Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Trump Card

I've mentioned before that 2009 was a year of shuffling around the map for the Furniss siblings. New homes, new cities, new adventures. Chapters closing and new chapters waiting to be written.

It wasn't a sudden trend. Mom and Dad have been updating addresses - Dad, likely in his Blackberry; Mom, on the sheet of contact information she keeps taped to the inside of the cereal cupboard - for the five of us since we got the nerve, the government-issued I.D., the desire, the gig, the acceptance letter, the transfer, the opportunity, the hair-brained idea or whatever other combination of factors resulted in a move. But I'll remember 2009 as an especially landmark year when it seemed the whole family was in a constant state of motion.

It's only appropriate that Mom and Dad should play the trump card in 2010 with an adventure of their own. Daejeon, Korea is one lucky city.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lake Placid, NY

We were able to ditch the city for a last-minute getaway to Lake Placid with our dear friends, the Cromars, a few months ago. And because they're legitimately hard-core, it meant legitimately hard-core activities were on the agenda.

We started the weekend with a day on the slopes and thanks to half the people we know in Harlem, we were outfitted appropriately. Two Utah kids, born and bred, and the extent of our winter wear now consists of pea coats, wool scarves and knock-off Uggs? Eight-year-old Allison "skiin' the Beav" in her bright pink and green parka never saw this day coming. Ski apparel just didn't make the cut on moving day. So a special shout out to friends for helping us out. Plus, it was an especially exciting day to fit in the skinny mini Nikki K.'s snow pants.

With the morning hours quickly slipping by and a big event that made for a crowded Whiteface, one of the guys at the gear shop in town let us in on a little secret - Big Tupper. If I could quit my job and do PR for companies/organizations with stories like this, I would (though this NCPR interview, a New York Times mention and a slew of local press tells me someone's already doing a nice job of it). The resort has been closed for more than a decade, but the town of Tupper Lake banded together to get it up and running again, based entirely on volunteer effort from the people in town.

We almost missed the roadside marquis with plastic letters indicating the turnoff to Big Tupper. Fortunately we got pulled over and the local authorities assisted us to our destination.

Big Tupper didn't have any of the amenities or bells and whistles of big resorts, but the whole vibe was so friendly and genuine - we loved it. Plus, $15 lift tickets and a ski resort with a .org designation? How nice. It seems ridiculous to admit in the four winters since we tied the knot this was our first time together on the slopes. I fell for Noah all over again. For being {relatively} new to skiing, he was up for the challenge and had such a great attitude about learning. It was fun to give him a few tips and have him actually take them like I knew what I was saying. That's a good husband right there.And by midday, we were busting out tricks with the best of 'em. Ready to pull a gnarly run like the K-12, dude. (Did I lose you? Only those who know me best are still following...)
What appears to be Allison boxing out Noah and Lauren...
No, no, no... thank YOU, Big Tupper.
On day two in the Adirondacks, we climbed a sheer face of ice. No big deal.
Actually, this was a very big deal. Have you tried this?! Wicked hard.

The guy on the left - total natural. The guy and gal on the right - complete pros.
As for me - let's just say this was not a hard photo to capture. I spent a good 10 minutes in this position once I found steady footing and strong holds. This is where I spent some time pondering that age old question, "how big of a wuss am I if I just throw in the towel, hop back down and eat Sun Chips for the rest of the afternoon?"
But thanks to a supportive bunch on the ground, I set my sights a little higher and went until my forearms cried "uncle." And by day's end, I was free climbing - no ropes, no harness - to the very top. Oh wait, not me - that'd be the crazy next to us.
That NOAH, on the other hand. Where did I find this guy?
If you're ever in the opening sequence of a Bond flick and could use a guy to get you out of peril and there happens to be a wall of ice between you and safety - I have this guy's number.
Last, but absolutely not least - our lovely guides and the masterminds behind the Adirondack Adventure, Lauren and Kevin. Thanks to these two, we didn't look quite so much like the proverbial fish out of water. We would have been a disaster getting our gear at the climbing demo without them ("just tell me exactly what to ask for...") and they threw out words like "top rope" and "Petzl" and "Ouray" that made us seem like the real deal. These two are totally the real deal.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I've alluded to the time my sister and I met Jodie Sweetin. I asked her if Danny Tanner was a clean freak in real life. Hmmm? The kid before me stole my question and I panicked.

And then there was the time John Stamos and I repeatedly met one another's gaze (that's probably how he describes it on his blog, too).

Saturday night, at dinner with friends at Bianca on Bleecker, one of the Olsen twins was at the table next to us.

Basically, what I'm saying is - I'm totally owning Full House bingo.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Of Late.

I've been a little disconnected lately. Not disconnected and minding it, necessarily. But I just haven't had much to say. (Which is crazy, I usually have something to say. "I have no words. This never happens to me! Words are my life!")

This felt like the most "normal" month we've had in quite some time. We had two sets of lovely houseguests at the very beginning of February, including one of my favorite ladies on the planet.
This picture is apt to confuse, because you're likely thinking, "Allison, how is it that Lindsay looks so put together and ready for the day and you look like you rolled out of bed?"The truth is, I don't know. I think I've let myself go. At least that's what I get from this picture. But I do know this was one of my favorite mornings yet in this city - yoga, flea markets and brunch at Bubby's in Tribeca.

We were visitorless for the rest of the month and Noah and I learned what we would do when we had a month without a move, or a trip, or visitors, or general craziness and the answer is... we hibernate. We spent time with wonderful new friends from the new 'hood and got together with dear friends from the old 'hood. We watched two entire seasons of the West Wing. We made ourselves a near-permanent fixture at our neighbors' place for all the Olympic highlights from Vancouver. (It was really just an excuse for great conversation over snacks. And 90% of the time we were in our sweats. And twice, I didn't even wear shoes. I love living in the same building as friends.) We made one museum trip to the Whitney. We were sucked in by Modern Family. We tried for tickets to Wicked and A View from the Bridge. We ate pita chips and hummus or carrot sticks and hummus for more meals than I should admit.

It was a very routine month. And it was very nice.

A few February happenings that stick out from the norm:

Noah indulged me and went to couples yoga with me on Valentine's weekend. I surprised myself when I learned I can hold him up.

He surprised me last week by coming again (I came from home, he came from basketball - so I really was surprised to walk in and see him there).

He surprised me again in that same moment with his fat lip and cracked teeth from said basketball game.

Noah got a speeding ticket. From Australia. For going *look closely* the equivalent of three miles per hour over the speed limit.