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Romantic Valentine’s Day Stories

By Emily Guidinger Hunt, for The Easterner

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Most people associate Valentine’s Day dates with fancy restaurants, roses, jewelry and giant
stuffed teddy bears. The list of expensive gifts goes on and on, and on, until your wallet is empty and your credit cards, if you dare to use them, are maxed.

But in reality, celebrating Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart while on a college budget looks a whole lot different, and in many cases, way more fun.

Take Savanna Hendrickson and Jacob Druffel’s story for example, as told by Savanna’s sister, Katie Miller, a freshman at EWU. While attending EWU, Hendrickson and Druffel both worked at the URC, Hendrickson at the front desk and Druffel at the hockey rink. Druffel said he wanted to surprise Hendrickson with a Valentine’s Day date she would never forget.

Miller said he prepared a homecooked meal, set up a table at center ice of the hockey rink and treated Hendrickson to a romantic evening of dinner on the ice, complete with ice skating, music, mood lighting and the disco ball.

Billy Wright took a different slant on the romantic dinner date when he surprised his girlfriend, Tiana Gabriel, with a rustic outdoor picnic on a frozen lake in Alaska. Their meal consisted of homemade moose meat sandwiches and the high temperature for the day was minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

When Jemma Riedel and Eli Johnson met their junior year at EWU, they said romantic dates were not even on their radar. Riedel, a Communications in PR major, and Johnson, a Technical Communications major, absorbed themselves in early morning classes, late-night study sessions and hanging out with their friends in the residence halls.

Though they said they differ when determining which day was their official first date, Johnson and Riedel agree their favorite date of their now 1-year relationship was with their friends from Streeter and snyamncut residence halls. The six friends squeezed into Johnson’s friend’s Ford Escape and made the 1-hour drive from Cheney to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

They filled the day by touring the city, walking the boardwalk and exploring the ritzy Coeur d’Alene Resort. They ate on the cheap by packing PB&J’s made assembly-line style, and chips, lots of chips, Riedel said. But it was after all a date, so the group splurged on the ultimate in decadent desserts at the Dockside Restaurant.

“We haven’t finalized any plans yet,” said Johnson about this year’s holiday, “but we are college students on a college budget, so we try to make even the little things feel like a date.”

“I like it when we cook together,” said Riedel. “That is always a fun date.”

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Romantic Valentine’s Day Stories