DISCLAIMER: This story has nothing to do with photography, or Photoshop or Lightroom or anything like that. It’s just about my birthday, which was awesome because I have an awesome wifey, which is what the story is about. Just so you know. 

It actually started Saturday night…
So, the wifey and I are sitting around the kitchen table Saturday evening when I see an email come in with those words from Delta I long to hear…“Your upgrade is now confirmed.”  I assumed it was for a business trip I have coming up to New York in the next week or so, but then I look at the dates and it says Sunday, July 6th.

I’m  looking at it,  and I say out loud to Kalebra, “Could I have accidentally booked a meeting on my birthday?” She doesn’t answer but when I look over at her she has this big smile on her face. She says “Tomorrow morning I’m taking you and our son up to New York City to celebrate your birthday!!!”

Well, I was psyched!!! First, I love birthday surprises (especially the kind Kalebra plans!!!) and I love to travel, and I love New York, and I just about to burst! Now, just to give you an idea how perfect this day is about to become, all three of us got the free upgrade, and my son is only Silver Medallion (Delta’s lowest loyalty ranking for frequent flyers), but he still got the upgrade. That rarely happens! This day is so gonna rock! :)

I didn’t bring a camera…
It was a birthday trip, so I left all my camera gear at home and took these shots with my iPhone (that’s looking up at Rockefeller Center. Also known as 30 Rock, or the GE Building, and it’s also home to NBC).

First stop — Top of the Rock!
My son hadn’t been to New York since he was a little boy, so our first stop was to visit the rooftop observatory on the top of Rockefeller Center so he could see the magnificent skyline.

Above: I have to admit I was a little stunned when I picked up the tickets for the elevator ride to the top and saw it was $87 for the three of us. Ack! Apparently that deterred no one — it was packed up there and there were long lines  just to go up and again to come back down. It made me want to get in the observatory business. ;-)

But what a view up there!
I’ve always gone up to the top of the Empire State Building in years past, but then you don’t get a view of the coolest building in the skyline, because you’re standing on it. At 30 Rock, you see the whole shebang (Note: Shabang is a registered trademark of Peter Hurley Industries and is used under a written agreement signed in blood during a ritualistic conclave for the Royal Order of the Sacred Squinch).

Above: I did some iPhone panos, too but I liked this regular ol’ shot best. The iPhone is great in nice daylight.

Above: Next stop — Carmine’s on West 44th (Mmmmmmmm, Carmine’s!). It’s my favorite restaurant anywhere! (I know, I know, there are better Italian Restaurants in NYC, blah, blah, blah, so there’s no need to tell me [again] that it’s just  for tourists and then tell me where I should go next time instead and all that, because I just love that place! The wifey and my son love it, too. Their Chicken Scaloppine is insane!).  Anyway, they just opened one in Vegas (in the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops) so I might get to eat there again in September. Whoo Hoo!

Above: The wifey got this shot of me in Carmine’s basking in the glow that is Carmine’s!

Lunch was just incredibly delicious, but after lunch…
It was off the Sam Ash — the amazing musical instrument store. By the way; we have a number of Sam Ash stores right in my hometown, but not like the original one in New York. It was guitar heaven!

Above: iPhone pano of the fancy room with guitars that I never buy. The guitars I buy are out in the main showroom — this is where they keep the “good stuff.”

Above: That’s me with my birthday present — a brand new, 120th Anniversary Edition, Gibson Les Paul Classic! I was pretty blown away (to say the least).

Above: Here’s a closer look. If you’re coming to Photoshop World Vegas, you’ll see me playing it on stage at the attendee party where I’ll be playing with my band, “Big Electric Cat.” 

That’s right — “Kalebra for President!”
She takes me in the room with “The good stuff” so I can pick out a guitar as my birthday present. How awesomely insane is that!!!!

I had been looking at this very same Les Paul online (I’ve always wanted a black Les Paul ever since I saw Peter Frampton playing one during his original “Frampton Comes Alive!” tour which I caught in Lakeland, Florida back in like 1976, though his actually has three pickups — there’s an extra one in-between the two you see here). Anyway, it’s being shipped to me today — should be here by Wednesday. Mega-psyched!

Above: the cast of “Motown: The Musical.” I took this iPhone shot (I didn’t use a flash or anything) and an usher ran over to me and about took my head off, and while she’s yelling at me, flashes are going off throughout the audience. I didn’t argue or anything (especially since the iPhone isn’t great under these types of lighting situations) I just put my phone away, but just so you know, I did stick my tongue out once she was gone and made a grumpy face. That’ll teach her! ;-)

Time for a Broadway Show!
After Sam Ash, the wifey takes us to see “Motown: The Musical.” It was awesome and she got us just great seats — six rows back from the stage, center, on the aisle! Fantastic music (of course), good story (learned lots of things I didn’t know about Barry Gordy and Diana Ross and the Motown family). Plus, really great dancing and staging. Really a fun show all the way around (my son really loved it)!!!!

One more thing! A quick stop at Junior’s for Cheescake!
The weather was beautiful (about 82° with a nice breeze and low humidity), so we sat outside at Junior’s and it was a perfect end to the day (and I split an awesome slice of cheesecake with my son).

Having my son come along (our daughter stayed home with Grandma — she’s still a little too young for a whirlwind day like this, and a long Broadway show of songs she’s never heard), really made this day so special for me (and he totally loved the trip; especially the show, and the drum department at Sam Ash, and Carmine’s and…heck, he liked it all. He’s a lot of fun to travel with).

Even a perfect day comes to an end
After Junior’s we headed right back to the airport where we had landed just nine hours before. Before you knew it, we were back home (where I’m sitting on the couch writing this now).

Although we definitely celebrated yesterday…
…today’s my actual birthday, so I’m taking the day off today to recoup. LOL! Hey, you only turn 38 once, right? ;-)

Thanks for letting me share this story with you today
…the story of my mega-awesome wife surprising me with a perfect day — and one I’ll never forget!

Hope your day today is every bit as good! (but without the whole getting older part, which we can probably do without, though Kalebra says getting older sure beats the alternative). :)

Best,

-Scott