I was so excited (and antsy!) for Justin’s birthday this year because I wanted to do something super special for him considering it was his big 3-0 and partly because everyone knows how much I love to throw a big party (like Sam’s Bachelorette, Leo’s Birthday, Tori’s 40th, and Hayden’s Sip & See)!
I was determined to make Justin’s birthday the best birthday ever, I didn’t want to hold back on this one because Justin is one of the most important people in my life!! However, it turns out that March is a really strange time of the year to plan a party, for a few reasons. One, it’s not nice enough outside to have an outdoor party. Secondly, it’s not cold enough to have a winter themed party and lastly, it just so happened to be the week before Easter and spring break so EVERYTHING was so busy and expensive!!
All of these factors proved to throw me for a bit of a loop … I didn’t know what to do so I started thinking outside the box. I knew Justin had the urge to go to New York but I also realized that this wouldn’t be a possibility for everyone and I really wanted all of his friends to be a part of his celebration! So, I started reaching out to his friends to see how they felt about everything. Welp, this actually stressed me out even more because some people suggested Mexico, so I started researching that and then other people told me they wouldn’t be able to get time off work so I finally realized (after a ton of back and forth and numerous ideas and suggestions) that I just had to make a decision and run with it! That’s when I decided that I was going to organize a trip to New York along with a surprise party for Justin in Kelowna!
I was happy to have finally made a decision but at the same time, I was sad that not everyone would be able to make it to New York … I knew Justin would have loved everyone to be there!! However, at that point, I was already running out of time as I had been trying to plan this party for about 4 months and I REALLY started stressing when we were closing in on 3 weeks until his birthday!!
So, in the end, I planned a fun surprise party at our house so everyone could attend!! Which conveniently landed on St. Paddy’s day!! I booked a limo and a few of Justin’s friends were waiting inside the limo and we surprised him with dinner at Quail’s Gate … and sneakily, while we were out for dinner, everyone showed up at our house and started decorating for Justin’s surprise party!! Aaron Pritchett and his wife and son even came … and of course, Aaron busted out his guitar which was a huge treat for everyone!! We had a ton of fun desserts and a wicked cake by Cakes by Laur … along with some Guinness shots and brewskis … all we were missing was the green dye! LOL! Justin was beyond shocked over this and he foolishly (??) believed that was all I had up my sleeve.
Ps. We even managed to get footage of everything so make sure to watch the vlog at the very end of this post!!
I booked flights for myself, Justin and Justin’s brother, Matt, with Air Canada and reserved us a room at The Standard Hotel East Village. It was funny because I had booked everything for the three of us and at first Justin was wondering why in the world just the three of us were going (his preggo fiance and his brother! lol!!) but he rolled with it!! While we were out for our first dinner, surprise number one strolled in … one of Justin’s best friends, Warwick! A few moments after that, the second surprise arrived, Elliot, another one of Justin’s best friends who actually lives in NYC!! We had Justin convinced that Elliot was away in Paris while we were there so of course he was super bummed out thinking he wasn’t going to get the chance to see him!! Muahahaha!!
It ended up being the 5 of us the entire weekend, I couldn’t drink and I was the only girl, but I had so much fun and the guys kept telling me that they were having a blast and that it was a trip of a lifetime!! Phewwww success!! ? The boys didn’t know this but before leaving to NYC I reached out to a few companies to help me put together some awesome swag bags for the boys as a little treat!!
In each bag, they had a pair of Duer jeans which they were obsessed with (who knew guys could love clothes more than girls?? LOL!!), SAXX Underwear … I mean, what guy WOULD’T want these?? Especially with all of the walking we did! ? They also got the DSC Traveller kit from Dollar Shave Club (gotta look fresh in the big apple!), a pair of Dockers Smart 360 Flex Khakis (you all know just how much Justin loves his Dockers!!), awesome black insulated waterbottles from Corkcicle (did you know these babies hold a bottle of wine?? Just sayin!) and Mark & Graham sent personalized matchboxes!!! Landeau even sent Justin two bouquets of roses … which of course, I absolutely LOVED! LOL!! These swag bags were a TOTAL hit!! It actually felt a bit weird organzing swag bags for the guys as I had to think of all of Justin’s favourite brands this time around rather than mine!! LOL!!
Oh!! And for those of you wondering how we got all of the balloons in our room before Justin arrived, we ordered them through Balloon Saloon, they delivered them to the hotel and we let the concierge know ahead of time so they could bring them into our room for us!! This is one of my favourite things to do, I also love to have champagne or flowers in the room as well for an extra treat!! You would be surprised at how helpful some hotels are with this sort of thing!!
We ventured all around NYC, making pit stops at libraries and pubs and most importantly, Times Square so we could see Nacho up on the big screens (I TOTALLY cried!!)!! We had an amazing meal at Eataly … which was a bit different than the last time we went considering Justin and I eat mailing plant-based now and Eataly is all about charcuterie boards. However, we had a really good vegetarian meal and the guys indulged in some beer, and the weather was PERFECT!!
Later that day, a restaurant reached out to us and wanted to host us for a birthday dinner, it was STK, which is a steakhouse and immediately I was hesitant because of this so I asked them what their vegetarian options were and they were so accommodating, they had no problem making us an incredible vegetarian meal!! Not only was the food delish but the vibe in STK was so cool!!
On the very last day, I had ONE MORE surprise for Justin, we went on a heli tour of the whole city with Heli NY and it was mind blowing!! The guys were totally freaking out and I think it was by far one of the coolest things we’ve done!
Even though it wasn’t the “typical” birthday party that I would normally throw, it was one of the best weekends we’ve had. I remember the last night we were in NYC, Justin ordered vegan ramen to the room and as he was eating it, I could see him smiling to himself and he said: “this was the best weekend ever”. That right there made it all worthwhile. In the end, it didn’t matter how big the party was but the experiences we made along the way were absolutely priceless!
Have you ever been to NYC?? If so, what did you enjoy the most about it?? Comment below!!