We apologize, Adam left his camera in Britney's car this evening so pictures of the trip will not be posted until his camera arrives in the mail later on this week. Hang on...
This past Thursday, Adam flew into Newark Airport to visit Britney's family. Britney's disdain for transbridge bus lines grew ever blacker when the driver of her bus informed her halfway through the ride that he wasn't taking her to the airport. Instead, Britney was dropped off in NYC with the rest of the passengers. One can only imagine her anger. She got off the bus, ran to the subway, got off and ran to the train station, and sat on a train for 25 mins. When she finally got to the airport, she met Adam as he came off the Airtrain and the weekend began.
Day 1: We took our first train together (luckily one of the new/fancy double-decker ones) into the city. Adam surprised Britney with how well he blended in as a tourist. He wore square-toed brown dress shoes while dawning a brand-new classy peacoat. Gorgeous right? We took the subway over to Briana's (Britney's sister) and then rode over to a cute place just outside of Queens called St. James Place. It's a fun little area of Manhattan with tons of amazing Asian food and cheap sunglasses. There, Briana bought us each a pair of Ray Ban's, which seemed to cause her more excitement than us. Soon after, we met Britney and Briana's cousin and cousin-in-law Cassie and Bryan for dinner at a restaurant called the Yaffa Cafe. There we enjoyed an exotic dinner of hummus, curry, and whole avocados. After dinner, we went over the Briana's friend Kerrie's studio-styled apartment to stay for the night.
Day 2: We woke up around 11am (woops!) and stopped at a smoothie place for breakfast before heading over to city hall located right next to the Brooklyn Bridge to apply for our marriage license. After about an hour in line, we received our license (yay!) and walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge to take pictures.
Adam loved the architecture and energy of the city. We then took the subway uptown to a bakery called Crumbs where we got HUGE Chocolate chip cookie dough, Reese's, Brownie, and Blackout cupcakes for Briana, Kerrie, and of course ourselves. We then proceeded to the exciting west side to get the famous "Jumbo" slice of the best NYC pizza. Britney forgot how huge the slices were, but Adam gobbled it up like nothing (haha just kidding).
He absolutely loved the difference of the pizza, but upon leaving the shop, Britney realized she had left Adam's memory card for his camera on the counter after taking pictures. Don't worry, we ran back and, to our surprise, actually retrieved it. Since it was 4 o'clock and we needed to meet back on the east side at 7, we had lots of site seeing to do in a very short period of time. First and foremost, we took a trip over the temple on Columbus Ave. There, Britney saw an elderly couple her parents and grandparents knew from Scotch Plains, NJ, and enjoyed having them meet Adam. The Church makes the world so small. Then, we walked over to Times Square (aka LIGHTS AND VIDEO BILLBOARDS GALORE).
Adam was amazed at the amount of signs, flashing lights, and busy people. On the way to Rockefeller Center, Adam realized he really wanted some nice ties. A few steps later - low and behold - we found a street vender selling really slick Italian ties for 5 for $20. It was a total man hotspot. He picked out 5 gorgeous ties and clutched his newfound treasures as we walked into St. Patrick's Cathedral. Adam really liked the architecture and size of the cathedral. We then walked over to Rockefeller Center. It's so pretty right now with the tiny tree lights and skating rink. Our last stop on the west side was H&M -- an east coast clothing store. There Adam picked out a hot pair of dark jeans, perfecting his NY look in just 2 short days.
We then took the subway all the way to the east side. Our stop was supposed to be at 96th street, but at the 86th street stop, Britney realized we hadn't been to Pinkberry yet. So we ran off just as the subway doors were closing and made a B-line over to 2nd Ave. Pinkberry is an extremely popular frozen yogurt store on the east side. The flavor of the yogurt is unique because it's non-fat and not very sweet. With an added lemony taste, the savor is tart and very light. You can add a variety of sweet cereals or fruit to your yogurt. We chose blueberries, strawberries, and bananas (ugh yum). Adam took his first scoop of yogurt and fell in love. He said it was the best dessert he's ever had.
Upon finishing, we quickly made our way all the way over to the subway station (realize, we'd been walking since 11 that morning) until we realized Adam left his bag of ties and jeans in Pinkberry. Lame. So we went all the way back, made our way to the station, picked up our bags at Kerrie's, and then made our way back to the west side to catch our bus out of the city. We were supposed to have dinner on Madison Ave at a place called Shake Shack for Briana's birthday, but we didn't have time. So after grabbing a sandwich at Pax Whole Foods (absolutely amazing), we hopped into a cab and rode over the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Considering the line to get on the bus, we didn't end up sitting next to each other until people got off at the Clinton stop. So around 11:45pm, we rolled into the Burwell residence and met the rest of the bunch besides a sleeping dad.
