Tag Archives: Paris

Feature Friday: Uniqlo and Laduree Collaboration

Among one of the things that I didn’t get to do while on vacation in Paris last Fall was going to Laduree to buy some macarons as treats. I tell myself that it’s just another reason to go back for a visit! (hint hint G! ;))

While doing my quick round of news and Twitter feed check this morning, I came across the Uniqlo and Laduree collaboration here. I am surprised to find this unexpected collaboration and wished I found out about it sooner!

There are 19 different tees for children and women that start range from $12.90 to 19.90. A portion of the sales will benefit IVY, a non-profit that helps children affected by the 2011 tsunami/earthquake. My favorite tees from the collection are as below:

Laduree Uniqlo CollaborationUniqlo and Laduree Collaboration Women’s T-shirts

I really wished I had found out about this collaboration sooner because I absolutely love the first shirt on the left. Alas, it’s sold out online and there isn’t a Uniqlo here in DC. 🙁 Well, perhaps I’ll console myself with some macarons this weekend, even if they aren’t from Laduree.

Happy Friday & have a great weekend! 🙂

Travel – Fall Vacation: Paris Part III

I just realized that I forgot to post these two pics that were from our the first day, so I’m posting them here – lunch at Cafe George V. Food was decent but service was slow. I also find the portion to be on the small side. (Yes, I’m a glutton! WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

Café George V light Beautiful lights at Café George V

Baked scallop from Cafe George V ParisBaked scallops

For the fourth day, we had booked a segway tour with Fat Bike Tours through Viator. G and I had previously gone on a segway tour in DC and we truly enjoyed it. I figured why not in Paris? The tour was approximately 3 hours and we covered a lot of ground. Our guide Andre was friendly and did a great job in explaining the history behind the landmarks that we stopped at. Should you decide to go, I recommend booking early (at least a week in advance) as each tour is limited to only 8 people!

Following are pics taken on the segway tour…

Wall of Peace ParisWall of Peace

Eiffel Tower from Wall of Peace

View of Eiffel Tower from Wall of PeaceView of Eiffel Tower from Wall of Peace

Les Invalides Napolean Tomb Paris

Les Invalides Napolean Tomb Paris Eglise du DombEglise du Domb, (The Dome Church) where Napolean’s tomb is located (dome is made of real gold!)

Air France HQ Museum Paris Air France Museum

Art Nouveau Doorway Avenue Rapp Jules LavirotteArt Nouveau Doorway on Avenue Rapp

Art Nouveau Jules Lavirotte 3 Square RappArt Nouveau Building on 3 Square Rapp

Unfortunately, the segway tour marked the end of our visit as one of my parents got into an accident as mentioned here and we ended up spending the rest of the day in the hospital. We were scheduled to depart the next day, which I did while the rest of my family remained to get care and treatment for one of my parents.

On the bright side, we saw most of Paris and I am fortunate to be able to share them with you. I hope you enjoyed my posts! (Shopping, Part I, Part II) Thanks for reading! 🙂

Travel – Fall Vacation: Paris Part II

On the third day, we started the day with a heavy breakfast and we had planned on taking the Palais Garnier’s (Paris Opera House) guided tour in the morning. Sadly, the tour was already fully booked so we switched our schedule and headed to Musée du Louvre instead (we had planned on visiting after the guided tour). (WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

Palais Garnier Paris Opera House View of the Palais Garnier from the Les Cars Rouges

It was raining when we headed to Musee du Louvre thus all pics were taken indoors, no outdoor pics of the pyramid infrastructure. 🙁 (that just means I’ve to go back!)

Musee du Louvre Paris

Musee du Louvre

Musee du LouvreMusee du Louvre

La Duree in Musee du LouvreLadurée in Musee du Louvre

Ladurée was definitely a place that I wanted to visit and buy macarons from but I didn’t get a chance to do that during this trip. While I did enter the establishment pictured above, we were looking for hot chocolate but didn’t find any so we left. We were also in a bit of a time crunch, having to rush back to the Palais Garnier for our afternoon guided tour.

As mentioned here, the guided tour was covered by our Paris Pass and since I enjoyed the guided tour for the Oslo Operahuset, (as posted here) I figured we should seize the opportunity to do the guided tour of the Palais Garnier, too. The building is a living history monument as described by our guide and I couldn’t agree more. It is rich in history and ornately decorated, a stark contrast from the Oslo Operahuset which emphasized utility and functionality (Scandinavians!). I highly recommend the guided tour as it gives one access to the opera hall and certain areas that are closed off to the public on a self-guided tour.

Platée Paris Palais GarnierCharacters from the Opera Platée (ingenius story!)

