August 8, 2014

Paris Plage 2014

Yes, once a year, the beach comes to Paris!
It's a fun place and also a great area to picnic with friends!


July 26, 2014

The Cardiff Hotel, Hyde Park in London Hotel Review

                The Cardiff Hotel               

Cardiff Hotel
5, 7, 9 Norfolk Square, Hyde Park,
London W2 1RU
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7723 9068
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7723 3513

    As soon as you plan a trip to London, one of the UKs FINEST cities, I recommend that you book a room, straight away at the Cardiff Hotel in Paddington. 

I have been traveling to London for over 5 years now, as it's so easy to hop on the Eurostar at Paris, Gare du Nord and end up directly to the center of London, at St. Pancras, with no hassles with getting to an airport a few hours in advance, pesky checkin, airport security, waiting and boarding!  Taking the train across the English Channel is one of the easiest travel EVER!  If you are in Paris, you can organise a trip to London (best if done in advance, for lower prices) and spend a few days in the U.K. Why not?! It's so easy and fun!

Upon arrival London, it's best to take out some cash from the bank distributor right in the station, and then get an Oyster Card (you can also do this on the train), and load it with some money or get a 5 day or 7 day pass, depending how much you plan to use it.  Personally, I just top off my card now as I go, because I walk more than using the Tube, but that's up to you! London is pretty big... 

From King's Cross/St. Pancras Train Station.. you need to get the Circle Line (yellow), District Line (Green), which run on the same track... or the Hammersmith Line (pink) and head off to Paddington. If you take the circle line... make sure it's VIA Paddington.  It's a mere 5 stops from St. Pancras.  Once you're off at Paddington, and leave the station there, it's a two minute walk to the Cardiff Hotel! 

Arriving at the Cardiff Hotel at 5 -9 Norfolk Square in the heart of Paddinton, you will pass a very quaint park on London Street. It's just across from the hotel.  See in just two minutes time, you're there!

Inside, you will be welcomed by a lovely staff member who will check you in.  Take your luggage to your room, and off you go!  See the city... or have a quick rest and then go out.

A little about the Cardiff Hotel and why it's my favourite and first choice in hotels in London.  The Cardiff Hotel was recommended to me by my dear friend, Tonio, in San Diego.. who ALWAYS has top rate info on where to stay for comfort and location all at a good price! So, Tonio, Mr. World Traveler himself, told me about this gem of a hotel when I asked him for a good place to stay during my first trip to London.  He told me about the Cardiff, and how lovely it was- quaint, great staff and copious breakfast!  He also told me that is just a few minutes walk over to Hyde Park, which I really liked to hear!

After staying at this lovely hotel for the first time, and having such a great experience... You meet the nicest people there, who are also traveling as  you are... along with the very friendly and cheerful staff- the breakfast staff are just incredibly polite, professional and really make sure that you have everything you need!  The staff at the reception desk are equally polite, profession and very helpful- you can ask them all about where to eat, what to visit, things 
of interest, etc. and tell you, and PRINT the information for you, if needed! What service. If  you have any problem or concern with something,  you can also let them know and they will work quickly to resolve any issue that may come up.

Keep in mind, that this is a very typical, classic hotel in London. In Europe, the hotel rooms can be a lot smaller than what Americans are used to in America (except in NY) from my own experience...  The rooms in Europe are generally a bit smaller, unless you take a suite or stay at a LUXURY hotel... but what you do get here at the Cardiff is a very clean room, which is decorated simply and very nicely... a flat screen tv with lots of channels, an electric tea pot for making tea and coffee, which is supplied in the room as well as a blow dryer.  A towel is provided, of course, as is soap, shampoo and shower gel (daily).  There is free WIFI at the hotel and all rooms have free access, as well.

