Going back home!

We woke up very early and skipped breakfast to take the earliest shuttle at 6.45am.. It was really challenging to wake the kids up so it was a mad rush!

Luckily, we got to the hotel lobby before 6.40am and the bus had not arrived. I brought the kids to the washroom and just as we were done, hubby said the bus was here.. We rushed to the bus and showed him the receipt from the Disneyland hotel booking only to be told we needed to show him the official ticket from VEA! There was no one to ask at the hotel lobby and the bus driver didn’t want to wait so we had no choice but to pay him again as we didn’t want to wait for the next shuttle at 8.45am as our flight is scheduled at 11.20am.. it was very frustrating! We’ll see if we can get a refund from VEA or Disneyland.. My advice to all is to not book the shuttle through Disneyland. Just pay when you board the shuttle lest you get a heart attack!

The ride to the airport was about 1.5h as the shuttle picked up other passengers from other hotels. We reached the airport before 8.15am..

The tax refund was rather straightforward and was done within 5 min but I’m not sure how long the refund would take..

Even though we set off very early, we were not able to enjoy a leisure breakfast as we had to walk quite a bit to the gate so we bought some cake and sandwiches to munch near the gate while waiting to board the plane..

We made a transit at Dubai again and this time, the wait was about 7 hours. We shopped around the airport and had Mac again for dinner.. but it’s good for me that they had vege burger.. The kids were happy to get their toys from the happy meals..
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We even got them to do their Kumon homework while waiting got time to pass.. haha..

We walked around some more and came to this Giraffe cafe cos there was wifi! We got some drinks and made use of the wifi to entertain ourselves and even contacted the 2 ladies who would be joining us..
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While waiting to board the plane, we shared the last cup noodles we had as I was cold.. The kids definitely enjoyed the noodles!

Soon, we were finally able to board the plane! The kids didn’t last long and soon fell asleep.. They even skipped their breakfast!

Nic came to pick us and we packed some food back cos we didn’t have lunch or should we consider it lunch? The body clock had gone haywire!  Haha..

Anyway, we were so glad to have rice for dinner!
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We’re glad to be home!

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Paris Disneyland June 2014 Part 4

This is our final day of play here as we have to leave for the airport very early in the morning the next day so we have time to do our tax rebate..

We decided to visit the 2 parks again to try out some of the rides we’ve missed while Lily and Yee Gin went to La Vallee Village again to do their final shopping..

We headed to the Walt Disney Studios first as the man still wanted to have a rendezvous with Spidey.. When we reached the venue, we found that the waiting time was 90 min!

Hubby told me to bring Jovan to try out Crush’s Coaster ride which Jocelle couldn’t take cos she didn’t meet the minimum height requirement. I thought we would try the other rides and come back in time to meet Spiderman so I brought Jovan to check out the ride inspired by Finding Nemo… but the waiting time was 120min!

We moved on to the Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop ride which is similar to the one in HK. The estimated waiting time was 60 min but we waited longer than that.. anyway, I thought we should still make for the Spidey meet up..
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We rushed to the Magic Carpet to get a fast pass but the ride was closed! Sigh.. no choice so we rushed again to the meet at the Spidey venue but Jovan was tired and slow.. When we finally reached the venue, I told the staff my husband was inside and she let me.. but I couldn’t find them so we had to wait outside. When we met up with each other, hubby told me Jocelle spoilt the entire experience as she was not cooperative.. He couldn’t take any nice photos with his selfie stick and ended up buying 2 photos for 24€.. look at the sulky face of my girl…
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After the unpleasant experience, we decided to go to Disneyland to try out the rides as it was really too crowded in Walt Disney Studios!

We took the railroad first to see which are the rides we have not taken or would like to take again..
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After that, we brought them to the Adventure Isle where the playground was located and let the kids play again..
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After that we tried to move on to a place where we could get wifi so we could contact the 2 ladies..

We even managed to catch the parade again while waiting to meet them.. We told them that we would go back to our room after shopping for some souvenirs and that we would meet up at the hotel..

