Monday, May 16, 2011


So I've just written about 14 pages in my journal, not exactly necessary to put it all on my blog!
But maybe at some point I will publish it just for fun, a bit like those photo albums you can create. So I've chosen a few pages to share with you from my last few weeks in Venice, Rome, Munich and Paris!

And for the last 3 months, well, they've just been the usual...looking after children and spending my weekends in Paris...yeh I know, what a life! ha (I must inform you though, it's not all sparkles!)

Last month Dave came over for a few weeks, we started our adventures in Venice! While we where there, we ate at some lovely restaurants, enjoyed the most delicious pizza, walked the quaint little canals, enjoying addictive coffee, and I must admit I've been getting a few headaches since my Italian getaway, must say no to coffee more often! We visited the famous Palazzo museum and ate lots of amazing ice-cream, I had the best yet- strawberry and chocolate. Must say I was in awe of the huge yacht too! Seeing as we had bought the transport boat ticket for the 3 days we decided to jump on one evening and take a little ride. Not looking at the time we leisurely sat there, stopping at all different parts of the islands. Until we came to one island and everyone got off!!! Here we thought 'Oh great, we're going to be stuck here all night', as it was about midnight! Luckily the driver was nice enough to drop us back to the main land.

Now, we couldn't go all the way to Venice and not go on a Gondola ride! Seeing as Venice is just as perfect as the movies, we didn't expect any less than a romantic evening ride. Then it was time to leave on the train the next morning past the hills of Florence headed towards Rome.

Here we did a tour through Vatican City and even posted postcards from their very own post office! Not to mention we accidently stole the postcards! Might I add we did pay for the stamps ;) Yes...we've stolen from the Pope!

After going through the Vatican it was interesting to be able to go to mass on Easter Sunday and see the Pope in the flesh- at a distance of course! There where thousands of people, each of us had to go through a security check to get into the main square, which surprised me we even got that close. Once in a lifetime experience I think.

The enormity of the Colosseum is unbelievable, and all the ruins. I would love to go back in time and see it all built, it seems like they where all giants back then.

After Rome it was back to Paris to visit the sites again, I really enjoy taking people around to all my favourite places and exploring the new ones. We went to Versailles and wondered through the gardens, they're so beautiful! I can't get over how much land or the size of castles just a few people had back then. I got to go up the Eiffel Tower again with Dave, the last time I went up I could barely see my hand in front of my face, so was nice to see the glorious view with someone special.
But for all you out there, it's not actually that romantic up there! haha

I've been very fortunate and have found some volunteer work in an Art Gallery near the Eiffel Tower:  Dave and I went to a showing one night and he took some photos for the manager, I look forward to adding this to my resume! After that we walked to the tower and watched it sparkle, such a beautiful sight. That was romantic :)

Last but not least for now, we went to Munich also! We visited the BMW museum, loved it! I definitely know what kind of car I want to get in the future...when I can afford it! Then in the afternoon we walked around the Marien Platz, there was so much beer around...I guess that's why it's known for Octoberfest! It was SO funny, we saw this huge fat guy who was the street sweeper, I quickly took a photo and we ran unreal! That night we ate at the famous Houghborough house, I think I'd get fat living in Munich as the food is so heavy.

Originally we where going to go visit the Neuschwanstein Castle on the Sunday but didn't end up having enough time, so we did something completely opposite and went to the Dachau concentration camp, I've never been to one before, it was a real eye opener. I can't believe humans treated other humans like that!

Tomorrow it will be exactly 3 months until I am back in Australia!!! I can't believe how fast this year has gone for me. But for now I'm still an aupair and continuing my French course. I still have a number of places to visit, so shall hop to over the next 3   months. Also looking forwards to my parents coming over in 8 weeks!

