jeudi, mai 30, 2013

Munich again

On the second week of A1's school holiday, we drove to Munich and spent a few days there. We left the house at 5am and reached Munich at 5pm. We had a few toilet stops, a lunch break at Stuttgart and got lost while in Munich looking for the service appartment. We stopped by a gas station and bought a map. While we were checking the map, a man knocked on our car's window and offered to help us. He spoke french as he could see that our car's plate was french. What a good samaritan.
We stayed at Concept Living service apartment. It came with a bedroom and a studio with self contained kitchen. A supermarket was 5mins drive away and we made a simple lunch once. The location was good and it was only 4 train stations away from Marienplatz. There was a direct bus from the English Garden.
Our first day was a rainy day and we drove to Marienplatz for dinner. The next morning, we shopped at Lugwig Beck. Seb loved to visit the music section of this big departmental store. We met Nicole and her boyfriend for lunch at the Augustiner Keller restaurant. After that, it was the usual stroll to the English Garden for beer. The boys had ice cream.
On our third day, we drove to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle which was 123km from Munich. Nicole joined us. More on that castle in the next post.
Seb went to visit the Hi Fi exposition the day before we left. It was bigger than the ones in France and he spent a whole day there. The rest of us met Nicole in the city and as it was raining, we went back to our service appartment. We bought cakes and made tea and spent the afternoon calmly. Nicole played with the kids and read to them. When Seb came back, we all had dinner at a nice Italian before sending Nicole home.
The next morning, we packed and headed home. It was another 10 hours drive back. We stopped by Chinatown in Paris for dinner. It was a fruitful trip. The kids and my mum love Munich. Seb got his day visiting the Hi Fi exposition. I got to catch up with Nicole in person.
Below are some photos of our visits. There was one of the children with their grandmother in a moment of calm. Yes, when they were watching a TV programme for kids.

dimanche, mai 26, 2013

Bonne fête des mamans

It's mother's day in France today. On friday, A1 brought back from school a heavy wrapped up gift with fragile written on it. He told me it was for mother's day and his father had to help him hide it from me.
This morning, he gave the gift to me. I opened it and it was a beautifully decorated tile. It was heavy and indeed fragile. A1 told me that his teacher wrote the words 'BONNE FÊTE' and he wrote 'MAMAN'. He pasted the stickers and decorated the edge of the tile with blue and red plasticine. There was even a note pad attached. A1 said I could write my supermarket list on it. So sweet.

I was so touched by the gift. It was an innovative idea. I told him I would put it in my room but he insisted to have it in his room. Well, so my mother's day gift is right now siting on my boy's bedside table. My little 4 year old boy. :D

mardi, mai 21, 2013

Bags and purses museum

My mother and I visited the Museum of bags and purses in Amsterdam. It was a small museum where we spent an hour looking at the history of bags and the trend of modern bags.
Below are some photos I took. The building itself was beautiful with lovely interior decorations on the ground floor. It showed how a typical rich merchant lived at the turn of the century. There was even a tea room. Enjoy the photos.

lundi, mai 13, 2013

Amsterdam revisited

My mother and I spent our short time in Amsterdam walking around. We did take a canal tour after we checked into our hotel. After all, what better way to see Amsterdam than through the connected canals.
We had lunch at Chinatown which was just two streets from our hotel. We liked our lunch so much that we went back to the same restaurant before we took our train back to France 2 days later.
Amsterdam has lots of great museums. Yet, I decided to visit the Bags and Purses museum with my mother. It was small and quick to visit. Also, I was sure my mum would appreciate this more than the famous art musumes. We even had time for a 30mins foot massage before boarding the train home. Staying right in the center of old Amsterdam helped to make all things accessible.
Below is a chinese temple right in the old town of Amsterdam. We had lunch twice at one of the restaurants along this street.

The canal tour we took. It lasted an hour and gave insightful information about Amsterdam.

The flower market in Amsterdam. 
An interesting door sign at the tea saloon LANSKROON (Singel 385, Amsterdam). The stroopwafels here are very different from the ones we find in the supermarket. 
 The central train station.In front of it, there was a huge construction going on for a new metro line.
 The 2 stars hotel we stayed in. It was expensive for the basic room but the location more than made up for the price we paid.
 As we were there the weekend before the last Queen's day on 30 April, there were decoration of orange balloons everywhere. Queen Beatrix abdicated the Dutch throne to her son, Crown-Prince Willem-Alexanderto. Now, there would be King's day instead.

A pulley at work carrying planks up to the last floor. As Amsterdam buildings have small doors, at the top of most buildings, there would be a pulley. It was interesting looking at the different design of the roof top and the pulleys. 
 The place below is Rembrandt Square.
With only three days in Netherlands, I managed to meet up with my friend Yvonne who is married to a Dutch. We had dinner at Alkmaar and discovered this quaint city.

In my next post, I will show the photos we took from the Bags and Purses museum. Interesting museum for women who love bags.

samedi, mai 04, 2013


Keukenhof, the most beautiful spring garden in Europe. I had always wanted to visit it and finally after 4 years since knowing about this place, I made it last sunday.
My mother is here visiting us for two months and knowing that she would enjoy this garden, I arranged for a weekend trip to Amsterdam and Keukenhof in Lisse.
We arrived in Amsterdam on Saturday and left on Monday. On Sunday, we spent the day in Keukenhof. There were many flowers. The garden was perfumed with the scent coming from the beds of blooming hyacinths. The tulips in the open garden were mostly still in bubs. This spring is chilling so I guess the tulips would bloom a week later.
There were four pavillons with different themes. Each of them were amazing. Flowers were everywhere. There are many different kind of species. Just on tulips alone, there were many different kinds like 'Barbados', 'Lambada', 'Brooklyn', 'Sensual touch', 'Wedding gift', 'Victoria secret' just to name a few.
There were many people from all over the world. We even met Singaporeans who took photos for us. I took tons of photos but I am such a lousy photographer. Below are some photos from Keukenhof. Though a picture tells a thousand words, it is best to visit Keukenhof in person. My mother and I truly enjoyed the garden. It was wonderful for flower lovers.