The Walkaroos are planning (meaning "I" am planning) the trip next month back to NYC.
Since the three of us have been there a few times, I'm hoping to skip a few places.
Hubby and kids will fly out a few days earlier than me and so I'm fixing their schedule with to-do's and places I am happy not to repeat 😎
Researching for other places to see helps get me all hyped up. Since I have seen NYC a few times, I'm a little disappointed that once again, we are not going to be able to see other states. Oh well, there's always a next time.
I'm sure, NYC will offer us something equally exciting this time around.
I used my OCD planner but simplified it as it's only for one city. The only challenge is that:
We didn't rent an Airbnb house this time since based on the comparison, the location of hotels are far more ideal than the Airbnb properties. Not to mention the affordability.
Do we need laundry?
Do we need a kitchen?
I booked two hotels for both dates. Hubby and kids will let me know if we have to change hotels when I arrive.
The good thing about the bookings I made is it can be cancelled 2 days before check-in. I can cancel for free. Convenient.
I might not be excited for myself but I am excited for the kids. Jason and JD have not been to NYC while Alex kinda miss visiting charming NYC spots.
Crossing fingers all goes smoothly. We'll be adding our Walkaroos footprints in NYC. Until August!
"Getting tickled, JD laughing, dogs barking, fun!"
- what Jason remembers when asked what he thinks of Dog Heart Cafe
Traveling to a new place with the whole family can be spontaneous (or as spontaneous it can be), enlightening and fun.
We all love food, that's an established fact. Different preferences and appreciation but all the same, we enjoy filling our hungry tummy and wandering taste buds as much as we can. Jason and I somehow share the same passion and curiosity towards food.
When it comes to adventures and the affection to the animal kingdom, he shares it with his dad and her sister.
Alex and I don't hate animals but we won't mind if we're not surrounded with furry beasts or shiny snakes either.
Dogs in particular scare me. Growing up I had a hate-hate relationship towards "man's best friend". I learned how to run really fast because of my neighbour and childhood friend's dogs. They had lots of dogs over the years (Sniper, Rambo, Bruto, N and Valiente) and they somehow shared the same fascination with my thighs or butt cheeks.
I'm sure they all meant to be playful but because we didn't grow up with companion dogs, I don't know dog talk nor dog behaviour at all.
We grew up with guard dogs that's what I remember. We, the owner of the house even have to walk with some sort of stick or umbrella or something to defend our limbs. Breed? No breed. Essentially they're called "askals" back home or ASong KALye meaning street dogs. They're on leash all the time which makes them even angrier.
When we went to Japan, I found out that there are dog cafes and cat cafes and other types of animal cafes. I thought it would be fun for the three animal lovers in the family to have some "me" time with the friendly beasts.
I attended the HR MENA Tech recently and one of the topics discussed was the new generation careers. The skills to be developed now for careers that are not yet available today. Upskilling older generations so we won't be left behind. I thought the whole conference was talking to me.
I'm the old generation, my children are the generation I have to prepare for careers I have no clue about. Until my oldest boy finally opened up on what he wants to do for a living.
Our eldest is nearing University phase and so after months of going back and forth discussing what he really wants to pursue as a career, he dropped the bomb on me.
Apparently, he's been thinking about it long and hard but just couldn't bring himself to tell me. He thought I wouldn't understand.
Well he ain't wrong! I'm still trying to get over the shock.
In random order, his choices are:
There was no "I want to be a fireman mommy" or a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, an accountant, an entrepreneur. He might as well have told me I want to be a Youtuber or a circus clown. They all sound about the same to me, of course other than Weapons Engineering which I think is an interesting choice, pretty out there but what do I know?
With all the games about firearms, firefighting and war, they know more about these stuff than what I'll ever know in my lifetime.
So given his choices above, I have to be open and be supportive of the life he is essentially choosing. In as much as I wish he goes through the conventional and safe route, I cannot impose on him. I cannot imagine how his life will be if he ends up working day in and day out doing something he doesn't enjoy, even worst, hates.
At the same time, it's not easy for an oldie like me. Just visualising a gathering where someone will ask him "which degree did you say you have again?" and hearing Alex say "Bachelor's in eSports", it still gives me the heebie jeebies. I am working hard though, trying to get over the unheardness-ness of it.
I mean, I checked one of the best Uni in UK when it comes to the gaming world and even them, this is the first year they have offered the degree. I mean if it's been on for like 5 or so years, I'd probably be more at ease.
But my husband, the ever progressive thinker that he is told me matter-of-factly... "well don't dismiss it so quickly. At one point, Computer Engineering did not exist".
Enough said, that was his degree and at that time, there were a lot of skeptics about it and at one point considered a pseudo engineering let alone a thing worthy of a degree.
So yes, I'll swallow my skepticism and embrace optimism. At least, Alex knows what he wants to do. I didn't know what my passion was until I was on my 2nd year in University. I had to re-direct and re-plan my life when I realised what I will enjoy as a career. I am still thankful for that until now.
To alleviate my anxiety, I'm helping him read up on course prospectus. That is the only way I'll feel confident that indeed, it is a career. Hopefully I can still guide him with the choice he'll end up taking.
So far, I am a little bit convinced with Game Design and eSports. Not a 100% but getting there. Weapons Engineering might not be an option on a Bachelor's level (phew!) but hey, we're still exploring all possibilities. He is yet to find a Uni that speaks to him about the rest of his choices.
Until then, I prolly need a brown bag to breathe through when anxiety attacks.
-very anxious mother-
Another one of those to-go creations that definitely saves time and sanity.
These babies are so versatile, you can throw in whichever you feel like munching. Perfect for left overs to be honest.
Half and half recipe:
On a measuring cup (1 cup)
1 tbsp melted butter
fill remaining part with fresh milk
French Toast on the Run recipe:
- Your choice of fruits and flavours (we tried chocolate chips, blueberries, raspberries, a mix of berries and chocolates)
- stale bread slices / croissants / other bread types torn to pieces
- 6 Tbsps half and half
- 2 Tbsps sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 vanilla extract
We used 2 trays of 6-pcs muffin pan.
Yup, we made 12 pieces but sadly, little hands won't wait for the goodies to cool down. They disappeared as soon as it's cool enough to snatch.
Fill your non-stick muffin pans with torn bread pieces. Pack it to the top but leave a bit of space for your fruits and chocolates.
In a small bowl, mix half and half, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Transfer to a pouring glass for convenience.
Pour some on each muffin space. Enough to soak the bread with the gorgeous concoction but not soupy. The liquid will mold your french toast.
Insert some fruits and/or chocolate chips in between spaces. Add some toppings too.
Bake at 300 C for 20 minutes.
It will rise up as it bakes then fluff down a bit when it cools off.
First time to use the mini-oven my hubby gave me for Christmas. I still don't know its capacity so I'm happy to test it today. I have the big oven but it's a pain for small experiments, I always feel guilty pre-heating it as it's gas. So the Black and Decker mini version is a good addition.
In this mini oven, it's only up to 250 C so I winged it and baked it a few minutes longer. Few crunch on top, really nice french toasty flavour underneath and explosions of fuits within.
Yup. A hit.
*go crazy with the fruits, mix and match them and lemme know which ones are your faves.
*for sure this concoction can be savoury too with hotdogs or ham and cheese. Same concept of a savoury waffle. As I said, go crazy!
*can be kept in a sealed sandwich bag, chilled in the fridge for 2-3 days
We used to flip through the pages of glossy magazines or colourful webpages, drool and gawk at gorgeous places we only dreamed of seeing. We used to daydream over the idea of food we might never get to taste. Wondered how each destination feels.