Wednesday, September 25, 2013

France Miniature

Visiting France and no time to see everything? Come to France Miniature, where you will be oohing and aahing at 116 historical monuments of France, exact replicas built on a 1/30 scale. I don't know why I didn't know about this place before, I don't think they publisize it as much as they should. Its a great way to spend the day with your children, there is even a mini fun park available for children above 6 years old. 

We took a car ride and was stuck in traffic for a good hour and a half, but without that it shouldn't take more than 40 mins to get here from Paris. I'm pretty sure there are tour buses who organize group visits, but I'm not such a big fan of tours. Tickets are not cheap, €19.50 for adults and €13.50 for children. I assume that this is only because it is expensive to construct and maintain the mini monuments. You will be awed at the accuracy of the details! 

There is a restaurant on site which we didn't try, and a cafeteria that sells sandwiches and pizzas. However, I highly recommend that you bring your own food, they provide picnic tables for people who do so. Pick a nice sunny day if you have the luxury to do so, everything is outdoors so you definitely do not want to come in the winter months. 

Miniature Château de Chenonceau

Mini me at mini Arc de Triomphe

A dream dollhouse!

Miniature port of Saint Tropez

Photos by Me

Thursday, June 13, 2013


How silly of me to think that we need to take a 10 hour flight minimum to get to a pristine beach, beautiful weather, and friendly people. Real silly of me! 2 hours by plane and about €200 away from Paris, you can find yourself in the Balearic Island of Mallorca. One of the best vacations with family that we have ever had! Our Spanish love affair continues with this destination, for as usual, the island is kid friendly, hotels are abundant and not expensive, no monetary exchange needed, and summer weather is available as early as end of May. 

Mallorca offers something for all sorts of travellers. If you are single and travelling with friends you can party the night away at Ibiza-like Magaluf. If you are with children and prefer hotels with ramps for strollers head up to Alcudia and its surrounding areas. Couples who like nature would love the luxury boutique hotels in the mountains. We stayed in a hotel on Playa de Muro called Be Live Palace de Muro. Five stars and rooms start at only €160 a night including breakfast! The service is excellent.

When we went it was the beginning of June. Daytime temperatures shot up to about 28 degrees Celcius, with cooling winds. Mornings and nights are a bit cool, so a sweater or two is still necessary at this time of the year. The seawater is freezing for a little Malaysian like me, but it didn't stop my little half Malaysian from taking a dip with her Breton father!

After coming back I couldn't stop ranting about Mallorca. We ate fresh seafood at the port of Alcudia, had an excellent dinner at Fusion19 (my François le Francais husband even dared say that he'd give it 1 Michelin star), spent hours with my parents on the beach, and just had the best time ever. I suggest this destination as a sidetrip be it with friends, family, or lover. Not only is it beautiful, but also convenient. It has become quite a trendy European destination, so everything a tourist would ever need is available at every corner- hospitals, convenience stores, ATM machines, and car rentals to name a few.

This just may be our yearly destination... Highly recommended peeps, GO TO MALLORCA!

Palma, Mallorca's capital
Palma Cathedral
The streets of old town Alcudia
The port of Alcudia
The streets of Palma

The crystal clear waters of Playa de Muro
Really good fried calamari at Fusion19

Photos by Me

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hotel Ermitage Evian Resort

So if you decided to checkout the mountain-side of France and are wondering where to stay, search no further. The Ermitage of Evian Resort is probably the only hotel you should consider. Hotel Ermitage (4 stars) and its sister Hotel Royal (5 stars) share the same grounds right on Lac Léman in the town of Evian-les-Bains. It has a baby club, a kids club, a teen club, a golf course, a spa, and exterior and interior swimming pools- it pretty much takes care of the whole family.

The service is friendly and efficient with staff who speak French, English and Russian. Babysitting services are available for a fee and there are several restaurants to choose from. The playroom is a mini heaven made of a pool table and wooden toys. Placed strategically next to the library and bar, you can relax while keeping an eye on your child.

Clients of Hotel Royal consists more of the older set, very calm and old school. We picked the Ermitage because of its appeal to families. The ambience is relaxed, kid friendly, with just a tad hint of snootiness which I don't mind. Wigglemonster was well entertained by the pianist in the evenings, she enjoyed her session in the jacuzzi, and slept very well in the hotel's baby cot.

All in all, it was a good experience. This hotel is recommended.

