Of Texas and Teepees

This fascination of wanting to sleep in a teepee has been around for awhile especially since  it first came out on Groupon a few months back. The only thing with these deals is that they have a time period and even at a steal I didn’t want to purchase the Groupon until I could find someone to come with me, Marco and Cassie. The deal ended and I wasn’t able to convince my family or even friends to go, a constant struggle for people who live in the US—finding a “common” vacation schedule for everyone in the party even if it’s just a day, besides the Groupon was date specific so we couldn’t just randomly purchase it and use it anytime in the future.

A few months later, we finally found a family who wanted to make the trip with us—Charles, Ann and Olivia, it was like a family date! We were just going to pick a date when everyone was free and still push through without the Groupon. Well what do you know, as soon as I got a “go” signal from the Garcias to book for specific date they were free, Groupon brought back the deal and we ended up making the reservations at a discounted rate. God’s on our side, yep..this trip was meant to happen.

Reservation on the Guadalupe is one of Best Texas Travel ‘s unique vacation properties and it literally did not disappoint. I mean really people visit the place because they want to try and sleep in some place “different”, or probably because it “looks cool” vacationing in a teepee or whatever reason they may have. And I’m not going to lie, I looked at the photos before booking, it looked amazing and I was aesthetically drawn to the place. This is one time where aesthetics surpassed comfort and I didn’t mind but you know what, the place was comfortable anyway and I felt at home. It kinda gave me that “province-feel”, at night it was pitch black and early morning it was calm and serene, it literally felt like I woke up in my Daddy Pakong’s bukid.

I can go into detail about their amenities but I’ll let you check out the links so you could see for yourself. The place sleeps 6; it has 3 queen beds and a kitchenette with pots, pans, stove, grill and all utensils to use during your stay. Parking is limited to two per teepee but arrangements can easily be made with management. The best part is checking in and checking out— everything was done electronically, they send you a link to their app and you have to download it, that app will contain all the instructions, map, directions, digital codes for access to the teepee, the rest room and the tree house. (YES, digital meaning no KEYS!).

BOTTOM LINE is this place was an amazing breather for all of us and it DEFINITELY was worth the drive. ( It was a 3-hour drive from Missouri City, TX where we live, just in case you were wondering). I can keep going but I’ll let the photos speak for itself.

Day 1

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Here’s a picture of our teepee, Teepee #8, Rising Moon, with no filter.

We arrived an hour early before check in time so we decided to check out the common area first since we already had the codes for treehouse anyway. I know it has its cons but it felt pretty good not having to go through a front desk to check in.

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What’s across—other teepees and the treehouse, a common area for the guests.

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There’s an indoor dining area, as well as outdoors but it was too hot to stay outside.

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And a very comfortable living/ game area. I forgot to take pictures of the pingpong table downstairs.

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Similar outfits again. Mommy bought fringe moccasins to match Cassie’s.

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Daddy’s little love.

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The view of the area from the tree house.

Finally got to check our place out at 3pm, 30 minutes before the actual check in time and this little baby approves. We settled down while waiting for the Garcias to get there.

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When the Garcias arrived, of course we checked out the tree house and took our fill of outfit photos. Thank God for stage moms who can relate. Haha.

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We then checked out their direct access to the river, how convenient for tubing season.

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Found an old wooden bench swing by the river

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The Ramas-Mendezonas

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The Almacen-Garcias

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We spent the rest of the afternoon outdoors, the mommies played with the babies while the daddies took care of dinner, grilling.

By the time dinner was ready, it was dark so we headed up to the tree house instead of eating outside to avoid the bugs and enjoy dinner indoors in the comforts of “civilization” a.k.a A/C. haha.

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Thanks for dinner boys, you guys are the best.

Day 2

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Good Morning, New Braunfels. It was a cool, misty morning, like waking up in the bukid.

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Baby Shennanigans

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My little boho baby and her little boho outfit. Her little feather head dress c/o mommy of course. #PipandTumbleweed

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One last family picture with our teepee before leaving.

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Yay for camera timers and making group photos possible.

Look at Cassie and Olivia having a private conversation. Awww…

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The Garcias knew of a perfect place to have lunch before heading back to Houston but first, the outlet mall at San Marcos. It was hard to resist especially since it was on our way home.

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It was hard not to take a stroll after lunch especially when you find yourself in old Luling, Texas. Thank you for the lunch treat Garcias! It was a first for us to have barbecue at City Market and you’re right, they aren’t pricey and are one of the best.