Au revoir pour maintenant, bisous!!! xooxox

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Barcelona has now been visited and what a gorgeous city it was. Well once I finally got there! 
On Friday morning I left my house in Paris at 6 am to head to Porte Maillot train station to take the bus to Beauvais airport 1.5 hours away. Everything was going so well, no train delays (strange as it's usually always my luck when I'm going somewhere!). Looked like I was going to make it in perfect time to get my 10.20 am flight. 

BUT no this was not to be my luck, seeing as you can't have it all! First my flight was delayed till 1.30 pm, so since I got there at 8.30 I had quite a wait ahead of me. Unbeknown to me it was going to get worse as 2 came around and still no flight! Next thing I hear it's been cancelled and I had to catch the bus 2 hours away to Lille Airport to get to Barcelona. At this point I was thinking...oooohh this better be worth it!

Finally I got to Barcelona at 7 pm! Relieved and a little bit exhausted and looking forwards to seeing Belen, I caught the train to get to the city centre and once there I caught the #41bus to my hotel - or so I thought as a while later it pulled over, stopped the engine and turned off the lights. Tah dah!!! Trip over. So there I was in a foreign country not knowing where I was, on the side of the road. I did not know what to do, so wondered around a little bit. Only knowing how to say Aborrido (boring) Ciao and ola in Spanish, doesn't usually get you very far! 

Time was up and the only solution was to take a 15 euro taxi ride. At that point I didn't care how much it was going to cost me. I just wanted to be at my hotel! 
Not long after ohh about 10.30 pm, I arrived at my Barcelo Hotel and as soon as I got in the room and saw Belen I burst into tears out of relief and exhaustion after travelling for 17 hours to get there. I kept thinking, "I could have been over half way to Australia by now!"

Now you've heard all about my big ordeal, I can tell of my actual weekend away and happily say it was worth the trip there 'now'.  After a rested nights sleep in our lovely room with a view of the beach, we met up with Ismael who walked us all around to see lots of Gaudi's designs like La Pedrera, Casa Batllo and the Sagrada Familia. 

That night Belens friends cooked us a delicious dinner followed by a night out on the town...and I mean night/morning. We arrived back at our hotel in time for breakfast, then headed up to bed to sleep until lunchtime... being sure to put the 'do not disturb' sign on the door! 

On Sunday once we finally got going, we headed to Barceloneta to see Frank Gehry's Goldfish. Very magnificent when shining in the sun and yet a lot smaller than I'd imagined. The beach was lovely and apparently it's where Shakira filmed her last music video. Then at night we walked up to Montjuic to see the night view over Barcelona and take some great photos altogether. It was another great day with everyone and I was sad to say goodbye to my new friends but am hoping they come to visit me in Australia at some point. 

So after another early rise and shine this morning at 4.30 am, I'm ready to head back to Paris and count down until the next visit somewhere. I think it's Brittany next :) 

Now it's time to say "Adios Spain"!!!! 


Friday, December 24, 2010

It's holidays baby!!!

(Written earlier today on my phone)
So right now I'm on the bus to Cork and a few minutes ago the sky wasn't looking too impressive and seeing as the weather has been so bad here in Ireland I've been worried that I won't be able to make it to London in time for Christmas. The sky has been beautiful all day and after closing my eyes for a mini nap I opened them to lots of fog and grey! So after a little  prayer for the weather to go back to clear and sunny I was very happy when I opened my eyes again to a blue sky despite the -4 degrees outside. Might I add that it looks stunning outside with all the ice crystals set on the trees and shining on the what should normally be green grass of Ireland!

Yesterday Una and I went on a boat to the Aran Islands just off Galway with two lovely French guys from Brittany whom we met the night before. (Fancy coming to Ireland to meet Irish people and I make new French friends) Fabienne and Julian where so much fun and it was especially good spending time with them for my French as they didn't speak much English and on the bus tour on the island I was translating what the guide was saying into French for Fabienne- well attempting to! When I go to Brittany in April with my host family I will meet up with them again and hopefully be able to speak more continuously with them all!

