Jan 30, 2018

A Cupid Crusader Saves the Day

By Ryan Edelson

Photo by Ryan Edelson

“I might have waited till the last minute again, but I will not let this year be a flop!” Mark thought to himself as he jogged through the trails of Hartshorne Woods Park. Valentine’s Day was just one day away but lucky for Mark, he lives in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Mark and Diane Cartalemi had been together for seven years. They have one daughter who is six years old. Having a child is of course very time consuming (but very rewarding), thus having some alone time is always a cherished treat.

While some people view Valentine’s Day gifts as cliché, they can be very thoughtful if you know your partner well enough. Knowing that Diane has a thing for the color yellow and Valentine’s Day is known for flowers, Mark called Rose of Sharon Florist in Tinton Falls to order a bouquet of sunflowers for his love.

“They’ll be ready by the morning!” exclaimed Jeff Echandia, the helpful and accommodating owner.

Since Diane had recently gotten back onto the treadmill, Mark wasn’t sure if chocolate would be appropriate or not. What does one do when they don’t know the answer? Call their mom. Sure enough, Mark was able to get a last minute order in at 2 Chicks with Chocolate located in Middletown. Thanks to Mark’s mother, Diane will be cracking open a box of Raspberry Ganache.

When you’re Italian and your last name is Cartalemi, you know Italian food is a must for any holiday or event. Since Mark waited till the last minute, many restaurants were booked. Determined to make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable, Mark had to hit up Tuscany’s of Old Bridge Italian Market & Speciality Foods to get the most authentic food for their meal

While dinner is always a solid way to end the night, Mark knew he wanted to do something extra special. Why not end the evening with a massage? Lucky for him, The Spa at the Commons in Fair Haven still had some openings available to book a couple’s massage.

You might already have your plans set in stone. You might have no idea what you’re going to do. You might be close to pulling your hair out! Hopefully, the tale of Mark and Diane can fill you with a little inspiration for making your Valentine’s Day in Monmouth County one for the books!