THE SURPRISE TRIP | Boston. New York. Best Husband.
Well hello there.
It truly has been a minute. Many many minutes.
I do not post daily on my blog as I did when I first launched the original CIARALE.COM blog because I pretty much assume those of you who would like to keep up in "real time" will follow along on Instagram. Also, I really want to keep this page uncluttered, full of quality posts, and have it be clear to anyone that happens upon it that I value your/their time and their minds.
In saying this, I will be sharing about my surprise birthday trip, a good amount of photos & details about said trip, and also write a bit about my birthday (which was yesterday! 4.10.89). This a life/experience post, so if you are looking for something a little deeper, feel free to check out this post.
Before I get into it. God is SO SO good. I am so grateful. It has nothing really to do with the fact that we are traveling when just under two years ago we were sleeping on the floor after selling all of our furniture to make ends meet, and just a year ago, we were trying to purchase a house to live in, sleeping where we could with our Mori, while paying all the vendors from our wedding, a car payment from a car we no longer had in our possession on top of our truck payment, etc etc. We are so thankful for our dear friends who have been so patient and giving and gave us 5 grand back then and didn't give a deadline of when to return it. We are thankful for our friends who gave us a place to live as we were going the home buying process. We are thankful that God brought Steve and I closer together through all the excitement, adventure, challenge, tears, and laughter of the past year. Now that I've written more than I intended to in this paragraph, I'll get to the surprise!
I pretty much disliked my birthday ever since I was 8. A few factors went into it, but that for sure carried on into adulthood. I know I'm not alone. There are many adults who say they don't care about their birthday, but where does that stem from? I have never needed a party, expensive gifts, or even tons of birthday messages for that matter. I think what I we all want on our birthday is just to know people we are close to care and are happy we are here. Like, alive. My first birthday with Steve was two Aprils ago. He took it upon himself to just make things special (mind you, he does that every day...but that's just Steve). This year has been the best year of my life thus far for SO many reasons, so needless to say, I was excited to celebrate being born. I didn't want anything grand. Perhaps cozy breakast in bed, read some Bible or CS Lewis together, eat more, eat more after that, play with Moriarty, have sex, eat again. About a week prior to my birthday, Steve accidentally let me know that there would be some sort of something for my birthday (I'm telling you, it's really hard to surprise me, and he let a small part slip in casual conversation haha!). Of course, once I had that small tidbit, I had to keep prodding. Well, that didn't last long because I'm pretty sure my Husband was about to cancel the surprise if I kept asking for clues.
The morning of Thursday the 5th, Steve sent me a list of stuff to pack. I keep talking to myself, "Okay, so we are going somewhere then..."
I always pack for both Steve and I when we travel, which can be difficult at times, but he legit despises packing and honestly, I feel I think through the trips in a little more detail (as far as what outfits are needed) so I prefer that it's left up to me anyway. Okay, but this is SO not applicable when I do not know where we are going. Luckily, one of my best friends (if you haven't already read about them in previous posts, I have 4. They are each very different and I love each of my very different relationships with each of them) who was Steve's sounding board to relay his plans for the surprise let me know that I should pack warm but cute clothes. I packed the bag and actually styled my hair and slightly beat my face by 11am thinking that Steve would come home half day and take me wherever he was going to take me. No. He came home at 6. I sat in uncomfortable suspence for 7 hours because I wanted to be cute and ready for pictures or whatever. LOL!
Mom arrived at our door around 4pm (Steve's mom, my mom in law, but we don't say 'in law' around here) and told me she was going to be there for the weekend with Mori. Man. My need to "make sure everything is in order" was slowly starting to dissipate the more I realized that S really did think of everything!
Erin came to take us to the airport at 8pm and I STILL DID NOT KNOW WHERE WE WERE GOING. Once we passed through security & arrived at a gate, Steve told me to put my headphones in and blast some music (I chose Paramore for that moment fyi) and then put my hand over my eyes as he led me onto our plane, but not after spinning me around 6 times to disorient me and almost causing me to vomit.
2am (AZ)/5am (EST) We land in freaking Boston! I had travelled two Boston twice when my best friend (yep, one of the 4) Lauren went to college there. It was during fall and each time was such a beautiful and enjoyable experience with her. I have spoken many times about my memories of those trips, so I couldn't believe he actually took me there! We took an Uber from the airport into a beautiful part of the city with amazing brown stones and the cutest shops/restaurants tucked all over. I was so excited to get in our air bnb or hotel and cuddle and rest for the rest of the fun that night. I really wanted a tea though. You know when you travel and your throat gets all dry from that f-d up air on the airplane? Yeah, I needed some hot tea stat. As we were walking down the street from the corner where our Uber let us out, Steve pointed to a cute little coffee shop to our right, "Let's get my Baby some tea..." and he led me in. While we were standing by the window taking in the street, he started smirking very very oddly. It was weirding me out. "Why do you look like that?" No response. Then I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and I see an angel. Nope. Not an angel. Just my dear dear friend whom I haven't seen in almost 9 years & her man. I cried. What an overwhelming happiness I felt seeing her smile. I couldn't/can't believe Steve reconnected us. M and I have been able to correspond here and there over the past few months thanks to Instagram, but we didn't really see a time in the near future when we'd be able to see each other. Enter Steve. I seriously hadn't even said anything to him except share just a few of my many fond memories with M and attempt to explain the unexplainable bond between us both during our friendship back in our early 20s. I guess the way I spoke translated true since he felt like he just had to do this, and thank God he did.
