Don't have a Valentine's Day dating mishap

  • DID YOU FORGET? DON'T WORRY, WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED

  • New Year's doesn't seem to sneak up on most people, but Valentine's Day is a different story, said Alfred Mata, the sales director at the Hilton Garden Inn in Victoria.

    "You have two weeks to plan and, sometimes, only a ...

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  • DID YOU FORGET? DON'T WORRY, WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED

    New Year's doesn't seem to sneak up on most people, but Valentine's Day is a different story, said Alfred Mata, the sales director at the Hilton Garden Inn in Victoria.

    "You have two weeks to plan and, sometimes, only a week. We realize that," he said.

    And that's why there won't be a deadline to buy tickets for a five-course meal at the hotel's La Salle ballroom.

    Here's some last-minute date ideas for all you procrastinating lovebirds out there:

    The meal at the Hilton Garden Inn, 123 Huvar St., includes shrimp cocktail, a salad, an 8-ounce rib eye steak and a dessert, among other dishes. It costs $100, or you can reserve a room for $199. The April Hall Band will serenade diners from 7 to 10 p.m. Call 361-573-0303.

    Chef Sean Fanelli at Huvar's Artisan Market, 110 W. Juan Linn St., is preparing a four-course meal on Valentine's Day. Some items on the specially prepared menu include pecan smoked petite beef filet with dark chocolate blackberry demi and limoncello pomegranate cheesecake crusted with amaretti cookies. Delish! Make reservations by calling 361-576-9171.

    Grab a cup of hot cocoa, some sandwiches and a picnic blanket and head over to the sprawling more than 565-acre Riverside Park, 476 McCright Drive.

    Go bird watching at Coleto Creek Park in Fannin. The Victoria Photography club has snapped shots of the Inca dove, the yellow-rumped warbler and the American goldfinch there.

    Go bowling at Century Lanes, 3401 John Stockbauer Drive. After 6 p.m., it costs $4.50 per person per game with a $3 shoe rental charge.

    Strap on some roller blades at SkateWorld, 108 Monterrey St. It costs $5 per person Friday from 7-11 p.m.

    SOURCE: Huvar's, Hilton Garden Inn Victoria, SkateWorld, Century Lanes, Victoria Parks and Recreation Department, Guadalupe Basin River Authority

  • VALENTINE'S DAY BY THE NUMBERS

  • The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2007. Establishments such as Internet dating services employed 3,125 people and pulled in $928 million in revenue in 2007.

    The number of marriages that took place in the United States in ...

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  • VALENTINE'S DAY BY THE NUMBERS

    The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2007. Establishments such as Internet dating services employed 3,125 people and pulled in $928 million in revenue in 2007.

    The number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2011. That breaks down to nearly 5,800 a day.

    The number of florists nationwide in 2011. These businesses employed 66,165 people.

    SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau

You can have good dates, you can have bad dates, but you don't want to blow it on Valentine's Day. Here are a few funny and woeful tales from our readers who have kissed one too many frogs:

"We were supposed to go to the movies, and I told him I had kids (ages 1 and 4 months). I guess he didn't believe me. Once he saw me and my kids at ("The Lone Ranger") movie, he left. I caught him in a lie. He said, 'I had to go to the restroom.' So I asked, 'You left because you had to go to the restroom?' And he said, 'Oh no, I have to call my lawyer.' It was so weird." - Marie Hopes, 21, of Edna, barista

"I met my second husband the day I was walking down the aisle the first time. He was my now ex-husband's best man. I will say that as I was walking down the aisle, I had never seen him before. He didn't go to the rehearsal dinner or anything. I looked up, and there's my future husband, and there's the best man, and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, who in the hell is that, and why wasn't I introduced to him?' ... We did not see each other for 18 years after that. We met at church. ... We were married for three years, eleven months and two days." - Bridgitt Heinold, 51, of Victoria

"We went to lunch at Joe's Crab Shack in Corpus Christi, and I ended up going to the emergency room for boy problems. My dad took me, and we didn't bother to bring anyone else. ... It was a group of us, and she (my date) didn't really know anyone else that was there, so she had to spend the day with them, and she was really shy." - Sam Hernandez, 17, of Rockport

"I think the worst one was when I'd met a guy online and he asked me out. He took me to like Olive Garden or somewhere fancy like that, and we ordered. The date went good until they brought the check, and he asked if I could cover it. Needless to say, I asked him to take me home and never called him again." - Shana Barrett, 32, of Victoria, medical assistant

"My husband decided he wanted to take me to dinner for Valentine's Day. Figuring he would take me to a fancy restaurant, I decided to doll myself up in every nice thing I own only to find out he was taking me to Skillets (a pancake house). Needless to say, I got a lot of funny looks that night. Not to mention the rose I got - from our waitress. That story was when we first met in 1987. He learned his lesson." - Ileana Sanchez Gaona, 47, of Bloomington, stay-at-home mom

"I once forgot to put on shoes/sandals to go out with my girlfriend at the time (when I was 21 or 22) and didn't even notice until we got to our destination, Texas Roadhouse. I was not about to walk barefoot in that place. There are peanut shells all over the floor." - Andrew Cano, 29, of Victoria, Dow Chemicals