Friday, November 20, 2009

Like A Virgin

En route to Australia.

We ended up flying Virgin/V Australia.

And so far it meets my expectations to a t - more tight black shirts (top buttons unbuttoned), heavy eyeliner and fedoras than I can count; four dudes rockin' their aviators in the dimly lit cabin; and I just heard a befuddled passenger attribute our 45 min early arrival to daylight savings time?

Here's to the next leg of the trip and many more greasy rockstar coifs.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Completely Self-Serving with a Dose of Adorable

Ashley and I chatted for a bit last night as I put away dishes and clipped my fingernails.

Sisters get all our truly quality phone time, non?

She made my day when she told me Abbey was playing with her hair the other day and said, "I'll make your hair pretty. Pretty like Aunt Allison*."

This little girl melts my heart.
If we're being totally honest, all these girls melt my heart.
*I'm choosing to remember it this way. She might have said "pretty like Aunt Allison's" since their visit was the day after Jamie gave me a new 'do (thanks Jamie, loving it...). Either way, I'll take it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Digs

A few weeks ago, Noah and I told some friends that once our lease expired in Harlem, this year would be the longest we've ever lived in one place. It didn't seem like a topic we could jinx, seeing as how a lease is one full year and there usually isn't much to change that.

Well, hm. The post office charges $1 to submit a change of address request. The post office has seven of our dollars in the past three years.

Ironic that the letter about renewing our lease (complete with the 3% rent increase; thanks for the kick in the pants, NYC) showed up in the mail just one day after the elevator incident. Fortunately, our landlord has been super understanding of our wanting to move and even sent us an email today to remark on how clean we left the apartment when we moved out. (I didn't think these things qualified as remarkable - until we looked at 25 apartments in the last week or so. And yeah - ew. Cleaning is a dying art.)

Saturday, with the help of so many gracious folks, we dragged our heels out of Harlem, bid a conflicted adieu to our old 'hood but an excited hello to our new digs in Battery Park. We are so thrilled with our new place, the neighborhood, the building, the amenities (hello... gym!), the view (hello... Lady Liberty!) and it's kind of fun to see a shot of the NYC skyline and think, "hey! that's our house!"
(**photo credit, Ashley S.)
As a sweet bonus, we already have some great friends living in the building. They sealed the never-leave deal when, faced with the choice between instant oatmeal or dry brownie mix for dinner on Sunday, we got a text, "Dinner's at 6." We left our place at 5:59 and still got to their place on time. It was bliss. Now if we could just get everyone we know to move into the same building...

Pictures are forthcoming. WAY forthcoming. I don't know what to do with a studio, so this could take some time. And every evening when we return home, I'm reminded there are no lights in the bed/dining/living room. Lamp shopping, post haste.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

October... The November Telling

What a month! Perhaps summed up best by this photo Noah snapped and appropriately titled, "The Little Roll That Could."
That roll saw us through several sets of wonderful houseguests, two brutal colds, several weepy nights - and it's not even two-ply. A recession is no time for a pampered tush.

We kicked off October with a trip to Connecticut, Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley with my cousins and their kids. It was a day of apple cider donuts, famous graveyards and no fewer than 4,000 handcarved pumpkins arranged into dinosaurs, beehives, pirate scenes and UFOs. Plus, one utterly terrifying picture of Allison:
Then it was off to Pennsylvania with the Cromars for a fall tour of the Keystone State's finest. Unfortunately, we were a little ahead of the leaves, but we made it to Philadelphia, Valley Forge, Lancaster County, Hershey and Gettysburg in record time. Highlights included the famous Vest hospitality and french toast breakfast, whoopie pie, football in the apple trees, peanut butter M&M's with Leslie, anything involving the adorable Sorensen kiddos and calculating the odds of random events with Cromars.

Lowlights included not getting these pictures off my camera before it was stolen and the restaurant we picked for dinner Saturday night. It was total mom-and-pop operation, so I would feel like the worst person on the planet calling them out on this blog (you know, in case they have their Google Alerts set up) - but know before you go. Seriously, ask me and I will tell you where NOT to eat in Amish Country.
We welcomed the Porter family to the Riley home and somebody must have forgotten to teach this trio about how to negotiate a fair trade. Because in exchange for one pan of butternut squash lasagna, we got a delicious dinner and all the cheesecake our little hearts and tummies could handle, a personal yoga session with my new favorite instructor, wonderful company at the perfect time that did our hearts good and all the snuggles we wanted from this perfect little guy.
Ashley and Heather were the next delightful guests to grace the Riley household with their presence. We didn't see them much, which makes me feel like a sub-par hostess (sorry ladies!) - but WOW! talk about travel stamina. They hit up both NYC and Boston during their trip and saw it ALL. I was asleep when they left for Boston, asleep when they got back to NYC and asleep when they left the next morning for home, if that's any indication. I don't sleep that much - these ladies were go, go, go. I love it and I loved the beautiful pictures from their trip. So much so that I stole one. Or four. All photo credit is due the lovely Ashley Stolworthy.Somewhere in the mix, we engaged in a new apartment hunt (found it!) and celebrated our anniversary by seeing In The Heights. Since our upcoming vacation is our actual gift to each other, we didn't have anything planned for the 20th. It was fun to decide last minute to, oh, catch a Broadway show.
(Another photo that deserves Ashley Stolworthy mention... how convenient they saw the same show we did when we are non-iPhone-camera-less!)
Before the calendar could flip from month 10 to 11, Noah's parents and brother came to town for a wonderful week and a trip to Ohio/upstate New York. Stay tuned...