Thursday, August 11, 2016

Chicago sans children!

 First flight without the kiddos...wait, whaat?! Yes, its been about 5 years since we've traveled anywhere further than 2 hours driving distance without the kids. But strangely, when the husband comes home and tells you he bought tickets to Chicago for $30 roundtrip per person, you consider bringing the kids; or maybe just one child. He told me I was crazy, but the thought of leaving both children at home (with grandparents of, course) made me anxious. Part of me was jumping up and down at the thought of a getaway without having to worry about packing and toting the kiddos with us, let alone scheduling our days to work around nap times and bed times. Another part of me worried about whether or not they would survive without us-- i.e. sleeping and eating plus fear of Mommy and Daddy never coming back.

They were all valid concerns, some may have been irrational, but I'm sure every Mama runs through a list of "what ifs," anytime they leave their little cubs behind. After checking in with my in-laws, and having a pep-talk from Mike, I agreed to the idea (it didn't take too much convincing). He reminded me of our past marital counseling sessions, when our counselor had told us it would be ideal for us to plan a mini getaway yearly-- without any children. Of course this isn't always doable, considering the time, money, energy and babysitting that would be involved in order to make this "getaway" possible. It is an investment, and is something to consider for the sake of our marriage. Fortunately, we were blessed to have willing grandparents who were able to stay at our place with the kiddos for a few nights (I may or may not have left them with a 5-page instructional...), and thankfully no one starved or ended up in the ER. There were however, bouts of tears the first night, in which they told us not to call or FaceTime again for everyone's sake!
All in all, our little getaway was a good refresher for the both of us. Even though neither of us could really sleep in or stay up late (our bodies have been kid-trained), we found rest in other ways. The time spent focused on each other helped us to better appreciate the other person, and reminded us of the reasons why we were together in the first place. Sometimes in the midst of all the busyness and chaos we encounter each day, it's easy to forget that we are one team, playing for the same team. I would highly recommend this for any weary parents out there!
Came here for a goat milk latte - can't say it wasn't all too bad...
Can't leave without trying a Chicago dog!
Caught a Cubs game at the legendary Wrigley Field
These budding tulips were all over the streets of downtown!
For some reason, both of us never came across this fountain the first time we visited Chicago.
Can you spot us? : )
Narcissism at its finest.
A little tip for Au Cheval: Come early and have their burger for breakfast instead of waiting several hours for lunch or dinner!
Sawada Coffee - Eclectic coffee shop with ample seating and a delicious matcha latte
Finding a little piece of Paris wherever I go...
Wormhole Coffee Shop - Transport back to the 80s with an actual DeLorean chilling on top, play Nintendo in the back and admire all the kitsch 80s memorabilia; a must for any 80s child!
- Fin -

Saturday, May 21, 2016

To Texas Y'all

Ever since my little sis made the move to Texas (sad face), we've been wanting to visit her and my bro-in-law. So when we found out that Mike was having a work conference in Dallas, naturally we decided to make a family trip out of it with all my sibs included (well, really with the addition of one more). There is something to be said about traveling with family that makes things feel more natural and comfortable when you're away from home. You can do and say what you feel, which makes decision-making that much easier. I guess we've been through the good and the ugly together, so there is no reason to hide...thank God for family!

There is no other place like Texas, and each city had its charm. We embarked on a mini tour of a few cities in the Lonestar State. Most of the people we encountered were incredibly friendly with their Southern hospitality, making us feel right at home! Here is our little travel photo diary of some of our favorite moments : )

The interior of the adorable mid-century home we borrowed from airbnb
He's not doing what you may think he's doing ^^ (he was sending secret messages to an invisible friend)
Fun with Auntie M + Uncle M
Just like Uncle Spencer : )
Family photos taken by Mel in front of our home away from home
Franklin BBQ in the comfort of the home
The birthday boy all smiles
The rain in Texas was no joke.
State Capitol Building
Because the floors were cool
"Detoxing" with the sibs after BBQing
BBQ is serious business over here
The Salt Lick - We went when it was thunder storming, and there was hardly a wait!
Matching with Auntie M
Burgers for a change
Austin skyline
Visited the Magnolia Market - my first time hearing about it from my sis (I've been living under a rock)!
Pies upon pies...
McKinney: a historic and quaint little town, became one of my favorites
Can we borrow these two for every meal? ^^
Reunited with my childhood friend of 25 years
- Fin -