If you read my post about my 25th birthday (also known to the vast majority of the public as “Christmas Day”), you already know that my boyfriend, Matt, truly goes above and beyond for me. Well, in the case of my actual birthday present, he REALLY went above and beyond, and not just in the figurative sense. In fact, we BOTH went above and beyond in a very real way – on a helicopter tour of Manhattan!

Now, let me preface this by saying I am not a good flyer. Planes, for some reason unbeknownst to even myself, scare “the bejesus” out of me. I just don’t like flying – the takeoff, the landing, the turbulence, the EXTREMELY HIGH ALTITUDES… yeah, it all freaks me out.

So, Matt knew he was taking a risk in getting me a gift that involved all of the above. But Matt also knew that A) I prefer gifts that are a memorable experience, and B) I am down for anything that will result in amazing photos. And this experience did not disappoint.

I will admit, as we walked out onto the helipad, I wasn’t sure if I was shaking from the extreme cold (with the wind chill by the water it felt like -3°F) or from my nerves – likely a mix of both. As we strapped ourselves into the helicopter and placed the headset over our ears, I felt a pang of panic – what if the whole ride felt like a turbulent plane flight, or worse… a rollercoaster!

While the choppa started up, I prepared for the worst… but, was pleasantly surprised. As it lifted into the air, it didn’t even feel like we were flying. In fact, it felt like we were in some sort of simulation – with some pretty realistic graphics, I might add.

So, long story short, the flight itself wasn’t scary at all. It was actually pretty magical and surreal. I got to see the city I work in, and was born in, from above – and let me tell you, that is its best look. I highly recommend the experience if you get the chance.

Although I think we may have been the only non-tourists flying, it was probably my favorite experience I’ve ever had in the city – all thanks to Matt. Sometimes it’s fun to play tourist for the day. And, as expected, I got some pretty incredible photos…