Valentine's Day ... it is upon us again ... Thursday, Feb. 14 ... this coming week, to be exact ­– for those who have pushed the thought out of their minds completely.

It's a greeting-card-company-induced day filled with expectations in the hearts and minds of at least half the population. Or, is it?

The Sun asked a sampling of the South Walton population what their ideal Valentine's Day would look like. Would you be happy with a nice card? Roses? Dinner out? Or, would a couple's massage make your day? The responses, which came mostly from women (except one brave soul) varied from sweet to sappy to silly.

Sandestin resident Peggy Lillie's vision of a perfect Valentine's Day would begin with cappuccinos at sunrise on our beautiful beach with her two Pomeranians (they do have their beach permits), and her wonderful husband.

Seagrove's Susan Benton already has a plan and is working it. "I am headed to the mountains of east Tennessee with my husband for delicious foothills cuisine, hiking, and a family celebration; so this Valentine's week could not be more perfect!" she gushed.

Grand Boulevard's Stacey Brady envisions arriving home to flowers and a loving card, followed by a romantic candlelit dinner and good bottle of wine shared with hubby Mike Brady at Beachwalk Cafe at Henderson Park Inn. "It's a classic!" she said.

Blue Mountain Beach resident and singing bartender Redd Vizard is one happy girl who is already content with life just the way it is now. "I got my ideal Valentine almost 14 years ago when I met Paul at a movie premiere party. The only gift I want is to spend the rest of my life with him. Add a little champagne into the mix … Perfect!" she said.

Alaqua's Laurie Hood is also a happy lady. "I already received my special gift," she said. "My 7-year-old son asked me to be his date for his Valentines Day Dance!"

Mack Bayou's Lynn Wesson's perfect Valentine's Day would be to enjoy a fabulous meal with all her children and grandchildren at the same table. "My three boys, my three beautiful daughters-in-law and, especially, my three magnificent grandchildren. However, they live in three different states. So I settle for gathering up and sending them Valentine goodies," she said.

Santa Rosa Beach interior decorator Kenda Jordan has an altruistic approach to the day. "I see a perfect Valentine's Day as a day without pain or sickness, hunger or thirst, hatred or injustice. It would be a day spent in perfect love, with no expectations or obligation. It would be a day spent living with the heart of God," she said.

Melanie Barrett and her husband have a standing tradition for the day: "Spending the weekend in Jacksonville at the beach, staying at the Quality Inn Suites, and having dinner at Casa Marina, which opened its doors in Jacksonville at the beach in 1925. This has been our thing to do for several years on Valentine's Day."

The lone male responder, Eastern Lake's Lane Rees's perfect Valentine's Day might be summed up as personal quality time. "I would wish for a whole day and night with Brenda — no meetings, no emails, etc., — ending with dinner overlooking Eastern Lake and the Gulf," he said.

Public relations lady Madra McDonald also is wishing for a day without gadgets. She envisions a relaxing day and evening with her husband spent restaurant hopping at their favorite spots sans their smart phones. "And, maybe a pedicure and massage for me!" she added.

Sandestin's Mary Damroth's formula for a perfect day is simple: "Chocolate cake, good wine and friends — but, not in that order!"

Santa Rosa Beach's Meg Warrington has visions of romance for her perfect day. "Roses, dinner, dancing, holding hands, looking into each other's eyes, and a big smooch good night," she says dreamily.

However, when Rosemary Beach Realtor Linda Miller dreams, she dreams really big. Her perfect Valentine's Day? Without skipping a beat or needing much thought at all, she quips, "George Clooney picks me up and we fly off in his private jet to Paris for the weekend."

Here's hoping all your Valentine's Day wishes come true. And, Linda, if yours comes true, call me!


A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS: Show your love locally this Valentine’s Day

There’s plenty to love about South Walton, which makes deciding what to do on Valentine’s Day extra difficult. Here are some of The Sun’s suggestions for a lovely time with that special someone.


Bentley's & Maddog's 30a

10343 E. Co Hwy 30A, Seacrest Beach



Bentley's offers the perfect recipe for Valentine's romance. A complimentary glass of champagne is poured to toast the beginning of a great evening. Special dinner selections are offered with your choice of a four-course or two-course meal. Your feast is followed by a show featuring Geoff McBride from the Voice and Jim Ward from Blood Sweat & Tears. Two seatings are offered, one at 5:30 and another at 7:45 p.m. Reservations are a must — call 850-231-1007.  See Page A6 for more information.



Ocean Elements Day Spa

90 Spires Lane, Santa Rosa Beach



Ocean Element’s Day Spa is featuring couple’s services and packages this Valentine’s season. All couple’s services include complimentary champagne and chocolate fondue.  HERBella Apothecary has also created a special line of organic aromatherapy products just for our couples called Pink Lemongrass. As always gift certificates are available as well. See their ad on Page A12 for more information.



Fish Out of Water

34 Goldenrod Circle, Santa Rosa Beach



Fish Out of Water, rated Four Diamond by AAA, is offering a delectable Valentine’s Day Menu Feb. 14 to 16 featuring fresh, local ingredients from area farmers and fishermen.  Also at WaterColor Resort’s from Feb. 14-16, individuals and couples visiting the InnSpa will receive a Valentine’s Day discount on purchases or services. See Page A16 for more details



Crush Wine Bar

25 Central Sq., Seaside



With a welcoming and friendly staff, 24 wines by the glass and almost 100 bottles available with exciting wine flights, this intimate wine bar is the perfect Valentine’s Day destination. For this special day, Crush is offering a 3-course dinner paired with wines for two. Sweetheart packages are also available that include limousine escort and/or couples spa massage. SeePage A11 for more information.



Sergio's Little Italy

50-1 Uptown Grayton Circle, Grayton Beach



Celebrate Valentine's Day with a romantic dinner at Sergio's restaurant in Uptown Grayton. Make your selection from a special Valentine's Day menu with choice of salad, appetizer, entree and dessert. Choices include filet mignon, grouper and more. Please call to make reservations. See Page A7 for more details