Sunday, January 25, 2015

Keryn & Tim Travels: Paris Disneyland


Visited Disneyland for the first time ever in my life! Can I safely say that Disneyland is every child's dream? Well mine came true during my 23rd year on earth. :D (2015 I'm already 23 years old OMG)

And since our trip was planned months ago and Disneyland was planned to fall on the 11th, we were so lucky the weather that day was perfect! Really sunny unlike other days during our trip which were either rainy or cloudy. Felt like it was meant to be. And I'm so happy I'm here with Tim. :) He's just one of the many many boyfriends dragged to Disneyland just to accompany their girlfriend? Haha reluctant or not, I'm sure he enjoyed himself very much too! Would have been even more perfect thou if my siblings were here with me because I've always wanted to go to Disneyland with them. :(

OUTFIT DETAILS. Really loving my baby pink short coat from HM. Super girly and pretty! The high neck saves me from the hassle of lugging around with me a scarf. Gorgeous sling bag is from River Island. Also if you've been following long enough you won't be weirded out by me eating ice cream in winter lol.

11/01/2015





Got ourselves the 1Day1Park Mini tickets for €37 each which means we're entitled to access to one of the two parks: Disneyland Park or Walt Disney Studios. We chose to visit Disneyland Park. :) Disneyland Park is made up of classic Disney characters and fairy tales like Mickey Mouse and Disney Princesses, while Walt Disney Studios features more recent animations and high-tech experiences like Cars and Ratatouille.

Decision was made together to go for only one of the parks because we only had a day at Disneyland. Figured we won't be able to fully explore both parks in a day- would be disappointing if we left out anything and it would also be less enjoyable if we were to rush around pressuring ourselves to finish exploring everything. And I personally chose Disneyland Park over Walt Disney Studios because there's the castle and the parade and the fireworks, which are musts when you visit Disneyland especially if it's a first. Walt Disney Studios have a lot of exciting attractions and would be amazing if we had more time but it's okay, we'll save it for the next time! Something to consider before you buy tickets for Disneyland Paris. :)




Sleeping Beauty's Castle ♥ the entrance to Fantasyland.




A picture with Mickey at his house. :D Many people left half way and some left right after seeing the queue but we persevered. Finally got a picture with the little critter after around an hour of queuing. #soworthit






 Alice's Curious Labyrinth. :D From the entrance to the exit you'll have to go through a hedge maze which was really fun! You'd think it's easy but it's actually not haha. Suppose this is the simplest maze made for children, I don't think I'd be able to escape if it's any harder than this. :/



"Painting the roses red, we're painting the roses red."



Love this pic of Tim with the card soldiers. :D Really enjoyed this area themed after Alice in Wonderland but would love it more if they included the singing flowers which is my favourite part of the movie. Really really love the song The Golden Afternoon. "You can learn a lot of things from the flowers, for especially in the month of June~"







Sailed around the world in the happiest cruise "It's a Small World", featuring dolls dressed up in all kinds of traditional costumes, singing and dancing, celebrating festivals from all around the world. :)

Tim held the selfie stick up for almost the whole cruise (see first picture) and I thought he was having his camera on standby mode for pictures. Poor thing thought he was recording the whole time but turned out he didn't press the record button LOL! When we found out, we couldn't help but laugh non-stop while the hurt expression he gave was too adorable!!




Highlight of Discoveryland was Space Mountain Mission 2. Can tell from the picture how much we both were enjoying the ride wheeee. :)

Then we visited Adventureland and Frontierland.





Captain Hook's Ship, and Skull Rock where Peter Pan hid Captain Hook's treasure. 




Picture taken during the Pirates of the Caribbean Adventure Cruise. HAHA look at Tim's face. Really enjoyed the Indiana Jones roller coaster ride too!




At the Phantom Manor. Tried to act creepy but Tim called it cute. :/

The Phantom Manor was a memorable attraction. It's quite scary for me before entering and I held on to Tim tightly the whole time thinking it's a haunted house and there would be jump scares. The spooky ambiance was really on point! Was thinking to myself, why would any child want to visit this!? Turned out there were ghosts and stuff but it was not as scary heh.





Then came 4.45pm which was time for the parade! Picture was taken before the parade and this is my favourite selfie that day. :)







The parade was the highlight of my day. :') I grew up watching Disney Channel and I watched almost all the movies and shows so everything felt really close to heart. Kept holding myself back from bursting into tears when familiar characters stroll down the parade walk smiling and waving at you.




Early dinner and our first proper meal of the day was at The Lucky Nugget Saloon. Had their BBQ Pork Ribs set that was served with onion rings, curly fries, a drink and a sundae. Don't remember the exact price of the set but it was around €30 for the both of us. The portion was good. The meal was really yummy and satisfying!



We only then went to explore Main Street USA which we didn't during the day. There are many restaurants and it's where most of the souvenir shops were located. We walked away from here with a bag of candy from a sweets store.



