The Maiden Mona Lisa

Yeyyoh!!

NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE REAL MONA LISA PAINTING
NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE REAL MONA LISA PAINTING

Kay I don’t exactly know if she was in fact a maiden, or a madame, or a princess, or a queen… no I have no idea about her relationship status. But I thought the word ‘Maiden’ had a nice ring to it, because it starts with an M like the name Mona Lisa…

More on Paris, my family and I visited the Louvre Museum. It was absolutely brilliant being there. Before going to Paris, I heard lots about the Mona Lisa painting:

  • beautifully painted by Da Vinci
  • she actually looks at you when you’re moving
  • her smile is the element that made the painting out stand his other works of art.

Therefore, I was really looking forward to visit it.

So of course, when we arrived, we took a couple of pictures. The view was stunning, tourists scattered everywhere (including us obvs)…

We’re hereeee!!

We played around the area before going into the actual museum. You can see just how energetic I was, especially with the weather being welcoming. It was just a bit chilly, so we took off our coats and ran around while my mum told us to stop and smile for the camera…

Say "I heart Paris!"
Say “I heart Paris!”
Jumpin' jumpin' !
Jumpin’ jumpin’ !
Ladies and gentlemen: Louvre Museum
Ladies and gentlemen: Louvre Museum

After the photography sessions, we finally went inside the museum. For those who don’t know, the museum is under the glass pyramid roof you see behind us, yes underneath it.

At first, entering the museum was very nice, it looked majestic and expensive. They had this intricate painting on the ceiling which was fab!

mona lisa_4

We first saw the Mona Lisa painting. It wasn’t even that big of a painting, covered in glass and a fence was put at a far distance so us tourists can’t go beyond it. Tbh, I wasn’t THAT impressed with the famous painting. Not that it looks worse live, but because I’ve seen it even before going to Paris and when I got the chance to observe it for real, I could only appreciate it from afar. So if you guys think it’s so fascinating to visit the Mona Lisa painting, think again… But I don’t wanna lower your expectations. Who knows, you may be one of those who are so into the arts and stuff, so you might actually be surprised by what you see. Idk dude…

My dad and my sister standing really far from the painting, I don't think I have a picture of myself there so I decided to take this pic.
My dad and my sister standing really far from the painting, I don’t think I have a picture of myself there so I decided to take this pic.

We also got brochures and a map of the museum. After walking around the gallery for quiet some time, we sat and relaxed a bit, went through the leaflets taken earlier. My dad used his camcorder to tape everything, and as you can see, my brothers took their time watching it.

Cus chillin' in the Louvre Museum is cooolio!
Cus chillin’ in the Louvre Museum is cooolio!

Now the gallery… it was something. You need to really feast your eyes to what you’re about to see. And I don’t particularly mean it in a good way. Maybe you’re used to it, but I for sure was very astonished to see the paintings in the gallery. Like 80% – 90% of it were nude… -_- And nooo, we didn’t take a picture of the too-exposed ones because…I mean, why?!

One of the many paintings in the museum.
One of the many paintings in the museum.

When we were getting lost in the Louvre Museum, we didn’t walk in a group at all times. I did venture through the halls alone, trying my best to keep my coolness what with all the naked paintings. My parents told me back in the days, the French/artists viewed nudity as artwork, which explains why majority of the stuff you’ll find fit that category. I remembered, when we were walking together, there was this one sculpture of a woman with… male genitals. Ewww much?! But yeah, apart from paintings, sculptures also seemed to be the highlight of the art museum. Here’s one:

No I was posing. I'm not like that when I'm shocked at anything.
No I was posing. I’m not like that when I’m shocked at anything.

All in all, the most of the museum wasn’t just the Mona Lisa, it was the surrounding of people appreciating art, and the many artwork of famous artists, of whom I do not know of.

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We took the tube to go to our next destination. I can tell you by that time, we were really tired. We did an awful lot of walking and playing so that explains our exhaustion. But despite that, we still carried on the journey because never say never… (The Fray, not the Biebs).

In front of the Metropolitain tunnel
In front of the Metropolitain tunnel
Waiting for the tube. "Everyone, say CHEEESE!"
Waiting for the tube. “Everyone, say CHEEESE!”

After what seemed like hours of walking and tube-riding, we finally reached the location. What was it? Well it was  …the very Eiffel Towerrrrr!

Wandering

My family and I wandered around the place. Idk if you can see, but there are a LOT of people behind us, standing in line to reach the top of the tower. My parents once came to Paris before us, during their anniversary, and they told us a little mishap happened. So that time, my mum was in a fashionable mood. She wore high heeled boots during their trip. Since the queue to take the elevator was endless, they went with walking their way up. So in they went, with their tickets in hand, climbing the looooooooooooooooooooooong stairs of the Eiffel Tower. But then my mum was painfully knackered that she took off her boots and walked barefoot…

*sighs*
*sighs*

My siblings and I reeeally wanted to see the view of the top of the tower, both the lines to the elevator and the stairs was time-consuming. So in the end, no, we didn’t enter the tower. 😦 But it’s okay, because just being there was already an experience.

