Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Nice 2008

Strange "men" on lamp posts...

Can you see the sea beyond?

I feel that we've been "moving" around a lot lately. As soon as we got back from Paris on Tuesday, we're off again on early Saturday morning and this time to Nice, South of France. We've been to Nice before but without Owen. He wasn't even born then.... It was great while it lasted; I mean taking couples without kids holidays.

For this trip its just for a short weekend; hub's uni friend wedding. I've always thought that from our place to Nice will take at least 8 hours drive but it took us 6 instead. We went to go through part of the Valais (a Swiss canton) Alps (the view was amazing!) and then through Italy; which seems fast since Italians drivers are like F1 drivers any ways!! The roads on the Alps are really long and winding with really long (LONG) tunnels. In Italy, it was really (REALLY) straight then when we reach the coastline, more tunnels but this time its one after the other short ones. :p

Its a good thing hubs decide to get a GPS in January, that way I won't be held responsible if I point out the wrong way! hehehehehe.... But then again even with the GPS system, hubs still take the wrong turn while in Nice town centre!! LOL! And there I though we purposely put on a woman's voice so he'd pay attention! I think its time to switch it to a man's voice.. Hmmmmm...

We arrived at the hotel at about 4pm or so. And since there's still sunlight and its still warm out, we decide to go to the beach. Their beach here is not the sandy type but the pebble type! Which means if one falls flat on it, one will either end up having blue & black all over, brake their nose or have some kind of head injury. Since it was Owen's 1st seaside visit, we decide to not let him run around. Well he didn't run around this time (uneven ground) and he's afraid of the waves! hehehehe... Reminds me when I was little for my very 1st beach outing in Melaka! :) He held on to me like it was for dear life! hehehehe...

Don't let me go!!

Here you go mummy....

The water wasn't that clear since it was near the town centre, but still it was quite warm. Hubs went for a dip in the sea while I stay on the beach with Owen playing throw the pebbles. By the time its time to go back to the hotel, he was sleeping in the stroller. Playing with pebbles seems to tire him!

Peaceful sleep...

We went to the old town for dinner after having fed him in the room. Had to, since there's no under 2 years old kids menu in restaurants. Went to the old town walking. Since there's so many places to eat, it took us 30 mins to decide which restaurant to seat in or out in many terraces! Finally decided to eat inside since there's just no place to put the stroller next to me. Its typical here in France (not so sure about any where else), they place tables & chairs so close to each other that if seated, I could hear the couple whisper at the next table! Not that I want to!!

All happy and ready to paint the town "RED"!

Since its the wedding dinner on Sunday (why Sunday? Don't know!), we went out for a walk in the late morning to the other parts of Nice all the way to the seaside. I think the sea breeze did a lot of good since made Owen fell asleep without a fuss! Besides it was really hot by the time we got to the seaside. Had KFC for lunch in town; (YES!!! Its been ages since I last had KFC!) which is about a block away from the hotel. The afternoon was just to hot for walks with Owen, so its stay in and enjoy the air-conditioning for us. Owen and I had our afternoon nap, while hubs was watching his Wimbledon finals (Federer Vs Nadal; Nadal won).

Just in case he forgot the words....

We drove to the other side of Nice called Beaulieu. The view of the sunset on the way to the Grand Casino was spectacular as the roads were built on a rather rocky and winding sides of the coastline slopes. Good thing we weren't late for the cocktail reception, as we get to listen to Yohann (the groom) sing to Delphine! Not this is a guy who doesn't speak a word of English and here he's singing an Eric Clapton song with the wedding band! LOL! Both of us think that he's been practicing for months for this surprise.... He sang it very well in fact.

The table of sweets! YUMMY!

The actual dinner takes place at the next hall where tables were decorated according to theme. The decorations were DIY by both of them as it was really creative and special. Our table was the Carambar candy car way. The few tables next to us was the Marshmallow men, the cotton candy (called Barbapapa here), the Snow White castle, the 7 Dwarf mountain etc etc. They hired a local blues band for the entire dinner reception where everyone got up to dance whenever they played.

Our 1st dance as mother and son

The very smart men in my life

The best part of this wedding is that they hired a baby sitter to attend to 3 babies (including our boy). So that way we got to enjoy ourselves amongst friends even more knowing that he is being looked after. By the time we leave it was 1am and people are still dancing away! Owen was soundly asleep even after when we moved him from the travel cot to the kiddie seat in the car, drove all the way back to hotel and back in the room.

Ginger bread Minnie & Mikey!

As all holidays/get aways/vacation has end, this one as well. I don't know when we'll come back to the south again, perhaps next summer when Owen isn't too afraid of the waves. ;)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Summer in Paris

Am just back from Paris yesterday. What can I say about this trip?.... Its to meet up with the in-laws. Was supposed to go to Mallorca Island, Spain; due to some kind of "disruptions" the trip was cancelled and all of them decided to spend a few days in Paris instead.

A cooling place to be in hot and dusty Paris....

