Remember that time we jumped out of a perfectly functional airplane?

One of my favorite visions of all time is getting out of the terminal at LAX and seeing blue skies and palm trees.  There is nothing like leaving a cold NYC and coming to paradise.  Oh how Californians’ don’t know how lucky they have it!

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For my 33rd birthday, my lovely fiancé had the idea of having us go down to paradise – La Jolla, California.  A little backstory – my colleague at work constantly spoke to me about the time he got stuck in La Jolla during 9/11 and how beautiful the place was.  I placated him by just saying “yes, I can imagine”.  In my wildest dreams, I never thought it would actually happen.  So for my birthday, we decided to head down to La Jolla and just chill out.

We rented a Ford Mustang Ecoboost, which I was very excited to drive, and headed down.  The traffic is peanuts compared to NYC.  What made this an even more fun drive, was the fact that the car was a manual transmission.  Being a car geek, you should know, us geeks do anything in our power to drive a manual transmission.  There is no greater joy than being able to row one’s own gears.  The drive down was very smooth and we stayed at Hotel La Jolla.  It is a boutique hotel that is right down the street from the beach.

IMG_9751– Babe enjoying the view –

IMG_9864– the view; yes, that is a rainbow –

IMG_9841– obligatory masques’ –

unnamed-2– Babe loving Piatti in La Jolla, CA; the most delicious bread and dipping oil in America –

After the first night of fun, we decided to do something wild.  Why not jump out of an airplane?  Well, the plane works, is a reason I would say.  Well, my beautiful fiancé had already planned a skydiving session.  I wish I had video, but let me try to put it into words after I show you some pictures.

unnamed– strapping in –

IMG_9763– someone is excited! –

unnamed-1– gosh, I love her! –

The build up of going there, checking in, putting on the gear, and awaiting an airplane is fine.  Climbing into a rackety old plane is fine.  Sitting on the plane is fine.  Hanging off the edge of the plane when the door opens is fine.  Once you are pushed out, and looking at the plane above you – that is when things get real.  It was the most amazing experience in my life.  I am getting goosebumps describing it to you.  Human instinct is to do everything you can to save yourself.  This is the complete opposite.  It was a leap of faith, knowing that you would be fine.  The coldness of the air above the earth is so pure.  Just feeling as if you weren’t part of this world, was a very unique experience.  I was just amazed the 90 seconds it took for me to arrive back on earth.

I remember the moment we got out of that plane.  I am a pretty conservative and neurotic person, but to just give up my life for fun, was an amazing experience.  I thank my fiancé for showing me that aspect of life.  It was just breathtaking to be falling to the earth.  It is something I would like to do every year with her.

IMG_9769– jumping out of a plane makes one hungry! –

IMG_9759– Babe modeling in front of a 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost –

As mentioned before, I was pretty excited to drive the Mustang.  I love the design of the new Mustang and was eager to try out the EcoBoost motor.  After all, it had been almost 30 years since a turbocharged 4 cylinder had been placed in a Mustang.  Let me say this, the car has a great low end torque and it feels great driving on the highway.  There are a few pro’s (cool factor, low end torque, one of the nicest shifters I have ever experienced), but the cons outweigh the pros.  The interior felt like a 3 year old picked the materials.  The highway transitions felt horrendous; tons of body roll.  The initial turn in is great, but the mid corner feel is absent (you don’t know how the car is going to react).  The power delivery is nice though.  All these things can be fixed with aftermarket solutions, but it is definitely something to mention.

Once we got back to LA from La Jolla, we had a very nice family birthday dinner at Paru’s Indian Restaurant in Hollywood!

IMG_9882-thanks Babe and Babe Family –

IMG_9891– All thanks to babe –

Well, it was my 33rd Birthday.  We went to paradise.  Then jumped out of a plane.

 

 

p.s.  I lived.

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Remember that time we went to Brooklyn for a photoshoot during a blizzard?

So Vinita came to visit me in NYC in January.  It had been a very mild winter, but she kept asking for snow, and boy did her wish come true!IMG_8578– Vinita enjoying snowfall in NYC! –

We started our NYC tour with my favorite museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I love this place for its sprawling size.  To go from ancient cultures all over the world in the span of one day is amazing for me.  My favorite section happens to be the Asian Art section, although the contemporary US side is also very nice.  This place brings back memories of my youth, when we would go on school field trips here and I would get lost in the wonder of history.

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IMG_8551– Vinita in front of a massive painting of Washington crossing the Delaware –

We got hungry from the few miles of walking inside the museum and had to get some slices of NY pizza.IMG_8534– 2 slices to go! –

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The following day was met with more snow.  Being in the automotive industry, I got to borrow a Porsche Macan for the day.  Introduced in April of 2014, the Macan came as an S and a Turbo.  2017 introduced a Base trim with a 4 cylinder turbo charged motor and a GTS model.  We got the 4 cylinder, which was PERFECT for city duty, and a bonus was that the car is AWD with the 18 inch standard wheels that are perfect for terrible NYC roads.

IMG_8597-Our 2017 Rhodium Silver Macan tackling the inclement weather at Columbus Circle –

IMG_8649– Vinita reprogramming the height adjustable rear tailgate on the Macan –

IMG_8656– Does this come with Keyless Entry? –

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– A very nice backroad near the Brooklyn Bridge –

IMG_8685– What a view! –

The following day was comprised of us relaxing and heading to the Top of the Rock!  By that we mean, Rockefeller Center, home of 30 Rock and SNL as well as other NYC based NBC shows.  It was really awesome to get a view of the city from this height.

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IMG_8796– Vinita loving the traffic –

IMG_8936– Vinita with our little son Chewbacca.  Follow him @ChewieTheYorkieee on Instagram –

We ended up finishing the last day with a nice feast of food.  We started in Brooklyn and getting the famous rainbow bagel with cream cheese.

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unnamed-3– Fluffy bagels like clouds –

We followed that up with a Shake Shack burger.  My favorite burger in the world.  Just delicious.  Vinita and I argue about which is better – Shake Shack vs. In N’ Out.  This time, NYC won!

unnamed-4– Heaven on earth! –

And finally, to put the proverbial icing on the cake, we got some Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes.  Absolutely gorgeous…and delicious!

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Oh New York, how we love you.  When it isn’t snowing.