I’m happy to say that cupid didn’t go away during this COVID pandemic. From going on dates in a bubble to sticking exclusively to online dating, couples across the globe have been getting creative with their romantic efforts, including RV date nights!
Whether you’re headed camping this Valentine’s Day weekend or open to having a date night in the driveway, here’s a little DIY tutorial of date night in the RV to help keep the romance alive.
The RV Date Night Recipe
- Flowers & floral foam/vase
- Your favorite takeout
I struck gold finding this wholesale flower shop when we were camping outside of Albuquerque at Route 66 RV Park in Edgewood, New Mexico. The Albuquerque Flower Market had an assortment of blooms and greenery to choose from and at a reasonable price. Another place I like to go to for florals is Trader Joe’s. Additionally, local grocery shops might be a place to find great flowers. Because we don’t have room in the RV for a floral vase, I purchased a block of floral foam from the shop. You can find floral foam at craft stores as well.
In terms of selecting flowers, I knew beforehand the kinds I could get due to cats being in our household. Before leaving, I searched for non-toxic plants and determined I wanted roses and waxflower. Roses being my focal flowers and waxflowers being my fluffy filler. If you don’t have any pets, some different options could include daisies, dahlias, and lilies. For fillers, you could choose from baby’s breath, wax flowers, or statice. For this arrangement, I decided against greenery because I wanted a big fluffy floral cloud.
After selecting your flowers and bringing them home, you then process them. Processing flowers means removing unwanted leaves and cutting the stems so that they drink water. I am always in awe of flowers for how resilient they are because it is traumatic being shipped around, handled, and still surviving. Processing them helps give them the strength they need after such a long journey. If you opted for floral foam instead of a vase, soak the foam in a bucket filled with water for at least thirty minutes.
Because I did not want any greenery (remember, big fluffy floral cloud?), I removed all of the leaves on the roses. I de-thorned the stems with my thumb, pressing against the thorn horizontally, plucking it off. Another way to remove thorns is with a knife, slicing them off. You’ll want to give them a fresh cut, trimming the stems at a 45-degree angle so that they can drink the water they need.
After removing the leaves and thorns, I began working on opening the roses. There are various handy tutorials online, so if you need a more thorough how-to, an easy search into Google will do. I work the roses by a combination of gently blowing on the petals and separating the petals with my index finger. When separating the petals, I spin the rose so that I work the petals circularly.
When finished processing the roses (you usually don’t need to process fillers such as waxflower), set them aside with their freshly cut stems submerged in clean water. Take out your floral foam and waxflower.
A little bit about floral foam, it’s not sustainable and, quite honestly, a very wasteful product within the floral industry. I didn’t have a vase or floral bowl handy since we live-and-work on the road, but I now wish I would have made an effort to go to a thrift shop or something to find a unique vase. Anyway, I don’t mean to guilt, only spread awareness.
Whether using foam or a vase, build a foundation for the roses with waxflower. Trim the stems varying lengths to create texture and avoids the arrangement from seeming “flat.” Once complete, trim and poke your roses into the structure, clustering and spacing them organically as if they had grown on the waxflower bush.
Lighting & Ambiance
Let’s set the mood, shall we? For lighting, I had these candles from the holidays that I placed around the floral arrangement. I brought out what normally would-be our awning twinkly lights and strung them over the dinette. The combination of the candles and lights created that warm, romantic glow.
Wanting to create an ambiance that resembled a restaurant, I took the linen tablecloths we have and strung them over the dinette area, forming a tent-like structure. This made the RV dinette feel like a restaurant booth.
You’ve worked hard to create such a romantic atmosphere. There’s no reason to exhaust yourself by cooking up a big meal. Treat yourself to some takeout!
Many restaurants are hurting during this pandemic. Takeout is a great way to continue to support your favorite spot, or if camping, a local business.
Another way to make the night extra special is by opening up a bottle of wine. There are plenty of alternative non-alcoholic options for those who prefer to skip the booze.
Of course, the most important part of the night is, well, love! Not to sound cliché, but it is what date night is all about. Don’t stress about the nitty-gritty details like the wrinkled tablecloth or that your cat keeps trying to eat your food. Deciding to have a great night and focus on the *love* is the first step in a successful RV date night and Valentine’s.