Whenever it’s a special occasion, one of our birthdays, Christmas or in this instance Valentines Day, we always have this running joke with each other where we ask for something completely out of our price range, just for a laugh, we know it’s never gonna happen but it’s always fun to play along.
So for Valentines this year I decided to ask for a trip to New York, completely reasonable I thought given our £20 budget 😂 plus I wanted to stay in the Plaza (because who wouldn’t after watching Home Alone 2?!) and I wanted a helicopter trip thrown in too.
In all honesty I’d have loved a real trip to New York, especially as Char’s never been. I’ve only been once, way back in 2004, but ever since then I’ve been dying to return. There’s just so much about the ‘Big Apple’ that makes it appealing. The gorgeous buildings, iconic tourist spots, beautiful Central Park, the shops and amazing food…seriously the list goes on. I loved every minute when I went originally. It was a girly trip away and we stayed in Radio City Apartments, a stones throw from Times Square, and it was just fabulous. It was March so the weather was bitter, and I mean ear stinging bitter, and there was still snow on the ground in places, but we did everything we wanted to, visited Times Square, made our way to the top of the Empire State Building, went on the ferry to view the Statue of Liberty and famous skyline, ate New York bagels, shopped till we dropped, paid our respects at ground zero, took a horse and carriage around Central Park, chased celebrity Kevin Bacon down the street for a photo and bought fake designer off of some dodgy New Yorker near China Town (well, it’s got to be done!) and yet there’s still so much more on the list left to do, hence me always asking to go, even as a joke, whenever I get the chance.
Fast forward to Valentine’s Day and I knew Char was up to something, she kept popping to her Mum & Dads randomly, I was under strict instructions not to go near her phone, and she was acting very suspicious at times, but I really didn’t mind because I happen to love surprises and she’s definitely the best at giving them! My job was to think up a 3 course meal to cook in the evening and obviously think of a prezzie for Char, and although I usually class myself as quite a thoughtful person, this year I was all out of ideas, they just didn’t come to me so I went with a Pinterest idea ‘I love you all my senses’ which was basically a bag filled with her fav choc, a candle, some massage lotion, and a balloon to pop with a scratch card inside…and before you say it, I know! Very unimaginative, especially when you compare it to what she got me…..
The time came for my surprise and I was greeted with a big red shiny present all trussed up with a bow.
I began to unwrap it and I realised it was my suitcase, and when I unzipped it I actually stopped in my tracks. The case was filled with rose petals, New York travel books (mine, not new!) our passports a gift certificate for a helicopter trip valid until 2020 and two ‘I ❤️NY’ t-shirts!Queue lots of nervous giggling and “bugger off babe!” from me, I was totally confused although I also knew she’d spent a long while doing things in the bedroom (as well as our dining table disappearing into the room too) and then it dawned on me, knowing how creative Char is, that maybe she’d decorated our room New York! She then said, “so are you ready to go to New York?” and this was the start of what was to be the best Valentines ever.
First stop was obviously departures. Who would have ever thought I had my own departure lounge at the bottom of the stairs, talk about convenient!
I showed my passport (we enjoy a bit of role play 😂) and no sooner had I walked the 12 steps to the top of the landing, that I was stood outside my hotel room of The Plaza, door key in hand ready to put it into the key card reader (yes really, I had one of them too!) and in I went….to New York!
Well I was truly gobsmacked, I mean I knew Char was creative but this was seriously on another level. She’d thought of everything. I had an American hamper with some of my fav foods in (and some I’d never even tried) New York photo props, my own Statue of Liberty, a yellow taxi, a Times Square backdrop and Broadway all in one room. It really was a treat for the eyes, everywhere I looked I spotted something new, and as for the hotel Plaza….it was everything I expected and more. I had posh hotel freebies, complimentary coffee and hot chocolate for the morning, and 2 Love Birds made out of towels with a heap of rose petals on the bed, it was extremely romantic.
I decided to cash in my voucher for the helicopter ride before I started dinner, and this didn’t disappoint. I was given instructions to sit on the bed with my eyes closed, and then my protective eyewear was placed over my head (really a VR headset) and then I was off, all from the comfort of my bedroom, and I can tell you it was extremely realistic, especially when the fan was turned on full blast in front of me…very windy!
It was my turn to cook now, and luckily I had prepared an American feast. You see unbeknownst to me Char had had this planned for quite a while, and so she planted a seed when she said to me one day “I think we should have American food for Valentines dinner.” I told her I was making the decision on the food, but I just thought to myself if my fiancée wants American food then that’s what she’ll have. Little did I know it was all in her favour. She’s very clever like that!
I cooked us garlic dough balls to start which were scrummy, and then the main course was bbq ribs, a cheese burger slider and chicken pops served with sweet potato fries. We washed this all down with cocktails, and then were actually so stuffed that I didn’t even get to make my third course, an ice cream sundae with salted caramel sauce, a variety of chocolates, cream and wafers.
So what better way to finish the night off than with a trip to broadway, to see Jersey Boys (one neither of us had seen before) where we could take off our bras, slip into our comfys and stretch out our legs for the entire performance, whilst munching our way through the goodies and chocolate in the hamper…Baby Ruth come to me! Needless to say the film was brilliant, we both loved it, and it’s now on the list of stage shows I really must see!
We had such an awesome night, and the following morning I even carried it on by cooking up a batch of regular pancakes and buttermilk pancakes, served with Reese’s chocolate spread (oh my goodness, how had I not tried this before?!) and watching another movie in bed (coyote ugly…absolute fav) before going to work. But I wasn’t quite ready to give up New York yet so we decided that we had to do it all again, and this time with our little Dude.
Of course he absolutely loved it, he gave his passport in at departures, used his key card on the hotel door, rode in the taxi, took a helicopter flight, had pictures next to the Statue of Liberty, had a slap up dinner of pizza, garlic bread and chips, polished off with our long awaited sundaes and then we all settled down to watch Night at the museum 2 on Broadway (ok so not exactly a broadway show, but it was good enough for us!) we had a blast!
We finally took everything down, and moved the room back to how it was a few days later. It took a little while but nothing compared to the long haul flight and jet lag we could have had to endure, although who am I kidding? I’d “suffer” all of that in a heartbeat for a real taste of New York.
I absolutely loved my New York surprise, and no, it wasn’t the real thing but it meant so much more to me because of all the thought and effort that had gone into it. We had so much fun together and laughed non-stop. It was the gift that kept on giving.
And yes we will save up and go to New York together some day, my dream would be to stay at the Plaza (for real), see the Macy’s thanksgiving day parade, ice-skate in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, see a show on Broadway, and to feel the atmosphere of a real live ball game. But for now I’m happy with the memories we made in our homemade Manhattan!
Right, now just to get thinking what to ask for next…….!
“Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it, New York, New York.” ~ Frank Sinatra
2 Birds 1 Love