After that, we decided to go back to Disney Village for dinner and finally went to Earl of Sandwich for dinner. It was surprisingly good!
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After dinner, we actually went back to. Disneyland as Yee Gin wanted to try the Dumbo elephant ride. While we were queueing, there was a technical problem so the ride was suspended for a short while.. Our first reaction was, “Again?!”

We went out of the queue and was about to move to another ride when we saw that the ride was resumed…

Yee Gin and Jocelle took the ride as we watched on… it was getting cold..

We decided to make our way back after the ride but was directed to take a longer route as they were getting ready for the light show..

The kids enjoyed a sweet and expensive treat along the way…
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You wouldn’t believe that it was already 10 plus when we were about to leave the place.. We had to take a parting shot before we go…
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That’s it for the day and our vacation is coming to an end…

Paris Disneyland June 2014 Part 3

We decided to go to the Walt Disney Studios today as we’ve pretty much tried all the rides in Disneyland. Think we skipped a few not so interesting ones and we still had another day on Sunday to try the more interesting rides again..

The plan was to spend half the day at Walt Disney Studios before we go to the La Vallee Village to shop..
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The man wanted to see Spiderman so we went straight to Rendezvous with Spidey.. but the waiting time was 60 min so we decided to try other rides first.. We went to watch the Armageddon special effects show which you could give it a miss, then we took the fast pass for Tower of Terror before we tried the Rocky Roller coaster with Aerosmith.. The roller coaster was fun! But the queue was longer than the estimate 20 min so we almost missed the timing for Tower of Terror.. We managed to rush there only to be told that the ride had been suspended due to some technical fault. How lucky! Did I mention that we experienced this at Disneyland too! Think it was the Peter Pan ride and I can’t remember which one.

Anyway, the kids watched some parades along the way and they were always calling out to the cast excitedly..
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We rested for a while to cool ourselves down with a popsicle as it was really a hot day!
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Anyway, we didn’t try out many rides as the waiting times were too long.. We decided to leave the park at about 3.30pm to go shopping.. The shuttle from the hotel cost 5€ for each adult and 2.5€ for each child so it would cost us 25€ which I feel is too much..

We decided to take the train to the Val d’Europe station and walk to the brands outlet.. There was actually a shopping centre at Val d’Europe so we window shopped as we headed towards La Vallee Village. We got really excited to see Auchan, a supermarket as we were craving for cup noodles! We’ll come back to the supermarket but we had to get to La Vallee first as the shops would close at 8 pm.

Jocelle started whining before we reached the village so we gave the kids some treats to keep them walking..
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I was very focused as I had been tasked to help to get some Longchamp bags.. I’m not really wiling to part with too much money for a branded bag unless it’s really something I can afford.. The Longchamp outlet was a disappointment as the range was really limited..

At one point, Jocelle got tired and took a nap with the man carrying her on a bench.. I joined them too..

We waited for a whole for Lily and Yee Gin to finish shopping before we proceeded to the supermarket.

I went to another shop in the shopping mall to get some Longchamp bags before I joined the rest at the supermarket..

By the time I met up with the rest, they were already queueing up to pay and my kids were holding several cup noodles! We seemed more excited when we shopped at Auchan! Hee..

We didn’t want to pay for the plastic bags but I think we would look silly carrying cup noodles around.. so, guess what I did?
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Haha.. see how I made use of my new bag!!
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We were very happy with our loot and couldn’t wait to have our dinner!

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We enjoyed our cup noodles and actually planned to have an early night. But since it was early, we got the kids to catch up on their Kumon homework, which they did with much reluctance.. who would wanna do homework while on a holiday, right? Hee.. so mean of us..

Anyway, after much pushing, they finally completed their work and we called it a day…

Paris Disneyland June 2014 Part 2

We had breakfast meal coupons for the 7 am slot but it was difficult to wake the kids up cos of the long day we had the previous day..

We had to carry the little girl who’s still sleepy to the cafe and of cos we were late so we had to queue a little.. We were hoping for a variety of food like the international buffet offered by most hotels.. But since this is a only 2 star hotel (we didn’t realised until we asked for room service.. duh), they only had croissants, butter bread, bread, cheese, ham and various kinds of spread and breakfast cereals.. They didn’t even have eggs! Well, the breakfast buffet cost only 5.49€ so what could we expect? It’s just that we’re kind of sick of bread..

