dimanche, août 28, 2016

A glider experience

I have my first glider flight today. I received it as my birthday present. The glider club was about 25mins drive from home. We began at 10.30am for the flight briefing. It was mainly information about the weather of the day and who were assigned to the planes.

I was assigned to my pilot Benoit with 3 other people. While Benoit was checking on the sailplane , we listened attentively to his explanation and instructions. We were also briefed on the use of the parachute in case we needed to eject from the plane in mid-air.
After that, the gliders waited in line to be aerotowed by the powered aircraft . While waiting for my turn, we had a picnic lunch. The boys played baby-foot in the club's room to kill time. They also patiently watched gliders taking off and landing. A2 even got invited to sit in a glider.

 When it was my turn, I put on my parachute and took my place. Because of my light weight, metal weights were added just below my seat. The 50m rope of the powered aircraft was hooked onto the front of the glider and then we were off.
At the attitude of 500m, my pilot released the rope and we soared higher and higher by "riding" on the wind. That also meant that the glider was turning in circles. I assured my pilot that I was alright with the twirls.

Our highest attitude was 1200m. He could not go higher as the aviation regulation did not allow in case of collision with commerical planes.Our fastest speed was 190km/h with the 40km/h wind pushing us from behind.

Today was an ideal day. The wind was strong and my experienced pilot knew exactly when to ride on it.  He even let me pilot the glider when we were very high and it was not at all easy.We did a sharp left tilt and I had a thrill. It was fun.We had a difficult time during descent as the wind was blowing us up.

The flight lasted about 30mins and we managed to go to Chartres to see the cathedrale.

The landing was just as smooth as the take off. The boys were happy to see me when I landed. They wanted to try too. They have to wait a while because they have to be at least 33kg to fit into the parachute before they can fly.

The people at the Club CVVE were very friendly. We had a great afternoon at Bailleau. After seeing my videos taken in the air, Seb shows interest in trying out too. I love this experience so much that I will try it again. Maybe at another location for a change of scenary.

vendredi, août 19, 2016

Can you run?

I told A2 that I am going to learn tennis this fall. 
He asked me, 'Can you run?' 
I replied, 'Running is using the two legs right? Sure I can run.' 
He thought for a moment and rephrased his question. 'When you were young, did you run fast?' 
This cracked me up. 
I told him, 'I don't think I run fast. But it is ok. I just want to have fun at tennis.'
A2 is concern about the running ability of his friends. He had told me before he did not want to invite a certain classmate to his birthday party because she did not run fast. 
Seb and I explained to him that someone else might be running faster than him and running fast is not a measurement for friendship.
I am taking up tennis so that we can play as a family. Doubt I can run fast. Just do it. For fun.

jeudi, août 18, 2016

Singapore Gardens by the Bay

A dear friend of mine gave me two tickets for the Flower Festival at Gardens by the Bay.  We visited the festival on the last day. As I was queueing for the entrance tickets for the rest of us, a lady kindly gave me another complimentary ticket. So I just paid for the boys.

We arrived right after lunch and it was crowded though we did not have to queue to get in. We visited the Flower Dome and there were many orchid plants on display. Some of them won awards and had ribbons tied to them.

There were also sculptures and wooden cravings of animals in this dome.

This olive tree looked like an old man's face. A sculpture of Alice in Wonderful was just behind the rabbit.
From far, we could see this impressive wooden dragon. We took the lift up to the second floor to have a closer look of it. It was very well done.
After our visit, we decided not to walk 15 minutes under the hot sun to the next part of the festival. We went on the Adventure trail and then the boys had fun at the splash park at the children garden.
In the late afternoon, we made our way to the Mrt station. We passed by the Flower Dome and the queue at the entrance was very long. People who had bought their tickets online were queueing to enter. I suspected that it would take them an hour or so. My friend who passed me the tickets had free tickets herself. When she arrived at around 3pm, she caught up with me at the splash park. Half an hour later when she saw the queue, she gave up and went home.
It was my first time walking through this big garden. The Supertree Grove was impressive. The Marina Bay Sands buildings were equally impressive from this view.
In the MRT train on the way home, A2 took my camera and clicked for fun. Here was a fan A1 bought from Chinatown.
The next day after our visit to the gardens, it was time to say good bye to Singapore. The 3 boys enjoyed themselves this holiday until the end. At Changi Airport, they played at the play ground.

Changi Airport lives up to its name. The garden in it is just as beautiful as the one we visited the day before.

vendredi, août 12, 2016

Hua Hin, Thailand vacation

In July, we went to Singapore to see family and friends. During our trip, we went to Thailand for almost a week. We spent a few days in Hua Hin. At the airport, our driver came to pick up the 6 of us. There were Seb, my boys, my mum, our nephew from France and me.

We passed by a salt lake with vendors selling salt along the roadside.
The driver proposed a stop at the Amphawa Floating Market and we agreed. This market was very crowded and the river was very murky. Matt, my nephew saw a boat lady washing something in the river and then cooking it.

Though Hua Hin is about 200km from Bangkok, we reached our Airbnb appartment in the evening. The stop at the floating market and the condition of the roads made the journey almost 5 hours long.

At Hua Hin, the boys enjoyed themselves at the swimming pools and the beach. Matt fell sick on the second day and I brought him to a doctor. It might have been the weather.

It was easy to travel around Hua Hin. We mostly took the bus-truck which cost 10baht. We flagged it down and pressed the bell when we reached our destination. We often went to Hua Hin Village shopping mall to have our meals. The food court was clean and the food was generally good. Everyone could find something to his/her delight.

At the beach, there were horse riding activity but my boys were not interested. They preferred the sand and the water.

Our days there were mostly the pool for the boys and massage for me and my mum. There was a massage place nearby where we stayed. We also visited night markets.

The place we stayed in was calm and quiet. There were not many residents and we had the pool to ourselves most of the time. There was a gym room for Seb. All the water features along the residence can be swam in. This is a cool concept. The staff were friendly and even helped in finding a doctor for Matt and calling a taxi for us.
Hua Hin is a tranquil little beach town. It is a nice place to just relax and chill. No wonder the Thai royal family choose this place for its summer palace.

samedi, août 06, 2016

Château de Breteuil

Château de Bretuil is a small cosy castle about 30mins drive from our house. When my mum was here in June, we visited this castle togather. Here, one could choose to visit the castle or the garden with displays of Charles Perrault's fairy tales in the outbuildings or both. 

We chose to visit the castle and the garden. The visit was guided and our tour guide explained the rich history of this place with important people making important decisions here. There were wax figures and the tour was interesting even for children. I tried my best to translate to my mum the interesting facts.

In the garden, there were stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Blue beard, Cinderella, Puss in boots all over  and the boys enjoyed listening to the story and watching the props.

The maze in the garden was a highlight and the boys set off on their adventure by themselves. After a few U-turns, they finally made it to the center. It was funny watching them trying to come back. 
There were many flowers and fruit trees in the garden. So it was not surprising to see a squirrel.

In the late afternoon, there was story telling out in the garden. The boys enjoyed listening to the story. But A2 got bored after 15 minutes and went to the big playground to play.
We enjoyed our visit to this castle. This is really a great family outing for any French family with young kids.