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Where to take your date this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and I don’t know about the rest of you, but I had a load of trouble this year trying to find that perfect place to take my date. There’s so many things that could come up or go wrong, and this night has to be special. So in case you are running a bit behind and need a few quick ideas, here are a few suggestions that I am absolutely sure will knock the socks right off your romantic companion.
The reflection pond is an iconic and very memorable landmark of Clemson. One could argue that it is the metaphorical, if not literal, center of the campus. With its convenient location right in front of the library, you can often find students relaxing and studying nearby. Of course, that’s when the weather is a little warmer and more forgiving than it is now. Where’s the excitement in frolicking around the pond on a warm spring or summer day? No, the reason I suggest this place is because of the current February temperature. I promise if you take your date for a dip in the reflection pond, the ice-cold temperature will surely result in some hardcore cuddling for warmth later (Side note: I don’t want to be sued for someone getting hypothermia, so maybe don’t do this).
Do you have an itch for a new musical experience, or is your date just talking your ear off? Here’s an interesting solution that can satisfy both of those problems at the same time: the bell tower inside Tillman Hall! And no, I don’t mean simply climbing the stairs to the tower. I mean literally inside the tower, like so close that the bells are inches from your nose. Obviously it would look pretty neat to see what happens when someone plays the carillon, but there is a small chance you might go deaf. But that experience, right?
This next place isn’t exactly on campus, but I figure that it’s close enough. Right on US-76, less than 15 minutes from campus, is a little place called the Smoking Pig. It has arguably the best barbeque in the Clemson area. What’s more romantic than watching someone go knuckle-deep into a huge plate of ribs and pulled pork? I certainly can’t think of anything.
Okay, enough with the places to go. Let’s get into a couple things you can do. An interesting idea I had a couple days ago was to do something akin to a pub crawl, but instead of going to different bars, you visit every single food-serving location on campus. Call it a “food crawl,” if you will. Trust me, you will literally be all over campus. Just to name a few, there’s Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, Fernow Street Café, Watt Café, the Starbucks in Cooper Library, all the places in the bottom floor of Hendrix, the mini-restaurants in Core, and of course we can’t forget the infamous dining halls. But I hear you cry, “What about all the places downtown?” Don’t fret, dear reader. I didn’t forget about those, but what’s the fun in going to one place and then walking right next door for your next meal course? That’s right, absolutely no fun. Also, walking around from one side of campus to the next to get to your next meal will help burn off all the calories you’ll be consuming. If you want a full belly with a bit of exercise on the side, this is the date for you.
Finally we have probably the most romantic activity of them all: night-canoeing in Lake Hartwell, though I suppose this would work in the reflection pond too. The trick to making this work is to not use a boat. The motor would be too loud and ruin the ambiance. Just imagine gently drifting through the water at midnight, small waves gently lapping at the side of the boat and the sky dark except for the bright moon. Then all of a sudden the serene silence is pierced by you screaming, “WHEN THE MOON HITS YOUR EYE LIKE A BIG PIZZA PIE THAT’S AMORE!” I swear, if this doesn’t completely win over your date, you might need a new date. It would be even better if you could somehow score a gondola.

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