Monday, March 23, 2009

Heeeyyy Brother.

As I alluded to in the previous post, my little brother Collin and cousin Aaron came to visit for their Spring Break last week. They found a screamin' deal on airfare - the only hitch was having to spend NINE whole days with the Rileys. They probably heard enough "sweeties" in that timeframe that they were ready to hurl themselves out the window. But the lengthy vacay also meant plenty of time for takin' it easy, seeing tons of NYC, eating Cadbury Mini Eggs and catching up on old 30 Rock episodes at night. Sounds like my kind of vacation.

The night they got here, I decided to run to meet them at Penn Station. So their welcome committee looked a little, well, like she'd just run five miles. They seemed so adult when I found them outside Madison Square Garden. I think he's grown up even since January. Though I still can't help but call him my little brother even when he towers over me.
I convinced them to detour just a few blocks before we went back underground so they could be overwhelmed by Times Square on their first night in the city. I thought it was a good/fun idea until I realized how crazy heavy their luggage was and I was the gung-ho hostess making them haul it around midtown.

Since they were here over two weekends, we were lucky to have plenty of time to share the sights with them on weekends and evenings and they got to navigate the city on their own during the week.

There were several highlights to the week, most notably the time we got to spend with these two stellar guys. I'm such a proud big sis.

I love our proximity to Central Park - ideal for a slightly chilly Sunday stroll where we saw the horse dog (this beast is wearing human clothes here, people). Wednesday turned out to be a very picturey, which is unfortunate because it was also free salon pysche-out day. And everyone knows if you think you're going to a salon you don't wash or do your hair. Ah, lovely greasy ponytail.

We met the guys for lunch at Carnegie Deli, where the guys ordered their weight in corned beef and pastrami and I ran into an old friend.(Ashley, do you remember that we had this exact head shot signed and *cough, cough* framed?! Ah, meeting Jodie Sweetin. Top ten most memorable events of my youth.)

By far, my favorite part of the meal was analyzing how each of the guys attacked the 'wich.

"This could use a little mustard, but I just can't put it down." Aaron's approach was to just grab hold and not let go until he was done - knowing it was definitely falling apart if he did.Noah ate his in a very sophisticated manner - knife and fork. Collin just attacked - nothing dainty or methodical about it. And who showed that sandwich who's boss? Who tasted the sweet meat (as it were...) of victory? Who finished the Woody Allen?!

Winner, winner, winner!

That evening, our favorite Jacob R. joined us at the Apollo Theater in Harlem for Amateur Night. Everyone had told us this is a must-do (well of course, any event with it's own theme song... I am still singing the smooth sounds of "Amateur Night" in my head) and especially fun because it's actually in our neighborhood. It's an open mic night where the audience cheers or boos acts off stage. It sounded really fun until I got there and realized I didn't have the heart to boo.

However, what the "they" neglected to mention was how it may potentially be the most confusing/offensive evening in a long while, though the "they" could not have anticipated it. It all started just after intermission (I guess, in truth it started during intermission for me when I ran to the restroom just as intermission was drawing to a close and I heard the restroom attendant tell another woman she was sorry all the toilets were wet because intermission was over. Wha? I don't want to know.) when Al Sharpton strolled onto stage. I thought it was a joke at first - someone dressed as Al (a very good impersonation, indeed!). But nope. Real deal.

That was not nearly half as confusing as his resounding endorsement of Kathy Griffin (naturally). Who then came out on stage (naturally). And offended every fiber of my being (naturally). We were ready to walk out when the band played her off the stage just at the end of a really rambling and pointless story. Thank goodness. It's too bad, really - it soured an otherwise really fun evening at the historic Apollo. I just wish our boos would have caught on and we could have booed her off the stage like the girl who sang Brandy's "Almost Doesn't Count."
Friday, Collin and Aaron brought us a midday treat from Magnolia (aren't they so sweet?!) and that evening we hit the MoMA and a quick walk to the diner of Seinfeld fame. It was busy and the menu wasn't really screaming to us, so we opted for Chicken Caesar Wraps at home instead. But we have the photo. That's what counts.