This overnight trip was definitely a much needed R&R for all of us. Texas, you continue to surprise me with your hidden vineyards and unheard of teepees. Which part of Texas are we off to next? Can’t wait for my next family adventure.

~Rhea

 

 

 

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Cassie’s First New Year Celebration

Last 2015 I had expectations, call it New Year’s resolutions if you may, I thought they were pretty simple and quite doable. Looking back, none of those expectations panned out of if they did it probably worked out in a way I would have never imagined it to.And yet for all the irregularities in my life I am beyond grateful because in the end those irregularities turned out better than I expected. Thank you God! I’m so excited to be starting this year with the little creature that completes our own little family.

The Borromeos were nice enough to invite us over for New Year’s Eve and since Sienna Plantation has its no-fireworks policy, poppers and snappers were the best we could do. And of course since it was also Paulo’s birthday, we spent New Year’s Day dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse for the birthday boy’s request—steak! Cassie was nice enough to make us enjoy both gatherings by (mostly) sleeping through it.

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All strapped in, heading to the Borromeos house

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Ooohh…lechon belly.

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My little Cascas still asleep

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Waiting for 2016

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Our little family

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Cheers to 2016

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The birthday boy and his cake from Cheesecake Factory. yum!

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Grandy and Cassie

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Grandmy and Cassie before Paulo’s birthday dinner

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Paulo, the birthday boy with his birthday dessert

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One last family picture before leaving 🙂

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Fur-ry goodness with my little sleepyhead.

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Mommy’s OOTD

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Cassie’s OOTD (taken right before we left for Paulo’s birthday dinner)

Happy New Year to one and all!

~Rhea

Cassie’s First Christmas

Christmas would have to be my most favorite Holiday and Holy day of the year, everyones noticeably nicer and its an excuse to be extra generous. I like giving, I like the idea of thinking of those special people in our lives and getting them something that they might want or appreciate and that feeling seems to be aggravated when you’re a parent. I now understand the feeling of wanting to provide your child with everything she needs or wants for that matter and my daughter is barely 2 months old.

This is our first Christmas with my daughter and it just so happened that its also our first Christmas back with my family ever since Marco and I got married so my family was more than ecstatic to have us especially Cassie. For Cassie’s first Christmas, mom and I decided to go with “Candy Canes” as our theme for this year just so the decorations would be aesthetically pleasing to Cassie’s eye. Honestly, we could have put up anything and the lights would have been enough to keep her interested . I wish I took close-up photos of the tree, mom and I filled it up with vintage Christmas toy decorations that we got from a Goodwill store and we added Cassie’s hand print ornament to commemorate her first Christmas (Thanks mami for the kit!).

On Christmas Eve, I dressed up Cassie extra early so I’d have time to look decent and do last minute preparations for Nochebuena. We went to the 8:30 pm mass at St. Angela Merici and Cassie was nice enough to sleep through it, she didn’t give us any trouble at all. Merry 1st Christmas langga!

What Cassie Wore: 

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(DRESS: Amazon.com/ CARDIGAN: Carter’s/ SHOES: The Children’s Place/ SOCKS and HEADBAND: Little Me)

What Mommy Wore:

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(TOP: Image/ SKIRT: Cruella and Co./ CLUTCH: Plato’s Closet/ SHOES: Nine West)

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My DIY peppermint inspired wreath

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Cassie’s hand print

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Thanks Rosa for Cassie’s Christmas shoes, they remind me so much of Dorothy’s from Wizard of Oz.

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Our Dessert Table

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Saying grace before Nochebuena

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3 generations

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I woke her up for the family Christmas photo and she wasn’t too happy about it

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Obligatory Christmas Wacky Pose

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More family photos

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Opening of gifts at the Ramas Residence

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Cassie’s Christmas Haul, we had neighbors and close friends dropping gifts for her. Awww…thanks so much for thinking of our baby girl this Christmas!

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Merry Christmas and Good Night from Santa’s little helper.

~Rhea

It’s Good to be Back, Houston

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(CARDIGAN: black /TOP: Merona/ SHORTS: Liz Lange Maternity/ SANDALS: Qupid / NECKLACE: Fossil / SUNGLASSES: Aviators; Kenneth Cole)

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I actually got this outfit as a “Welcome Home” present from the family

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I know, I know my baby bump is big.

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The last few weeks of July and the first few weeks of August were quite chaotic, we literally had a million and one things to worry about. Marco was scheduled to take his Step 1 USMLE around that time and for days I had a very anxious husband. The delay of his US spousal visa didn’t help the situation either, it added to his anxiety and it added to mine. I on the other hand had to finalize my thesis drafts before leaving and I had to communicate with my adviser through email due to my current state. Its never fun for a pregnant woman to be stuck in the middle of Manila traffic, the drive from Alabang to UP Diliman now that school has started is no fun at all.