The four of us fit as many words as we could into the the 2 hours we were there and it was not even close to enough. But isn't that just the way things go when it's good? They said they had to get to a meeting, but would drop us off at our hotel on the way, so we hopped in the car! As we were driving, I noticed the GPS showed the airport as the destination. "So...are you all lying to me."
We get to the airport again. WHAT DOES THIS MAN HAVE UP HIS SLEEVE?
I give one last hug goodbye to M & try not to lose my s*** because I just wanted us to be able to have at least one day to catch up on 9 years, but Steve and I had somewhere to be....so it was time to dry my eyes and let myself continue to enjoy what already had become the best trip/experience thus far. We were so caught up, we didn't even remember to get a photo together. :'( Guess I'll just need to book another ticket to Boston sooner rather than later!
As we walked through the airport, Steve led me to multiple gates just to play with me a bit, and then finally stood me in front of the gate for NEW YORK.
AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I've always wanted to go/experience NY. I went there to compete (bikini) before Nationals in Florida back in 2013, but I was only there long enough for the show and only saw the inside of the venue! Now, I got to be there for my for real first time with S.
I'll share photos photo blog style with the pictures and anything I have to add written underneath. Thanks for sharing in my excitement about the trip. If you want to skip the NY section, scroll until you see MY BIRTHDAY.
We arrived 1pm EST and ubered to our apartment in the city after pulling an all nighter. I could feel the affects of no sleep, but the euphoria was keeping me going. I could only imagine how Steve felt after carrying this and handling/executing everything so perfectly but he was as bright and bushy tailed as ever and his energy and spirit just was the extra icing & cherry on top.
Dropped of our luggage and walked straight to the first place S made reservations. OBAO. I ordered the Dim Sum style dumplings and spring rolls to share with Steven and we both enjoyed Pho. It was delicious.
After OBAO, we went to for a quick power nap back at our apartment (it actually was not voluntary, lol, we literally could not keep our eyes open). Then we woke up and walked to Rockafeller Center and went to the top! It was quite windy, but very very beautiful. While I truly enjoy God's natural wonders, there is something very grand and glorious about this city. It kinda hits you when you've never seen anything like it.
On the walk back, we picked up some Meltshop to eat at the apt. I got this delish vegetable sandwhich with tater tots and Steve got a chickent melt. We went to two seperate places to pick up apple turnovers and ice cream to mix for dessert after we ate. Dinner & dessert in bed was perf. I got to pick the movie we watched, and I chose the extremely uplifting movie, Revolutionary Road. (If you've seen this, you'll get my sarcasm. lol!)
The next morning we were so happy to have been able to sleep! We took a walk through the city to a coffee shoppe and enjoyed the music they had playing (LOUD) and I really enjoyed my chai. Steve got a latte and he said it was pretty good. Steve took some time while we were there to review his agenda he had planned for us that day. He seriously took care of EVERYTHING. I don't think I had to think comprehensively the entire time we were there. ;) jk
Saturday night, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at TAO Uptown. We were very thankful that Jimmy (the manager) was kind enough to walk us upstairs and treat us to some more drinks on him! It was such a great time there and next time we are in NYC, we will be there.
The next morning, we (of course) stopped to get a coffee, and then Steve took us to rent some bicycles and we rode the ENTIRE Central Park! We stopped at the north end to go to Tom's Restaurant for a bite to eat & also saw a beautiful cathedral. Once we returned the bikes, I stood on Marilyn Monroe's grate (and looked just as glamorous ;)), then we walked to see Chicago on Broadway & woooooooow, it was AMAZING and we had wonderful seats! Definitely one of my favorite parts and Steve and I both were surprised since we both thought we "didn't really like musicals". Now, we realize, there are MANY different kinds and to lump them all under one umbrella would mean missing out on so much goodness! Also, I love Roxie (Bianca Marroquin).
Sunday night, we walked got dressed up once again and walked through Time's Square to get to our reservation at Carmine's on Broadway
We shared the Shrimp Marinara with mushrooms, some amazing bread, and I paired with a Cab, Steve paired with a Merlot.
Monday was our final day in the city, so we took a nice and chilly walk and I'm pretty sure we were both looking ridiculous in the back of the Today Show.
Steve’s body language in that first pic is hella strong [read: hella sexy].
It’s unintentional & by the second pic I moved his hand to hold mine. Lol. I think a lady once commented that he was “digging his fingers too hard into my shoulder” in one of our pictures one time so I just want to make sure you guys do not read something into nothing. Yes, S & I can be a lil non conventional 🤤 (I’ll just leave it there LOL) but we are married, and I guess sometimes the chemistry in the bedroom doesn’t just stay there like ppl think their bad decisions stay in Vegas. Also, God views marital sex as a form of worship, so all my fellow Christians out there who are feeling yourselves get a little queasy...just take a deeeeep breath. 😂😂😂
THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING IN MY SHARING OF THIS TRIP (hehe)
If you like this post and seeing the photos we took, you can see more from our other travels in our CROATIA POSTS.
I will be working on our video clips to post on YouTube. If you aren't already subscribed, you can do so HERE so that you are notified when I upload the vid!
Also, I will be writing a separate and shorter post on "BIRTHDAY" next week!
God bless you, and even though I don't know you, I pray for you.