By Andrew Pryor

Though Valentine’s Day gets credit for being the biggest day of love, Memorial Day should be known as the day of fresh beginnings.  Although it’s not officially summer, its presence symbolizes the new season and puts immediate energy back into dating, relationships and celebrations.  It’s the kickoff to so many great memories of the past and more to make in the future – backyard barbecues, laying out at the beach and summer travel.

Whether you’re settled down with someone or fired up and looking for love, here are a few ways to make sure you have a Memorial Day (or weekend) to remember:

1. Head to the beach: There’s nobetter way to enjoy a long weekend than by spending time soaking in the warm weather, especially if you live near an ocean or lake.  If you’re landlocked, don’t despair – just get creative.  Create a beach theme in your backyard, or find a local swimming pool where you can soak and sun yourself simultaneously.  If you’re single, strike up a conversation with the hottie two chairs over.  After all, you’ll need someone to rub suntan lotion on your back.

2. Take a road trip: If you don’t want to spend Memorial Day with sand stuck between your toes, fill the car with gas and spend a day on the road.  Try traveling through a state you’ve never had the chance to explore.  Search special attractions, or just see where the highway takes you.  If you’re coupled up, make this an experience you’ll remember for a long time to come.

3. Pack a picnic: Summertime is the perfect for packing a picnic and heading to the park.  Grab a comfy blanket and bring the cheese, crackers, fried chicken, or homemade sandwiches with a nice bottle of Riesling to relax the day away.  If you’re watching your weight before summer is officially here, don’t worry today.  After all, you can always take a bike ride or jog around the park before you head home.  This is a perfect low-budget way to spend valuable time with a loved one.

4. Watch a parade: Parades are the thing to be a part of on Memorial Day, so don’t mess with tradition – embrace it!  If you’re dating, take your significant other to experience the colorful and patriotic event filled with blaring fire trucks, marching veterans, wonderful songs, kids throwing candy, flag bearers and scout troops – all kinds of excitement.  Spend time celebrating America, not only because of what it represents but because the person you love lives here, too.

5. Get out there: Yes, red, white, and blue are important colors on Memorial Day, but another important one to recognize is the color green.  Green means “go,” so get out there and do something fun!  Seriously, what are you still doing online?