Sunday, August 30, 2009

Paris - Rochefort trip

One of the tower by the sea, La Rochelle town.

Was a late summer trip this time to the in-laws. As usual there was lots of eating involved! LOL! So this time I did not forget to take some meds for indigestion, you know for just in case for all those GOOD FOOD.... I love eating for pleasure but then again having too much pleasure will upset the usual running of the system... :p

The boys: Hugo, hubs, Jean-Marc (BIL) and Owen.

August is the height of summer here, where by temperatures could reach 38°C or 40°C in some parts of Europe. Yes, global baking is in for this century.... Had to slap on SPF 50 sun block almost everyday Owen and I was out this time around.

We drove from here to Paris - 5/6 hours drive, stayed over at 3rd SIL place. Then drove for another 5 hours to Rochefort, this time with BIL and friend - Hugo. THANK GOD BIL brought Hugo along for this trip! hehehehehe... Reason? He's very (VERY) good and patient with kids! I mean the guy could and can play for hours with Owen! Its just AMAZING!!! I mean I couldn't get through the day without having either a headache, brain drain and being tired at the end of the day being with the little guy.... :p

Owen checking out older cousins' Nintendo DS...

Any ways, this time around we Rochefort & La Rochelle is basically crawling with tourists - as per usual but there's more French tourists than English speaking tourists. Guess with the bad economy, people tend to not leave the country for summer holiday. Which is good, coz the money stay within the country thus stimulating income for the locals.

Don't think he'll let Owen have his turn though....

FINE! I'll just play with your toys. :p

We went to the beach, of course. But I really do not like the beach we went to this time. There's more pebbles, washed up corals/some small trash, and the water is not clear as it was cornered off by the municipal to make a pool like thingy instead of open sea. So THAT makes the water stagnant, cloudy and most of the time smelled like algae... YUCK!!! Its nice to swim as there's basically NO waves coming into the man made bay/lagoon. BUT I'd rather swim in the open sea!

We tried to go to Ile de Rè this time but it'll take us 3 hours of traffic jam to get there.... So the beach sucks this time. At the very least we did a nice beach in Malaysia! hehehehe.... With warm, crystal clear water that is!!!

BTW, this just come to my mind. If peeing in the swimming pool is forbidden, what do you think about peeing in the sea? I think its yucky to pee in the sea, but many people just do it! SO DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY GULP SEA WATER AS THERE MIGHT BE PEE YOU'RE DRINKING!! HAHAHAHAHAHA.... OK, enough of this.

The little ones "recharging their batteries with some chips!

Owen had a GREAT time playing with all his cousins (they are all BOYS) while we're in Rochefort. The little ones slept at around 11pm every night while we're there. We've been having problems with going back to the old routine with his sleeping time ever since we got back. ARRGGHHH.....

Back after 4 years.... This time with a little one!

Besides that, we were invited by the Boisselier (I hope I got the name right!) - a very close family friend, for a paella dinner. It was huge!! And it was really good with all those fresh seafood. They have a beautiful home. Their home is where hubs came to pick me up when we got married in 2005. We had our evening wedding reception on a boat. I was a good experience....

The GIANT yummy paella... :D

Its so nice to see them again as they do travel a lot ever since their retirement. I love their court yard. They planted an olive tree in the middle, some roses on the sides and apparently an orange and a prune (or was it a peach?) tree in big pots. I would love to have a court yard/winter garden if we ever could afford to buy a house here.

Would love to go back the next time. And this time I'll make sure we'll go to Ile de Ré...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Medieval Festival 2009 Aigle

This is a back dated post.

Meaning to blog about this last 2 weeks ago but as usual things come up. So here goes....

1st of August was Swissyland's national day. Since the whole country was on a standstill, with some exceptions of course, we decided to head off to Aigle (means eagle in French) for their Medieval festival . It was a really nice and hot day; cloudless skies!!

Aigle is a vineyard district not far from our place, about 35 mins drive. When we arrived in town, it was pretty strange as virtually EVERYTHING is shut and there was NO ONE on the streets to say that there's some kind of festival going on! Hubs kept on asking me "Are you sure there's something going on?!?"... That was not untill we decided to park the car and walk towards the chateaux where it should be held. Now chateaux Aigle is a small castle - ok, make that minuscule... In fact, I won't even think it should be called a chateaux!

Any ways, we had to pay for entrance (CHF15.- per adult) for us and Owen gets to go in for free since he's below 6 yrs old. Walked thru a couple of guards (teenager with spears!) and then a long cobbled/pebbeled path to be welcomed by actors dressed up in middle ages costums. From the hair styles down to wooden clogs! Well, we don't call them actors if they don't act real right? hehehehe...

There were huts/stalls selling their wares, from candles to fur, knives, swords (I swear!), tapestry, clay ware, baskets, clothing etc etc. They even show how the items that they sell were made during the middle ages. We went around and the interiors of the chateaux. It was quite interesting to see how, when and where the grapes were planted, trimmed, plucked, distilled and the final product; wine. The tools used were show cased as well as the hundreds of old wine labels from almost all over the world.

Food was interesting as well. They have a huge barbecue pit at the entrance of the chateaux with chickens. The BBQ chicken were really good by the way. Food were served in plates and bowls made out of coconut fibers and the spoons were of thin wood if I'm not mistaken. I doubt that we would pay for the same price if plates/bowls were made out of wood! They made really delicious apple juice as well there. It was served in jug form with tumblers, hand made pottery I should think. It was about 35°C or 34°C but the juice stayed cool, which was an excellent thirst quencher.

We had fun discovering the chateaux and the festival. Here I leave you with some photos from our outing at my WEBSHOTS album.