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Leaves of love

by Felicia Di Palma October 6, 2011
Sadly, summer is officially over. Now it’s time to welcome the autumn season that is upon us.
While many of us probably enjoyed summer flings, dates on terraces or at the beach, the change in weather does not mean that the dating fun needs to end.
To many, the cold weather means “are we hanging out at my place or yours?” This does not need to be the case, because Montreal has plenty of great date ideas for autumn. Here are three simple rules for dating in the fall.Rule 1: Always remember to K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Stupid)
Do not over-complicate a date. Dates should be fun, easy going and, at the end of the day, they should be about bonding over something while getting to know each other.
“It started off as a simple breakfast at a restaurant,” said 21-year-old Nakita Nelson. “We talked and talked for what seemed to be hours. At the end, we went back to my place and just watched movies. It was so memorable because I laughed until my cheeks went sore, and our connection was amazing. It was very simple and not extravagant at all, which did not matter because I was able to spend a great time with that special someone.”
A low-key yet interesting date could be trying to find the best flavored beer in town. Especially because in the fall, flavours like apple and pumpkin emerge. Even if you end up tasting something so foul you’d rather just eat a rotten pumpkin, you will have something to laugh about. Nothing like bonding over embarrassing stories. Just don’t vomit on your date.
Until Oct. 31, the Montreal Botanical Garden’s Chinese Garden is having its 19th edition of The Magic of Lanterns exhibit. This would be a very simple but sweet date.
Closer to Halloween, the exhibit also features the biggest pumpkins contest and the best decorated pumpkins contest. Go around asking if any of the huge pumpkins were grown using Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

Rule 2: Plan to not have a plan
There are so many areas in Montreal where the streets are lined with restaurants, bars, cafés, art galleries or bakeries just waiting to be discovered. Pick a street and walk up and down discovering hidden treasures. Try to have “firsts” together by choosing places you both have never been to before.
“One night, my husband and I ended up in the Mont-Royal area and found gorgeous restaurant-lounge tapas,” explained 27-year-old Connie Comerci. “We shared a bottle of wine and after supper, we took a walk in the area and found an adorable cupcake store. We made a pit stop and bought yummy desserts. This is our typical date night. No direction or location. We just love being with each other and not fuss over the details. The best part is it’s never the same,” she added.
The best areas in Montreal to have these types of dates are St-Denis, Laurier, Monkland, Mont-Royal and St-Laurent. You can also try choosing a random area and see what you find.

If you and your date are big foodies, heading down to a market together is a great idea. You will be two kids in the healthiest candy store ever. If you’re more into creating a meal, choose a type of cuisine and go shopping for necessary ingredients.

Rule 3: Surprise your date
If you would like to plan something, do not plan three or four things back-to-back. You most likely won’t be able to enjoy every step to its fullest if you always have an eye on the clock.
When planning a surprise date, there is one rule of thumb: be as thoughtful as you can be. Show this person just how well you know them. Show them just how much you actually pay attention. The surprise from the thought behind the date will be what will leave a lasting impression. And trust me, the more thoughtful the date is, the hotter your indoor activities will be. Box of condoms, anyone?
“I secretly planned a picnic for my girlfriend. I had a friend set up everything for me in the park so she wouldn’t suspect the bags I had with me,” said 23-year-old Mark Sheoprasad. “As we approached the park, I told her to close her eyes. This gave my friend enough time to quietly leave from the picnic site he set up. When she opened her eyes she was blown away and enjoyed it a lot. It was a really fun and simple date that was easy to plan and romantic at the same time.”
One of the best places to have a picnic this time of year is in the country side. With red, yellow and orange foliage as your backdrop, what could be better? A perfect way to end the day would be by going apple picking. It may seem a little childish but it was fun then and I can guarantee it will be awesome now.
Now go ahead and fall in love.

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