We didn’t want to pay $1k/night for a better hotel so we had to make do.. We packed some bread and cereal so we could snack on them in the park.. seems a little cheapskate but we saw many others holding bread in their hands as they walked out of the cafe and the staff didn’t even bat an eyelid so I guess it’s allowed? I’ve also read from reviews that most people do that since food in the park was really expensive! And since the guests chose to stay in this hotel, they should be non-extravagant like us..

Anyway, after breakfast, we went back to our room to prepare for our day in the theme park. It seemed a little cold so we brought along cardigans and jackets to keep warm..

Before we set off, we saw some kids on ponies and the kids asked to ride on a pony too.. it’s 6€ for each ride so we let the kids try it out…
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The kids were happy although Jocelle was a little afraid and made me hold her hand throughout the ride so it was a little difficult for me to take photos of them… We had to lead the ponies ourselves and move on a designated track.. It was not very long but I guess it’s sufficient for the kids.. After the ride, while trying to take photos with my camera, I dropped my phone! It hit the floor at a bad angle and cracked!
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Time for a new phone! IPhone this tome?

Anyway, we moved on to the theme park and because we could get fast passes for some of the popular rides, we didn’t have to wait for long.. The max we’ve waited was about 3 min. With the fast pass, we didn’t even have to wait for more than 5 min for the popular Peter Pan ride!
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The Autopia ride is similar to the one in Hong Kong and we had a good time driving the cars.. We also tried the Buzz Lightyear ride which was also similar to the one in Hong Kong.. The kids fought to sit with Yee Gin for all the rides while I became their second choice. The man had to sit with Lili.. The above picture was taken off the screen as I was amused that Lili was more interested in taking photos than aiming at the targets.. haha.. We took more selfies along the way..
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We were able to try most of the rides here before we decided to have an early dinner so we could get good ‘seats’ for the light show that night.

We had Mac again while waiting for the man to go back to the hotel to get his jacket as it was getting cold..

After dinner, we made our way to the front of the Sleeping Beauty castle to wait for the light show.. It was really cold.. look at how covered up we were… hee..
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Many people were staring at us when we used the selfie stick.. seems like it’s not introduced here yet.. maybe we can set up a shop to sell them here! Hee…

The poor kids couldn’t take it and took a nap while waiting…

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It was really a spectacular show! You get a different feel when you watch it from afar and when you watch it near the castle.. We had the chance to try both so it was really a good experience although it was a little too cold..

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Lili even wanted to watch it another time the next day so she could take some photos! The show lasted for more than 20 min and it was way better than the weekly fireworks at USS! Maybe that’s why we had to pay so much for everything here!

We reached our hotel around midnight and the kids had to be carried all the way back! I had a soak in the bath tub to soothe my tired feet and to warm myself up… need to rest well so we could explore the Walt Disney Studios the next day and do some shopping at La Vallee Village.

Paris Disneyland June 2014 Part 1

We woke up very early today as I just received notification the previous night that our SNCF connecting train to Disneyland has been cancelled due to the strike!

I made everyone wake up very early so that we could reach the St Pancras International station by 9 am as there was an Eurostar train scheduled to depart for Disneyland at 10.15am. That was the one and only train that would go directly to Disneyland that day and I was hoping we could get a transfer to take this train.

It was not easy to get the 3 kids (including a big kid) to wake up at 6 plus in the morning. I kept repeating that we would not be able to go to the theme park if we missed the train!

It was a mad rush but we managed to leave the apartment at about 8.15am. However, with 2 kids and 4 luggages, it was no mean feat as we had to go up slope and when we reached the New Cross Station, we had to take the stairs to move to the correct platform. However, more than one kind gentleman actually offered to help us carry our luggages! Kudos to the real gentlemen around here!

After much struggling, we reached the London Bridge station for our transfer to St Pancras International but couldn’t get on the first train as it was packed. Kind of expected since it was during the peak hours..

