Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Down Undah - The Riley Chapter

A nice vacation is one thing, but phenomenal hosts send "nice" to "amazing" like nothing else. There's a certain appeal to Australia, sure, but we really knew we had to go when Ben and Natalie moved their sweet fam to the southern hemisphere almost two years ago.

We've grown accustomed to hosting here in the city, but hospitality is relatively easy when your job consists of, "there's the subway. and be sure to get yourself a good map." It's a little different when you're the chauffeur, the chef and the tour guide - and your guests are hoping to visit, eh, an entire continent.

But visit {lots} of an entire continent we did. Seeing and revisiting a lot of places they have already seen (and being, or at least acting :), genuinely excited to see it again!), or driving hours and hours out of their way to visit new places.

Ben is Noah's oldest brother and one of my favorite people to be around. He's genuinely interested in others and as a result, I find myself talking a lot in his presence. My answers to his questions were probably a lot longer-winded than anticipated :). Ben's accomplished a lot and crammed a lot of living into not a lot of years - the type of person you'd like to be when you grow up. And then you realize he's not that much older than you and you might wanna get crackin' if that's really the plan. Natalie is the type that does it all and makes it all look easy. Beautiful home (our toiletries were beautifully placed on a silver platter {no lie} on a gorgeous runner on our bed when we arrived. I looked twice for the pillow mints.), tons of fun, uber-stylish, great mom, in killer shape... the list goes on and on. If any of you know Natalie, you know she and great food are pretty much BFFs. If you don't know Natalie, you'll probably want to be her BFF, but you should at least get to know her food. I don't think I had to eat for three days after we got home.
Laine and Gabe - tell me these aren't the sweetest kids. Laine had us wrapped around her finger and Gabe had us laughing the whole time.
Our favorite Gabe-ism was how he started each of his stories with, "when I was a boy..." The kid is three. Hilarious.
And we were treated like royalty at Laine's restaurant - "here's your glass of water. Here's a pitcher of more water when you run out." Impressed by the details there, babe.
We could not have asked for a better trip.

1 comment:

natalie said...

If I didn't already know these children in person I would resist the urge to leave this comment 'They look like ragamuffins to me, but I'll take your word for it'. Yes, unfortunately with a trip this 'chockers', children's hygiene is unfortunately cast by the wayside.

Thanks so much for your nice words, that was really, really sweet!