All posts tagged: featured

Paris Without the Tourists

This year has been a real special year. We are in the last quarter now but there still doesn’t seem to be any clear ending to this situation that we are dealt with. Here in France, the situation started to get better during the confinement period. People were forced to stay in their houses to avoid spreading the virus. It worked, but then people started moving out again… a little bit too much. Right now, the situation is not so great. But during that tiny bit of gap where the situation looked like it was getting better, my husband and I decided to take advantage of it and do some traveling within the country. I have always wanted to do all the tourist things without having to deal with actual tourists getting in the way. And so, we did all the touristy things in Paris (for the second time around) that we could possibly do. And I must warn you, this post is full of photo-ops of myself posing all over Paris. It’s not just …

Venice and Burano 2019

With the recent outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve been seeing a lot of pictures and videos of Italy circulating all over social media. As we all know, the whole country is in lockdown, same as here in France, and most other countries with cases of Covid-19. I see a lot of inspiring videos on how the Italians are dealing with its current state of isolation. And today, I found myself waxing nostalgic, remembering my trips to Italy, and the most recent one just last year, my birthday trip to Venice. And just when you think this gruesome week of government-imposed house arrest couldn’t get any worse, I have just found out that for the first time in my life, I have unwittingly deleted a lot of images from my trip in Venice without backing them up first. I cannot believe I have deleted a lot of the good ones, and mostly left with useless selfies. So, forgive me if the pictures in this post do not give justice to how beautiful Venice is. We …

New York 2017

One of the highlights of our Summer Holiday Trip this year, was revisiting New York. Last time I visited the place was in 2013, just before moving back to Singapore. It’s been four years since then, and my feelings toward the place hadn’t changed a bit! I still super loved it! I fell in-love with New York in the fake spring of March 2013, and I loved it even more in the unbelievably hot and humid summer of July 2017! Coming from a one-hour plane trip from Montréal, we headed straight to have a late lunch at Katz’s Deli. For those who are 80’s fanatic freaks like myself, you would know about this place as the setting for the famous movie, “When Harry Met Sally”, where Meg Ryan had that famous fake orgasm scene. I got seated at the exact same spot (or it looked like it) where she was seated, I think. But it was not on purpose. I only realized it after the trip, upon watching again the scene on Youtube. On our very …

Hanami, Mt Fuji, Sumo Practice Viewing, and More (Japan 2017)

It has always been my long-time frustration to visit Japan during the Cherry Blossom Season, otherwise known as “Hanami“. Sakura is one of the prettiest flowers I have ever known. It is especially beautiful because its blossoming marks the start of Spring. There is nothing quite like seeing all the plants blossoming back to life after the dead of winter. Here are some of my favorite snaps from our trip… Tokyo was actually the last leg of our trip. We were so happy to get there just when the weather started to turn a lot sunnier and warmer. The most wonderful experience in Tokyo was the cherry blossoms in full bloom everywhere. It’s like walking into a forest of pink cloud heaven! It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life. I just couldn’t help but feel cheerful looking at all those delicate pink trees! My favorite area for the Cherry Blossoms is Meguro River. It looks more like a canal to me than a river actually. But it’s an …

New Zealand

New Zealand for Christmas is not a bad idea at all, especially if you don’t mind having an out-of-the-usual, warm holiday season instead of the cliché-ish cold. It is very suitable for adventure trips and surprisingly enough, it is also family-friendly. What’s even more special about the yuletide season in New Zealand is that you get to experience the new year way ahead of most everyone in the planet! What a treat! 🙂

Rocamadour, France

During the time I was living in France, I had some time to explore the interesting places around the region of the Pyrénées. This is the gorgeous ice-capped mountain range that I could see clearly during the autumn months from the lovely balcony of our apartment in Toulouse. It separates the south of France from the north-east of Spain, which is what is known as Catalunya. I was living with my husband and newborn daughter in the capital of the region of Midi-Pyrénées, which is the old city of Toulouse, also known as La ville rose. This appellation came from the rich red color of the bricks of most houses in this beautiful city, full of history and culture and great food, with very warm and friendly people. Recently, though, they are renaming and combining certain regions around the Pyrénées. These combined regions are now known as Occitanie. In this region, you will find Rocamadour, an ancient village nestled in a gorge above the Dordogne river, with houses precariously jutting right out of the rocks and cliffs. Pilgrims are quite numerous …

Iceland – the Land of Fire and Ice

To date, I would say that Iceland is the best place I have ever visited in all my traveling life. From that moment in the plane where we were greeted with the fiercest, most fiery sunset at midnight, I knew instantly that I would be treated to some of the most magnificent, out-of-this-world landscapes that I will ever see in my life. We went from Reykjavik to Jokulsarlon in the East to Borgarnes in the West to Akureyri in the North and then finally back to Reykjavik on self-drive (without GPS). I have to admit that all the places of interest are a little bit too far away from each other. But getting to your destinations is definitely not boring because of the variety of landscapes that Iceland has to offer. We saw countless waterfalls, drove by the coast, up and around hills, hiked on mini-craters on a huge lake, soaked in a hot spring and felt very welcomed by the friendly locals. On our last full day in Reykjavik, my Icelandic friend gave us …

The Beijing Experience

My first impression of Beijing was unexpectedly nice. I was a bit wary to visit this city because of what people tell me — that it is very polluted, smoggy and that the people are rude. I was lucky to get there without so much smog and pollution, though. And I found most of the people quite nice and not rude at all, except maybe for the scamming cab drivers. I was impressed at how huge their airport is. You’d have to take a train after the immigration check to get your baggage. The immigration queue was considerably long but it took a very short time to get past it. I booked myself transportation in advance to take me to the hotel (since hubby was going straight to work) as I arrived very early in the morning and didn’t really want the hassle of haggling with the non-English speaking cab drivers. There was very thick traffic jams along the way. It took 45 minutes to get to the hotel. But I was impressed by the fact …

A Taste of Tuscany Part 1 – Firenze

Ever since the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, all the women I know dream of visiting this gorgeous Italian region, at least once their lives. I was not an exception. You can imagine how thrilled I was when an opportunity to visit this place presented itself a couple of summers ago. Hubby and I followed the suggestion of this french guidebook that was provided by the french travel agency that organized our trip: We just changed it a little bit, opting to go to Arezzo and Cortona instead of Volterra. The first leg of our trip was France – Firenze, since we were coming from my parents-in-law’s place in the South of France. We took a flight via Volotea, a low-cost Spanish airline. Upon arrival at the airport in Firenze, I was surprised to find how small it is. It seemed more like a domestic airport than an international one. The ceiling was very low, the luggage took forever to arrive at the baggage carousel, and it was very much lacking in souvenir and food shops. Immediately, we headed out to take our …