It's going to be a bit strange this Christmas not being back home in Australia. Honestly right now with only 2 days until Christmas it doesn't feel like it's so close! No offence to Santa hehe I'm looking forward to the week in Scotland following Christmas with my New Zealand cousin in London. Time to see more Aussies in Scotland and party it up on the streets of Edinburgh. Hope they can all cope with the cold...I'm sure if they put layers upon layers on like me they will be grand!

Oh how can I forget to share my very first Couch Surfing experience in Dublin?! We stayed with two Brazilian guys who have been living there for two years and have been pretty much hosting people every weekend. The hard thing was that they both smoked like chimneys with all the windows closed! So apart from nearly suffocating and smelling really bad, you can imagine my delight once I came across the big cigarette burn on the front of my winter jacket after leaving. Nothing a big bow can't cover from a pretty headband!

While in Dublin we visited a cute Christmas market in a church crypt where we met the nicest old Irish man named John Seagle who made and sold blueberry jams, tonic, and a yummy apple jelly. After hearing we were quite poor travellers just browsing, he continued to pass onto us lots of jars of jam and tonic free of charge. Everyone here is so friendly, I can't get over it. Not that everything is free, it's just they are happy to stand and have a good chat for however long you like. Seems half the country knows each other too! ha
At the market there was also a guy selling big puzzles that he designed and has also sold in Fremantle- makes me proud :)

So all in all I've had a lovely first week of holidays, what an incredible opportunity I have been given to be travelling Europe, I feel very blessed.

Heres wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and New Years Eve! Enjoy the heat for me back home :)


P.S Once I get back to Paris i'll upload some pictures to this blog and also do a catch up blog for what's been going on for the last 2 months!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spain here I come!

Europe is great! Friends are great! Classes are great and I'm great!

I've really enjoyed catching up with Mailys this weekend, I hadn't seen her in 5 years since she lived with me in Perth and I'm pleased to say that it was just as though not a year had gone by! We went for coffee in a cute area known as the Jewish community and enjoyed a beautiful date slice....Mum would lovei t!! It was nice to have something different to a croissant.

I have a confession... I got a 40 € fine on the train a couple of weeks ago as I didn't have a really it is my own fault! Those guards where not going to hear a bar of what I had to say...'I lost my ticket!' It was funny though because all the people that where getting fines where from other countries! I think they had the same excuse as me hehe

Tonight I'm off to Spain to see Belen who was also in school with me! I'm so excited as the holiday adventures are now starting to take shape! My new Irish friend invited me to stay with her for a week before Christmas as well so there I go, then to London for Christmas then onto Scotland for NYE.

I just received my birthday present from my parents today and was soooo excited to see some Smiths Crisps! It's sad we don't have them here as they are just sooo good! But I guess that's one less thing to get fat on. One thing I wont get fat with are the gorgeous clothes they sent me, very cute and I look forward to wearing some in Spain :)

Thanks also Kelli, David and Candice for your letters!!!

<3 Chelsea xox

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nuit Blanche!

Ta dah!!!!!
Another blog entry for you all, sorry it’s been so long in the coming, I’ve just been sooo busy entertaining Australian visitors and starting my language course. Tonight I am meeting up with Lauren Southern in Paris for dinner and am sooo excited! It will be great to see her here, I wanted to go visit her in London when she lived there, but it didn’t happen, so it's lovely to have her come here!

About 2 weeks ago I saw Natalie again, we went up to Montmartre again, Kelli joined us later for Nutella crepes! I must say I was a little bit disappointed with mine, the man had folded up my crepe and just slopped Nutella on top! Not rolled in it...totes stingy!! So that’s a bit of advice...get your Nutella crepe take away as they have to fold the Nutella into the crepe! AKA ask the black guy in the little window to do it, his are ze best!

