Saturday, 28 April 2012

Dream Castle Hotel

The Dream Castle Hotel, Paris

When we arrived at Marne le Vallee train station, we headed to our bus stop and waited for the shuttle bus. We were told that they come every 15minutes and caters to 4 different hotels. We didn't wait very long, thank goodness & it was a massive bus so there were plenty of spaces.

We received an email from the travel agency a couple of days before departure informing us that they have confirmed our hotel reservation & no action was required from us. Because of this we were expecting a quick check in. After filling in the form with our details the lady gave us a wonderful surprise, we've been upgraded to a Family Room, yay!

We only booked a standard room with a double bed coz we don't mind Poj sleeping with us (holiday on a shoe string!) Instead we were given a room with a bigger bed plus 2 bunk beds. =) We were delighted!

The room was clean and cool when we got there. The beds were comfy and there were extra pillows which was a big plus for me. The room was air conditioned but when we arrived we preferred to just open the window and enjoy the fresh air.
There are the basics such as coffee/tea facility, a small flat screen TV that has some English channels as well (thank goodness) & one thing that we weren't expecting was a fridge. There was also a vault that is hidden inside the huge closet.

The bathroom was a good size, with a shower/bath. There were plenty of towels, a complimentary L'Occitane hand lotion, hand soap, shower gel & shampoo, hmmm lovely =)

Poj settled straight away and asked if he could sleep on the upper bunk bed, but since I was worried that he might fall down, I said no & my good boy came down the stairs and stayed on the lower bunk bed.

When we have sorted our stuff I remembered that they use a different socket than the UK. I don't know why I forgot to bring our adaptor when we've been there before, duh!  Luckily they have one at the reception that you can borrow. 
It was then that they told us that we could avail of the '1st night discount voucher' to their restaurant which offers international buffet. It was very reasonably priced that it'll be silly not to try it. And we were glad that we did as it was one of the best buffets we've tried. The staff were lovely and spoke good English. They had different cuisines on offer and huge dessert and fruit tables.
They also gave Poj a treasure chest with a toy car inside which I thought was a nice touch. And in one corner of the restaurant was a section for the kids to play when they have finished their meal so you can still enjoy yours without the risk of them getting bored. We were happy customers when we left. Sayang lang we weren't able to take photos to share here =)

I'm sharing more photos of the hotel but will stop typing now. Sensya na, I think I overdid it with the amount of pics on this post!
The view from our floor

The boys had lots of fun in the indoor pool & jacuzzi.

Poj tried the outdoor play area but found it way too cold even for him! 

And here's just some of the reasons why Poj fell in love with our hotel.

Next post, Disneyland Paris =)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Start of Our Trip...

Ito na yata ang pinakarushed na preparation ko sa isang trip. I know it's only a short trip pero with a little one - mahirap na may makalimutan. I usually pack light wherever we go pero since having Poj I had to change. I've learnt early on that it's better to carry a massive bag packed with all his stuff than to forget something he needs and regret it. So that explains the big luggage (isa lang naman for the 3 of us) which I packed at 1am the morning of our trip.

I shared here before that Sky TV gave away 2 adult tickets to Disneyland Paris for it's 20th anniversary. We are on a tight budget but thought we could loosen the string for a little bit for this one time. It's Papa E's birthday after all and the tickets are free. 

We chose to take the Eurostar instead of flying. The station is in London so we had to take the early bus to get there. And here is Poj just before 6am - super awake and excited to ride the big bus. =)

We arrived at the station with plenty of time to buy some Euros (I told you we were not prepared at all for this trip) and to collect our boarding passes. We only had 2 tickets each way coz kids under 4 ride free on the train (yay!).

We boarded 30 minutes before departure. It was a lot quicker and more straight forward than getting on the plane. They simply scan your bags while you pass through the metal detector and then they check your passports and that's it.
We were not on the train for long and then we had to get off at Lille Europe to catch the train going to Disneyland Paris.

We've not had a proper breakfast so were famished. We had time so we left the station and went to a nearby mall. Syempre medyo nagulat pa rin kami na puro French na ang sulat! We're lucky that they know how to speak English so we were able to grab a quick lunch and walk around before heading back to the station. 

At eto na si Poj naiinip na so pinaglaruan na ang aming luggage. We were waiting for our platform number and our train.

Just like in London, our train arrived on time. And we're lucky coz from the bus to this last leg of the journey, there were a lot of empty seats. So kahit free ang ride ni Poj we never had to sit him on our lap. He was even free to use two seats as his bed =)

It was cold when we got there but luckily the free shuttle bus to our hotel didn't take long to arrive. Please bear with me, I'll blog about our hotel and Disney next =)

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Big Birthday

Papa E's birthday was on April 19th, but we celebrated his day with our friends earlier on the 15th.

It was a change of plans at the eleventh hour from going to a trout farm where we could catch our own fish & bbq them on site and have a picnic - to having it at home instead.
We blame the weather for that, it has been cold and wet for most of the month. It was completely different from the Aprils that we've had for the last few years.

Up to the last minute we were hoping that the weather would improve so when we had to change the plan everything was rushed. We were just glad that everyone could still make it and that it all came together in the end.

Poj was excited for the party coz it means he'll get to play with his friends Cayden & Kian. =)

Here is Poj guarding the fruits, pineapple & cheese, and crisps & dips.

Syempre may pansit dahil birthday at chicken/pork adobo.

Papa E also experimented with his fried chicken which he brine overnight, steamed for twenty minutes before frying and was served with his special sauce.

Lumpiang togue and chicken macaroni salad.

We served the same food for dinner, we just added grilled seabass at steamed siomai (na nakalimutan nang kuhaan ng pics).

And if you're asking kung bakit walang pics ang mga friends namin at pagkain lang ito ay dahil sa nadelete lahat ng pics na kinuha ko with my cam - I swear I transferred them pero wala talaga. This has not happened to me before, kaya you can imagine how very annoyed I was with myself =(
The only pics I've got left are the pre-party pics from my good 'ol iPhone.

Buti na lang may napadala yung isang friend naming si Cheche ng mga kuha nya from her cam =)

Kuya Cayden, Poj and Kian with the birthday boy!

Thanks to Che we at least have pics nung nagblow sya ng candles. Yun nga lang walang pics with our friends coz I took those. Hayz, nevermind.

Thanks again everyone for coming to make it a great birthday for Papa E and for all your fab gifts too. xoxo

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Sunday

Today we celebrate Easter, the oldest and the most important Christian festival. It is the celebration of the death and coming to life again of Jesus Christ.  One of the customs is the giving of eggs which symbolises new life. Christians remember that our Lord Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.

We hope that you all have a meaningful and happy Easter!

I posted the recipe of this cake here

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Day Out In London

Medyo late na ang post na ito, this was the last day of our 3-day break. Unlike the first two days, we decided to bring Poj with us =)

We went to London to collect Papa E's Philippine passport from the embassy. We decided to make a day out of it para sulitin ang almost 2-hour drive namin. I have featured London several times already (here, here & here) but I know there are still a lot that we haven't explored yet or shared here. 

The photo above was taken while we were waiting for our train, or tube as they call it. I love that each tube station looks different. The Baker Street features these unique tile-work throughout the station which commemorates the fictional Sherlock Holmes' association with the street - he lived at a fictional 221B Baker Street address.  There is also a statue of him outside the station that I failed to take a photo of, there were a lot of tourists there and we were in a rush to get to the embassy on time.

We didn't have to wait very long at the embassy and we were back in the streets of London. We enjoyed the walk stopping when we see anything interesting. And for Poj, what could be more interesting that a window display of luscious cakes! He was actually pointing to the ones he like saying "I want that one & that one."

Ang mag-Ama ko parang turista lang =)

We decided to head to Madame Tussaud's after lunch and we stayed there until home time. I'll post some of the pics next time =)

I love days out in London =)

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