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Cheap date: Nibbling, sipping and kayaking

February 01, 2009|Andrea Chang

7 The last time my boyfriend, Aaron, and I went on a date for $25 or less, we were in high school. So we were pleasantly surprised at how much we could do for that price now.

We started our day at the Hollywood Farmers Market, strolling around and sampling fresh produce, lavender-flavored goat cheese and apple cider. At a flower stand, Aaron paid a buck to buy me two pink gerbera daisies.

We also picked up a pound of grapes for $2 and scored big when the seller tossed in an extra half-pound. The farmers market, at Ivar and Selma avenues, offered a hefty selection of inexpensive lunch items. We split a meal from Gourmet Grill Masters, which sells juicy rotisserie chickens.

We ordered half a chicken, pita bread and a soda for $7.

From there, we headed downtown to San Antonio Winery, at 737 Lamar St., which offers free tours and wine tastings every day. Our tour guide, Matthew Denicourt, led us and four others past photos of the historic winery, decorative wine casks and oak barrels while explaining the process of making and producing wine.

After the 40-minute tour, Aaron and I each tasted four wines, including a crisp Pinot Grigio that I especially liked.

Next stop: Kayaks on the Water in Long Beach, at 5411 E. Ocean Blvd., where we rented a red double kayak for $15.

After grabbing life jackets, a waterproof bag and sunblock, we were off. I sat in the back, where I figured it'd be easier for me to slack off on the paddling.

During our ride through the Naples canals, we snacked on grapes, took photos of starfish and admired the waterfront homes belonging to people who clearly don't go on dates for $25. We made it back to shore as the sun began to set.

-- Andrea Chang

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