I have been to church here a couple of times, they are soo friendly there, and it's nice too because it feels a bit like home, I guess it’s just being surrounded by people that feel the same as me and worshipping altogether singing about God, I'm looking forwards to this coming wknd too as I'll be going again! It's cute, they have a luncheon each Sabbath, and everyone brings what they can-typical sevvy food! Poor people though as there is only 2 little microwaves to warm everything up. It's incredible though because although it doesn’t look like there is lots of food, it goes a long way! You just have to beware of this one older Madagascar guy!!! He always comes over to talk to Kelli and I, and I mean SPIT more like it, you have to hold your plate far far away from him or else you end up with his food on your plate, very gross!! Don't get me wrong he is very nice, but he doesn’t know when to leave you alone and to have conversations with other people!

Last week when we were at church there was also another Australian family visiting from Cannes, they sounded oh so Australian! I think it's more so where they were from, different lingo!

Speaking about Australians, I met up with my friend Emily from Perth and her boyfriend Reece last week at Galleries Lafayette for a spot of shopping, it's huge there and very expensive. If you want to buy Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, this is the place for you! Unfortunately it doesn’t seem the place for me, unless I get a rich boyfriend that wants to take me shopping! hehe

Last week I started my French course at La Clef, it's such a great place to do classes as all of the girls in my class are soo nice, especially 4 in particular, on the first day we formed our friendship! And since then we have been hanging out heaps. Classes are going well, it was quite tricky at the beginning as the teacher only speaks in French, I was thinking to myself 'How on earth am I meant to learn the language when she doesn’t even explain what she is saying!!!' It seems to me that it's just how it goes! She's great as she does actions to help get the point a bit. Yesterday we had to take in a sort of show and tell for the class then they would ask us questions in French about it and we had to respond in French! I took in a finger puppet of a Koala and Kangaroo that I had given my kids here and talked about them! My friend Sarah made a robot out of biscuit boxes and coke cans! Hilarious!

Saturday just gone I thought it best to sleep in as long as possible as I knew I had a big night ahead of me! Me and the girls from class caught the very last 12.20 am train into Paris to go to Nuit Blanche, it's an event that happens once a year, it means white knight, meaning night with no sleep! There are certain places around Paris that have light, video or art exhibitions, so our aim was to see as many as we could. A very fun night although we barely saw any Nuit Blanche! We saw about 2 exhibits in total! We started the night at the Arc de Triomph and walked all the way down to the Eiffel Tower to be greeted by one big giant dark tower!!! So disappointing as I have stated a couple of times on facebook and pictures! lol It turns out that the tower lights get turned off at 1 am, too bad if you’re a tourist one night and just miss out, lucky I can go back, but I was really looking forwards to it as it was my first time at the tower!

After the tower with no lights, we walked to Notre Dame in St Michel, hoping to see some more exhibits as that’s a main area for attractions. It took us about 2 hours! That Seine is longer than it looks on the map! Yes we did walk quite slow and stop along the way, but I must say that the smell of urine along the way makes it easy to try walk faster! That's one of the bad things in Paris, they don't provide many public toilets, and if they do they are locked! So the street it is for a many! (not me)

Along the way we came across a cute red English scooter so thought it necessary to hop on and take photos! Then when we were at a gorgeous bridge this random Mexican guy came up, put down his money pot and put on his hat and started dancing and singing to all of us! Us being poor aupairs with no money told him we had no money, he just kept dancing so we walked off, not a very agreeable man as he kicked the plastic bottle at us!

Might I add that whilst I'm writing this I am eating my 2nd yogurt... I now love yogurt!!!

Back to the story!

After the dancing man we walked and walked and walked and walked!!! We did have all night so what was the rush? It's funny how many times I have been asked directions since I’ve been living here; do I look like a regular around these areas? I don’t know, but at the Louvre we got asked by some New Zealanders which way the Eiffel Tower was, then by some French guys! Lucky for them we knew! haha

Along the way to St Michel we went past the tunnel where Princess Di died, it was lovely reading all of the nice things people wrote about her on the marble wall. Gorgeous memorial they have designed.