Our room with garden view
The Ermitage
The Ermitage garden
The Royal lobby bar
Outdoor pool

 Photos by Me


Taking advantage of the numerous public holidays in the beginning of May, J & I decided to take a little trip somewhere with the Wigglemonster. We both decided on visiting his brother and friend who lives in the region of Haute Savoie, up there somewhere in the mountains, right by the frontier of Switzerland. A 6 hour drive from Paris, this region boasts its world known ski stations like Chamonix and Megève

As we like to do with our roadtrips, we decided to visit little towns of the region. One of it is Yvoire, a charming little medieval village.When I say medieval, I mean medieval. Its pedestrian streets are lined with stone walled cottages where locals show off their hand made goods. It has a little port far less prestigious and chic than St Tropez or Monaco, but with a breathtaking view of the Swiss Alps.

Half a day spent here is more than enough. We ended our visit with lunch (of course) at La Vieille Port, recommended by J's brother. It was miraculously warm and sunny, so we decided to eat on the terrace overlooking Lac Léman, also known as Lake Geneva. Wigglemonster gets to run around to her heart's desire, we basked in the sun, and I even tried frog legs! Yes you got that right, frog legs. I must admit it has the texture of chicken and fish, and it woudn't bother me so much if I didn't have the picture of a big fat frog in my head as I was eating it. Not as bad as I thought, but no thanks.

Et donc voila, if you ever find yourself in this region, do visit, its super cute.

Restaurant La Vieille Porte and its view
The Mayor of Yvoire

The port of Yvoire
The restaurant's garden

 Photos by Me

Friday, April 5, 2013

Musée Rodin

So everyone knows that I hate museums so I'm not even going to pretend. Went to Musée Rodin back in January when my Pops was here, since he insisted. Thank God for me there wasn't any crazy lines to get in, it is relatively small, there is a cafeteria in the garden, and it wasn't very crowded. Beware to visitors with strollers, they are not allowed in the interior part of the museum and must be parked at coatcheck. I'm not interested enough to talk more about it, so here are some pictures that my father took :p

Photos by my Pops

Monday, April 1, 2013


I've been saying this way too often, but my apologies for ignoring the blog for so long. I don't know if its the same with all you mothers out there, but with a wiggly 15 month old, all I feel like doing when she takes her naps is to plop down on the couch and watch TV! It's a lame excuse, I know, but here I am once again about to tell you about our wonderful trip to Valencia, Spain. 

The City Hall at Plaza del Ayuntamiento
My little sister Amy was in town a few weeks ago, and itchy travellers we are, we decided to take a weekend trip together with my sister-in-law Marie. As I claimed before and will again many times in the future-we love Spain. The people are warm, they are family oriented, they are nice, and the cities charming and inviting. We picked Valencia out of the blue because there was a direct flight available from Paris that took 1h45mins. They even have actual Spring weather, so the choice was made!

We stayed in a beautiful boutique-ish hotel called Hospes Palau de la Mar. For €144 a night in a 5 star hotel with breakfast and WIFI included, we can consider it quite cheap! The breakfast buffet was generous and yummy, the service very courteous and friendly. Had lunch one day at the hotel's restaurant Senzone, and we were not disappointed at all....

What I liked a lot about Vaencia is the mix of old and new. Like most European towns, the old town, or Cuitat Vella, is rich in history and old architecture that I adore. The Cathedral marks the center of the old town, as Spain is a stronghold of Catholicism. The central market, Mercado Central, is a busy indoor market that provides everything that a supermarket can offer from meat to vegetables to fruits and biscuits. 

Catedral de Valencia
Inside the Cathedral, once a Mosque
Mercado Central
 The new, the modern, is depicted by the vast Ciutat dels Arts i de les Ciencies, or City of Arts and Sciences in English. We walked all the way down Jardin del Turia, past the Music Hall and the museums and everything in between all the way to the Oceanográfico, just so that little Wigglemonster can see dolphins and jellyfish and baby belugas. It was well worth the walk. Other than burning calories from the ton of churros and chocolate that we ate, we basked in the sun and had a good time exploring on foot.

The loves of my life
Dolphin show
 We didn't bother doing the same to go to the zoo, however. Allez hop into a cab, to experience some wildlife, again, something I did out of love and not out of interest of animals. 

All in all, we had such a great time! Not sure it was because we had our crazy sisters with us, or the weather was just amazing, or we just love Spain that much, but it was definitely a memorable weekend. I highly recommend this destination for families with children or babies. Most sites can be done by foot, if not taxis are not expensive and the metro is quite efficient, so I hear. Viva España!

Photos by Me