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Travel

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

Filtering by Tag: motherhood

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 Little Pre-Valentine's Day Family Staycation

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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We don't usually celebrate Valentine's Day, because well...I'm just not into anything cheesy and lovey dovey like that (ever since I was a teenager, true story!). So when I noticed that Valentine's Day was like 2 weeks away from last weekend, I thought, hey, why not do a little staycation around my city of Las Colinas and have a little getaway with my little family. Any excuse to have a little getaway, right? So last weekend we stayed at NYLO Hotel Las Colinas. And we loved it!

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I like the modern and spacious loft design, with a touch of industrial decor around the hotel. The room is just the right size for our small family. To get the glimpse of our staycation, click play and don't forget to subscribe on youtube.

https://youtu.be/o3YnIEXMz10

We got everything from waffles, chinese food, to fresh-cut tulips, turned on the TV and just chilled there. It's nice to not have to clean up and make your bed every once in a while.

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Yes, J loves his orange juice. And I love spending a Saturday, not having to worry about events and what-not. I didn't even post anything on my social media that day! I think that's the essence of 'celebrating love' - as most people believe February 14th is all about. I personally like having J with us, because, well...my love is for him too, not just for Mr. Man. And it's just more convenient to have us all together. It's just the 3 of us anyways. But whatever works for you, kid or no kid, as long as you can have a little 'sabbath' from work and routines and getaway with your loved ones.

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We talked, argued a little bit, ate, laughed, and rested. I don't know what they put in our pillows but we slept good that night. Cute coffee mug? I know! I got it from ILY Couture. It's on sale now so get it quick!

The next day, we had breakfast at The Loft at NYLO.

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And Mr.Man played pool while Jerome chilled with his youtube videos.

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If you don't have any plans yet for Valentine's Day weekend, NYLO hotel Las Colinas offers special rates starting at $199 per couple, which include a 1 night stay and 3-course dinner on the Valentine's Day eve (Saturday, February 13th) with delicious menus like Peppercorn Orange Poached Shrimp. Lamb Chops, and Chocolate Walnut Bread Pudding. Yumm!!

Book your stay now and if you don't know where to go or what to do during your stay around Las Colinas/Irving, check out Visit Irving's blog.

*in-room photos by Beckley.Co // in partnership with NYLO Hotels.

 

Traveling to a Remote Area with a Toddler : The Checklist

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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as told by Ria Sarwono Traveling with toddlers can be very tricky. That's why when I saw pictures of this momma traveling with her kid to a remote area, I immediately contacted her to see how she managed to do that! And "these are the things that you never want to miss when you travel with them", she said.

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1. The Right Amount of Comfortable Clothes
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Day 1: tops & bottoms + tops & bottoms in case he gets wet + tops & bottoms in case he peed himself (or any other accident)

Bring a lot of diapers, and the older they get the less amount of clothes you need to bring.

2. Kid-friendly Fever / Common Cold Medicine
We will perfectly know the condition of the body and their stamina. We might have picked the wrong flight, so pack your meds!

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3. Snacks & Finger Food
Cbb (Ria's boy) loves to eat milk crackers such as Marie Regal. Pack lot's of them!

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4. Pre-packaged Food
Since it's a remote area and you don't know if whether your kid might like the food or not, compromise and pack up some pre-packaged food (the ones you can just heat up on the microwave). Keep it simple!
5. Books
Not iPad but books. They will keep your toddlers busy. Trust me.
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Above all, my experience with Cbb to Flores (it was the first time I had ever traveled without my husband, just the two of us and a couple of my besties) has taught me that traveling with toddlers is a #rapopo trip. Meaning you have to be so patient and ready of whatever's coming. It's an up-and-down experience, emotionally and physically. But look at the bright sight, cause what I've gained from the trip was a deeper understanding towards my son, and him towards me :)