Once in St Michel we saw Notre dame in all it's dark glory (like the Eiffel) with people dancing to bongos down on the banks of the Seine. Sadly we couldn't find many more exhibits so resolved ourselves to finding a cafe, it was only 4.30 am after all!!! But after a long search and not finding any cafes with coffee under 8 Euros we decided to just go into a cafe, find somewhere quite and doze!

Once nearly morning we went to pass another hour by in the metro station...waiting for Mc Donald’s to open for our breakfast of mini pancakes and strong coffee! Once breakfast had satisfied us, we needed to pass another 2 hours until the museums had opened, as it was the first Sunday of the month all the museums where free. I looked up opening hours of Notre Dame church on my phone and saw that a service was starting at 8.30, so it was off to mass we went! Quite amazing being in there, I couldn’t help thinking I was actually in Notre Dame! Some of the girls used this as another chance to doze! The sound was amazing with organs playing and the lady singing hymns,
 it was beautiful inside too.

It was then time to go to the Louvre and see special Mona Lisa!!! Can't believe I saw the Mona Lisa! I couldn’t stop thinking of the Mr. Bean movie where he takes the painting hostage! It's incredible how small the painting is compared to what I’d imagined. The castle is so gorgeous and huge, I sometimes wish I could have lived in that era and not just been a tourist. It's all so over the top ornate with great attention to detail, it's true they don't make buildings like they used to. I need to go back to the Louvre as I barely saw any of it, we did sneak in a nap on the garden lawns though! Was great not to get kicked off the grass this time!

In exactly 14 days I'm going to Spain to visit my friend Belen! It will be so nice to see her again and celebrate my 22nd birthday there! Let's see how they do it Spanish style!!!

Well I think I’ve written your eyes off for now, until next time!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Its been a while!

Wow I just realised that it's actually been a while since I last wrote on here, but you know, Ive been accumilating a lot more things to be able to write about!

So I finally met the children, although I feel like I have already written this all on here (maybe it didnt get posted) or maybe Ive told this a few times already plus written it in my diary! Again for fun :)

They are really cute when they are happy! But isnt that like all children, they have a bit of a canadian accent as their last aupair was from Canada and they learnt to speak english with her, I wonder if they will have little Australian accents when I'm finished here! That would be funny, maybe ill have a mini french twing to the sound of my english spoken words- you can all be the judge of that!

Back to the children...We are getting into a real routine and getting used to the daily activities of Morgane whether it be Pony Club or swimming or Jeudo for Lucas, they have a bigger social life than me at the moment haha Lucas gives the biggest hugs and kisses on the cheek and is obsessed with flowers! He is always picking them, even though he is onlly alowed to pick the weedy yellow ones! If he got to pick all the pretty ones there would be none left! I think he is going to be a real ladies man!

Morgane is great at drawing, crying and whining! :S It drives me crazy some days but just have to move on and threaten that there will be no cartoons that night if she keeps carrying on like that! lol Its  a great threat, it works a charm :) I bought over some cool activity cards that we make little arty things, she loves that and always keeps her busy.

Last week my friend Natalie was visiting from Perth! We had a great time and went to the Chanel store...gorgeous! Then headed to the nicest cafe I have ever eaten at, it was called Cafe Angelina, very posh! It cost like 30 euro for just 2 desserts and 2 drinks! But worth it as my dessert had gold on it!!!

Then we went up the Tour Montpernasse which had a 360° view of Paris and faces directly to the Eiffle Tower...unfortunatly I didnt have my good camera so my photos arent that great, ill have to go again I think! Which one of you would like to come?

Then that night on the way home we took the wrong train and had to wait something like 30 minutes to get back where we needed to be! The next day we went shopping in St Germaine En Laye and had yum crepes for lunch then headed to Paris for drinks with new friends we made from Travelex!

Since then the guy from Travelex got fired! And the other one Harold his friend asked me out! Dont worry, i'm still single!