So that’s it for my 2008 Paris holiday! If it wasn’t obvious, yes I had an abso-bloody-lutely splendid time!! I hope in the future I get to revisit the place 😀

mona lisa_9

A Child’s Paradise

Yeyyoh! 😀

So the next day we woke up early, all eager and thrilled to go the very Disneyland. It was a rather short trip from our cabin to the theme park. I also found out that there was this other Disney themed accommodation. I forgot what it was called but I remember, different from our squirrel-like cabin, it was like a grand, royal mansion. And a sparkly Tinkerbell was smack on the front of the building. I understand why we didn’t stay there, for obvious reasons…(cha ching, cha ching).

Me posing behind the walking broom from Disney s Fantasia.
Me posing behind the walking broom from Disney s Fantasia.

So entering Disneyland in daylight was so much a view to take in. It truly is a child’s paradise. That morning we queued to take a picture with the legendary Mickey Mouse himself. The queue was like, what… 2minutes? Other characters needn’t queue, only Mickey Mouse. Why am I not surprised?

MICKEYYYYY!!
MICKEYYYYY!!

I remember the first roller coaster we rode was this under tunnel themed one, and after it ended, my sister cried… cus, I guess she was traumatized by the ride? And when we were getting off and the next people were quickly booking their seats, everyone looked at her. I mean, yeah, a girl crying, who wouldn’t?

Honestly though, I can’t even recall how many days we went to Disneyland, but it was definitely fun. We ventured through the streets of what Disneyland had to offer, bought some treats to snack off.

I think I was eating ice cream, looks like it though
I think I was eating ice cream, looks like it though
Cotton Candy can definitely make one's day!
Cotton Candy can definitely make one’s day!

So like I said earlier, we went during the Christmas days. If you’re planning to go to a famous theme park, I highly suggest not only going during a holiday, but also during winter. Because the queues are like 20 minutes at most and it’s not so crowded as in the summers. Plus, you need not worry about being Frozen, because you will get used to it by the second day. And c’mon, once in a while you gotta have some fun with the weather, get out of the safe zone. Unless we’re talking about some heavy blizzard, now that I don’t recommend playing with. But yeah, the weather was a couple of negative degrees (I think)…

Standing in front of a Disneyland Christmas tree.
Standing in front of a Disneyland Christmas tree.

Once I saw this BuzzFeed video of how the gigantic pine tree is being set up during the wee hours in Disneyland. And that’s my sister and I standing in front of it. Check it out!

My friends might know this story, but there was this one time, when the sky was turning dark, where my mum and sister got separated from my brothers, my dad and I. I think it was because we were going on a roller coaster and my sister and my mum denied the invitation. Whilst trying to be united, we stumbled upon Stitch Live. It was new during 2008, so my dad told us we should give it a shot. So we followed him, because a) he’s our dad b)he’s been to 3 Disney theme parks, thus being more experienced. However, once we were inside and seated, I kinda regretted coming there because it was for children. Basically all you do it sit and there’ll be a big screen with Stitch on it communicating with the audience, with the help of this host…(a dude with a microphone).

How Stitch Live worked, and as you can see, the audience consists of kids...
How Stitch Live worked, and as you can see, the audience consists of kids…

And you see, my older brother didn’t enjoy it any more than me, maybe even less. So even when it all started, he had this dull face and his mouth was open like a Cheerio cereal. Then, all of a sudden Stitch was like “Wait, how about him? The one sitting at the back?” And the host was like ” Which one Stitch?” then on the screen came a photo of my brother!! Yup, with his bored stiff face. So the host walked up to him, held a microphone and my brother got interviewed with Stitch. It was HILARIOUS!

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I can’t even…. One of the questions being asked was “Where do you come from?” to which my bro replied “Malaysia”.

Stitch then entertained the audience with his quest from escaping the evil Captain Gantu. And somewhere then he asked who could be a good monkey… that time my younger brother was sitting at the front (I think he was moody), so when the monkey question popped up, he was the first to raise his hand. And oh! did that make things 10x funnier!!

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I can’t bring to mind what had specifically happened, but there was a time where Captain Gantu exploded this orange planet that made Stitch upset. Next he asked my older brother “Is that your planet Malaysia?” with this really cute Stitch face. And of course, my brother shook no.

The show was over so we exited. A feeling of disappointment from entering Stitch Live turned into a humorous memory that we all will treasure for a very long time!

How it looks like from outside
How it looks like from outside

When outside, we finally found my mum and sister and all at once my brothers and I told them what had happened back in the Stitch Live studio. My mum was upset because she also wanted to visit it with us, but I guess plans don’t work as well.

There was a point where I was very insistent to ride a roller coaster. So my mum suggested I follow my dad while the rest went on not-so-scary rides.

