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Travel

Cities we visit, food we eat, and the fun things we do there. 

Filtering by Tag: dallas foodie

What I Gained from Solo-Trippin' to My Home Country

Debora Manusama

Sometimes, in order for you to appreciate who you've become and figure out who you want to be, you need to go back and get to know the person you were. With good food and cocktails in between ;) 

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Quaint, Historic, and Enligthening - A Roadtrip To The Carolinas

Debora Manusama

A beautiful city filled with quaint coffeeshops and seafood joints, Charleston aka The Holy City has definitely capture our hearts! This low country gem is a must-visit, preferably in the fall though because it gets really humid during the summer. But anyways, here's our story!

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Palmettos and Lupe On Repeat - It's Our 2017 Roadtrip Playlist

Debora Manusama

A roadtrip wouldn't be complete without a dope playlist. This one is laidback, positive, and lit at the same time. 

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The Art of Staycationing

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

I don't know who came up with the term 'Staycation' and what do you guys usually do when you do it (I guess everybody's different), but for me and my family, the point of going on a staycation is getting away from our daily routines as you would when you go on a vacation, without having to travel very far.  ashton-27

So this month, we chose to 'travel' to our neighboring city, Fort Worth, TX. It's only 30 minutes from our apartment, it's got a good historic and downtown district, and it's got this beautiful hotel called The Ashton Hotel.

Located strategically by the city's Sundance Square, The Ashton is a luxury boutique hotel that has a lot of history in it. In fact, it is listed as a member of the Historic Hotels of America.

Okay so what do you do on a staycation? Here's what we usually do.

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1. Chill in the hotel bathrobes and watch cable TV all afternoon

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Seriously guys, this is the best feeling ever. The thought of not having to do laundry, cook, and clean up is a vacation in itself to me! The hotel room was so luxurious and comfy, the custom bathrobes made me feel like a boss lady, and that view by that big window --- ohhh yesss, I can get used to this! At least for another 20 hours lol.

Don't try to do too much on your staycation. The point is to relax. So chill, watch tv, have some cookies, and savor the moment.

2. Enjoy room service if there's any or try the hotel breakfast

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The Ashton waffles were amazing. I wish they offered room service on the weekends, though.

3. Go to the nearest kid-friendly attraction

Choosing Fort Worth Zoo was a no-brainer. It's our favorite zoo in the DFW metroplex, it's got tons of attractions, and we got our FREE tickets from our POGO PASS :) If you're thinking of visiting Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austion, Arizona, or Vegas you can get entries to multiple family-friendly venues with just under $50 when you purchase the passes at pogopass.com with my code MOZDEB. 

4. Try the nearby restaurants

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We had dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Hanabi, and then made a quick stop at my favorite ice cream place in the metroplex, MELT. I had the cookies and cream but J had their vegan 'Out of the Blue' and it was amazing!

5. Take a walk around the hotel 

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We took a walk to Sundance Square, explored the downtown area a bit, and then went back to the hotel, took a nice warm shower, and watched a good movie until we fell asleep. It was definitely a rejuvenating getaway. We can't wait to do it again!

Hotel and Six 10 Grille photography by Beckley & Co. 

In partnership with The Ashton hotel. 

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Riverwalk, Tex-Mex - It's San Antonio!

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

This coming June marks the 2nd year of our living in Texas, and we've been wanting to visit all of the big cities in the state and experience Texas a little bit more. We have visited the state capital, Austin, 3x, Houston 2x (Hi Beyonce!), and last Memorial day weekend, we finally visited San Antonio! J woke up at 3 in the morning that day, instead of trying to put him back to sleep, we decided to drive to New Braunfels, a small German town near San Antonio for some breakfast at the oldest bakery in Texas called, Naegelin's. 

We loved the heavy German influence in the city, the beautiful European-style church buildings, small shops, and the beautiful Landa Park. We tried the Sausage Kolaches at the bakery which were delicious!

Next! San Antonio! Press play and please, don't forget to subscribe to my channel :)

https://youtu.be/juo4Fjyni88

Yes, as you can see in the video, we did the 'Dining with Shamu' thing at SeaWorld, where you get to eat on the poolside in a buffet setting, while watching the killer whales swim and do tricks. It's perfect for kids 4 and up, but I didn't think it was good for J. The lunch started at 1 pm, and by then he was already super tired.

Anyways, it was still a good experience. Now my favorite, Guenther House for brunch on the next day!

The ginger peach tea and the houseblend coffee were really good, the signature waffles were excellent and the pricing was surprisingly good!

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I really loved San Antonio's downtown area. In fact, I think it's the best downtown out of all the downtown areas in the big cities that I've visited in Texas. It's walkable, a lot of restaurants and shops, and it's more alive than downtown Dallas, Austin, and Houston in my opinion! Not to mention the riverwalk and the greeneries that make the downtown so much different than those of the other Texas cities.

