Tag Archives: traveling

Everything’s Bigger in Texas (or Dallas, At Least)

A couple of weeks ago, Hubby and I took a trip to Texas. It’s the second time we’ve gone there together, and the second time in less than 6 months! Hubby’s god-brother was getting married in Dallas, and we went to his wedding. After the weekend of celebrations and exploring Dallas, we went to Austin for a few days to spend time with his aunt and uncle. (I’ll soon write a separate post about Austin.)

Our trip started a little bit rocky, as we BARELY missed our flight out of Charlotte. It just so happened that early Friday morning was a popular time to fly, and security was PACKED and quite slow. As we watched our boarding time come, we stood there waiting and waiting. Finally, we got through security and RAN (not kidding) to our gate, we were about 90 seconds too late. We begged and bribed the attendant to let us on, but – we later found out – there were TSA agents standing close by, and she didn’t want to reopen the door in front of them. I guess I don’t blame her; safety and stuff. Anyway, she happily put us on the next flight, about 80 minutes later, and sent us off to breakfast. Obviously, this happened:


We still arrived in Dallas around 11, local time. And you can tell, right when you get off the plane and look around, that everything is bigger in Texas. It must be the way things are spread out, and how much extra space they have. Anyway… We took an Uber (thank goodness for Uber while you’re traveling!) to our hotel, the Hyatt House in Lincoln Park. Most of the wedding people stayed there, so it was full of friends and very affordable, and pretty nice to boot. Our first objective was lunch, so we went with a Mexican place that was walking distance from the hotel. Blue Mesa Grill was a higher-end southwestern place, and we were very pleased. To top it off, they had delicious margaritas and the service was great!


After lunch, we did some shopping at the Northpark Mall, also within walking distance of our hotel. We hit up a few stores, but really nailed it in Lucky Brand – we both needed new jeans! After our shopping excursion, it was definitely time for a nap. Our 4:30am wake up time was a looooooong time ago.

The rehearsal dinner that evening was at the Dallas Arboretum. It was gorgeous, outdoors at sunset, overlooking a lake.


We loved the location so much that we came back the next day to spend some more time looking around. After the dinner, we followed the younguns (aka the wedding party) to The Rustic, the biggest bar I’ve seen to date. Clearly a kitchen and music venue, but mostly a bar, it had a huge inside and an even huger (yep, I said it) outside. We got there to hear the band’s last song, but the night was far from over. There were inside and outside bars, tables, chairs, and lawn to hang out on. SO MUCH SPACE! So obviously that was where we closed out the night.

Back to the arboretum in the morning: it’s just $15 to get in, and there are 60+ acres of gardens, fountains, trails and places to sit and chat or read. There’s also a children’s area, with a splash pad and several other things specifically for kids (we didn’t get to check it out since we’d left the kids in NC).

When we left the arboretum, we walked to White Rock Lake Park to get some exercise (it wasn’t far from there – it’s the same lake the rehearsal dinner overlooked) and ran until we were famished for lunch. We picked up an Uber (right there in the park!) and checked out a local taco joint: Tacos La Banqueta. We just looked up “best tacos in Dallas” and that place came up. When we got there, it was literally attached to a gas station. A little off-putting, but I’m glad we stayed, because the tacos were delicious and cheap. It was clearly a local, hole-in-the-wall type place, perfect for a (sweaty) quick lunch.

Back to the hotel for a little pool time, and getting ready for the wedding, an amazingly intimate and beautiful ceremony. After that it was drinks, dinner, and dancing all night long! We had a great time celebrating the couple, and seeing them off to their honeymoon!


Sunday morning, we got up, packed up, and went with Hubby’s parents to Austin! They rented a car and drove, just about three hours. I’ll write a separate post about Austin for ya next week!

Have you ever been to Dallas? What do you like best? Are you FROM Dallas?! What do the locals love?

Currently

Hey there, and welcome to this week’s post about what I’m currently up to! I know it’s later in the week than usual, but Easter was a glorious doozy, and then we traveled to my parents’ house all day Monday, so I’m just now getting around to posting! I’m linking up with Becky at Choose Happy and some more wonderful friends, and we’d love for you to join us!IMG_0614

Celebrating || Easter! Jesus is risen, and that’s the best news ever! We had egg hunts, family meals, and church services galore. I wrote a couple of posts about Good Friday (here) and Easter Sunday for my family (here) in case you’d like to see a bit more. Here are a couple of cute photos in the mean time… 



Traveling || to Georgia to see my family! Since it’s the kids’ spring break, we figured it was a good time to cut out of town for a few days. After a ridiculous amount of time in the car, we arrived at my parents’ house around bedtime on Monday. Finally at 11:00 pm (yikes!) everyone was situated and asleep. It was a lot but in glad we are here! We stopped in SC to see my brother and his girlfriend and have lunch… 

   And then continued on to GA to hang out with my parents, aunt, uncle, cousin and my grandmother. It’s been pretty great. In case you missed these on Instagram (@onlyhsuman), here are a few photos!   

    
 

More will follow next week, I’m sure! Since I’m already late for this post and there is a lot packed in, I’ll close out and update ya next week!