Palais GarnierInterior of the Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier ComposersThe hallway with composers near the gift shop

Marc Chagall ceiling painting Palais Garnier featuring composers for OperaMarc Chagall’s painting featuring 14 opera composers

The original ceiling painting inside the OperaModel size of the original ceiling painting

Palais Garnier Paris Opera House interiorOpulent and beautiful ceiling of the Grand Foyer

Opulent and ornate details of the Grand Foyer Palais Garnier Paris Opera HouseHallway of the Grand Foyer

Academie Nationale de MusiqueExterior on one of the wings of the Palais Garnier

By the time we were done with the tour, we were starving so we went to a nearby restaurant, Opéra Mandarin to fill our tummies. Yes, we had Chinese food in Paris. My dad can’t go too long without Chinese food! 😉 (I’m sure G would’ve preferred pizza instead though! And should you be wondering, yes, he came to join us for 2 days in Paris!)

We ordered 6 main course and a two bowls of dumpling soup to share, which we finished. Food was authentic and delicious, although from reviews as I was researching the name of the restaurant to write this post indicates that food was a hit-or-miss. Well, I’m of Chinese ethnicity and I vouch for it!

Late lunch spread at Paris' Opera MandarinOur late lunch spread at Opéra Mandarin

Once we were gastronomically satiated, we hop-on the Les Cars Rouges at the Palais Garnier and headed towards the Eiffel Tower. Here are some shots from the bus ride…

Arc de Triomphe Paris Champs Elysee

Champs Elyssee

Arc de Triomphe Paris

Arc de Triomphe

It was almost dusk when we finally arrived near the Eiffel Tower. My dad and my sis only went up to the first level while my mum, G and I went up to the second level as well.

Eiffel Tower at dusk ParisEiffel Tower at dusk

Gustave Eiffel 1832 - 1923Gustave Eiffel, the architect behind the famous landmark

Eiffel TowerEiffel Tower at night

View from Eiffel Tower

View from Eiffel Tower Paris at nightNight view from Eiffel Tower

Paris Eiffel TowerView of the Eiffel Tower from Bateaux Parisiens

When we were done, we took the Bateaux Parisiens boat cruise which was also included as part of our Paris Pass. It was only a skip away from the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t take much pics aside from the Eiffel Tower as at that point, I was already starting to feel under the weather. 🙁 It was just much colder than I had anticipated! We adjourned home shortly after that, which concluded our third day in Paris.

Stay tuned for one the last part and thank you for reading! 🙂

Travel: Fall Vacation – Paris Part I

I’m finally done sorting and editing my pics from Paris, so here it goes! For our 5-day stay, we rented an apt from AirBnB that has a loft in Le Marais. It was a great location (thanks to my sis’ suggestion as she had previously visited Paris) and we enjoyed our stay in the apt as the owner was flexible and easygoing. (WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

View from apt in Le MaraisView from our apt in Le Marais

As mentioned here, we arrived in Paris early in the morning, so we went to get some drinks to warm ourselves up as it was rainy and cold upon our arrival.

Hot chocolate in Paris!My hot chocolate

After our shopping, we headed to Hard Rock Cafe to pick up our Paris Pass that we had purchased from Viator. I had previously bought the Visit Oslo Pass from them for G and my trip to Oslo, and I decided to use them again as it was cheaper and hassle-free to use.
Paris Pass Paris Pass

We bought the 2-day Paris Pass that enabled us access to over 60 tourist attractions in Paris which included the use of the hop-on hop-off bus and public transportation within zone 1 to 3. In my opinion, it was well worth it as we were able to skip lines (and we did!) to the attractions that we visited. We only had to stand in line for Musee d’Orsay as there was a line even for fast-tracked!

Paris Guided Tour Opera House Eiffel Tower Metro ticketParis Attraction and Metro Ticket stubs

Unfortunately the Eiffel Tower was not covered by the Paris Pass, thus we bought tickets for that but the guided tour for the Palais Garnier (Opera House) was included. On the days that we didn’t use the Paris Pass, we bought bulk tickets in 10 for the Metro as it was much more economical – it worked out to €1,27 per ticket vs €1,70 per ticket one-way.

We started our second day by stopping by for breakfast at a cafe nearby as we were walking towards the St Paul Metro. (Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the cafe!)

Fish Soup ParisFish soup (to share)

Roast Duck Paris MaraisRoast Chicken (my mum’s)

Roast Duck Marais ParisRoast Duck (my dad’s)

Pasta with Breaded Chicken Paris MaraisPasta with breaded chicken (mine – the chicken was too dry)

Leg of lamb Marais ParisLeg of lamb (sis’)

After we stuffed ourselves, we headed to Saint Chapelle, nicknamed the “jewel box.” A classmate from my dance class highly recommended it and after seeing pics online, I knew we had to visit!