Next, for dinner, we went to a famous mexican restaurant, Paloma Blanca

 

We had the Mango Camorita (margarita with mango flavor & a splash of chamoy), Ceviche del Mar (fish soaked in lime juice, onion, olive oil, and tomato), Enchiladas '09 (chicken enchilada in chipotle crema & shrimp in cilantro crema + spanish rice & beans) and their best-selling Enchiladas Verdes (chicken enchiladas in tomatillo sauce + spanish rice & beans). My favorite was the Ceviche and the Shrimp in Cilantro crema!

The margarita was strong, I liked it but I wish I could've tasted a little more of the chamoy flavor. The rest of our experience at the restaurant was amazing though, great service and waiting time, friendly staffs, and the casual-chic ambience was the cherry on top.

On our last day, we went to hip Pearl Brewery area try the breakfast menu at Bakery Lorraine. And then we drove for a little over 1 hour to Austin for lunch at Thai restaurant, Titaya's.

And then we drove another hour or so to have dessert in Waco at Heritage Creamery. Yes! 3 meals in 3 different cities! I would definitely do it again!

Over all, we are so grateful for the past 2 years living here in Texas. There are so many beautiful cities with yummy food and kind people. I look forward to many many years to come :)

A Hipster Stay. An Unexpected Trip. 

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Back in March, we have agreed to not go anywhere this summer. Why? Because we are saving up for our New York trip in December. We do not want to suffer once we get there and be 'on a tight budget'. We want to enjoy our trip, especially because NYC means a lot to Mr. Man and me. So yeah, we weren't planning to take any trip to anywhere until a few weeks ago, we got a text from Mr. Man's cousin who had just got accepted at the University of Texas in Austin. To cut cost, she had decided to fly all the way from Indonesia to Dallas. How would she get to UT? That's where we'd come in. We were to drive her to Austin. A roadtrip! Yeay! Wait, what? Doesn't that mean we have to spend some of our savings? Yup! For gas, accommodation (especially with a kid, you can't just take any room at any hotel!), and for dining. So to save money, and to try out the service we will be using in our New York trip this December, we decided to use Airbnb.

It was a decent place we rented for $90/night (tax included), with full kitchen, fresh towels, WiFi connection, and of course, the whole apartment to ourselves! This is better than hotels! Plus it was located in East Austin, only 7 minutes from UT, and also minutes away from cool restaurants.

Our host left us a thank you card, some fresh flowers, and her 'hip' belongings, like vintage vinyls, philosophy books, and organic cleaning supplies. Oh and also, J's favorite, her acoustic guitar!

Guess he was trying to do an acoustic version of a Run DMC song. haha.

One thing that bothered me though, was the fact tha the apartment had quite a few 'disturbing' images hung on the wall. Why disturbing? Because they were well...there's no subtle way to say this, but...satanic. Yes, and I wouldn't go into details. But I wasn't going to sleep with my kiddo with something like that hung beside my bed. So we put them away and we prayed over the place. Overall we had a pleasant stay regardless. We knew the One in us was greater ;)

Next time, however, I think I am going to stay with a 'regular' host and not a hipster (no offense you guys). Hehe.

Anyways, the highlight of my trip?

I would say one of them was JUICELAND. Just because it's unique, cozy, and fun. It's a perfect hangout spot that I wish we had here in Dallas.

They even have this Atari game table that you can play for FREE. And if you can top the scores, you can bring the table home! You can read my full review of the restaurants I visited in Austin on my Zomato account here.

 

The other highlight was our visit to UT. It was a nice walk around the university complex with our close friends. Glad that Mr. Man's cousin got the best tour guide too.

Oh these two boys. Aren't they adorable?

The crème de la crème of the trip though, was our unplanned stop to WACO. We were playing peek-a-boo and the traffic was bad, so we decided to just take the exit to Waco and see the whole Baylor University complex.

Right across a Baylor building, we found this amazing place called Mayborn Museum! They had a free admission that day so we changed J's diaper and went right in.

The kids section is amazing. J had a great time! They had little pretend everything like school, gas station, market, houses, everything! What a perfect place to bring your kids. And it's only 90 minutes from home. Okay well, that's far but, I would definitely come back here!

  

Too bad they were closed at 5 p.m. So we could only spend about 30 minutes in there before we had to drag J out of the building. It was nice though, to spend time with just the 3 of us. Talking about life, money, food, our anxiety, and the things we're grateful for.

 

Okay August is here, the summer is ending soon (well in Texas, the heat does not go away until October), so no more trips! New York is worth saving up for.

It is. Oh, it is.