures of the night.

20. Pull out your old band instruments, a guitar or even a harmonica, and play a duet on the deck. Even if only one of you plays, a serenade is quite romantic.

21. Get the lyrics to or a recorded version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser, and on some snowy winter eve, sing it together.

22. Take a break from chores and swing gently in the hammock together any time of day.

23. On a lazy afternoon, make homemade ice cream together.

24. Bring your bikes and relish a crisp fall day exploring the nearby rural roads.

25. Share your happiness and good fortune by taking some time out of your cabin activities to volunteer for a couple of hours at a local senior center or animal shelter.

26. Reconnect with members of your wedding party and invite them to spend a weekend with you at your special getaway. Then renew your wedding vows as a surprise.

27. Buy a large, not-too-complicated puzzle featuring a movie or photo of significance to you, and spend some lazy time working it together.

28. Head out for an early morning fishing trip, then cook up a shore lunch breakfast with your fresh catch.

29. Make s’mores for each other, but be daring and sandwich the marshmallow between new ingredients like sugar cookies and thin wafers of dark chocolate.

30. If you enjoy winter activities, buy some snowshoes and trek out for a vigorous hike. Later, a soak in the hot tub will soothe those muscles you had forgotten about.

31. Scout out a special nature trail and leave surprises for your beloved, then walk it together and enjoy his or her delight at discovering the small presents you’ve “planted.”

32. Together, take lessons to enjoy something new – learn to snowshoe, ski, water-ski, fish, tie flies or even become a woodsy gourmet.

33. Line then dock  with luminarias and cuddle together at the edge, enjoying champagne.

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