Archives for ‘Travel’

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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Children and Foreign Grandparents

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

 

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We have been in Poland for about a week, with another week to go. TH’s family is as lovely as ever, and once the (grueling) flight from the States to Poland is over I always feel we shouldn’t wait so long to come back again.

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I anticipated a really awful flight, and the kids actually exceeded my expectations. It was overnight and they slept for a good portion of it. We bought a seat for T2 and put her in a car seat and that made things a lot easier. I also expected jet lag with two kids to be tough, and it was. The kids have been sleeping in the same room for several weeks now, but here we have been unable to get them to settle in and sleep through the night if they are together. I’m grateful that my in-laws are providing us with several days in Berlin without the kids. We are craving some serious re-connection time as a couple.

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One thing I didn’t anticipate was how hard this trip would be for T1. Previously he was very young, either not talking yet or just learning to speak, and he didn’t seem to mind the language barrier so much. All speech probably sounded a bit confusing to him! Now though he seems really thrown by the lack of English and strong accents. I confess I’m not sure how to walk the line between affording him space to be shy and autonomous, and pushing him outside of his comfort zone in order to be polite and attempt to form bonds with these family members who love him so much.

We’ve talked about different options but aren’t sure what will be best. Maybe we keep the current approach, visiting for two weeks every 1-2 years, and see how things develop. Try to prioritize video conferencing more often. Long summers in Poland for the kids at some point? Are there things we can do now to prevent the same disconnect for T2?

It’s been really hard for me to watch all of this unfold, because I feel like one way I can express love and gratitude for my inlaws is to encourage my kids to engage with the in meaningful ways. But T1 is his own person, and I can’t force him to feel and think and act in ways that don’t match with what he wants. I hope this is just a stage, like most other things with kids this young.

Do I have any readers with family who live internationally and speak a language that isn’t spoken by their grandchildren/nieces/nephews/etc? How have you made it work?

      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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