Outdoor cafes// tlv night edition

I put this list first because when I open a blog related to traveling with a baby all I search for are helpful tips, places to go, IE playgrounds!

The best baby friendly parks in TLV:

I spend almost as much time looking for good playgrounds as I do with good coffee. Peep below for a list of our top 5 cafe/bakeries here in Tel Aviv. (tho, there are many!)
You never realize how much u depend on coffee until:
-the best kinds surround u  (this applies to most of the recent places we’ve been to)
-perfect shapes appear in ur morning cappucino
-kosher pastries come beside this delicous coffee
-baby starts to wake a little earlier in TA, so espresso es so good.

I have lots of goals but am SO thankful and also a bit shocked that we rly made it back here by Pesach. This is the time where I need not take a moment to feel down about something or a situation my brain exists.
I turn to Yoga to help with my inner pre pesach cleanse.

Here’s the scene:
Languages around me on the corner of Ben Yehuda/Jabotinsky. A cafe, Java, with a close to full crowd on 9pm on a Tues night. My arms are sore from the yoga class last night, which means I could be on a good route to mental freedom now if i wanted.


The time I learned about slavery in the mind
It reminded me that there is an inner me, one that wants to feel and be kind
We get where we want to go by thinking, doing, and seeing
None but ourselves can free our minds, now I’m Bob Marleying
Out in this cafe,
Whether at night or the day
The energy of the people it is so alive
Kinda like a giant Jewish bee hive
Creating an essence in the air
Everyone is so so different, yet about the people around they care
I feel safe in this land that our ancestors taught us to call home
While of course wondering how long it would take for us to get to Rome
Nothing is like the streets of an Israeli city
Tel aviv right now got me feeling my artsy side so im Witty
X to the O
Laila tov, vi-BO!

Cafes we love to sit at:
1.NOLA American Bakery: this one has to be first, because. (not kosher food but great pastries for babe+coffee+drinks+vibe)
2.Ruchela: best kosher brunch place
3.Java: streaming live from
4.Roladin bakery: yum yum yum
5. Cafe Dizengoff: great corner of ppl watching w good couches to sit at w babe

Travel to TLV, stopover in IST

The departure from Dubrovnik went smooth, thankfully, this we of course credit to Levi. What a trooper, such a little boy walking through the new streets and airport ramps like he knows it.
I can see what he sees when we are in a new place. Even if it’s a new block of the same old place. I get the same way: a certain exhilaration of wonder that comes with this wander.

And so I make my mamaMantra: 

Well the day was here. Sabine’s apartment (our fave Airbnb host) is all packed up and the Uber makes its way to get us. The wind is strong, as we have experienced cool nights (no pun intended) of lots of wind leading to beautiful sunny days with the shine of the pearl of the Adriatic.
…. until next time, with love.

We get to the airport and as my #1 tip of traveling with a toddler would be is that we arrive early enough to:
1. not be rushed. it helps to feel calm.
2. Allow flexible time in the case that suitcases need rearranging for weight or something comes up (in our case we had to pay 200 EU for overweight extra, does not usually happen to us so just went with it to avoid troubles with Turkish Air who were great other than this)
3. Coffee? snacks? souvenirs?
3. Levi needs his running around time!! Give the baby time to be out and about and play and discover before sitting in a seat for X amount of time.

bye bye apartment…. on lichtenstein put.
I will miss you! this dreamy apartment! it felt like home for so long. I can’t believe it is over.
The airport has Legos!! a nice DutyFree in DBV.
a whole lot of this!!! Allowing Levi to run, discover, and get energy out so he can rest nicely on the airplane!
 …. way up high………..
And so we arrive and make it to the Lounge in Istanbul.

(thanks to our Sapphire!)
Josh kindly walked and seeked out the airport while putting Levi to nap, such a relief when he is sleeping more than 50 minutes. Once you reach that hour you know that when he wakes all will be OK b/c he made it to REM area.

So much to do so much to see, DBV

The outside of our @airbnb in #DBV!
Wont you ride along with me?
…come along…..
When we walk out of the apartment in the morning taking in the nature around us I can’t help but sing the Daniel Tiger theme song, and I know that Levi agrees.
(a great tv show geared towards kids, by the same writers as Mr Rogers)
We head out of our apartment and now that it is getting warmer out head to a playground. The nearest and bestest places can be 15 minutes walk, but when Levi walks on his own – more often nowadays- it can take up to an hour!
We pass some beautiful sites that I don’t get enough of.