All of the rooms at the Cardiff Hotel have been redone as new, so you really can count on things being tip-top and very clean! The rooms are cleaned daily, as well.  There are 67 rooms total and 5 floors in all so if you prefer to stay at a lower level in order to avoid going up and down the stairs, please let the staff know when you check in.  I don't mind, but I 
know that some people like to no about this kind of thing, as there is no lift (elevator) in the building. If you need a hand with  your luggage, ask the the staff, they are very accommodating and will really try to help make your stay a wonderful 
one. I personally like stair-climbing and count it as part of my daily exercise, but I know that some of you with creaky knees might not like it as much as I do!
As for breakfast... what better way to start your day than down in the breakfast room! The breakfast room is downstairs and open from 7 -  10 a.m. weekdays and 7:30 - 10:30 a.m. on weekends. If you need to check out in order to catch a flight or train, etc, you can let the desk staff know and they can fix you something to take away so that you have something to eat! 
The breakfast provides a very wide selection of delectable breakfast foods, including cereals, toast, fresh and canned fruit, yogurt eggs, bacon, and baked beans... as well as a coffee, tea, milk and juice.  Attention: New coffee machine which allows you to simply press a button to have a choice of caffe latte, cappuccino, espresso, etc!  And, I found this coffee to be even better than what I'm used to getting at regular local coffee shop.  In all, you will enjoy a very good and complete meal at breakfast time, and you probably won't be hungry again until 1 or 2 pm!  I love the setting of the breakfast room, because it's very light and big, their are two huge windows which allow for seating breakfast bar style, in very comfortable chairs. You might not evenwant to get up,  you will feel so comfortable! It's a great setting a perfect way to start  your day.  
Once you have finished breakfast and are ready to go out and explore London, you can just hop on a Big Red Bus just at the next street, hop on the Tube at Paddington station, two minutes walk. You can take the Hop on Hop Off Bus, which is located on the street just parallel and one minute from the hotel. You can walk over to the Hyde Park, which is just a 7 minute walk or so from the hotel... and from the park, you have Notting Hill/High Street Kensington.. and many other places of interest very near by.

I am sure you will enjoy you stay at the Cardiff Hotel and will want to keep coming back again and again! That is why I keep coming back, year after year....  I feel so at home there, that each time I walk in the door, I feel like I'm at home! 

Cheers and have a great time in London!
                            The staircase has a beautiful and ornate design,
                                          very regal.


Norfolk Square, a cute little park right in front of the hotel
Lots of restaurants and shops on London St., across from the hotel
                       Here's a look at my room at the Cardiff.
                                                                   I love it!
Start your day out right in the Breakfast Room.
Bon Appetit!

June 6, 2014


                                    JOUR J: L'EMBARQUEMENT/ JOUR J: THE EMBARKMENT

Débarquement du 6 juin '44 : Le monde entier retient son souffle.
The Debarquement of June 6 1944, as the entire world holds their breath.
The Allied Forces; American, British, Canadian sent the forces by air and sea... landing on the beaches of Normandy, France to help defeat Hilter's army and to defeat Germany in the Second World War.
This Memorable Day in History is marked by the loss of lives of both military and civilians, entire villages and towns destroyed in Normandy, between 80- 90% of these towns being completely destroyed and devastated by bombs.
A VERY SAD day in history of the loss of lives, but at the same time, the mark of the VICTORY of the War, wherein France and the rest of Europe was freed from Hitler's evil hold.
I give thanks to our ALLIES and brave soldiers of all nationalities... who helped save France and to rid the world of this EVIL POWER!

May 23, 2014

MARKET FORCE ------ Mystery customer!

  I have a friend who works for a company called, "MARKET FORCE."  It's a very interesting idea, in terms of how it works.... The Mystery Customer is aimed at testing products and giving your opinion in order to help companies/businesses know how customers feel about their products and what people like and dislike.

I have recently become a 'Mystery Customer.'  In order to become one  yourself and benefit from being PAID for trying out and giving your opinion on specific products/items... Please read this coupon below and then go to the website and create an account. Be sure to fill out all the information required in the create a profile part. Once this is completed, you will be given "missions" to complete.
It's easy, fun and you are PAID to do this! What more could you ask for?!

Here's the info you need to get started: