Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

My little Monarch butterfly and my little Holstein cow. Aren't they just too cute?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Didn't we just rid ourselves of this white stuff just a few months ago? I mean, I like snow. I like winter. I like winter activities. But this soon? It is a bit much! And all this before Halloween? NO... not acceptable. And while we're at it. Do we have to have Christmas decorations up and Christmas music playing in the malls at this time? PLEASE... let us enjoy Halloween before we move on to Christmas! GEEZ!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Birthday Wishes & Wedding Bells

My little monkey turned 2 years old today! It is so hard to believe that she is already 2. Although if you ask her, she is 3! Go figure. Due to the many festivities this weekend, we laid pretty low for her actual birthday today as we did celebrate last week. We ordered Chinese take out and celebrated with a lovely Strawberry Shortcake courtesy of Uncle Michael and Auntie Tanya (who are presently on their honeymoon in the Bahamas!)

Speaking of Michael and Tanya, they are finally married! Saturday was the big event and let me say, we are still in recovery mode! Every bit of me is still sore. I do NOT bounce back like I used to. It is times like this that I am reminded of exactly how old I am! However, in my defense, I was up almost 24 hours. I am glad to announce that Michael was my 3rd and final brother to marry. I will NOT have to do this again! Here are some photos of the wonderful day.

My girls in their lovely dresses.

Uncle Michael and his 3 neices,Cara-Li, Alexia and Bianca.

Cara-Li and Alexia in church.

Here is a picture of my family. Why did I think that I could actually get everyone to be still for a second?

Here I am with my 2 dearest friends, Laure and Luisa.

And finally, Michael and Tanya. Don't they make the cutest couple?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!

That's right... yesterday was our 14th wedding anniversary! Look at us... we look like babies! I looked in the mirror this AM and this old lady stared back at me. Oh well. Good news is that after 14 years together, Gord is still the love of my life! Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!

In order to celebrate, we went to a fancy French restaurant downtown. It was very good, a restaurant I would have considered excellent years ago but in my old age, I have become much more picky and recognizing the difference between very good and excellent. That's OK... we had a great time alone and what did we do the whole time? Talk about our daughetrs!

We are in a mad rush this week preparing for my baby brother's wedding this coming Saturday. I am in charge of the flowergirl baskets and I must prepare food to serve at my Mom's house for any guests dropping in before and after the wedding. I have yet to try on my dress together with the shoes and therefore do not know If I need to hem the dress. Yeah, I know! I better get to it! I did pick up their gift yesterday. Check back in on Sunday. I should have pics up of the wedding.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Am Drowning!

It has been over a week since our return from Paris and life hasn't stopped or slowed down in the least! I got the best welcome home from the girls upon arrival and hubs had a complete Thanksgiving spread ready for us. So we did had a turkey dinner after all! We arrived home at app. 7PM, had dinner and by 9PM I was out cold. Jetlag got the best of me once again. I don't know what it is but returning home is so hard for me. It took most of last week to get over it.
PS: I went back to my Paris posts and added pictures should you want to view them.

What else should I do upon my return in a jetlagged stupor? Plan a Birthday Party for Alexia, of course! She turns 2 at the end of the month but because my brother is getting married next weekend, we celebrated her birthday 2 weeks early. Our theme was ''Welcome to the Farrell Zoo''. Many friend and family joined us to celebrate this momentous birthday. Alexia had a grand old time!
Let's start with a lovely picture of Alexia with her father.

Alexia and Cara-Li were both wearing leopard print skirts and I was wearing a zebra-striped top (no pics of Cara-Li and I, of course!)

Followed by some pictures of the dessert items that were served.

Cupcakes in the shape of bears, pandas and sheep. Joint venture by Moi and Auntie Laure.

Monkey birthdy cake made by Auntie Laure.

Fruit floral arrangement that I am EXTREMELY proud of. It was quite easy to make and lots and lots of fun! I believe I have found myself a new day job.

These are the loot bags for the kids. I used Halloween pails as the base of the monkey face.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Broke and Broken

OK. Before I explain this, let me first describe our day yesterday. It began with a return trip to Sainte Chapelle only to find out that it is connected to the Court House and the line up to get in due to security was super long. Decided to skip this church and moved on to Notre Dame. We returned to climb the 387 steps up the towers to see the view of Paris. This was tough. That is alot of steps in a tiny spiraling staircase. We are worn out and tired... visiting Paris is tough!

