November 29, 2011

Eiffel Tower, Pretty and Romantic at Night

I know some people may not be that much impressed with the Eiffel Tower but for me, a first timer in Paris, a Paris trip won't be complete without visiting Tour Eiffel! I mean, it's the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word "Paris".

Before planning this trip, I did not know that you can go up the tower. Only shows how little I know, right?

So yeah, you can go up to the first floor (accessible by stairs and/or elevator), second floor and third floor (by elevator only). The third floor is at the top most part. Since I have height issues I decided I can only go to the second floor (around the mid part of the tower).

I booked our ticket online to avoid having to queue at their ticket booth. The ticket costs 8Euro/adult and 4Euro/child.

Here are our pictures:


{EJ and hubby at the foot of the famous tower. EJ was so excited!}

{Tour Eiffel}


{As usual, it was all play for EJ. He did not feel the cold wind at all.}

I can hardly smile here. It was cold and windy! I was actually wearing a beanie here (which I purchased at the souvenir shop before going up) but took it out for the pictures because it did not match my outfit. LOL!


{My son knows how to pose!}


{View from the second floor}


{Another one}


{And another one}

When we went down, it was getting dark already. And they have lit up the tower. It's beautiful, right?


{Take one. EJ just couldn't stay put.}

{Take two. But before the shot was completed, he was already running. Sigh.}

My unsolicited advice: Go to the Eiffel tower late in the afternoon. See it up close. Then, stay there until dark so you can see when it's all lit up and blinking. Makes for a pretty and romantic sight!

What's the Plan?

Are you counting down days until Christmas? Or crossing off your gifts for christmas list?

I am not counting down. There is no need for that. My friends at FB are doing it for me. LOL! But seriously, I can feel that Christmas is near. We are still getting abundant sunshine but the wind is a little colder now. Grocery stores are filled with candy canes and chocolates of all sorts. And almost every establishment here have put up a tree or a Christmas decor. Christmas is really just around the corner!

I haven't started yet with my Christmas shopping list. It's a very short one anyway and I think I can do it in just a day's time. I hope. But my Christmas wishlist this year are mostly non material anyway. On top of my list is a wish for me and my family to be in very good health.

I am still undecided about our Christmas Eve. We might just go to a hotel and come home around midnight for EJ to open his gifts. Or I could cook. Let's see. I am waiting for the hotels around here to publish their dinner rates so I could make up my mind.

What's your plan for Christmas?

November 28, 2011

The Club Member

I got a surprise last week when the restaurant manager of Cafe Monivong at Raffles Le Royal Hotel, Ms. Noemi, handed me an envelope.

They gave me The Club card.

With this card, I am entitled to some discounts at the hotel's restaurants, spa, laundry, room rates, etc. This comes right on time with the holiday coming up as we are thinking of staying in the hotel.

But I am most particularly happy with the 15% discount at the food and beverage. If you haven't noticed yet, we are frequent eaters at Cafe Monivong, the buffet restaurant of the hotel. A 15% discount is already a big discount.

Thank you Raffles! You sure know how to make your customers happy!

November 27, 2011

Ice Cream and Boat-spotting at Seine River

Boat Cruise along the famous Seine River comes highly recommended by any travel expert for a Paris trip, especially to first timers in Paris.

It was tempting to do that. I actually almost booked a tour for us, just like I almost booked a New York flight ticket yesterday after I found cheap Deals on New York Flights online. But at the last minute decided against it because my son would probably: get bored, be asleep already (we're thinking of an evening cruise to appreciate the City of Lights that way), or if worse he might be scared to get on the boat.

So we did not go on a boat tour. Instead we went to buy a Berthillon Ice Cream and had it while boat-spotting at the Seine River until it got dark. In my opinion this was the best alternative to the boat cruise itself.

Seine River
Seine River. Still with some daylight.

Eating Berthillon Ice Cream
Eating ice cream while boat-spotting

Yummy Berthillon Ice Cream
You gotta sit down to enjoy the ice cream better

Seine River at night
Seine River at night. Mesmerizing.

Seine River at night
Seine River at night. Beautiful.

So, if you find yourself unable for some reasons to do the boat cruise, don't despair. There are other ways to enjoy Seine River without doing the cruise =)

At The Louvre

Hi! It's been busy at the home front lately that's why I haven't been blogging and visiting blogs as much as I want to. I have been able to write some at my travel blog though, so if you want some updates, please visit me there =)

Anyway, I don't want this blog to be left behind so I am sharing some photos we had at the Louvre.











Happy Sunday everyone!!!

November 25, 2011

Self Imposed Travel Ban

I know we just got back from a holiday (I haven't even finished writing about it here) but I can't help it if my mind starts to dream of another holiday. This travel thing is really addicting. No one has warned me.

After our recent travel, I did an accounting and it really did wreak havoc on our budget. So I am implenting a travel ban for our family for at least six months.

I know. Just thinking about it makes me sad. How about another Disyneland we were supposed to visit early next year? And how about the lanzarote holidays we were starting to plan for mid next year. Sob.

Photo Credit: Luc Viatour/www.Lucnix.be

All these travel plans and wishlist will have to be put on the back side for now. We need to prioritize. We have some projects brewing and it is more important than those travels. My mind agrees but my heart is bleeding.

I guess the best thing to do right now is to make myself busy and productive so I won't have think about any furture travels.

I promise to write another post tomorrow regarding our EU travel.

