New York City

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 New York, the city that never sleeps. A city one must cross off their bucket list. Known for the hustle and bustle. There are too many things to do that one week is just not enough. The culture, history, buildings, food, broadway, and fashion, just to name a few, are like nowhere else on earth.

I had been to New York a couple of years back with some friends on a road trip but my husband had never been. He would always make comments whenever we watched a movie on how one day he would like to visit. Although it was not too far from us whenever we go on vacation we pick locations outside of the country or a few hours drive from home. I love to travel! So when it came time for our first anniversary last year I decided to give him the gift of taking him to New York of course. What makes me happy is not just giving him something but the effort and thought that goes into it. So I went out of my way to go big! What did I do? I planned a trip to New York without telling him anything. I planned out everything from flights, hotels, transportation, places to eat, and sights to see. And if you go to the big apple you must act like a tourist with an “I love NY” shirt and on a big red bus.

I started planning everything from April and our anniversary wasn’t until July but we already had a vacation booked for that month so I decided to go with November. Perfect cold weather but not freezing, after all, anything under 70 is freezing for us Floridians. I had to keep everything a secret and for 7 months that was torture. I decided 5 months into it to give him a clue about the gift. I said “it’s something you’ve always wanted to do!” and his mind went crazy! There were too many things he always wanted to do, but he narrowed it down to the most exciting for him, a GTR. And we would kid around with him saying he was going to drive a GTR, his dream car and what he would do with it etc. We had a blast messing around with him.

A week before the trip I started packing everything. I took the suitcases to my parents and would take a couple things here and there so he wouldn’t suspect anything. He had no idea! The day finally came and I said ok we’re driving somewhere, wear something comfortable. So he puts on shorts and a short sleeve shirt, I made sure to pack a sweater in the carry-on. I blindfolded him, got him in the car and drove about 30 minutes. We get to the airport he takes the blindfolds off and his reaction was priceless! He couldn’t stop smiling and wondering where we were going and said I was crazy how was I so good to plan this. When we checked in was when he found out where we were going. “Are we really going to New York!? No way I can’t believe it!?” And next thing you know we were off on the plane and arriving. When we arrived it was in the mid 50’s people were all bundled up and there was my husband in shorts.

The private car I booked was there when we arrived, I was so thankful I pre-booked. I did underestimate the traffic and how long it took to arrive at the hotel, we were starving by then. We checked into Row NY, a very nice hotel in Times Square. Everything was nearby and walking distance. The room was small, small bed, even smaller bathroom, no space for luggage or mirrors which I had to get dressed blindly and just hoped at least it matched. But who cares all we did was sleep and out we were.

 

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Row NYC Hotel

Our main focus was to explore and eat. The first days we walked everywhere around Times Square. We were so tired from all the walking we would go back to the room take a 15-minute rest, change clothes, shower and back out again. The next 3 days we had the big red bus tours, which were great we would sight see get off at any stop and then get back on and it would go in a loop so we would always get back around. For the rest, we took the subway which that was an experience on its own and a definitely must do. We tackled each neighborhood per day. My favorite experience was the One World Trade Center. It’s the rebuilt of the World Trade Center complex that was completely destroyed in the September 11th terrorist attack. It’s one of those places you sit back and soak it all in and makes you tear up. Nowadays it’s the tallest building in the western hemisphere and has amazing views.

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One World Trade Center Observatory – 102nd floor

We also visited the Empire State Building, Flatiron Building, Trump Building, NYSE, Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge, China Town, and Central Park. Here’s some random building photography.

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Usually, in my daily office job I walk no more than 3 miles, in New York, I was walking about 10 miles per day. Which came in handy to compensate for all the food I was eating. I took a list of places I had done research on and that looked tasty. From breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between snacks, to midnight pizza and garlic knots.

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Dulce de Leche at Wafels & Dinges
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Strawberry Banana with ice cream at Wafels & Dinges
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Hop Kee in Chinatown
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Bubby’s Tribeca
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Carlo’s Bakery

Every week since we have been back, husband has asked me when we are going back. He loved the surprise and the experience. He could actually now say he was there when we watch movies. It is really a city that never sleeps and everything was amazing but I’m glad I’m back to my quiet home. I am ready for our next adventure… where will it take us?..

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-Dayana

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