Here are some of my must-do’s in Dubrovnik:
with a strong emphasis on seeking Playgrounds and the best Coffee:

-Walking tour of the old city. I always like to get a good intro by a local. I used from airbnb!
-The playground beside the left by the entrance to the old city
-Nisht: vegeterian restaurant in the old city
-The Synagogue: a must visit, with a remarkable Jewish souvenir store next door
-Cafes in the old city

-Lapad area. Cafes, restaurants, markets, and playgrounds.
Highly recommend: Antika. Cafe with playground next door so can have coffee while Levi plays! Especially loved this playground as it is old school plastic/Little tikes type of play area which is rare for DBV
-If you make a right rather than a left by Sunset beach and continue down the road you will reach it.
-The playground by sunset beach and its surrounding area
-The playground on the walk to sunset beach, by the cafe “with the swings”
-Gruz market – port with markets, shops, a bit of cafes – & this is where many of the local boat tours depart from


Nearby Travels I: Split

As most of my posts, thoughts, or conversations start: My life is ruled by Levi’s sleep schedule. I am proud to be a slave to my baby’s sleep because it is the means of survival when living as a nomad!
So we had to plan smartly when taking day trips.
Here’s how we did it:

SPLIT:  The northern coast of Croatia! We woke up sunday morning and took our time in getting the rental car from Sixt, and packing our bags to head to the north. A beautiful drive with lots of twists and turns… Thankfully my husband grew up driving in puerto rico otherwise these European streets would be difficult! He is the best and is the first person other than my dad that I feel 10000% comfortable as being the passenger and not even paying attention to the road. Which means – YEY! – I get to focus on Levi and make sure he eats and sleeps well even whilst a 3.5 hour drive. We play and “talk” for the first hour, then I put some Sesame street on my phone (anti-iPad yet you do what you gotta do)…  then I sing him the usual pre nap songs and he sleeps! for 1 hour 15 minutes! Not his usual nap time, but it still counts, so we are relieved that now the day will be good.
We arrive to the quaint hotel.. “Balatura hotel Luxury suites”. We are pleased to learn it is a family run hotel offering spacious and stunning rooms, of course with crib, so we set up, drop our bags off, and hit the streets!
Split is an old city located on a promenade. It is a long bay with palm tree streets and loads of cafes and restaurants. Josh lets me sit and order a coffee while he takes Levi on a walk around, they come back with popcorn (for the pa) and a balloon (for the babe) and we soak up our new surroundings.
It is completely different than Dubrovnik. It is filled with diversity, buildings, busy people walking fast, and has much more of a city feel. I love learning yet another Croatian town. I REALLY love it, maybe a little too much because my thirst to learn leads me to wanting to stay out late. However nowadays Levi won’t really fall asleep in his stroller for bedtime because he is so curious about the new place, just as we are!
When he was an infant it was easy to stay out late because he would sleep in the stroller and we could hang at a restaurant. But now he is so alert and fun! Meaning that by 830pm we need to get back in order for him to get his full nights sleep. So it works out being Kosher! and thankfully we are on the same page! Plus we love our hotel and are excited to be in the quiet old city. Occasionally on trips like this I would go out at night while josh works on his computer and the baby sleeps, but there was something about the hotel and the balcony in utter silence that I wanted to get back to – plus we had walked a good 11 miles already.
(perhaps last year when we traveled I felt more of a need to get out in the evenings for alone time because I was still a “new mom” and wanted to feel independent. Now I thankfully have other means of that independent feeling such as sitting at a cafe typing on my blog while my baby naps during the day)
So we picked up some bread, kosher cheese, and some other random snacks and fruits of our choice, along with Croatian made Liquour. We head to the room and thankfully Levi is happy to go in his crib. After bedtime Josh sets us up for a romantic evening on the balcony! we love it! It is nice to be here.
The next morning we have the hotel breakfast along with some Germans that are visiting.
The cool part of being in Croatia in the spring is that there are 0 Americans there. The only tourists during the off season are from local countries, so we get to shock people when we tell them our story.
We continue to do a tour of the palace part of the old city. Lots of cool shops and it feels more modernized than what we have seen in Dubrovnik. The key now is to ensure Levi gets his steps in so he is not unhappy for the 3.5 car ride back.
It is a bit colder than anticipated (the usual theme of our travels HA sorry mom!!) but we walk, get some coffee, and slowly make our way to the car.
The drive is breathtaking! I am constantly with my jaw dropped because it is just beautiful to drive through the country, especially on the coast.

Dubrovnik, Hrvatska

We are officially feeling like locals, it really takes 2 weeks, maybe even 3! The weather has been on and off. High 50s to low 60s. In the sun it feels warm, but in shade or by the water it gets windy. During the sunny days I am out with Levi all day, i mean it alll dayyyy, todo dia, Kol HaYom !  (get that hebrew spanish english thing)
Things I found that i love:
-cafe with a park next door!!! This might be on one of my options as a career. I would

I love being abroad with the boys.