Day 3: We woke up around 11 again (haha woops). Grandma and Grandpa Handley were expected to arrive around 12:30 that afternoon so we quickly had breakfast and started getting ready for the day. When they arrived, Grandma and Grandpa walked through the door and greeted us and Adam. Grandma saw him, smiled SO big, hugged Britney real tight, and then latched onto Adam. Giggling, she then pulled away to reveal a considerably teary-eyed Grandma. She's the cutest little thing ever. Grandpa cracked some Adam and Eve jokes, and then we left to run some of what we thought would be quick errands. First, we stopped at a local bridal shop to pick out a tux vest and tie for Adam on the wedding day. After waiting awhile behind another couple, we walked into a small room, looked through just one book of rentals, and picked out an ice blue vest with a matching blue and white striped tie. Super classy. Next, we ran over to the mall and bought Adam's wedding band (wow I still can't believe we did that). We then realized Adam had left his camera at the bridal boutique, so we called up and had them hold it for us until later. We then had about an hour to kill before Briana arrived at the bus station, so we went over to Wegman's to get something to eat. For those who aren't familiar, Wegman's is like the Gucci of grocery stores. You can pretty much get any gourmet food there. But of course, we decided on a plate of chinese food. Afterwards, we picked up Briana from the bus stop, got some groceries for mom so we could report home 4 hours later. Dinner was hysterical. Britney had forgotten how funny her family is when they're all together.
With bouts of uncontrollable laughter, ridiculous faces, and eventual accidental water spitting, our sides were splitting from trying to laugh and eat at the same time. Dessert was great. Grandma bought two trays of different flavored cheesecakes for Adam, which complemented the pies and cookies Mom made. Briana and Britney opened birthday gifts and everyone else opened a gift mom purchased for each of us at a local thrift store. Adam received Tasty Cakes (not from the thrift store and unfamiliar to WA) and a mug with a golfer on it. Mom Burwell is just so creative.
Grandma then presented Adam and Britney with a gift from Britney's childhood -- two antique, crystal classes she received as wedding gifts which, of the six, Britney had broken two of when she was three. They will be treasured gifts. Well, after all was opened, eaten, and said, Grandma and Grandpa departed and Adam started complaining of stomach pain. Not thinking too much of it, Britney recommended that he just lie down and watch a movie so his stomach could settle. Yet, as the night progressed so did Adam's stomach pain and nausea and around 12am we walked upstairs for bed only to have him openly declare he was going to vomit (stupid gourmet chinese food). Britney sat on the stairs shaking her head in empathy and disbelief. What are the odds that the weekend Adam comes to visit he ends up vomiting in the Burwell family toilet? A little embarrassed but still beautiful Adam walked out of the bathroom and said he was feeling a lot better. Great! Unfortunately, about 5 minutes later, his stomach "turned" and Adam's poor little diaphragm and esophageal muscles started cramping uncontrollably. A scared-to-death Britney ran downstairs to look through a medical book as she called an on-call doctor. We came to realize that the cramping was a common post-episode experience from over-exertion. Pheww. So we hesitantly called it a night while Britney hoped and prayed Adam would be feeling at least 90% better the next morning.
Day 3: Well by 8am, naturally, Adam was still feeling nauseous and needed to rest. Disappointed, the long anticipated opportunity for Britney to show Adam off to her ward members was gone and she attended sacrament meeting alone while Mom stayed home to tend to the patient. After the meeting, she and Bryon drove home so they could stay with Adam and Mom could attend her meetings. With Bryon as our chaperone, we watched a couple church videos, got some toast in Adam's stomach, and eventually got his flight changed until Monday evening so he wouldn't have to travel sick (or just so we could spend another day together, either way). That evening, when Adam was starting to feel a little more like himself, we went to visit Britney's friends the Browns, Clifts, and Fowlers. It was nice to have Adam meet some ward members and prove that he was actually real. We then came home, ate Oreos with Brynne, Mom, and Bryon, and watched home videos. Fun, fun, fun.
Day 4: We woke up at 8:30am, ate breakfast, watched Family Guy, fell asleep on the couch until 11:30, got dressed, visited Britney's friends the Grubers, stopped in to meet Britney's other Grandfather at the family business in Maplewood, NJ, and made our way to the airport. This was no easy task. The airport was only 15 mins away, but the airport exit was completely blocked off due to a tipped school bus. Along with the inevitable rubber-necking, traffic was not in our favor. Nevertheless, we found our way to the airport, while a choked up/teary eyed Britney dropped her fiance off at the gate. We said our final goodbyes and gave our final goodbye kisses and Adam was off on his plane home.
All in all, this was an extremely successful trip. Adam met many of Britney's family and friends and they've all concluded that he is an absolute sweetheart. We received great advice and counsel and we know more than ever that we're in love and ready to start our lives together with the Lord. One and a half months everyone!