By Saturday, the guys had seen more of Manhattan than we have in two and a half months - so we hatched a plan to get out of Manhattan... all the way to Coney Island for famous hot dogs at the hallowed site of the hot dog eating contest (Aaron watches this every year. I was impressed. Not a bandwagon hot dog eatin' fan there, nosiree.) and a cold, cold walk along the pier.

We loved having Collin and Aaron at our place, mostly because they buy the good cookies (not just whatever happens to be on sale) and they always left the house spic-and-span when they headed out for the day :). But also partially because a few days after their visit, baby brother Collin received his mission call! He's the first Furniss sibling missionary, so this is a new thing for us. It probably hasn't hit me yet what it's going to be like when he's really gone for two years and I can't just text or call when something makes me think of him - but we're sure glad we had 9 days with him before he heads out to serve the good people of Raleigh, NC in a few months.


melissa said...

HELLO! Best trip, ever! I hope those boys know how lucky they are to be able to get free room and board. Aaron was pretty impressed with your power walking.
Also, Jodie Sweetin always reminds me of you. :)

Allison and Noah Riley said...

When you've gotta get to church, you've gotta get to church! Hazards of being the ward organist with sacrament meeting first.

Mom said...

I think Aaron needs to stand by someone besides Collin for photo shoots! Awesome blog entry, awesome trip, and awesome host and hostess! Thanks for having them!

Missy said...

Looks like they had a great time! I hate Kathy Griffin too. So much.

Ashley said...

Uh, I believe I bought the FULL size poster of Jodie Sweetin. Tragedy of my life. It was rolled up in some tube and got lost (ie, mom probably threw it away) and I spent the next three years looking for it in our storage room.

How ironic, I was randomly thinking of the "What is it like to have a clean freak for a Dad?" moment this week. Seriously. We LOVED Jodie Sweetin. How cool was mom to take us down to meet her.

Drae said...

What a fun experience! That's great you got to spend so much time with your bro. before he leaves. I can't wait to come out and visit. I guess we'll be staying for 9 days too, so we can re-create the experience they had. All of it sounded like so much fun! Will you not wash your hair for us too? I love greasey ponytails. :) I'm so glad you guys are truly experiencing New York the way it should be experienced. Always going, and doing.

lauren said...

can i just tell you how happy i am that you used an arrested development quote for your title? brilliant i say, absolutely brilliant.

and i love that carnegie deli. with every fiber of my being. even though last time i ate there i saw everything twice due to a separate and unfortunate food poisoning incident late that evening.

though i think i crave the cheesecake on a daily basis.

jessica said...

You guys are a great host/hostess team. If we were to visit NY, could we hang out?

Quinn and Linds said...

Noah would eat his sandwich like that!! My question did YOU eat yours? I know I could never stomach it, but you may be more of a women than I. You do look pretty cold in the Coney Island pic, but you also look very cute; good trade off? I would like to think so. (coming from a girl who wore her new brown suede flats to the muddy beach for a hike!:)

Brandon and Erica said...

Hilarious because I always thought I was the only one who got excited about having an autographed photo from good ol' Jodie Sweeting. That is awesome! Maybe we were both at the Denver, CO Stock Show that's where I met her....I am assuming you weren't there. But I can say this: I had, nor will I ever be, so star-struck than when I met Steph from Full House.

Whitney said...

wow, looks like you had a great time! i couldn't stop laughing at the eating picture, i love that colin just devoured it! and noah with his knife and fork, how proper ;)
congrats to your bro! he'll be a wonderful missionary! and who doesn't love north carolina! :)

Jacob R said...

Words cannot express how honored I am to finally be mentioned in a Riley blog post.

I am a long time reader (first time caller) and I have been anxiously waiting for this day. I had a whole speech prepared, but I'm so flustered, I forgot the whole thing. My next instinct is to just quote "I Believe I Can Fly" but then I remember how poorly it was received at the Apollo Theater.

I guess I'll just say thanks! Let's have more adventures soon!

Jen said...

Hehehe- I can still piture little Ashley and Allison watching their daily quota of Full House every day after school. Sacred times those were.

The corned beef and the wet!