When we finally got to St Pancras, the man wanted to get our deposit for our Oyster card. He couldn’t remember exactly how much the deposit was but we decided to go check if we could board the 10.15am train first so we went to the ticketing reception.

When I explained our situation to the lady at the counter, she simply told us she’d change our train to the 10.15am one! A relief for us since we could get to the theme park directly and earlier without any extra charges! But we forgot about the deposit for our Oyster cards in our excitement to board the train!

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Kudos to Eurostar!

Londoners don’t seem to sleep on trains! On the previous train, we shared a carriage with a load of boisterous teenagers.. This time, there was a family with 2 young boys and they talked and talked throughout the 3 hour journey! We couldn’t really catch up on our sleep although Jocelle napped for about an hour…

We managed to WhatsApp Yee Gin to arrange to meet them at the hotel lobby at about 2 plus in the afternoon as our train was scheduled to reach the station at 1.57pm. The trains are really punctual to the minute!

We met the 2 ladies shortly after we alighted from the shuttle bus and they’d checked in for us! We just dropped our luggages and headed straight for the theme park! Can you believe it? Haha.. but we went to the Mac at Disney Village first to fill our tummies.. hee..

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Junk food for lunch


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We have Mickey ears!

Once we’ve refuelled, we headed to Disneyland first..

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Junk food for lunch

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Loving out selfie stick! Worthwhile investment!

We finally entered the park at about 5pm, just about time for the Disney on Magic parade that starts at 5.30pm daily.. It was a hot day and we chose a spot that was facing the bright sun. Wrong move! Don’t we look like some crazy fans waiting for a superstar? Haha..

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Superstars approaching?

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Vibrant Disney characters!

After the parade, we explored Fantasyland and Adventureland.. The park is open from 10am to 11.30pm during June and July because of the super long days when the sun only sets after 9 or even 10 in the evening! Some parts of the park are even open during the Magic Hours from 8am to 10am! But we didn’t manage to reach the park before 10am each day.. Guess we were all very tired with all the travelling and walking so far…

We finally had our dinner only at about 10pm in Disney Village!

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Pasta, chips, soup and muffins!

After dinner, we walked back to Disneyland to watch the Disney Dreams! light show. We only watched from afar but we were already in awe of the spectacular show! We had to carry the 2 little ones as there were many people in front of us.. We promised ourselves to be back tomorrow and we’ll make sure we watch the show from a nearer spot where we can sit comfortably!

Time to call it a day after the awesome light show.. it’s a long walk to the exit, then to the bus stop for the shuttle bus and we were all beat considering that we woke up very early today.. it’s been a long, long day… but we’ll be back!

London June 2014 Part 5

It’s going to be our last day here before we leave for Paris Disneyland tomorrow…

We have planned to conquer the tower bridge and go on board the HMS Belfast… but we thought of taking a cruise there instead of the usual train ride.. there’s a bus from our place to the nearest Greenwich Pier and it took us less about 20 min including the waiting time to reach the bus stop.. We walked a bit and came by the Old Royal Navy College.. We could enter it for free but we didn’t initially want to go in as we’ve left our apartment close to 11 am.. I was worried about not being able to cover the 2 places we wanted to explore..

The man then commented that the place seemed to be where a scene in the movie Thor was filmed… I wasn’t sure but we took some photos…
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We then walked along the riverside towards the pier…
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We bought family tickets for the cruise at £18 and was supposed to have unlimited travel to a few piers for 24 hours. We were apparently given a 50% discount. Seems like a good deal to me.. 🙂

Anyway, since we just missed one boat, we explored the area a little..
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We went to the Greenwich Discovery Centre and found that the Old Royal Navy College was really the location site of many movies like Thor, The Pirates of the Caribbean,  Sky fall etc! It’s really serendipity at work cos we didn’t really plan to explore this area.. or should I say we were ignorant? Hee..

We went on to wait for our boat in case we missed it again..
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There was loud and clear commentary on board the boat, unlike the one we took in Paris, where the commentary was barely audible.. The man said it could be the rain that day… hmm.. We can’t tell for sure unless we took it again ya? Hee..