I love learning these streets and knowing that the 3 of us share a view, and a feeling, that only our little family could understand.
This apartment is OURs, for a full month, and we surely have taken full advantage – like we always do!
Every family has their secrets – ours are the way that we do travel.
I could post pictures and text my friends about our daily adventures, but its got nothing on what life is really like.
So all I could do is take it in and do my best to diary about it so when I am not here I could read my words and come right back to it.
Like: dear future me, Do you remember your walk to the Pemo market?
Pemo is the WaWa of Dubrovnik, Tommy Market is the Shoprite.
We really get to know the supermarkets because we eat Kosher so spend a lot of time coordinating our own meals. Thankfully it is something we got better at! With experience comes learning how to handle the market aisles.
It is so different here! there is no frozen food, no prepacked vegan meals awaiting every step, and everything in the market it made to cook and uses as little packaging as possible. It seems that everywhere other than the US people are much more aware of the plastic usage.(except for you, Brooklyn!) Speaking of Brooklyn, there is so much here that reminds me of my sister! The ultimate goal is to be neighbors with our siblings but for now we will take being neighbors with the pearl of the Adriatic. This is the nickname used for Croatia and I get it! The ocean has a shimmer unlike anything I know.
mornings part 2

Family Abroad round 2: Croatia!

The beginning of March is cool because we have become more adjusted to the Croatian lifestyle. the best part? We like it!
i Liked this. i recall being in a yoga class when I first started to practice – about 5 years ago – and I found that when I listened closely to the teacher guiding the breath, it connected me to this inner voice within. A positive voice. At the same time of introducing meditation to my life, I began reading the prayer book (Siddur) that I haven’t been with for a while.
During this I noticed that when I bring the breath from my yoga mat to my prayer, or synagogue even, the songs and words of praise bring out the same inner voice of good feelings. Of performing the right actions in my life to become the manifested version of me. The mom i want to be, the wife, the friend daughter sister etc etc etc…
ANYWAYS, here we are in Croatia and I refound a yoga quote I had saved to my computer, & it took me to that same feeling of seeker the inner voice. Through the prayer book, or the breathe – maybe a mix of both.

There is something to being in a beautiful view, something that I hope stays within – because I LUV IT!

Our usual day goes something like this now that we are adjusted to the time:
630am: wake up! (in NJ it was 730am, but I kinda like this because we can do a lot in the morning, when the sun is out!)
830am: Finish up breakfast/cleaning up – sometimes some “baby TV” an english channel w americana songs – and get dressed to make our way out! Everyday we walk in a different direction. Or in the same direction and then make a diff turn down the road. Or towards a cafe or park that has been on the list to do. Either way we make it somewhere for Levi to play and interact with other kids. Mama finds a way to a coffee, sometimes, but is also very happy w the coffee machine in the airbnb.
1030-11am: Start heading back. Stop for a croissant on the way.
1130: Make it home, whip up some lunch:
-Hard boiled eggs and chummus (on good days)
-Cut up tomatoes/cucumbers
-Toast with butter, and fig jam we bought from the locals with some anchovies
-a sweet, such as a fruit (pear, apple, orange, kiwi), or a Croatian Nutrigrain
1230-3pm: Nap zone. Settle Levi with books, songs, resting for nap.. get things done, laundry, cleaning, Yoga readings, and occasionally going for outdoor run and meditation near the ocean>>>> videos to come on that.
3-6pm: Head to the supermarket!! Depending on the time and how nap went, and how weather is, we find a park near a beach to watch the sunset, usually many kids and parents are out!
6-7pm: Make it home, take of bath, and prep dinner of pasta, switching off with sauces, freshly baked fish, and a salad! We also started boiling vegetables, smearing it in butter, along with a fresh baguette. After dinner snacks are usually some fruit, and a yogurt drink that Levi has before brushing his teeth.
730pm: Bedtime routine/gnite Levi!

So, looks like our Croatian schedule isn’t very far off from the NJ way. The This is why when we go on a trip it is key to extend for as long as possible. To ensure that we can make it to the point of being on schedule without rushing the process, in order to have a crank-free baby! (and mom+dad).

The importance of Zzzz’s

We made it back onto the plane and after 2 nice hours (thanks to Levi’s hotel nap… and free olives and crackers on the airplane) – we land in Dubrovnik!
We arrive at night to the small airport and it has been a full 24 hours since we left New Jersey. It is 9pm and we are relieved to see our luggage and a man waiting for us with our name on a sign AKA our way of feeling mature and COOL.
He takes us to the AirBnb and voila! It is a dreamy apartment in a safe, quiet, nice area. Thank gd! BH! We learn from the taxi driver that this apartment complex was built less than a year ago, and the host I have been working with did not exaggerate one bit by how well set up it is. The crib is ready, so I give Levi some comfort snacks from America and spend 30 minutes introducing him to his new room, reading books, singing the same ol’ songs, and thankfully he dozes off for a 12 hour night sleep…