View from Notre Dame tower

Next, we headed to Place de la Concorde and began our walk down Les Champs Elysees. But we needed a little lunch break. If you ever find yourself on les Champs Elysees, keep in mind that a little lunch break consisting of a croque monsieur, a glass of wine and a coffee will cost you app. $70 for two! Anyways... we continued on to L'Arc de Triomphe where we watched the traffic zoom through and around it. Next stop... Laduree. Where can you spend app. $5 for 2 tiny little macarons? At Laduree! But this pastry shop is something else, something that I have never seen before and definitely worth $5 for the 2 most exquisite little bites of sweetness. I would have taken a picture but it not permitted! For the love of God! They let you take pictures of works of arts such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo but a counter full of pastry is a big no-no. Go figure the French!

Next stop, the Eiffel Tower. No visit to Paris would be complete without a stop here. Laure decided not to go up but I opted to. Once again, I've come all this distance! But as I always feel about any structure, they are much more impressive to look at them from below than it is to look out from above. We had a quick drink while we waited for nightfall so that we could see it lit up. What we didn't know what that 10 minutes evry hour, they turn on these glittering lights so that the tower appears to be shimmering. Then it turns into a solid blue. Quite spectacular to say the least!

Eiffel Tower's shadow from the top

We has promised ourselves one very fancy meal so this was the night. We picked this one restaurant, Les Bookinistes, owned by a renowned Parisian chef. We found it just fine but upon entering, the maitre d', without getting off his cell phone, motioned to us that it was full and basically escorted us out! The nerve! Anyway, we dined next door at Laperouse, dropped a hefty amount for a 5 course meal which included 6 different wines. By the time we left at 1AM, we were full and drunk! Funny part was, that after such a expensive and extravagant meal, we still took the Metro home!

Needless to say, it was not easy to get up this AM. We started our journey with a stop to Sacre Coeur. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we strolled though the streets of Montmatre. There was a wine festival going on but we didn't dare try any as we were still a little woozy from the night before. Anyway, our wonderful day took a turn for the worse when I noticed that my backpack was open. And, of course, all my money was gone. Yup, I was smart enough to clip my wallet inside the pack not stopping to think that a professional pickpocketer would just empty the wallet, leaving it empty for me. Big bummer as I still had quite a bit of cash. We ended up going to a police station to make a report as I know that I could make a insurance claim for such a thing. Anyways... these things happen!

We continued our journey with a quick stop at the Moulin Rouge for some pics and then it was back into the metro towards the Opera, Galerie Lafayette, Le Printemps and Fauchon. After some shopping in this area, we stopped for our ritual beer before heading off to meet Laure's cousin and wife for dinner.

Inside Galerie Lafayette


We are now back in our and have gathered our stuff. We leave tomorrow after breakfast. This journey is over. We must say goodbye to Paris but I am thrilled at the thought of seeing my 2 little precious daughters when we get home. Nothing is more exciting than that!

Vive la France!

Mommy in all her glory!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ah Paris!

Once again, we were off to a slow start today. All this touring is getting the better part of us. We started off our day at the Pere Lachaise Cemetary. This is where Jim Morrison of The Doors is buried along with a bunch of other very famous people. We had a very nice quiet stroll jumping from tombstone to tombstone.

Then it was a quick lunch at a tiny little creperie on Boul. Mouffetard on our way to the Pantheon. I had never been there before and once again, it was impressive. Everything in Paris is soooo old and so impressive and so imposing.
We then shopped a little on Boul. St. Michel on our way to Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle. Picked up some clothes for me, finally. However, once on the other side, both churches had closed. Oh well, we stopped for yet another well-deserved beer while we regrouped. We opted to go for an early dinner instead and for some reason, we ended up eating at 9PM once again! This city only gets lively at 8PM or so. Anyway, we got back to our room at 11:15PM and are dying to get to bed. Unfortunately, my camera batteries are dead so no downloading of pics tonight. Will post some tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just Like Royalty

For the first time in a long time, I forgot to wake up. It seems that my body is soooo tired and has completely shut down. I woke up at 8:30AM (which is extremely late for someone like me) in a complete panic, first thinking that Cara-Li missed her school bus when in fact we should have been getting an early start for Chateau Versailles. We finally did make it to Versailles by 12:30PM only to find a huge lineup. 30 minutes later we were strolling the hallways of the Chateau like Louis XIV. What a shack! To think this was his cottage! It is way, way over the top. We strolled through the gardens to visit the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon, a couple of other homes on the property that were given to Marie-Antoinette to do what she wanted with. Now the Petit Trianon, this is more like something you would find in Westmount. Way more reasonable!

