Tag: Paris

The Year that was – 2014

I’ve been tagged by the lovely Louise aptly called “A New Year’s Tag”.  Admittedly I’m a bit late for this, but hey, better late than never right?  So here goes …

What was your highlight of 2014?

The road trip to France and a quick dash to Belgium, made even more special when two members of my family from the Phil were able to join us.  We also managed to take little T to Disneyland, and of course, Paris.  It was a lovely ten-day holiday, even though it rained really hard on the first few days, and it was scorching hot in Paris!

This was also the year Little T started “big school” 🙂

What are you excited for in 2015?

There are a couple of things I am excited about, but I don’t really want to jinx it, so I’m afraid I’m going to have to keep this one a bit of a secret.  Will share it with you guys, when I absolutely know that it’s certainly going to happen 😉  For now, I shall be mum about it.

Any New Year’s Resolutions?

Don’t believe in making them.  Used to write a long list when I was younger, but always failed to tick it off.  What’s the point?  I’m a great believe in Nike’s old slogan “Just do it!”, so if there’s really something you want to do in your life, you don’t need to wait till the year is over and the New Year has come to do it, just do it!

Blogging high?

Don’t really have a blogging high, because I don’t really pay much attention to stats and other stuff.  I love to blog, this is my “me” time.  I guess my blogging high is when bloggers I admire and really like also visit my blog and comment.  Now that gives me a real high 😉

Picture of the year?

Loads!  But if I have to pick one, it would have to be little T’s first day of school photo.

 What about you?

What was the highlight of your 2014?

Do share.

I’m tagging the following lovely ladies, no pressure to do it too, I know how you all must be so busy!  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the names below, do go and visit their blogs – they are so worth a read 🙂

Jocelyn of The Reading Residence

Suzanne of 3 Children of It

Annie of Montgomery Fest

Carrie of Space for the Butterflies

Sophie of Sophie is

S is for Streets

Little T on her dad’s shoulders, walking the streets of Paris.

Paris has many famous landmarks and tourist spots, but what also struck me were the many interesting streets, especially the side streets, far from the maddening tourist crowds.

I loved the shadows formed on this lovely building in Trocadero street near the Eiffel tower.  We stopped and had coffee in a lovely cafe in the area there.

And little T had to have some ice-cream of course, after all, it was a very warm day in Paris.  As you can see, the serving surprised and delighted the little one:

After the treat, we headed off again, trying to stay away from the chaotic crowds.

Every where you looked just seemed so poetic.  Reminds me a bit of that Ginsberg poem “Supermarket in California”, only this is Paris in the daylight, but you could easily spot a Whitman or a Lorca pondering the side-streets or furisously scribbling on their tattered notebooks in small Parisian cafes, which are everywhere.

I also loved stopping and looking into open windows.  If you squint you can actually see the very high ceilings in that apartment in the photo above.

Parisians probably muttering to themselves “Darn tourists

This small, cobbled side-street was pleasantly quiet, considering it was not very far from the Notre Dame where all the tourists flocked.

Don’t be fooled by this seemingly empty(ish) main street.  I think it looked empty because of the  traffic.  The madness happened right after I clicked and then streets were engulfed in feet, cars and buses.

It feels almost more than just a couple of months since our trip to France.  Just last night, little T said to me, “Let’s go back to France mummy!”  I suggested somewhere we’ve never visited before.  She replied, “But France is my favourite place!”  I asked her – what will we do in France?  Half expecting her to say, go to Disneyland.  Instead she said, “I’m going to play in the sand.  Do my exercises with Auntie T, while you talk to Lola (lola means grandmother).  It’s no wonder that those are her happy memories of France, now all I have to do is convince her that we can also make those lovely memories elsewhere too.

S is for streets.

Linking this post up with PODcast’s #alphabetphotographyproject.

What is your favourite holiday memory?

P is for Paris

The Eiffel tower, probably one of the most photographed structure in the world.

Our Paris adventure was a chaotic one.  If you’re thinking of visiting and value your sanity, especially when travelling with a little one, don’t visit during the peak season.  It’s just pure utter madness.

I remember talking to the teenage daughter of the lovely Irish woman we met at the camp, who also travelled with us on the same bus to Paris, she said, “I didn’t think Paris would be like that!  Somehow I imagined that it would be different”  I interrupted her and said “You mean like in the movies?”  She immediately agreed.  I said I think we’ve all seen too many romantic love stories set in Paris.  Nevertheless, it is still a beautiful city and certainly worth visiting … just not in the tourist season…  More on our Parisian adventure later.

P is for Paris.

Linking-up with PODcast’s #Alphabetphotographyproject.

 

N is for Notre Dame

Completed in 1335, the Notre-Dame de Paris is certainly a sight to behold.  According to my historian husband, during WW2, Hitler ordered the destruction of Paris, but the Commander in-charge (probably thinking of the Notre Dame, Eiffel and all other beautiful historical buildings in Paris), just wouldn’t or couldn’t do it.  Thank goodness for that!