I always try to lie to myself and say I am above jetlag, but then it hits hard. Joshua is better than I am and allows the jetlag to take him into a weird sleep phase, so I try to follow the boys and go along with the jetlag, but I am TOO excited to be here that it is hard to sleep! We do our best though, and here are some tips I came up with for other moms w/ babies traveling to a new timezone:
1. Go Wit It: Allow your baby to go to sleep when you sense he is tired, and stay awake even if it is his regular scheduled sleep time. it will pass! he will get on track! Baby is just as excited as you are to be in a new place! this is not exactly the “Cry it out” time.. just let him seek comfort in learning his new room and figuring out that his parents are in the room over as usual.
2. Stay nearby: While it is within us to want to explore and plan trips when we land in a new city, the first week must be dedicated to helping baby get on track with sleep. Try to stick to learning the neighborhood, finding the parks, checking out the markets within a 30 minute radius so if you feel baby needs his sleep you get a crib sleep rather than stroller. This helps with the adjustment to a foreign crib.
3. Awake times vs. Sleep times: any sleep training mom knows by now how many hours your baby sleeps vs. how many hours he can be awake for. Be strict with the awake time! and make it active! For example, I know that Levi’s awake times on his schedule are usually between 5-6 hours, meaning that regardless of the time difference, he should still be going to sleep after the same awake time from home.
4. Stick with the Same: Routine! Do the same exact bedtime routine you do at home, introducing the newness around him. While reading books, take a break to take in the new room, examining and appreciating the parts of his room that might confuse him and cause him to wake. For example, I noticed that the shudders in Levi’s room shake with the wind so from the get go I taught him about wind (which he remembered from our time at the beach…) and use it as a lullaby.
5. Do Fun, Don’t Fight:  Thankfully the human body does adjust in time. But for the first days, have 0 expectations and enjoy the long evenings (Levi’s bedtime was pushed to 10pm due to late nap wake up) and don’t let it upset you if it takes time. Sleep when the baby sleeps, to avoid getting sick, or crazy:). While keeping in mind his awake hours, make sure to fill that time with activities that will make him sleepy enough to get right into the crib, happily. These are the days that make it good to have a pacifier (or comfort blanket of the sorts)…

Feel free to reach out on any more tips re: baby and the adjustment to a new timezone!

Feb 2019: Take off! our first layover.

Oops! we did it again. Departed Newark airport to an unknown land…   And looks like once again we thankfully landed in a good place.

at EWR:

Hard goodbyes lead to… nice hellos?

It is 2019 and baby Levi is 22 months, he finally got comfortable living in East Brunswick NJ (at Grandma+Grandpa’s house) – Levi finally had his own room, a full basement of toys, and endless space to run around!! So it was hard to take him out of his first “comfort zone”, but don’t worry Jersey: we will be back!

We were unsure how to go about the trip this time. Though it is not our first time, it is so different than when he was an infant! Levi is older -very social, and much more aware. I.E. when he sees a fruit stand selling Fresh Squeezed juice, he gives us no option but to get him an overpriced fresh smoothie while we search for the lounge !
I no longer breastfeed him and last year that is how we handled the takeoffs and landings, but he still uses his pacifier for sleep/stroller/airplane and we like it that way…  also it lends him some comfort while being in new land.

Take off… we out!   (I’ll skip the part where Josh left his phone charging as the plane was closing… he stole my move!)  and 8.5 hours later we land in Frankfurt, Germany. Not the most comforting place for the grandchildren of holocaust survivors – even still, I’m not sure if every kid our age feels this way but Joshua and I agreed we did not find pleasure in this stopover, yet we got a hotel room in the Airport (fine, we’ll admit, a very cool soho feeling airport) and got to sleep! And our angel even got to take a bath as we watched the sunset.



Sat nights

In NJ, having a sat night to clean the kitchen from the smell of Shabbat while the parents are out is a pastitme.. since i am a LITTLE GIRL.

Thankful for being able to be warm when its cold outside and just hope to get the itinerary for our upcoming trip done!! it is fun to login and to write here, part of my #procastinationproblems even though every part of this Step i am to Soak In!!

My mom/dad are at a disco part. my bro is somewhere in Ketucky. and my sis is lying on the den couch with her hubby. my hubby is working bc hes a dream angel. all we hope for is that the children sleep well – and sleep!! well!! (and #travel well)

Salad is good. Yoga is good. Being prepared and organized is good. It is good to bring GOODness, and that is what I hope to pray for. just goodness. And work for it.



YTT (Yoga Teacher Training)

So the yoga book reads,::

yoga helps me.

He should gradually inhale the breath and as gradually exhale it. He (she) (jk, i love it)  — should also restrain it gradually.” – Yoga , your home practice companion by the Sinananda Yoga Vedanta Center

#hatha yoga

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