Reading Melinda's Valentines Day plans in D.C. and writing up my plans in our small town got me thinking about the pros and cons of each situation. I even made a very pink image to summarize these differences to practice using photoshop.
One major annoyance that I experienced while living in Boston was extremely limited parking. Even if you were happy to pay for parking, finding an open spot was still challenging. Now that I live in my hometown, parking is never an issue. The spots on the street in front of our restaurant on Valentines Day were taken, but there was an entirely empty parking lot less than a block away. Yay small towns!
D.C. has a ton of really exciting options for special occasions, from things to go see to interesting foods. Small towns tend to have a small number of restaurants and entertainment venues, which means your choices are few. Usually, those restaurants are more regional and less likely to have exciting ethnic foods like North African or grape leaves of all varieties. Boston has both.
And of course, cost is very different depending on your location. J and I spent less than $30 on our Valentine's Day meal. That includes two entrees and an appetizer but not drinks because their coke machine was making flat soda, so we switched them out for water. If J had ordered a beer and I had kept my coke, it would still have been less than $35. Melinda opted to dine in and go out for dessert to avoid the high prix fixe menus that start at $75 per person. J and I never had prix fixe menus in Boston or Las Vegas for Valentine's Day, but we also never had a $35 date at a real restaurant.
Both big cities and small towns have their pros and cons. Big cities are more expensive and difficult, but the attractions make it worth fighting for a cab or parking while spending more money. Small towns are more easy going and you can get a really good meal without spending a ton or waiting forever in lines because you didn't call four weeks in advance to make your reservation. Regardless of your situation, Melinda and I believe that it is best to focus on the positives (Melinda with her Ritz chocolate after dining in and me with my delicious and reasonably priced hamburger) rather than pining after what you don't have. That being said, I really do miss my Boston grape leaves!