What are you up to currently? What did you do for Easter? Is it your spring break?!

Currently – When In Rome (Georgia)

Linking up again today (after a little vacation lapse last week) with Becky at Choose Happy and the other fabulous bloggers in my circle for this week’s Currently. Join us to make some friends and spread the love!

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Excited about || my first post published on Scary Mommy! That is a huge deal for me, as I haven’t been sure whether to pursue being published on other sites or not. I write this blog because I love doing it, and so being published elsewhere is really exciting, and opens up a new avenue for me. The fact that my first one is on Scary Mommy is an extra perk- I LOVE their stories.  Here’s the link to my post: 10 Life Lessons You Probably Learned in Your 20s

Traveling || to and from my parents’ house in Georgia. It was great to see my family, my best friend from high school (thanks for driving up, Lauren!), and just relax and let my parents love on my kids. The only drawback was a wicked drive on Mother’s Day (between traffic and cranky kids, it wasn’t pretty) and the fact that EK wakes up early to see my dad when she’s at their house. But they have a pool, so my kids got to swim, found a neat park, and we also spent one morning at the local strawberry patch. So fun! (Sorry I’m not sorry about the picture explosion that’s coming.)

The only moment on the way to my parents’ house that was peaceful.
Couldn’t get them smiling, but my cuties were enjoying some snuggles with Nana (my maternal grandmother)
Kisses for Nana!
EK is like a fish.
My dad and J, relaxing like bosses.
A sweet moment at the strawberry patch before they started fighting.
They might have been small, but they were packed with flavor! Yum!
EK helping my mom fill her bucket.
My boys wandering among the strawberries. (I can’t get over J actually wearing that straw hat!)
Hubs snapped this one while I wasn’t looking. It might be one of my favorites of the two of us ever.              

(Okay, so I included those last ones because they’re hilarious.)

Working || in the yard! I weeded and watered a bit in our vegetable garden, and then worked in the front yard. After being out of town, the weeds were getting a little out of hand, and it hasn’t done nearly enough raining around here. I think our plants were much happier after an hour’s work.

Indulging || in a pedicure. Especially after working in the yard (barefoot, obviously) I realized my feet had been lacking attention. Partially because I haven’t had time or cared enough, and partially because I can’t reach them very well (#pregnantproblems). So I managed to sneak out for a bit and get them taken care of. Phew!

Pregnant feet, pasty white skin… what’s not to love?

Visiting || all the local events this weekend! On Saturday, Hubby and I took the kiddos to the Children’s Home for their Farm Fest to see some animals and get some produce (and we also got local honey!).

Just hilarious. Typical.

And then we had lunch with some friends at the annual Greek Festival in our town. Just another reason we love Winston-Salem – there are always places to go, and things to see!

Thankful for || an amazing group of friends. We’ve got several couples that we can hang out with all together or one on one (or two on two) or with the kids included, and we always have a great time. I’m thankful for the fact that they’re supportive, loving, funny, understanding, and totally chill. That’s a big one for us. We love spending our time with low-drama, low-maintenance people. Thanks, friends, for being you.

Well that’s all for what’s going on with me… You’re all caught up! What’s going on with you currently?

Hsus “ZOO” Sush-York, and Eat(a lot)aly!

Forgive the cheesy title; at least it isn’t misleading! Too much? Okay, you’re right. I’ll think about it…

Last Tuesday, we headed on a long subway ride to the Bronx, because we had heard that the Bronx Zoo was way better than the Central Park one. It was indeed a long trip, but the zoo was great! J was a trooper (he didn’t care much about the animals) and EK loved it. 20140801-220814-79694223.jpgBy the way, babywearing at the zoo was the way to go. We rented a double stroller, but that thing was NOT user-friendly. EK couldn’t see from that low, and J wasn’t comfortable in there. A waste of $15 when both kids either wanted to be carried or worn, or in EK’s case, run around a bit. We just lugged it around the whole time, full of the diaper bag and our water bottles. But other than that, the zoo was great. We saw peacocks, monkeys, red pandas, camels, water birds of all sorts, and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! The kids expired rather quickly, though, so after we had seen about half the zoo, we headed back for a snack and a nap.

That evening, we met our dear friend Hope for some sushi (at Mizu, a restaurant of the same name as our favorite sushi place in Winston) and then traveled to Eataly for some gelato. Unfortunately, because it was getting late, we didn’t have much time in Eataly… that’s possibly my biggest sad note from the whole trip. That place was amazing. It took up about a city block, contained gelato, coffee, pasta, and wine (four of my greatest loves) and other wonderful and delicious Italian goodies. It should have been a whole day affair, and we crammed it into an hour or so. Ah well, there’s always next trip…

Hope snapped this one of EK enjoying her gelato.
Hope snapped this one of EK enjoying her gelato.
Hope getting some J snuggles, and Hubby photobombing like a champ. I honestly didn't notice him till after I took the picture!
Hope getting some J snuggles, and Hubby photobombing like a champ. I honestly didn’t notice him till after I took the picture!
Hubby and me, one of our only good shots from the trip!
Hubby and me, one of our only good shots from the trip!