We reached the Tower Bridge Pier fairly quickly and walked to get our tickets for the exhibition. It’s £9/pax and the 2 kids go free.. They were each given a passport for them to collect and paste stickers along the way, a great way to entertain the kids!
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We learnt about why the Tower Bridge was built and the challenges that we’re faced when building it.. It took 8 years to be built and according to them, ONLY 10 men died… It was an informative tour..

We then moved on to HMS Belfast after this to find out more about this battleship.. entry fee is £15.50/pax and kids enter free too!
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We had great fun exploring the ship and decided to call it a day…

We went back for an eat-in dinner so we could pack up and rest early for the journey tomorrow..

London June 2014 Part 4

We woke up late today.. took our own sweet time and only left the apartment after noon..

We then stopped by Tan’s Cafe near our apartment for lunch before we set off for Tower of London.. The moment we exited from the Tower Hill station, the kids asked for ice cream.. We got them one each at £2..
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By the time we got our tickets and activity packs for the kids, it was close to 3pm.. We had about 2.5 hours to explore the castle..

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The kids and their trail booklets

We walked up and down many towers.. the place is huge!
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We shopped a little in the shop as the boy saw someone playing with a sword (£4.99) in the tower and asked for one.. to be fair, we bought a wand (£2.99) for the princess although she has one or two wands at home.. We didn’t want to buy a princess costume for her!

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The Apprentice Knight and the Practising Princess

We wanted to go up the Tower Bridge but it was closed at 5.30pm.. we also wanted take the river cruise to Greenwich but missed the last one.. hmm.. We then decided to walk over to London Bridge… The good thing about travelling free and easy is the flexibility of changing our plans and planning as we go.. hee.. Along the way, the little girl got cranky and asked to be carried.. We stopped by a Pret A Mangar outlet to have our dinner as it was close to 7pm.. you really can’t tell how late it was until you check your watch!
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We’ll go explore the Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast, which you can see in the background, tomorrow.

We went back shortly after and visited a convenience store near our apartment.. when we reached our apartment, it was still bright and sunny although it was about 8 pm. The kids asked to play at the playground and we let them..
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The kids played in the bath tub tonight, something that they enjoyed very much.. I guess it helps them relax too.. let’s rest well and make the best of our last day of play in London tomorrow…

London June 2014 Part 3

We left our apartment close to 11 am today.. We took our time to prepare and plan what to do..

We let the kids play at the playground right in front of our apartment as they had been pestering us to bring them there..
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We then decided to make our way to Westminster station to see the London Eye and Big Ben… We didn’t want to go up the Big Ben as it’s very similar to our on Flyer and the kids felt the same… so we just took some photos..

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It was cold and windy so we sought refuge in the nearby McDonald’s as the little girl needed to answer nature’s call and it was time for lunch.. The happy kids enjoyed their Mac lunch.. it’s rare for us to bring them to fast food restaurants back home as we found them unhealthy but we’ve been to Mac 3 times within these 2 weeks..

After lunch, we made our way to take some photos with Big Ben..
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We moved on towards the Buckingham Palace which was about 10 – 15 min walk away.. Along the way, the girl became cranky and asked to be carried…
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We saw some processions going on but didn’t know what it was.. We didn’t go into the palace as the girl was asleep so we thought of finding a resting place so the man could sit down..

We went past the Guards Museum but it was not open due to some leakage so the boy posed for photos with some marching soldiers..
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We moved on towards Westminster Abbey where William and Kate got married and where many famous people were buried.. We took some photos outside but didn’t pay to enter.. hee..
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Next, we proceeded towards Trafalgar Square but stopped by the Supreme Court for a short tour..
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When we finally got to the Trafalgar Square, we took some photos again..
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We didn’t enter the National Gallery as I thought the kids would not be interested… so we hung around a bit and we’re wondering what this blue chicken was doing here..
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Anyway, after this, we decided to catch the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory show..

We went to get the tickets from Leicester Square.. We got the cheapest tickets at £26 each! There’s no kid’s price so that’s £104 in total!
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There was still some time so we went to Starbucks to grab a bite before the 7.30pm show which would last 2 and a half hours..
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The kids asked for binoculars which are available at the seats.. it’s £1 per pair so we got one each for the kids.. We even bought the chocolate bars which came in 2 flavours!