Paris this time of the year is very (VERY) hot and dusty and the sun was burning!! It was at least about 33°C for the whole 4 days when we were there. I enjoy only the mornings and evenings there but the afternoons are horrid... :p Why? Because of the above and also the horrible traffic; there was a demonstration held by lorry drivers because of petrol price hike. Thank goodness we had enough sense in us NOT to drive around but took buses and walk around.
Bonsais, one of the many show cases in the park

This time since Owen is already walking, he gets to go around and play with his cousins. It seems like they like to play with him, although he doesn't speak - in words that is.... ;) We went to a park in Vincenne, Paris, where the summer open air live Jazz music on weekends being played. Loads of picnickers and jazz lovers, which makes the ambiance at the park really relaxed and enjoyable. One good thing about this park is that dogs aren't allowed in; therefore making the grass "clean" of any dog pee/poop! I think that's the only place I'd let Owen walk bare foot...

Very orange lilies....

As for the family gathering, we all got together in this restaurant at Bercy Village, just a few minutes walk from 3rd SIL's place - which reminds me; I did miss going to Loisir & Creative shop. A LNS which sells pleanty of stash for card making, beading/jewellery making, DIY home decorations and needle works. Bercy Village is where one could find restaurants with great people watching terraces, a cinema - been told that its the greatest in Paris (which BTW we haven't been into... YET) and a really (REALLY) good biscuits and candy store call La Cure Gourmand.

Chai 33: deco wise good, food wise: so-so

Anyways back to the restaurant called Chai 33, the place isn't bad - great for people watching like any good places to do that in Paris. They have a bar at the top floor and a very relaxed atmosphere down at the restaurant. But alas the food did not met my expectation of a fusion kind of way. May be what 1st SIL had done was go and ordered a menu for all of us..... :( I do NOT like having someone else make decision of what I'm eating especially coming from a member of an extended family AKA the in-laws!!

Anyways, what is done is done. Thank goodness we didn't give in to her "demands" for our son's name to be in FRENCH!! I mean, yes she might be the oldest and having to somewhat care for her brothers and sisters when their parents are gone (bless them), but doesn't she give it a rest already?!? I don't go around giving people "advices" about their kids when I'm not even asked to do so. GOSH!! Yes, she survived cancer and all (hubs say I should give her a break; why don't she give us a break?) but come on! We live and we die, (death and taxes people!) doesn't matter young or old nor the way we die. When its faithed, its faithed! GOSH! ITS FEELS SO GOOD TO GET IT OUT OF MY CHEST!!

OH! There's this little "incident" that I thought would be "great" to share. At the restaurant, 3rd SIL & family was late (was suppose to EAT at 8PM!). I was so hungry that I ate the so called fusion food that was placed in front of me almost immediately. Owen was getting grumpy as it was close to 9:30pm by the time we ate main course. And that the same thing happened to his cousin (whose a year older). 9pm is normally bedtime for both of them. So he was crying, his cousin was agitated, the mother was like" I'm chatting here and why are you crying?" Then hubs was like "its my job to keep Owen quite while we chat". HELLO!! As far as I'm concern, restaurants aren't made for small children. Even if they are, what the hell are they still doing out of bed at 9pm plus?!? I felt I was getting evil stare jabs from other diners. I don't know what in her right mind would she go ahead to book dinner for all of us at 8pm!?!? Which mother in their right mind would do that? Unless of course one has a sitter they would. Plus her kids has been out with them, walking Parisian streets from 11am!!! Aren't they tired at all? Or did she just gave them some "steroids" to keep them going and going and going and going.....? I was so angry at hubs by then end of the evening. I had to some what cut the evening short by making him go back with me. And besides he's the one whose been complaining to me; "oh, I think I might be sick" earlier. So its for he's own good to rest!

Just HAD to come out with SOMETHING, right? hehehehe

Friends at NNC asked me if I've been satshing. Its safe say that I didn't go crazy this time! We walked from 3rd SIL's place (district 13) to Bonheur des Dames at Viaduc des Arts (took us about 40 mins!) . Why we didn't drive there? Its because every single time hubs drives me there, there's either no parking or there's no place to stop to drop me off. So this time we decide to walk there. Even though its the SALE season here in West Europe, I can't really find what I like there due to time (its hubs fault) and attention (Owen was grumpy) constrain. But still I can't seems to walk out of the place empty handed can I? So I just grab 2 pcs of pre-cut linen, 2 hangers (metal and wooden) and a chart (DMC roses sampler). Only wish if I'm alone or with a fellow "stasher", and having a "fuller" pocket that I'll try to stash again at that place. They have vast varieties of samplers, flowery, yummy etc etc there. All in kit though as they seem to not really keen on selling only charts there.

A cute teddy for Elena

Another thing to dance about is that little Elena; 3rd SIL daughter - AKA 1st little girl on hubs side, got her little gift from us. A cute ballerina bear by Margaret Sherry. I finished it in 2 weeks, a record time for those who know me! ;) So for the next project.. Well there's no next project for the moment. Only return to my kitchen curtain, which had been put aside for sometime. Then some plan for NNC Anniversary exchange gift for end of Oct early Nov. Knowing how slow it'll take me to finish a piece, I'd better start by end of this month itself!

P/S: I don't justify my actions or reactions with my in-laws, nor I regret what I've done to "show" my temper. When one is so stepping on my head, I'll have to "pull" their legs down to earth don't I?