Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My (half) brother Aaron and his mom Pat came to NYC to visit me...

For those of you that don't know, I have four half-siblings: Aaron, Emmet, Adam and Teresa. We all have the same Irish dad. (Click here to read all about how I discovered them only in the past few years and to also learn about the history of the crazy Jolley family.)  Emmet and Aaron grew up in Ireland (with their mom Pat) and then moved to France for ten years (Pat still lives there). Aaron went to Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and then moved to London last year to change things up a bit and figure out his next move. Aaron had never been to the United States before and honestly...he really wasn't DYING to visit. I mean, it wasn't his first choice of places to visit, but once he met *me*, he changed his mind and decided to check things out. He'd done a ton of traveling throughout Europe and Africa and India and so on, so compared to all of those very culturally dense places, avoiding the states didn't seem like he'd be missing much. The plan: visit NY on August 1st and 2nd and then head down to Delaware to visit Emmet (who trains horses) and his girlfriend Rita and then travel to South Carolina to visit our sister Teresa. Unfortunately, I didn't know their plan until only a couple of weeks before they were about to arrive and I'd already had plans to go to Florida (with Z) the day after they were to arrive. I told them that we'd have all day on August 1st to hang out and they could even stay with me while I was away, but I'd have to leave for the airport early the next morning, so we tried to make the best of our one day together.

Of course, we had to start off with the touristy thing and took the subway to the Staten Island Ferry:

It was their first time on a NYC subway and they were drunk with enthusiasm. I'd been telling them about the unnatural largeness of NYC rats, so Aaron immediately wanted to track one down and take its picture. In the meantime, Pat and Aaron couldn't get over how dirty the subways were. London subways are immaculate and actually smell like flowers (exaggeration). Pat wasn't thrilled about the thought of seeing a rat, but she still had a smidgen of curiosity. Aaron could think of nothing else, so as we were heading toward the ferry, we all searched the tracks for rodents. FINALLY, at the last moment before we got on the last train to the ferry, we found a small one sucking on a Twizzlers bag. : )

Anyway, here are Aaron and Pat on the ferry:

Once we got to Staten Island we didn't even step outside of the terminal. We immediately made a U-turn and boarded the next ferry heading back to NY.

We were starting to get pretty ravenous at that point, so I thought it'd be a great idea to take a trip to DUMBO and sit down for the best pizza known to man. (Not an exaggeration.) Pat and Aaron don't know from good pizza in London and France. People line up for hours and come from all walks of life (well, from all over the state of New York) to experience this special recipe of dough, cheese and sauce.

The place is called Grimaldi's and it rocks the mutha house. They do pizza RIGHT. We waited in line for 30 minutes (in the 95-degree-heat!). It kinda felt like we were waiting to get on a ride at Great Adventure. There was great enthusiasm as if we were on a line at great adventure. Like...a tasting ride for taste buds. Anyway, when we finally made it inside, we took no time at all to decide on two "small" pies.

Here they are now:

We ate it all up in no time. I mean, we seriously ate so fast the waiter was concerned. (Well, not really, but we did eat everything quickly.) Oh and neither one of them had ever tried Root Beer before, so we ordered them up some of that stuff. Pat said that it tasted like vanilla cough syrup. Aaron was also completely unimpressed, but still managed to drink it all. We laughed about how artificial soda is and how obsessed Americans are with soda in general...and with large portions.

When we left Grimaldi's we were stuffed and exhausted. And I don't quite know why *I* was so exhausted. I mean, they were the ones with jet-lag, but after eating all that pizza, I felt like I had been up for three days straight. When we finally made it to my house, we all collapsed on the couch. I had a lovely chat with Pat. She's very warm and engaging and simply wonderful. Aaron fell asleep pretty quickly (around 9pm) and I gathered my things and grabbed my extra key and headed out by 10pm and made my way over to Z's place. Z and I headed off to Florida in the morning for four days of baseball...

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