November 24, 2011

Our Tour Eiffel Experience

I guess a Paris visit is not complete without an Eiffel Tower experience. It is one of the most famous symbol of the city. It's not to be missed. Just like when you go on Egypt holidays, you absolutely cannot miss the pyramids, can you?

From my experience, the best time to see Eiffel Tower is late afternoon. You still get to see the tower with day light and then see it later all lit up. For me, Eiffel Tower becomes more romantic with the lights on.

Tour Eiffel
We arrived at Tour Eiffel around 4pm.

Tour Eiffel

Hubby and EJ at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Prior to our trip, I already booked an online ticket to go up to the second floor of the tower. That way we get to avoid the long lines (if ever) at the ticket counter. The ticket up to the second floor (which is actually in the middle of the tower) costs 8 Euro for adult and 4 Euro for kids.

Windy day
That's me at the second floor, hardly able to smile. It was cold and windy!

View from the second floor
View from the tower

View from the second floor
View from the tower

View from the second floor
View from the tower

Warning
This was at the elevator. A gentle reminder to take care of your belongings.

Performers
I think performers are common sight in touristy places in Paris. We stopped by to listen.

Our family picture

Before long, it was already dark and the tower was lit up. It was beautiful, just like from my imagination. This is the only decent picture of the three of us in the Eiffel Tower because my son cannot keep still, he keeps on running.

Tour Eiffel
It is beautiful, isn't it?

November 22, 2011

Our Tree is Up

Thanks to hubby and EJ, our home is now Christmas-y. They put up the tree and the decor last Sunday while I was having a home service massage in our bedroom. LOL!

Okay, okay. Before you think I am that lazy, I did help with the tree. But the rest were up to hubby and the kiddo.

Our tree this year. I did not want to spend money on decors this year. So we only have two choices for christmas tree theme: silver and purple (our theme on 2009) or pure gold (our theme last year). Hubby chose gold, so according to him, we'll have more gold (money) in the coming year. Alright. But I did not want it to be exactly the same as last year so I added a red accent. Just little red balls here and there for some pop of that red color.

Hubby designed the stockings on our rails. I think it turned out pretty well.

This is on our living room table. There's use for that silver and purple balls after all! I know it clashes wih the tree and the stockings, but I don't care. I love it. LOL!

Have you put up your tree? What's your theme?

November 21, 2011

Like a Movie Set

My brother said that this below picture looks like a part of a movie set.

It's very pretty, isn't it? This was taken at Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. The pictured building is the Palais de Luxembourg. It's used as the French Senate. This place was very near our hotel. So walking there was just a breeze.

Kaori, my friend and former colleague in Maldives is now based in Paris. She graciously offered her whole day and appointed herself as our tour guide for that day.

With my pretty friend at Jardin du Luxembourg.

It was a chance for us to catch up with our lives. I asked her how she copes with homesickness. She says she's used to it now. She's been working abroad for several years already. And besides, she says, there's always Rebtel, which offers cheap international calls. She said, she can even make free calls to her mom because her mom's using Rebtel too! When I got back here, I researched about more about it and I found out that I just have to download the app in my iPhone and I can start using the service with a wifi or a 3g connection. Cool!

Anyway, back to my story...it seemed like only yesterday when we were still both single (she's still single) and working in Maldives. Oh, what a fun day reminiscing those days! Thank you so much Kaori for being with us on that day. Our first train ride in the Metro seemed less terrifying because you were there to guide us. Thank you and hope to see you again.

While Kaori and I were busy talking, hubby and EJ were busy exploring the place. Here are some more pictures in Jardin du Luxembourg.

I love the uniform trimmed trees.

Jogging in shorts in that cold November. Brrr...I can't do it.

Playtime all the time for EJ.

Some more statues inside.

I love this picture. The lady is surrounded with flowers, just fitting.

What are you thinking, kiddo?

Fall colors.

I need to have a solo picture. LOL!

And of course, our family picture. I have posted this already earlier.

November 18, 2011

Notre Dame and the Seine River

We were so fortunate to have stayed in Saint Germaine-Luxembourg area as it is close to a lot of tourist destinations. Our hotel was Holiday Inn Paris Notre Dame. I wrote a little review of our stay in Holiday Inn in my travel blog. Do check it out if you're interested.

Anyway, Notre Dame and Seine River are only two of the places of interest close by to our hotel. So on our first day, jetlagged and tired from our long trip, we still managed to go around.

Notre Dame de Paris or Notre Dame Cathedral.

Our family picture. On reflection, our first day in Paris wasn't that cold yet. Hubby and EJ managed without a coat. But, I, on the other hand felt the cold autumn winds already. As you can see, I am wearing the full gear: coat, boots, and scarf. I think I looked like I was wearing my best maternity clothes. LOL! The coat was a little big on me as I lost some weight prior to our trip.

We were not able to go inside the cathedral as EJ was busy with something else.

He was busy chasing the pigeons.

As we explored the area, we saw this place with lots of leaves on the ground. I think this was at the back of Notre Dame. We couldn't resist taking a family picture.

Autumn in Paris.

I read from reviews that one should eat Berthillon Ice Cream while in Paris. Since we were already in the area, we went to buy a scoop for EJ. It's a little expensive though, about 4 Euro a scoop.

Eating Berthillon Ice Cream along Seine River.

He wanted to be comfortable eating the ice cream so he sat on the stairs. My little tourist! =)

And then it was night time.

Seine River at night. So pretty.

Another shot here. We did not go on a boat cruise as sometimes EJ gets frightened. So we were just content watching the boat pass by.

Notre Dame at night time.