Valentine’s Day doesn’t always have to be an overpriced restaurant special that’s basically $150 for two people to eat from a limited pre-determined menu with dishes you’re not even sure you’ll like. (Last year, I got stuck with some sort of raw meat concoction that looked liked it belonged on the set of Aliens and cost $60.) And if you dare to want some alcohol, be ready to shell out $10 a glass.
Why not have a more non-traditional V-day? The best way to do this is to keep your ears open for any unusual Austin-y activity that your sweetie might like. My husband booked us a tour at Inner Space Caverns, just because I mentioned once in passing that I had always wanted to go there, and paired that with tickets to the movie Sanctum, which I also wanted to see. Though I wouldn’t recommend Sanctum (unless you like seeing a bunch of professional cavers suck at caving and “humanely” drown their wounded instead of helping them [Isn’t drowning supposed to be the worst way to go? What’s humane about that?]), Inner Space Caverns was phenomenal.
These caverns were discovered by the Texas Highway Department in 1963, when they inadvertently drilled into them. It’s almost 5 miles of underground caves in Georgetown that goes at least 69 feet below the surface. Though we opted for the lighter walking tour, which is only $17.95 a person, there is also a more extreme walking tour and spelunking available for $100 a person. There’s even a room in the taverns that can be rented-out for wedding receptions and other events.
The basic walking tour is guided and has lots of pausing for photo opts. It’s about an hour and does require some careful stepping and ducking due to wet paths and low ceilings. But that’s about as strenuous as it gets and you see some really amazing rock formations and cavernous spaces. It’s also fun when the tour guide asks you to freeze and shuts-off the cave lights to create “total darkness.” It’s hard to tell if your eyes are open or closed, and it’s a great time to infuse a little romance.
*See more photos at the Chickster Flickr photostream.