We finally made our way out of this truly amazing place and decided to head out to rue St. Germain for dinner. Of course, no one in Paris has dinner at 5PM so we shopped for clothing for the girls and sipped Kir Royales at Les Deux Magots while watching people go by. We only later realized that we were sitting at Place du Quebec during this time. Funny!

We had a very lovely dinner around the corner at Le Petit Zinc. Once again, this meal did not disappoint. Did I mention that I must fit into a tiny, tiny dress 2 weeks after my return for my brother? Yeah.... good luck to me, right?

Super Dad

E-mail received this AM from Gordie

HELPPP!!!!!!! Note from school says Cara-Li is going to mountain tomorrow and to be sure to bring ''espadrilles''. What the hell is that? went to dictionary on internet and it is the same thing in English! Bloody Hell! Who are these freakin people. They also mention that they are to be in a bag as well, and no no no plastique SVP, what do they think, we have Lu Lu Citron bags coming out our ass! Not to mention it will be 2deg c tomorrow am, so I will send her with a tuque, mitts and a snowsuit just in case, my god, it all doesn't fit in the Lu Lu Citron bag. I just throw it all in my hockey bag just to be on the safe side, thank God it has wheels, at least Cara-Li will only have to drag it around. Tired now, Xia Xia just yak yaked up her ice cream, and I had to change her sheets and jammies. Going to bed now, only problem is Cara-Li's head is on your pillow and her feet are on mine! Where can I lay me down to sleep? Talk to you tomorrow. Love, Tired not feeling so Super Dad!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Art, Beer and Food

Day 2 in Paris began with your typical Parisian breakfast... bread, croissant and cafe au lait, of course! Our first stop was Le Louvre, not exactly a short visit. We planned to check out most of the important works of art and we believe we managed to see all of them in 4 hours. That is what is called speed Louvre visiting!

Here are some of the highlights from Le Louvre.

Venus de Milo

Eygptian Sarcophagus

The Mona Lisa

The Winged Victory

Amazing ceilings

More amazing ceilings

We walked down Rivoli street in search of a funky restaurant 'Le Rubis' that we found in the Food and Shopping guide my brother Michael gave me just before our departure. We walked into a tiny bistro like place and the woman behind the bar asked if it was to eat. We nodded yes and she opened this tiny little door and motioned us to go upstairs. We entered what was someone's bedroom, I think and we had this lovely lunch. Next to us was a couple from Cork, Ireland (C. they say hi to you!).

Next, we strolled down le Jardin des Tuilerie to Place de la Concorde and into le Musee de L'Orangerie. Wow! We saw lots of Monet's yesterday but nothing prepared us for what we saw here. Huge, huge waterlily paintings that went right around the 2 oval rooms that they were in. I mean, WOW! It was a short but extremely worth while visit!

A day would not be complete without a beer on a local terrasse watching the people go by. Along with a well-deserved rest! By this time, it was too late to go back to the hotel before dinner so we went straight away. We found the Brasserie Le Petit Bofinger (it's bigger brother was recommended by a friend and by a guide). It was delicious! So far, the food has been fabulous!

We are now in our hotel. I have just spoken to the girls for the first time since our departure. They are doing great. Cara-Li is sleeping in my bed so she is content. And Alexia thought it was the funniest thing to see mommy in the computer. She just kept saying 'Hi mamma' and grabbing the webcam. How I miss them!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We made it!

We made it to Paris! We arrived at 7AM to a rainy and chilly Paris. After a 30 minute cab ride, we arrived at our hotel. Of course, our room was not ready as it was only 8:30AM (people still in their beds) so we dumped our bags and headed for breakfast. After a cafe au lait and a croissant, we walked (and walked!) to Notre Dame Cathedral where there was a mass just beginning. We toured the church all the while warming up during the entire service. Very cool! We then stopped for yet another coffee (and bathroom break!) and then carried on to the Musee D'Orsay. It was free admission day at all the National Museums therefore millions of people everywhere! To bypass the lineups, we bought a Museum Pass which lets us in everywhere and therefore no waiting. However, our pass only starts tomorrow. We made it until 2PM at which point we stopped for lunch (crepes and croque monsieurs). We made our way back to the hotel for 4PM when we finally checked in. Room is cute but of course, tiny! After a 45 minute snooze, we are now back in business. I managed to get the heat on and the computer going. All is good! We went to a local brasserie for dinner and had a very tasty dinner and decadent dessert. Our waiter was fab with his Parisian charm. All in all, a fabulous first day. Despite the ocassional foggy moments due to lack of sleep and the moments of vertigo due to jetlag. Hopefully, all this will end by morning after an excellent night sleep. Night night!

Notre Dame Cathedral

Musee D'Orsay

My decadent dessert