There’s no city quite like it in the entire world.

New York City.  The Big Apple.  The city that never sleeps. The city so nice they named it twice.

Deborah and I had a fantastic birthday weekend in NYC.  She was celebrating her 40th birthday on Friday and I wanted it to be memorable.  So we created a few memories as we shared a charming weekend in the world’s most exciting city.

Our plane was supposed to leave at 5 p.m.  However, we boarded the plane just after six, but spent about an hour on the runway as there were air traffic delays at La Guardia.  We arrived a little before 9.

The one thing that I don’t understand is why some people yell at the gate agent or airline staff.  It’s rude and it doesn’t make the plane get there any faster.  Just chill.

Once we arrived, we took a harrowing taxi ride into Manhattan via the Tri-borough Bridge and along FDR Drive.  From there we drove through the upper west side to our destination, the Tudor Hotel at 42nd Street and 2nd Avenue.

It took two trips back down to the Lobby and intervention by the Hotel security to get our key cards to work.  Remember the old days when they actually gave you a key.  (I don’t.)  Our check-in adventure prompted me to ask Deb repeatedly: “is the hotel was old and quaint or just plain old?”

The answer:  It was old and quaint.  We enjoyed the rest of our stay immensely.

Friday night, we walked all the way across 42nd to Times Square. We enjoyed the lights, the crowds and the big city. There is a certain energy about New York City. There is a reason why it’s called the city that never sleeps.

We had a couple of corn beef sandwiches from the Roxy Diner, complete with coleslaw and dill pickles. Deb correctly suggested that we should have just ordered one sandwich.  I realized that the woman is always right as a loaf of bread and four pounds of meat arrived at our table.

We slept the night away.  XD

The next morning, we took the 4-line Express Train from Grand Central Station to Fulton. I Love the New York City subway. Three stops later we were in the financial district.

We arrived at Century 21 Department Store (a.k.a. The Promised Land) about an hour before it was open. To pass the time, Deb and I checked out Ground Zero. Nothing to see anymore. Just a giant construction site. We then walked down Broadway to Battery Park and seen Liberty Enlightening The World. A famous copper statue, over looking the harbour, was gifted by France to the US in 1886.

I then proceeded to make the entire statue disappear, an illusion first made famous by David Copperfield. Deb was impressed! I also tried to levitate but that didn’t go so well.

Our adventure in Century 21 was short-lived as they didn’t carry my sizes. (Surprise, surprise.) The gentlemen in mens clothing recommended the VIP suit store nearby. I bought one new suit, a new dinner jacket and was forced to buy a winter dress coat. I’ll get used to it, though.

We came back to Century 21 with a vengeance and Deb walked away with two new designer suits.

Our shopping adventure also took us to Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Victoria’s Secret, a brisk walk up Fifth Avenue and a visit to FAO Schwartz.

Saturday night was the pièce de résistance.

We made reservations at Nobu 57, one of the trendiest restaurants in Manhattan. The place has an impeccable ambiance and décor with a contemporary Japanese flair.

For dinner, we choose the most extravagant choice on the menu, the Omikase: the Chef’s choice. We had absolutely no clue what we were going to get. Some items were on the menu while others were the Chef’s special creation. Even when we were presented with the dish, an apparent language barrier prevented us from understanding what the wait staff were saying.

We had several cold dishes to start including sashimi and tuna tartar. We specifically requested the king crab tempura – which was totally out of this world. We also had the Chef’s signature dish: black cod with miso sauce. The multi-course dinner concluded with an excellent selection of sushi and dessert. Outstanding!! It was the single best meal I’ve had in my life.

The rest of the evening was dedicated to the Lion King. The two best-dressed folks in New York, 9th row orchestra, sat straight up as Mufasa Simba, Nala, Rafiki and Scar did their thing. It was the second time I seen the Lion King and I’d go and see it again and again.

For Deb, the costumes and production were the highlight of the performance. My highlight though, was to see, hear and feel my sweetheart enjoy the show. No work stress, e-mail, Blackberrys, or family worries. Just a world-class performance, Tony Award-winning production, music, Love and life. There is something so emotional and Spiritual about live theatre on Broadway.

She showed her appreciation to me. After sharing authentic New York Cheesecake in bed, we slept the night away, again.  😉

Speaking of extravagant… The next morning, we experienced the world famous Sunday Brunch at the Waldorf-Astoria. My first helping consisted of smoked salmon, smoked sturgeon, king crab cocktail, lobster tails and caviar served on little pan cakes. Second course: poached eggs, french toast, bacon, and American sausage. Thirds, I went for Beef Wellington, dim sum, exquisite macaroni and cheese, blue cheese, brie, oysters and some more caviar. For dessert, bread pudding made of croissant, strawberries and marshmallows dipped in the chocolate fountain, and a tiny wedge of lemon pie.

It may seem like a lot, but I paced myself. I was determined to get value for the $95 per person.

A significant theme is developing in this already, too-long, essay. There were two, equally important, but different, motivations when it came to our trip to New York. Deb went to New York to shop. I went to New York to eat.

When it comes to shopping, however, it wasn’t until Macy’s on Sunday that Deb got into her groove when she got her hands on a Macys promo code. Let’s just say she did really well. A great fall wardrobe investment. She didn’t get hooked into the expensive designer stuff either. (I almost soiled myself seeing a $5000 jacket). She found a great line at Macy’s called Alfani and the rest is history.

We capped our day off on the 86th Floor of the Empire State Building. Sure, a touristy thing to do but it is the best view in the city.

Upon our return, Deb was in for a complete surprise. While we were away, Deb’s best friend Fiona, her husband Joe and her Mom chipped in for a full kitchen makeover. A couple of Joe’s relatives donated their time and created much needed new counter-space and cabinets. They bought a new toaster-oven and espresso maker. Kayla bought new dishes and help do a full re-org of kitchen space. Deb was in utter shock and amazement when she seen it.

The funny thing is, although I wasn’t in on it, I knew what was happening.

On Friday afternoon, on the way to the airport, we had stopped at home to pick up a digital camera. We were kind of spooked to see a van parked in the driveway. The garage door was ajar and the front door wide open. We looked at each other quite puzzled. I’m sure we both thought the house was being robbed.

However, the whole plot came to me as I approached, and I wisely suggested that Deb stay outside in the van.

As per Fiona’s instructions to me – my lips were sealed all weekend.

It was still quite a surprise and a shock for Deborah’s vape shop. She was so grateful and thankful for all her family and friends. It’s so great to be around such lovely people.