Saturday, March 29, 2014

Musee Carnavalet, Paris


Musee Carnavalet was an unexpected surprise. I knew that it housed the history of Paris, but didn't think it was anything more than that.


Since it was around the corner from our rented apartment in the Marais, I finally walked in.

For a lover of French interiors and furniture like me, this is heaven!


I didn't even have time to look at the historical timeline of Paris because I focused on the furniture and the interior embellishments.



G was also taken by the beautiful interiors.

 

She went around the rooms pointing at furniture saying "I want that in my room" and all I could say back was, "me too! me too!"  

C couldn't be bothered because she likes modern stuff.



The signs on the individual displays are all in French so you'll just have to figure things out.




But you don't necessarily have to understand anything to appreciate perfectly proportioned period furniture.



I could've spent the whole afternoon in here, but I was with kids who wanted to be outside.




 I would love to have two perfectly-proportioned armchairs like this at home.



And this chaise longue too!



 I already have my mirror, so I didn't get envious of this one.


Best part about the Musee Carnavalet is that there are no lines or crowds so you are left in peace to appreciate everything.


I look forward to visiting again and this time, to focus on the history of Paris.



Address: 23 rue de Sévigné, Marais, Paris, 75004 | Map It
Phone: 01–44–59–58–58
Cost: Free; around €7 for temporary exhibitions
Hours: Tues.–Sun. 10–6; closed Mon.
Website:
Metro
St-Paul.
Location:
The Marais

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Our Amanpulo Weekend


Two girls and a turtle

The opportunity to experience Amanpulo came to us like manna from heaven.


Amanpulo is part of the luxurious Aman group of boutique hotels owned by Adrian Zecha. They are known for their ultra-unique properties and outstanding service.



This private island is their only property in the Philippines.



Last November, C bought one raffle ticket worth P100 at her school's family fun day. She was in a long line but remained patient because she had her heart set on buying one ticket. She even allowed three people to go ahead of her.

Well guess who won the grand prize with her ONE ticket? 


I wish I could say it was a "once in a lifetime" thing...



But the amazing thing is that many years ago, when Amanpulo was still fairly new,  B won the exact same thing also from a raffle!


He gave the certificate to his mom and dad.



When C excitedly handed me the certificate, I right away thought of B and his gift to his folks.

Aww, it really comes around...


Instead of enjoying the spoils by ourselves, we decided to take the girls along make a family trip out of it.



Our spacious beach casita had a grand view of the sea. The bathroom was also very big. 


We drove our own private buggy around the island, checking out all the other outlets but eventually spent most late afternoons at the clubhouse where the pool and library were.

 
 
In the early afternoon we went go out snorkeling. In the not-too-deep waters just a few hundred meters from the shore, batfish as big as dinner plates fed directly from our hands.



On both times out, the girls even got to swim with a sea turtle. They followed it around and for almost twenty minutes.


The boatmen explained that the turtles on this side of the island are friendly and are used to people swimming close to them. On the other side, they are terrified and swim away quickly. 

welcoming us back from snorkeling

Let me insert here that being on Amanpulo is more about  relaxing and doing nothing, enjoying the peace of the island with the most attentive service. It is definitely not about running around hoping to be entertained, which is anti-Aman.  

There are kayaks and windsurfers, tennis courts and a gym. But I think the most popular amenity is the spa.  



Yes, unfortunately the island does have wifi!



On our second day, we bumped into friends who graciously invited us to dine with them at their own villa.

 Our private-villa al fresco dining set up

Aside from the beach and treetop casitas, the resort also has a number of 2 to 4-bedroom villas. These villas are privately-owned, but are maintained, staffed, and booked out by the resort.

the kids ate in the dining room

What a nice treat to have been able to see a villa on the island. 

The three days went by ever so slowly,  but it was still too soon for me.


At the little island airport, I overheard other guests sharing their Aman experiences. One couple said they came over a couple of times a year  from nearby Hongkong. The other couple, from Europe, mentioned they had been on the island for two weeks. Two weeks?! I made a quick computation in our mind--eegads!  Clearly Aman junkies.


I dreamily picked up other Aman brochures in the lounge and thought of planning a long weekend somewhere else--maybe Cambodia, or Sri Lanka? Then I looked at the published rates--and fainted.


To the raffle gods, to the one Lord Almighty,  and to C's guardian angel for leading her to buy the lucky ticket, Thank you! Of course, a big THANK YOU to Amanpulo for supporting the Family Fun Day.

We are extremely grateful for this manna from heaven. We will be back!

Ps. Amanpulo has a "local resident" rate.

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