Oh heres some shocking news that you will all think is typical of the French... On sunday I was having a lovely day to myself in St Germaine, I had walked around the shops which had closed (I didnt know they closed at 1 pm on Sundays) so then after quickly buying my new Le Coq Sportif shoes  I headed to the castle gardens to enjoy my Jodi Picoult novel, I found a lovely quite place under a tree that had spikes like Jesus crown of thorns and thought to myself that this would be my new place that I would come and relax in whenever I felt like beling along. 1.5 hours later I see a man all official walking towards me, and in french he starts blabbering something and I quickly figure out that I am not alowed to be on the grass!!!!
He tells me I have to go sit on the park bench! Soooo not as relaxing, and seeing as I was a bit down in the first place this silly little thing just made me cry! I didnt understand because not far away there was lots of people laying on the grass! So the Jesus spikes tree was forbidden for me, and there went my relaxing place!
I thought 'This wouldnt happen in Australia!!!!!'

Often when I'm driving the car or on the train or walking through the shops I like to just watch people, you can spot the true Parisian by the clothes they wear and how they wear them, I am yet to see someone wearing a béret! Maybe when it hits winter, ill keep you posted on that point. There is one man in particular actually up in Montmartre that is a painter and wears white pants with paint splashes everywhere, an oversized 80's jacket with the sleeves pushed up and his shirt sleeves coming out...he is actually wearing a beret!!! haha 'me paint for you' is what he says everytime :)

It's true there are lots and lots of smokers! On Saturday I was at Le Grand Arch in La Defence and just on the 70 steps below there would have been hundreds of cigarette butts! It horrible, they cant seem to go without! The french people are actually very helpful, I usually ask them the question in french and they figure out from my accent and lack of depth in my question that I speak english, so they continue to help in english :)

I have been trying to learn some more french vocab this week as I sit my language course in 2 weeks to determine my level, I dont want to start at the bottom again so am trying to cram :)

Parlez vous a bientot <3

Friday, August 27, 2010

Catch Up

Today is a day to meet with Australians!

I am meeting Skip for coffee this afternoon as he flies in and flies out later in the afternoon; so that will be lovely to catch up. He will probably want to speak as much french as possible...too bad im very rusty!
Where Im meeting up with him is where the tallest building in France is- the Tour Monterpenasse! They think 53 stories is high! Gosh they need to take a look at the Eureka building!!! Ill go up the french tower when the weather is a bit better as the view is amazing, you can see the Eiffel tower directly and gardens below.

After meeting with Skip im meeting with my new friend Kelli for the afternoon and dinner at a vegetarian restaurant she knows. It's actually quite easy not eating meat here, easier than I expected! You just need to understand parts of the menu lol

Surprisingly I have been here over a week and still havnt met the little munchkins! They have been away with some family friends out in Normandy where the man theyre visiting is a photographer for the horse races and the kids love going with him. So we are going to pick them up tomorrow morning and stay in a nice B&B on Saturday night and eat at a traditional french restaurant for dinner...luckily my hosts can translate for me as also none of the people we are seeing speak a word of english!!!

Yesterday on my bike ride I was so in awe, the houses around these suburbs are just so amazing, there are barely any words to describe them, some have 5 stories, castle like looking, mysterious etc Next time im there I will take pictures because theyre incredible! Nothing like them in Australia sorry!

Did I mention getting stuck in the metro station the other day!? Once I had reached Charles de Gaulle station on the train my ticket wouldnt work to get me through the next section and seeing as the information desk was through the gate, I was totally stuck! So I looked up my french handbook and tried scrambling a sentence together to speak to the man through the emergency help button! The problem is that because I told him in french my ticket wouldnt work, he responded in french what to do! So I just started hoping for the best and spoke english then...I think he just gave up on me because he just buzzed the gate open for me!

It will be great to finally start my french lessons end of September, then in instances like above I will be dandy! Just have to complete a test first to determine a level :s

Next time I write I can tell you about the children, they sound so cute! And apparently Morgane has drawn me lots of pictures already!