We spent a manic day in Paris and since it was peak-season, it was just sheer-utter madness and chaos.  The queue to go inside the Notre Dame was probably a kilometre long.  None of us had the patience to wait, especially in the heat.  Yes, you heard it right.  By then, the weather improved and summer was back with a vengeance.  I’m used to heat, in my country 30C is the norm and I’ve also lived in Ghana where it’s even more humid.  But that – the heat almost rivalled Manila’s temperature!

I’m not really sure who these greenish statues are, but I just love the contrast against the Cathedral’s otherwise brownish facade.

I was really content just taking photos of the famous Cathedral by the river Seine, far from the maddening tourist crowd.

A day in Paris isn’t enough.  But the next time we visit, it definitely won’t be in the summer!  Will do a different post on our rather un-pleasant experience in Paris.

Linking this post-up with PODcast’s #Alphabetphotographyproject.  Do check out the other lovely photographs in this link-up.

N is for Notre Dame.

A Very Wet Disneyland

I’m not a big fan of theme-parks.  I think they are all over-rated and overly-priced.  But when you have a little one, it doesn’t really matter what you think, right?  After all, it’s not about you.  It’s all about them.

Eurocamp, where we stayed for ten days, arranged our trip to Disneyland in Paris.  We took a bus from the camp, along with other visitors with small children at around 8am and probably arrived at Disney past 9.

As you can see from the the window, although it wasn’t raining when we left our camp in Picardy, it certainly started to rain even on our way to Disneyland.  I don’t think I was the only one who packed mostly summer outfits, because I saw families dressed in shorts and t-shirts without raincoats on.  They came back in the bus later on, wearing Disneyland ponchos.

I can hear you almost say “Oh dear”.  Yes, it was a very, very, very, wet day in Disneyland.  But what can you do when caught in a situation like this, but to make the most of it, especially since the tickets aren’t exactly cheap!

Yep, the streets of Disneyland were not paved in gold but wet, wet, wet.  Everywhere you turned (from under your umbrella), was wet.

Little T holding up her much-loved Elsa doll.

Upon entering, we decided to try to shelter inside the many, many, many gift-toys shops in Disneyland.  And there little T found an Elsa doll, which is probably cheaper when bought in any high-street toyshop, but hey, it’s part of the whole experience right –  buying a toy in Disney?  The good thing about little T is that once she gets what she wants, she won’t be interested in any other toy at all.  Phew!

It was really pouring as we stepped out of the shops and decided on doing all the-indoor rides first.  The good news was that most of the rides that were age-appropriate to little T were all indoor ones!  Like the “It’s a small World” ride. Where kids ride a small boat that goes around different displays of moving dolls depicting scenes that represents countries from all over.  She loved it of course!  And actually went on it two times!  The downside of that ride is that, the song will stay in your head for the whole day (if not for the entire holiday!)

So that’s what we did really.  Just went on indoor-rides like the Snow-White one, Pinocchio, Peter Pan among others.  A lot of those rides, T actually went on it more than once!  On hindsight, it wasn’t that bad at all.

You’ve got to hand it to Disneyland, yes, they’ll charge you loads for their merchandise, but the thing with Disney, it’s all about the details – like the control’s of their rides (see above photo), that looks like a fair tale book.  And you almost think, yes, it’s worth paying more!

We also braved the Alice in Wonderland maze and here’s little T, on top of the Queen of Heart’s castle, peering down on the very wet Disneyland.

Then we took shelter in what looked like a Mickey Mouse theatre, not really knowing what it was.  At first, we just thought that it was a place where the kids could watch Mickey Mouse cartoons, but noticed that there wasn’t any seats.  Instead people actually looked like they were queuing, only then we realised that they were standing in line to have their photos taken with the most famous mouse in the world.

So we decided to stay put, especially since by now it was really pouring.

As you can see form the photo, little T was too shy to give Mickey Mouse a cuddle.

From that photo op with Mickey, we decided to hop in the train that goes around the whole of Disneyland.  And here little T fell into a deep sleep.  So we decided to strap Elsa on our backpack to make sure she isn’t left behind and while she slept, we actually went around twice!

 By the time she woke up, it was almost time for the parade. And then the magic began ….

Can you see Elsa from afar?

There they were – Elsa and Anna, live!  I think Little T had her mouth open the whole time.  Was disappointed not to see Olaf, Sven or even Kristoff and Hans around.

And of course the usual Disney princesses and other characters were there too.

The parade was definitely magical and fun.  Met a lovely Irish woman and her family during our stay at Eurocamp and she said that when she watched the parade, she actually had tears in her eyes!  She said “That’s what dreams are made of!” While I don’t totally agree with her, I understand what she means.  All that mattered was that my little T was in heaven!

After the parade, little T went on more rides, before heading back to the car park in search of our bus.

And here’s a very tired T, but extremely happy little T (with wet feet), resting in our bus, back to our holiday camp.

She absolutely loved it.  My husband and I are really pleased that she got to visit Disneyland before starting school this September.  In spite the rain, it was definitely a worthwhile experience.  We promised we’d take her back, maybe when she’s around seven-years-old.

Have you taken your little ones to Disneyland?

How was it?

I’ve linked this post up with Danny’s #FamilyFriday.

Happy Friday guys!