Be on the lookout for the last installment of Hsus Do New York! I’ll really be sad to wrap this series up, but maybe that means we will have another cool trip soon!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Hsus Do New York

Traveling with kids is no joke, friends. They require a lot of… stuff. Entertainment, food, drink, clothes, loveys, and more. Think you can pack your family into one suitcase? Think again. Think you can pack your family into two suitcases? Think again.

We took one GIANT suitcase – I’m talking L.L.Bean rolling duffel in the largest size that Hubby took skiing as a kid – and one regular large suitcase full of our stuff, two backpacks, and a regular diaper bag. Oh yeah, and an umbrella stroller. All of that didn’t include my mom, it was just Hubby, the kids, and me.

I posted on Facebook that I needed some travel tips from friends with kids… mostly about the airplane segment of the trip. You guys really came through with your tips! Everything from stroller vs. babywearing and how to keep their ears from popping to keeping EK occupied and myself sane (not to mention a few hilarious responses of valium and xanax!) Here are a few of things things you suggested that we found success with:

1. Flying out early in the morning. My kids were packed into their car seats at 6:00am, still in their pjs. This was the best ever, because EK ate a little breakfast on the way, J nursed right before we left, and no one was really awake until we were on the plane. That time frame suited us perfectly.

2. Starburst candy during take off/landing. Someone suggested to me that if EK couldn’t chew gum (We’ve never tried, but didn’t want to.) she should have Starburst in her mouth during take off and landing. Because it’s so chewy, it lasts a while, and it creates a lot of saliva and causes you to swallow often. And also, she loved it. Total win.

3. Dollar Store treasures. As I’m writing this, I realize most of this seems to be for EK, but she’s the one who needed the most entertainment. This ended up being Target $1 Spot treasures, but they worked the same. Her favorite ended up being mainly stickers. But kept her occupied waiting for dinners, on plane rides, etc.

4. Extra changes of clothes. This was obviously a necessity because I have a drooly teething 7 month old and a messy mischievous toddler. They each wore more than one outfit a day, not counting pjs, and J went through about 17 bibs. Luckily someone had gifted a pack of 6 disposable bibs to me at some point, and I had never used them, so I took them along during the day (we used them all). They were great, because when they were drenched or covered in pear puree, I tossed them.

Here are a few things that we found out through trial and error:

1. Babywearing is the best and easiest way to lug babies/young kids around. We took a ring sling, a Boba, and an umbrella stroller as means of getting the babies around. J spent 85% of his time on the trip in the Boba, simply because he can’t yet sit in a restaurant high chair, we were on the go during his morning nap time, and he is “mommyfied” right now, at best. EK was usually either in the stroller or walking with us, but whenever she got restless, or J got hot, we just swapped them. Best plan ever, because neither had a chance to tire of their location too much, I didn’t have a bulky double stroller to deal with, and J could nap while I wore him, so he didn’t tire out too quickly.
One side note: Subways are tricky. Lots of stairs (elevators were present, but often farther away), and strollers don’t often fit through turnstiles. Just plan a few extra minutes if you’re traveling that way.

2. Never underestimate the power of cell phone games/videos. I have several educational games/videos on my phone that EK can play or watch, even without internet. That was super helpful all the way around, everywhere we were. I typically don’t let her indulge in too much screen time, but there were a few times that she was fussy (read: tired) or we needed her to stick in the stroller a bit longer (because we were almost to our destination) that the cell phone did the trick for a few minutes. Because she doesn’t play on there all the time, she didn’t get bored when we needed to occupy her for a few minutes. (Favorite apps: Grandma’s Garden, Pitch Painter, Peekaboo Barn, The Wheels on the Bus and ABCMouse.com A-Z Music Videos)

3. Make time for nap time. I know it seems like a pain when the kids get sleepy and you’re in the middle of something – believe me, that was pretty much our whole week. But I really do think our week was better because we stuck to a little bit of a routine with the naps. Every afternoon, we’d go back to the hotel for EK’s nap time. Sometimes it took extra effort to get her down, but it was always a nice respite for all of us. Some of you seasoned mamas are clucking at me, saying “Of course you should’ve known that!” and you’re right. But when EK didn’t seem tired, and she loved the boat ride, we needn’t have tarried, because the brick wall of exhaustion was hovering, waiting to crash down.

4. Snacks upon snacks upon snacks. This was the key to our happiness. Fruit purees for both kids, bottles of milk or juice, pretzels from the street carts, all were life savers. My kids get it from me… hangry is their worst mood.

5. Always bring the lovey, no matter what. My kids love swaddles. Neither of them were actually swaddled for that long, but they love having one while they sleep (mostly to stuff in their mouths. Weird, right?) We don’t let EK have hers unless it’s naptime or bedtime, because she would just walk around with it in her mouth and dragging behind her. We’re a little more lenient with J right now since he’s younger, but still he doesn’t get it all the time or EK would just take it. We always had one in the diaper bag when we left the hotel because if one got really upset, I knew that would be a way to help calm them down, or help them fall asleep while I was wearing them if they got really tired and we near the hotel.

Do you have some stellar travel tips I didn’t hear before my trip? I need to know them for the next one!