Once the sun has set the castle was lit with blue lights and the tower roofs beautifully sparkled. What a view! Then we went to sit in front of the castle to wait for the fireworks to start. :)

On the program guide it said the fireworks would start at park closing time and on the website it said the park will be closing at 7pm. We found ourselves a good spot and sat on the stone-cold ground to wait. During the wait I was freezing so Tim ran off to get us some hot chocolate. He was gone for almost 45 minutes and I was freaking out in fear of losing him in the crowd. #overlyattached LOL Turned out there was a long queue at a pancake stall where everyone was asking for hot drinks. Hot chocolate tasted amazing in the cold weather. The fireworks started at 830pm. :)






Fireworks were amazing. :) The story of the fireworks was Peter Pan who lost his shadow and ended up chasing after it through many many Disney stories. Enjoyed my day at the happiest place on earth. Can't wait to visit again and will definitely bring my children to Disneyland in the future ♥

Flash back to the morning before heading to Disneyland, when we were buying our train tickets a couple that walked past us saw us in front of the ticketing machine and told us that trains are free of charge for the day. We were like, "Oh really?" :DDD It was unexpected and we were pleasantly surprised. Our to and from Disneyland journeys were free of charge thanks to the Paris government. When we returned home I wanted to know what promotion we were so lucky to have happened to come across. Turned out the trains were free for the day for people of Paris especially those living far to travel to the city to attend a march in Paris regarding the 'Je suis Charlie' case. More than 3 million people turned out for the Paris march and it was called the largest gathering in the history of Paris. (Read here)

Twitted about this before but I wanna quickly mention this again. Thinking back I feel really fortunate that Tim and I were safe during our trip to Paris.  A lot of people were shocked that Tim and I were there around the period where the Charlie Hebdo case happened and asked us to stay safe. Trip was pre-planned and I'm thankful that we got to enjoy the beauty of Paris even at a period of time like this. Just wanna say thank you Paris for being good to us. We are really blessed. :)

And this wraps up our trip to Paris! Two days with only one day to explore the city was definitely not enough. Will definitely visit again if I have the opportunity! Hopefully I will come back again in the summer. :D

The instant I am typing this, Tim will be flying back to Malaysia tomorrow. It will be long distance for us again till when I return home. But I'm not gonna be emotional this time (haha like for the first time) cuz I had him here all to myself for so long during my winter break. The three weeks of doing nothing productive except traveling and spending time together has been amazing wheeee. It was superb while it lasted. :D Time has come for us to return to our own busy lives again, him with work and myself with final semester of law school until we meet again. #Thankful




With all the love,
Kxin

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Keryn & Tim Travels: Paris, France in a Day



Today I will blog about my trip to Paris! Very fortunate to be traveling a new country in the start of my 2015- France. When you actually get to visit places you thought to only see on TV or desktop wallpapers, can't help but believe that dreams do come true. :)

10/01/2015

Traveling to Paris left a skin-deep effect on me. Can't really find the right English translation for the words- 深有感触. I am always up for exploring unfamiliar places and I am never afraid of getting lost because I am not afraid to ask for directions. I'm always a preacher of being fearless in life. But while back in London before traveling to this new foreign land, I actually had a few moments of panic. It was my first time visiting an unfamiliar place where I do not understand nor speak the main language. The pessimist in me worried most about the language barrier that I would encounter- how we would get lost and couldn't find our way because we couldn't ask for directions or read the maps or signs. For a moment back then, I actually regretted idea to have chosen to go to Paris. Tim kept trying to calm my nerves with comforting words, 'We'll be alright. Don't worry.'

From London, we traveled to Paris by bus. Departure was 8pm and we were to arrive at 6am next morning. Saved us the expenses for one night of accommodation! We arrived at Maillot Coach Park earlier than scheduled, 445am. It was pitch dark outside and we arrived at which to me was in a middle of nowhere. We did not know where and how to get to our hotel. No taxis in sight and I got really frustrated. Plus no wifi and no data to use the internet. We walked to the nearest metro station and at 5am in the morning it was dead empty. Information was closed, ticket machine in French. We stared long at the huge metro map of the city and tried to scout for the station nearest to our hotel. Found the area after much effort and Tim found some locals to help us find out where to go. Faced problems buying our tickets because we only had €50 and €100 notes with us while the machine only takes €10 or less. There was no shops open yet for us to get change but luckily I had a UK debit card that worked. My attitude by then was really bad especially towards Tim. Him and I bickered for a bit.

