They say Santa Fe is one of the nation's most romantic getaways. For those of us who live here year-round, Cerrillos traffic and endless street construction are not exactly what one could call "romantic." Nevertheless, Valentine's Day approaches. Stores stock shelves with hues of red, heart-shaped cardboard concoctions and anything that might give you a cavity. Meanwhile, our brains are wracked with anxiety about V-Day plans. Maybe you're one half of a couple who could care less; maybe you're the half who will be held responsible for declaring your love. Maybe, just maybe, you'd rather stay home and curl up by the fire (or space heater) with a good book. No matter your romantic intentions, or lack thereof, here are some Valentine's Day events to get your heart pumpin'.
Many hotels are sure to offer packages designed especially for the day of romance. La Posada's is quite enticing: two nights in a deluxe suite, accompanied by a five-course V-Day dinner with a champagne toast to boot. You'll also indulge in a 50-minute massage for two, romantic welcome gifts and candles at turndown on your first night. For $1,285, this deal may not be a steal, but it's a perfect plan for the passionate pair. Don't forget, if you can't manage this for Valentine's Day, the package is available all month long.
La Posada, 330 E. Palace Ave., 986-0000
Come one, come all to the Pre-Valentine's extravaganza hosted by yours truly, the Santa Fe Reporter. Amazing Larry, DJ Feathericci and emcee Max Mayhem will get your feet on the dance floor. Cowgirl appetizers will fill your belly. Fortune telling and massage will relax your mind and muscles.
6:30-10 pm Thursday, Feb. 8. $2. Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Camino Lejo, 476-1200
More than a dozen artists will share their visions of classic romanticism and edgier eroticism in the second annual Valentine's Show in the Institute of American Indian Arts' Lloyd Kiva New Gallery. The show opens with a costume-optional reception; artists include Rita Iringan, Glenda Loretto, David Sloan and many more.
4-7 pm Friday, Feb. 9. Through March 12. Free. IAIA Museum Store, 118 Cathedral Place
What better time for a drive to Sunrise Springs for an aphrodisiac dinner for two at the Blue Heron? The five-course menu offers such appetizers as oysters on the half shell and gingered carrot consommé. The intermezzo should be enticing enough-a cabernet sip with dark chocolate and vanilla honey-dipped raspberries. Entrée options are for the meat-friendly, and this menu is available prix fixe or à la carte. The Lotus Bar also will be offering special cocktails such as a passion fruit martini and vanilla bean champagne. Get out of Santa Fe proper and experience something slightly exotic with your partner.
5:30-8:30 pm Friday, Feb. 9, Saturday, Feb. 10 and Wednesday, Feb. 14. $130 per couple. Blue Heron Restaurant at Sunrise Springs Spa and Resort, 242 Los Pinos Road, 428-3600
Chocolate and Yoga
Join doctor of Oriental medicine Linda Durante for some post-yoga chocolate awareness. The chocolate comes after an Anusara Yoga class led by Wendy Borger. Designed to open the heart, this hour and a half will satisfy mind, body and taste buds.
10 am-1 pm Saturday, Feb. 10. $50. Sunrise Springs Spa and Resort, 242 Los Pinos Road, 471-3600
Pick up a Valentine's gift for your sweetheart while doing some good by attending the second annual Sweetheart Benefit Auction for the Cancer Institute of New Mexico. The event's theme is "Find What You're Looking For" and participating artists include master santero Charlie Carrillo, Spanish Market bulto artist Arthur P Lopez, contemporary painter Dan Naminga and several other celebrated artists. The $25 event includes a live auction segment plus wine and hors d'oeuvres.
4:30-7:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 10. Cancer Institute of New Mexico, 490-A W. Zia Road, 955-7958
Hearts of Gold
If you're looking for an elegant evening, the Santa Fe Opera Guild has you covered. Their annual Valentine's party offers cocktails, dinner, dancing and live music. Flowers and candles will decorate every table and, if that's not enough festivity for you, all sweethearts will receive red roses. The event will support the Opera's education and outreach efforts. Come for an event that will not only be fun, but beneficial to the community. Dress festively!
6 pm Saturday, Feb. 10. $125 per couple, $65 per single. La Posada, 330 E. Palace Ave., 986-0000
Single ladies, the Third Annual Valentine's Lesbian Singles' Party promises "dukes, drinks and desserts" (but no drama). So get ready to dance and possibly meet someone special just in time for the big day.
7 pm Saturday, Feb. 10. The Lodge at Santa Fe (El Tovar Room), 150 N. St. Francis Drive, 471-6361 for more information
Romance on the Rails
Picture this: The sun is setting and you're sitting alongside your V-Day date sipping chocolate martinis. Only you're not just anywhere, you're on a Santa Fe Southern Railway train. Sit back, relax and enjoy the hors d'oeuvres.
4:30-6:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 11. $35-$45. Santa Fe Southern Railway, 410 S. Guadalupe St., 989-8600
If you're searching for a unique way to pass the Valentine's Day time, try jumping on a train. While traveling to Lamy and back, you'll enjoy the calming desert scenery and, hopefully, some sunlight.
11 am-3:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 14. $18-$55. Santa Fe Southern Railway, 410 S. Guadalupe St., 989-8600
It may have been outlawed in Thailand, but in Santa Fe, we'll be watching it on the big screen for Valentine's Day. Rodgers and Hammerstein tell the story of The King and I, in which Anna, a widow from Wales, travels to Bangkok to teach a royal family. Anna challenges the family's notions of Western culture and becomes a significant influence in the life of the king. Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr provide infamous performances.
7 pm Wednesday, Feb. 14. $5. Lensic, 211 W. San Francisco St., 988-1234
Red Light Special
It just so happens that this not-to-be-missed, year-round event is offered on Valentine's Day. Take a walking tour of the City Different and check out the history of bars and brothels in Santa Fe. Educational? Sure. Romantic? Absolutely!
8:30-10:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 14. $18. 988-8022
Love 'n' Sex Workshop
Many of us tend to lose ourselves in the excitement of love. Peruvian shamanic tradition, otherwise known as Ka Ta See, can teach you how to maintain your sense of self. Kay Cordell Whitaker just happens to be well-versed in Ka Ta See. In the post-Valentine world, Whitaker will teach you "How to Not Lose Your Truth in Love and Sex." After years of research and life among Peruvian shamans, Kay Whitaker offers unforgettable lessons in love.
1-3 pm Sunday, Feb. 18. $35-$45. Body, 333 Cordova Road, 986-0362