Saint Chapelle Paris

Paris Saint Chapelle

Paris Saint Chapelle

Paris Saint Chapelle

Paris Saint Chapelle

Paris Saint Chapelle

Paris Saint Chapelle

Paris Saint ChapelleSaint Chapelle

Each window panel in the Saint Chapelle represents a story in the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament. I highly recommend this little gem as one can still admire the beauty and the fine artwork even if one is not Christian.

From there, we headed to the famous Notre Dame, which was only a short walking distance from Saint Chapelle.

Notre Dame ParisNotre Dame of Paris

Alas, unbeknownst to me, entry to the Notre Dame was free and there was a super long line in spite of the rain and I was hoping that we could skip the line with our Paris Pass! Instead of standing in the rain moving at a snail’s pace to enter the Notre Dame, I decided that we should instead visit other attractions, so as not to waste our precious time. Thus, we hop-on the Les Cars Rouges and headed to Musee d’Orsay.

Musee d'Orsay ParisMain facade of Musee d’Orsay

Pics are not allowed in the museum but I sneakily took some anyways! The former train station has gorgeous architecture inside and out, so I couldn’t resist! (Besides, I saw many others who were not-so-secretly snapping pics!)

Musee d'Orsay Paris

Musee d'Orsay

Musee d'OrsayThe gorgeous interior of Musee d’Orsay

While we were there, we went to the Fashion in Impressionism exhibit (which The Londoner posted here) aside from viewing the general exhibit as it was covered with under our museum pass. (I was good this time and didn’t snap any pics but it was also WAY too crowded!) As we exit the museum, the skies had cleared up and I was able to snap a pic of a boat cruise on the Seine River (which we ended up taking the next day).

Seine River BoatSeine River Boat Cruise

We took the Les Cars Rouges again and then switched to the Metro to return to Marais near our apt for dinner. We picked Cafe La Favorite for dinner as there was a good crowd but it wasn’t too busy either.

La Favorite Paris MaraisCoaster

Cafe La Favorite Light Decor Paris MaraisLight decor

Food turned out to be pretty good. My sister and I ordered a fungi pizza to share but it wasn’t filling enough so we ordered a Nutella pizza as well once we were done. My parents both had different variations of salmon – burger and fillet. For dessert it was a fruit salad to share amongst us.

Cafe La Favorite Paris Marais Funghi PizzaFungi Pizza (to share with my sis)

Cafe La Favourite Le Marais Cheeseburger

Salmon Burger (my dad’s)

Smoked Salmon Cafe La Favorite Le Marais ParisSalmon Fillet (my mum’s)

Pizza with Nutella Cafe La Favorite Paris Le MaraisNutella Pizza

Fruit Salad Cafe La Favourite Paris MaraisFruit salad (to share)

And with that concludes the first part of my Paris posts as we adjourned back to the apt to call it a night. More to come soon!

Quick Update

I’m finally back from vacation. It has been a vacation marred with unfortunate events.

1. I lost my phone shortly upon arrival in NYC. My sister had just bought the new Samsung Galaxy S3 for me. I realized it within 5 minutes but it was 5 minutes too late.

2. One of my parents nearly got pick-pocketed while on the Metro in Paris.
It was 3 girls who looked they were in high school but their attempt was foiled as Parisians on the platform saw what was happening and yelled at them. However, that didn’t stop the leader from staring at us and stuck her tongue out at us as she awaited to alight the train at the next stop with her fellow accomplices. A local proceeded to scold her but she yelled right back and spit at her as she was disembarking the train.

3. I’m rarely ill but culminating stress from work and colder temperatures coupled with rain in Paris proved to be the lethal combo as I caught a cold the 3rd day into our stay in Paris (I was in Paris for 5 days).

4. Finally, the most unfortunate of all, one of my parents got injured in an accident the day before we were scheduled to leave and had to be hospitalized to undergo surgery. This was during an activity I suggested and I saw it happened in slow motion but couldn’t do anything to prevent it. I also couldn’t be there on the day of the surgery as my flight was in the morning and the shuttle picked me up at 6.40am that day. The rest of my family is staying back till the end if the week.

With all that has happened, I am taking a short break from blogging and promise to return soon. (I will blog about the trip on a brighter note and my new acquisitions when I return.) In the meantime, I would deeply appreciate if you could keep my family in your thoughts and/or prayers.

Natalie Dee Will Return

Natalie Dee’s comic

**I will however still send out the H&M statement necklace to the lucky winner when the entries for the giveaway end this weekend.**