I felt let down because the underground was really dodgy and old and I had high expectations for Paris. I complained, how can a city recognized internationally as a tourist attraction be so under-kept? But it was all just my frustration talking. We made it to our hotel finally, around 730am Paris time and check-in time was only after 2pm. Felt so much better after finding our hotel. Thankfully the receptionist spoke English. After we left our luggage at the hotel and with 6 hours to spare, we set out to find a nearest restaurant to freshen up. After being told however that shops only open at around 830, I doubt we would find any place especially when we only had €50 and €100 notes (because from experience in the UK, shops are reluctant to take £50 for small amounts and I just sound like a brat complaining about only having large notes don't I? Really not proud of myself). Luckily there was a McDonald's down the street near our hotel, the very nice Parisian guy at the counter accepted my €50 for an order of less than €5. First meal in Paris was a cup of hot mocha and a cheesecake. Made peace with my love and it was all uphill after that. :)

Reflected on myself and I admit my attitude given the circumstances, could have been so much better. With a clear mind, I came to realize that Paris underground transportation is actually really really efficient and with it you can actually reach everywhere. Disneyland was located at the outskirts of Paris city and I worried before coming how and how much would it cost for us to travel there but turned out we could easily, and inexpensively, reach there by metro. Language also happened to be of zero issue as people here are really nice and helpful. There are a lot of people we met who spoke English and for those who didn't, they tried their best to explain to us even when they cannot speak English. Was in a convenient store and we were not sure whether the meat we are going to buy could be readily eaten. Asked another customer who didn't speak English, and he was like, "Jambon, jambon. Bon appetit" while gesturing that it is ready to be eaten. Only to find out from Google later that jambon meant ham lol how silly did we seem to the guy back then I don't know. Tim and I also studied basic French before and it came in handy- it was a quite joy to be able to use basic phrases to greet Parisians, saying hello, goodbyes, thank yous and excuse mes. For our two-night stay, I'd also say we got quite attached to French TV- watched two episodes of The Voice France going on and on in French without subtitles and without understanding anything but we really enjoyed it. :D

Paris was really humbling. And eye-opening. We are just a small tiny human being in a big world with so much to experience. But it does not mean that it's a bad thing. Or a scary thing. It may be overwhelming to think about but it reinforced my belief to be fearless. No point worrying about things that you cannot control. And 90% of the things you worry about never happens. My daddy's words to me growing up, and also Tim's words. Thank you Tim for being there to calm my nerves when I get worked up, he is a year younger than me but so much wiser. My short-temper gave the trip here a rocky start but the happy moments by contrast became prominent and even more memorable. Everyone has flaws and I'm also learning. Travelling is the best teacher, and indeed, I've learnt so much during. :) Paris turned out to be perfect.

Enough said. Here are some pictures of our adventure around the beautiful city. :)







The charming and ever so majestic Eiffel Tower. Breathtakingly beautiful. :)



In the city of love with each other. Lucky us.  A candid shot using the selfie stick taken before the obligatory couple kissing shot with the Eiffel Tower. The kiss shot will be saved for personal treasuring but decided to post this because Tim said I looked really cool and the picture is like a magazine shoot haha.



Love this picture of us too. :) I also liked it that my lipstick shade matched my burgundy gloves.





Exploring the beautiful sights along the river La Seine including the majestic Pont Alenxandre III. Don't know how we missed the love lock bridge Pont des Art though!





Lunch was at a local artisan sandwich shop that we happened to find while wandering. Had their Salmon and Goat Cheese Panini while as usual Tim forgot the name of his order lol. :) The waitress was a French lady who was not forgiving at all to us non-French-speaking tourists and spoke to us in full French. Not complaining because in a way it gave us a fuller Paris experience haha!









The grand Musée du Lourve, art museum that houses the original Mona Lisa and many other classic art pieces.



It was a really cold day and we were both tired from all the walking at that point. But the journey was priceless. :)




Checked in to our hotel Hotel Devillas after exploring the city, which is located near metro station Saint-Marcel and Gare d' Austerlitz train station. :) The receptionist said they arranged for us a nice suite and I couldn't agree more. Had a room facing the main road and view was beautiful in the evenings. Two nights in Paris was made comfortable and cozy here. Very nice bathing facilities. Convenient location near the stations, shops, bars and restaurants. I really recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Paris!





Woke up after a nap and went out for a walk around the neighborhood to hunt for dinner. Our hotel building can be seen in the middle picture. :)



Had Japanese take out in the comforts of our hotel room. :) Was craving for something soupy the whole day and the Beef Udon I ordered satisfied it. Tim had a rice set completed with sushi, skewers, coleslaw and miso soup. Our dinner was made perfect with some Hoegaarden Rosee.



One of our finds in the local convenient store that's worth mentioning- Aperivrais cheese topped with herbs and flavors like pepper, tomatoes, thyme and chive. Really really good eaten on its own and it also made a nice bread spread for our breakfast the next morning, eaten with some jambon (lol yay if you understood the reference).

Original plan was to go see the Eiffel Tower in the night but it didn't happen because we were both too tired. No complaints though! Turned in early that night after some tv because we needed the energy the next day for Disneyland! Plus Tim reassured me we'll be back in the future for sure so. ♥ Had an amazing day in Paris. :) 




With all the love,
Kxin