Being the big worry wart that I am, I still kept telling myself to trust in the Lord because he’s never let me down…EVER, but I’d be lying to myself If I didn’t say that I was starting to get impatient (boy, if you could only hear my dialogues with the Lord). I worried about a lot of things, I worried that Marco’s visa might take longer, I worried about not finishing my thesis (again), I worried about the tickets being so expensive by the time we get his visa, I worried about not being able to fly because I was a little bit over 7 months already, I worried about not being able to handle the long flight, I worried about the results of Marco’s exam… I was just WORRYING big time and so I finally gave it up and I offered it up to him, I mean there’s nothing else that I could do anyway and as soon as I did that things started turning out for the best.

On what we didn’t think was our last week in the Philippines, we got to visit family in Bacolod to celebrate Marco’s niece’s 1st birthday, they also threw me a baby shower and a despedida for me and Marco. We got a text from the embassy saying that his visa was going to be delivered in Manila (its a good thing we had Dolly Ann in Manila to accept it in behalf of Marco), the next day we purchased our tickets to LA so we could see Papi and Javi first before flying to Houston. We got to do a 4D ultrasound and we saw our little one for the first time and we got to visit the dentist. We then flew to Cebu to say goodbye to our grandparents in both sides and got to meet up with some close family and friends and then we flew back to Manila.

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Here’s the 4D of our little angel.

Manila was more hectic than ever, in less than a week we had to visit Marco’s eye doctor to make sure everything’s okay since his corneal transplant, I had to visit Tita Py, my OB-GYN for my final check up and also so she could clear me for the long flight to the US, I had to meet up with my thesis adviser so he could approve my final drafts before binding 3 copies of my thesis, we met up with our families for farewell dinners and we had to PACK (some wedding gifts from last year, all the baby shower gifts and tugons). We ended up with 4 Balikbayan boxes, 1 check-in maleta and 2 carry-on maletas. I’ll probably write about our travel experience in a separate entry and as I sit here in Houston recalling everything we had to go through I still can’t help but be amazed how all of those things happened in a span of 2 weeks (or less), “When it RAINS it does POUR” and once again HE came through for us. We are very grateful and are truly blessed, it’s good to be home Houston.

~Rhea

Who is “Spriki”?

(SHORTS: Tomato/ TOP: Kimono top from the Alabang Hills Bazaar/ PURSE: Mustard Sling from my sisters/ SHOES: Peeptoe Cut-outs from 168)

Still fit my clothes at 14 weeks

Happy momma-to-be

Looks like a beer belly to me. haha.

Wasn’t really sure if I was up for posting maternity OOTDs but I guess I’m giving them a try. Can’t predict when my hormones are planning to act up either so I am not going to be pressuring myself to take OOTDs every week just to monitor my pregnancy bump. Speaking of the size of my bump, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback already saying I’m showing a bit earlier than expected but my OB says its normal for petite girls to show so early in the pregnancy. Thank God I didn’t go through the vomiting phase either, yes I’ve wanted to puke a few times or so but I guess I’m more disgusted with the thought of vomit so I just don’t do it, hahaha. So far this pregnancy has been kind to me although I’m not going to lie, I dread the scary changes in my body thanks to the horror stories of some of the mothers that I’ve talked to, I guess I am vain after all.I am sooooo not looking forward to the stretch marks, darkening of the neck, darkening of the underarms, belly button popping out, swollen extremities, swollen nose and that dark linea nigra on my belly but as long as my baby is safe and healthy then I really don’t mind at all.

Right now we don’t know the gender of the baby yet so my husband has resorted to calling our baby a  disgustingly funny name that caught on. It started out with us picking names for our baby and Marco, being the funny guy that he is started blurting out stupid made up names like “Kapitan Love”. Well, he started calling our baby with one of those “stupid names”—“Spriki” and because he just kept saying it over and over again I found myself calling him/her that name too. So now the entire household has joined in the name calling, from siblings, cousins, friends, our manangs , even our parents sometimes call the baby “Spriki” so “Spriki” it is until we find out his/her gender. Hahaha, you are a very loved baby, “Spriki”. Btw, “Spriki” is short for “Sprikitik” and if you get a chance to find out what that Filipino slang means, just don’t bother (seriously, I mean it).

P.S. If she’s a girl, Sandro and Pilica says we should call her “Sprikitika”. Guh-reat! 😀

~Rhea