The show was really spectacular and there were lots of interesting special effects! I recommend that you get the most expensive tickets as our seats were quite high up but all the better seats were sold out…

The show ended at about 10pm and we reached our apartment past 11 pm.. It was a long day…

London June 2014 Part 2

It’s cold in London.. much colder than in Paris.. even though it’s summer now..

We decided to go somewhere indoors today and since it’s a Sunday, we decided to make our way to the Natural History Museum and left our apartment after 11 am…

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It’s a huge museum and entry is free except for some exhibitions.. The areas to explore FOC are big enough for us to spend the entire day there!

We didn’t spend on anything except on our lunch which cost about £20! As I observed the 3 of them eating and remembered it was Father’s Day..

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Here’s wishing my man a Happy Father’s Day! Thanks for being a great daddy to the kids!

After lunch, we continued exploring the museum.. We learnt quite a few things and the kids were rather engaged, asking questions along the way.. it’s a good thing we’re in London and we could just read the information without an audio guide… also, instead of art pieces and artists, we’re looking at animals, which the kids are more interested in..
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Here are some things I found interesting…
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We even saw a ‘sleeping’ dinosaur which could move… hee..
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We left the museum at about 5pm..

We decided to walk to Hyde Park and Kensington Park since it was still early.. Along the way, the kids were fascinated with these 2 headless street performers..
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We came to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain..
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After a short break, we walked to the Albert Memorial in Kensington Park..
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We decided to call it a day and started to make our way back..

It was about 8 pm when we reached our station cos we waited for quite a while for the train.. One trip is at least £2 and this trip was £2.20..

We wanted to get some stuff from the 99p store but it was closed so we bought some chicken, burgers and fries for dinner.. since they didn’t have the veggie burger, I cooked some pasta for myself.. The kids requested for pasta as they were eating their burgers so I cooked a little more for them.. They must be famished!
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What along day we had! Now, where shall we go tomorrow?

London June 2014 Part 1

We got up early to get ready so we could leave our apartment at about 9 am… Our train to London was scheduled at 11.43am and we didn’t want to miss it..

Giovanni called at about 9 am and we were almost ready.. He came up and we chatted a bit before he checked the apartment. We were then out at about 9.15am.. We made our way to the Chatelet Les Halles station to take a train to Gare du Nord, which is just one stop away.. that’s 1.7€/pax which is super expensive!

We managed to reach the station slightly after 10am so we hung around and waited for the train after we’ve cleared the customs..
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A Singaporean lady struck up a conversation with us as she could tell from the way we spoke that we’re from the same country… hee.. she even offered us some apples as we chatted…

Soon, it was time to board the train..
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We were in this carriage which was filled with teenagers who made a lot of noise shouting at one another.. It was irritating until one old gentleman requested one boy to keep his volume down and reminded him that he was not the only one on the train… Phew! I was glad he spoke up!

The train was fast.. so fast you could feel the pressure in your years.. The kids were expecting food but we got them to take a nap..

Soon, we reached the St Pancras International station slightly before 1 pm… The kids were hungry so we went to the nearest cafe – Costa – to have our lunch..
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We then bought Oyster passes and made our way to New Cross Station where our apartment was located.. It was quite near, about 5 min walk away.. by the time we reached the apartment, it was about 3pm..

The apartment is small…
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The owner was nice enough to stock up some milk, bread and cornflakes too so we don’t really have to worry about breakfast during our stay..
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We rested and planned what to do while the kids entertained themselves.. They were making so much noise that I had to give them something else to keep their mouths entertained..
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We decided that it was too late to go to the city centre so we just took a walk around the area.. There is actually a playground right outside the apartment but it was too cold for them to play outside..

We then came to this 99p store which sells items at 99p or less! We bought some snacks and even a toy each for the kids..
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We’ve decided to eat in since we still had pasta.. We bought some noodles, mushrooms and vegetables too..

After dinner, the kids had a good time playing in the bath tub before they went to bed..

We planned go visit the Natural History Museum tomorrow as many other attractions are not open on Sundays…