What’s cool about Disneyland Paris was that it was split into 4 lands.  mickeymouse4

I forgot which  was the space themed one, but you can have a guess. Since my dad was more familiar with Disneyland as afore mentioned, he knew which roller coaster rides were the best and suitable for my height. We compromised with Space Mountain. And can I say it was one heck of a ride! That was one I certainly did not regret going. After that, my dad vowed to not go on any other extreme rides in Paris, ahahaha. This was me on this flying thing… while waiting for our turn on the Space Mountain (cus we bought a ticket to skip the queue).

Mak Chak visit 02

During the next couple of days, our time in Disneyland grew more fun. We took pictures with Disney characters and went on awesome rides, from Disney’s bumper Car, to Buzz Lightyear’s flying spaceship. These are some photos of us…

GOOFYY!!!
GOOFYY!!!
This was in Alice in the Wonderland's maze.
This was in Alice in the Wonderland’s maze.
With King Louie from The Jungle Book
With King Louie from The Jungle Book
Going down the stairs of a Disney tree house.
Going down the stairs of a Disney tree house.
A map of Adventureland.
A map of Adventureland.

Throughout my whole journey in Paris, I was supported by my trustworthy long pink coat, as you can oh so obviously see. Looking back at the photos, I just realized most of my winter clothing were pink! My gloves, my hat…I can say it was unintentional, honestly!

Lilo and Stitch!
Lilo and Stitch!

So yeah, Disneyland Paris was amazing, if not more: tremendous, splendid, fantastic, breath-taking, astounding, fear-some. You name it! I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch to go with than my family, they were awesome! We went to the theme park for more than a day, not all the pictures was at one go. But I combined the whole trip to Disneyland, so bear in mind the all this was not just a day. Our next destination was sight-seeing the true city of Paris…

One last picture: I love how all three of us fit so well with the characters of Monster’s Inc.

The City of FUN: Arrival

Yeyyoh!

Le Eiffel Tower...
Le Eiffel Tower…

I know, it’s actually The City Of Love. But going there in 2008 with my family wasn’t just a pleasant bondage, it was a joyful time together. So yes, my family and I went to Paris, France 6 yrs ago when I was 11.

Let’s start all the way from the ferry, yes, the ferry…

We went to Paris from England through a ferry, and not just the usual ferry you go with your friends in Penang. This was like a big ferry where you get SOOOOOOO BLOOODYYY seasick! And we weren’t even outside! I forgot how long the trip was, but it was more than an hour. And I remembered my siblings and I complaining and moaning to my parents about how friggin dizzy we were and when the journey would end. I asked why being in that particular transport felt that way, when in fact we’ve been in a couple of Penang ferries. And to that my dad replied “It’s the same, even back in Malaysia it was quite a journey”. But nope, I denied it. I said in Malaysia it wasn’t as bad, and to this day I agree with my Year 5 self.

That’s me in the ferry lounge, obviously bored to death.

We FINALLY arrived and drove to our accommodation. Honestly, I can’t remember whether the trip was long, but I can say it was better than the ferry ride. We stayed in Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch which was a whole neighborhood of cabins/caravans and the environment was really woody with lots of thick trees surrounding it. If not trees then barks, or logs, or branches, or sticks, or leaves, basically a part of a tree.

You can roughly see what we woke up to that time, the outside view from the cabin was so warming...
You can roughly see what we woke up to that time, the outside view from the cabin was so warming…

Even the slide in the swimming pool was made out of wood, they were big logs where you literally slide down it. While waiting for our cabin to be ready, we hung around the little shop near the registration centre. The shop sold Disney merchandises, mostly stuffed toys. Here, you can see it for yourself.

Just look at the amount of stuff!
Just look at the amount of stuff!

The place was really cool. They even had their own stables…

That night we went to Disneyland just for a stroll. It wasn’t time to try out all the rides because first of all, it was near to midnight and all the rides were closed. And second, we wanted to just have a look around to get a fair view on the place. We went during Christmas so they lit up the entire place with Christmas spirits.

My mum, my sister and I (it was freeeeezing, and did I mention it was night time?)
My mum, my sister and I (it was freeeeezing, and did I mention it was night time?)
My mum, my sister, my brothers and I standing somewhere in the Disneyland entrance.
My mum, my sister, my brothers and I standing somewhere in the Disneyland entrance.

It was an unsurprisingly delightful night. They put on a number of Disney shows with Cinderella and Prince Charming dancing near the palace, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse ice skating. The only unfortunate thing was the weather. Not to say it was absolutely unbearable, but it was to the point where you wonder whether the water vapor forming from your exhalation was gonna freeze or not.

After our walk, we went back to the cabin and ate my mum’s Rendang that she brought to Paris. Yup, the famous Malaysian dish. Thinking about it now, it is quite a story to have Rendang in Paris; then we dozed off, dreaming about what awaits us in Paris…

One last picture: Rendang in Paris (I look really high, yes I know).