Archives for ‘Travel’

Poland 2014

March 03, 2015 By: Jenna Category: Travel

I’m working to put together a plan that will get us to Poland this June, and it reminded me that I haven’t written a post about our trip last year. These experiences are too important to skip over!

Last year as we flew home with an exhausted baby and fidgeting four-year-old we said that we were done with this trip for the next few years. We wanted the kids to be older so the flight and jet-lag would be a little easier on them, and on us. T1 in particular struggled with this trip. It was hard for him to adjust to the foreign language and food, and I didn’t feel like he ever quite warmed up to his usual sweet self. It’s a lot for a sensitive kid to handle.

I assumed it would be best to give him some time to mature, until the day he turned to me and said “Who are these people who give me presents?” My in-laws are some of the best people I know, and it was awful to hear that T1′s memory and association with them had to do with items instead of interactions with them. It’s not his fault of course, but after that I became ultra-committed to making yearly trips a priority. Someday, hopefully a very sad day far away from the present, family members are going to die and I don’t want to face down regrets about not making enough effort to see them and deepen our relationship. My kids lovingly refer to their Nana and Papa on a regular basis and I want to hear them doing the same for their loved ones across the world.

Before I book those tickets for 2015, let’s rewind a bit and recap the June 2014 experience! June 14th-June 28th, 2014.

2014 was the beginning of my obsession with film, and the only digital camera I took with me was the one on my iphone. My FIL not only very generously offered to purchase film for me so I wouldn’t have to fly it over, he also helped me search the Polish ebay for good deals on cameras and bought me my first medium format body, my beloved and broken Mamiya 645. It wasn’t broken back then though, and we got some really fantastic family shots out of it! I hope they are ready for another round of family photos this year too because I feel very passionate about making the time to fit group shots into the trip schedule.

The kids lounging on the bed TH and I share when we stay there. Once they adjust to the foreign time zone this place is a sort of paradise for them. All the TV, treats, and screen time they desire! Plus we only visit during the warmer months so they can splash in the backyard and eat off the many fruit trees and bushes growing in the backyard.

TH’s parents are incredibly generous when we come visit and take the kids on so we can travel Europe together. On this visit we went to Berlin (here is my Pinterest board for the area.) I finally understand the difference between West and East Berlin, largely due to the excellent Red Berlin Tour put on by Sandemans. If you’re into Soviet history or raving all night long I would recommend going to Berlin (we didn’t rave all night, but I know that’s a thing based on all the travel guides I read.) If you’re into food like me, you’ll probably like: Read more →

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A Week Off

October 27, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Travel

Morning faces in Houston, 2013

We are spending this week in Houston, staying with our friends from our time at business school. We have boys the same age, and our youngest kids are only a year apart, which will matter less with time. I’m most looking forward to the feeling of absolute acceptance and comfort whenever I spend time with them. We make dinner together, clean up together, stay up too late together. Moving around a lot makes it hard to make it to that point with people, the point where you aren’t putting on a performance at all and are able to fully be yourself.

As I mentioned in a previous post, TH is working a lot more than we thought he would (even more than his last job) so these trips are chance to deepen connections with people I love, and have a fantastic time eating and exploring and photographing with some really fabulous people. I don’t know if we’ll be able to make this trip next year, when T1 is in kindergarten, at least not for this long. I’m not sure what the policies are in our school district where we live now, but I’ve heard that the schools can be pretty aggressive about pursuing parents who don’t have their kids in school enough. A friend told me about being reported to the police when she went out of town for a week, and then kept her daughter out of school the next week due to illness! What’s that like in your area?

If you’re in Houston, I’ve mentioned before that I’m interested in doing a Jenna Cole photography shoot while I’m here! Send me an email or comment below if you’d like to learn more.

 

What’s Another Word For?

October 23, 2014 By: Jenna Category: kids, Travel

Last week while driving home from preschool T1 invented a game for us to play together that is as fun for me as it is for him! It’s simple enough for him to play with me at four-years-old, but I can see it becoming a staple activity on our road trips throughout his life. He gets to try to stump me, and I get to build up his vocabulary by attempting to be a human thesaurus.

Expired Kodak Gold 200, Santa Cruz Beach

To play: Read more →

One Quick Take

October 13, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Travel

Big Sur, CA

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Taken during a romantic weekend away at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands. I’m calling it our sixth wedding anniversary celebration.

Mamiya 645. Portra 800, pushed 1 stop.

Wodna Wieza

June 20, 2014 By: Jenna Category: reviews, Travel

I think this post represents two firsts for me – the first time I’ve written a recap within 24 hours, and the first time I’ve done so with photos taken and edited on my iphone. All edits were done with VSCOcam and the side-by-side shots are done with TwinCollage.

Everyone else in my family is sleeping in today (we are still in Poland), and since I was up at 5am I’ve had plenty of time to process photos and put this post together. I’m hoping I can keep this early morning momentum going because I love feeling like I’ve accomplished so much before 8am.

I wanted to write up a post about our dinner last night for a few reasons. I’ve been doing lots of Europe trip planning lately and the English-language blog posts I find about things I’m researching are really handy. TH and I also fell in love with Wodna Wieza and when we like a restaurant that much we start to worry it might go out of business. This happened to our favorite Dallas restaurant, Aurora. I know odds are slim that any of my readers will be heading to Krakow anytime soon, but if you ever do visit the southwestern area of Poland I think it would be worth a trip.

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 Wodna Wieza calls itself a Steampunk Cafe, though I think the use of the term cafe makes it sound a lot simpler than it actually is. It’s nouvelle cusine with a touch of molecular gastronomy in a setting that has attention to detail unmatched by any restaurant I’ve ever been to.

Is there a Steampunk Restaurant Supply catalog somewhere? My iphone couldn’t do this place justice.

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The wine cellar.

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It wasn’t just the decor that wowed us, with each course of our 5 course tasting menu they brought us unique silverware unlike anything any of us had ever seen before.

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The restaurant is on the top floor of an old water tower, so the views are stunning as well!

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Our dining group for the evening.

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The first course was a grouping of individual mushrooms, in a very unique serving dish, made 10x cooler when the server “watered” the largest mushroom and revealed the presence of dry ice nested underneath. Throughout the meal I was really impressed by how far they were able to take things without it feeling cheesy or trite. We ooohed and aaaahed with each new thing brought to the table. Even the bread and butter! (Honey and lemon infused butter, delicious.)

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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