Road Trip Day 8 Return to Paris

Check-out early for a 4 hour long haul journey, today’s road trip is another route crosses country border! We are returning to Paris through Ghent. We should reach Gare Du Nord by 1:30 pm to return our Peugeot 208 Auto Diesel at 2:00 pm to Europcar. Cuak kejap bila kena tahan road block but they only check our passports.

Upon returning the rental car, be sure to refill the gas full tank. Travel by car in France tak berapa menyeronokkan. Probably because the roads are somewhat narrow and confusing (around Gare Du Nord). But if you’re a good driver, you would do fine anyway.

So, we returned the car and get on Eurostar back to London. We spent all Euro coins at the station because we are not gonna need them anymore πŸ™‚

Road Trip

Road signs are easy to understand although they are not in English. You would definitely understand the visuals i.e. distance between front car and yours, trajectory speeding camera, speed limit, and R&R.

Most Rest Area (R&R) we went to are very clean, wifi, and quiet. You dont see people busy go in and out of washrooms. If you’re idle in the car, make sure you turn off your engine. They are serious about conserving the air from pollution.

What is it like crossing a country border?

— Just like you’re crossing Johor – Melaka – Seremban via Plus Highway. Only there’s no toll booth waiting at each end. You would see a signboard informing you you’re reaching a country’s border and you pass by as you’re driving. And no, there’s no army with gun to check your passport at each crossing πŸ™‚

Pay toll?

— Once in France, to and fro. You can pay by credit card or cash. No staff. Just machine.

Do they have road blocks?

— We only experienced once. And no, there’s no major traffic pile up. Your red passport dont alarm them.

How to know the routes?

— When planning, i refer to Google Map. See here. And when we are driving, we used Waze. It could be a better journey if we had a pocket wifi with us.

How to start planning a road trip?

— I limit driving journey to maximum 3 hours. Because it would be tiring for all of us if we drive more than that. So get the Google Map on, start dotting your Point A to Point B and so on. It would be great if each point is a tourist attraction so you would not end up in gangster alley/black area.

Next: Road Trip Day 9 London Day 3

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Road Trip Day 6 The Netherlands!

We were supposed to arrive Aachen before going to Netherlands but i cant remember why we skipped it and drove straight to Alkmaar, our next stay in the Netherlands. Alkmaar ni paling hujung sekali, up north. It is known for its cheese market. I wanted the bois to try all different kinds of cheese but snow pour was quite heavy and we stayed inside, just to be safe. I guess i was paranoid of car skidding in snow. Hehe. Faiz asked why did i choose Golden Tulip Alkmaar out of all the places we could have been in Netherlands, i guess it’s the free parking! HAHAHA. Or it is the only available hotel in booking.com with reasonable price and comfy beds. Heeheehee. But i like the hotel, very nice πŸ˜€

The next day, we drove off from Alkmaar to Rotterdam which only an hour journey. We arrived Rotterdam, check-in The Art HotelΒ and jalan-jalan Stadsdriehoek, Cube House and then we went to Market Hall and grab our lunch there. We took train to go to Amsterdam Centraal for sightseeing. It was cold to the bone and windy. We hurried back to hotel. From Amsterdam Centraal to Maashaven is about one hour long.

Winter: The Road Trip Journey

Art Hotel & Stadsdriehoek, Rotterdam

Market Hall, Rotterdam

Amsterdam

Tips in Amsterdam: If facing with difficulties getting on the train particularly to pay the ticket via machine, use the help post. They’re very helpful.

Next: Road Trip Day 7 Let’s Go Antwerpen, Belgium!

Road trip Day 5 France to Cologne, Germany

Ta France! And road trip begins: Reims – Luxembourg – Cologne, Germany. Although we can go direct to Cologne from Reims of 4 hours journey, we might as well hit Luxembourg, see the place, buildings, it’s just a small country.

Reims to me is a very lovely city with romantic landscape. We stopped for a break and bought breads at a patisserie. Rugi la pergi France kalau tak rasa bread and pastries sana. They’re the master. My first French eclairs memang tak cukup makan satu. Had i known that we would have surplus cash, i would have indulge the delicacies there. Rambang mata tengok pastries on shelves! Takpe lah, next time, God willing. Reims to Lux: 2 hours 45 minutes.

And then we headed to Cologne, Germany.Β By the time we reach our B&B there, it is already dark. Greeted with warmth, hadnt said Halo and Bitte to a dutch in the longest time, i register for check-in. Simple je B&B ni, just what we need. A place to rest for the night after a long journey and a breakfast the next day (and free parking!) hence Bed & Breakfast. As we were resting, the bois watching telly, Faiz shouted a little. His eyes were beaming in excitement. We both look out and sat by the window in awe. It is our first rain snow together. Called the bois so they could see the snow theyve been told about, we cuddled. One of many precious moments i would always remember.

We woke up to a white morning. THE BEST. Walaupun sejuk sampai ke tulang, bila je nak merasa snow selain dlm freezer kat rumah. Theres a shopping mall nearby, Koln Arcaden. Round-round singgah C&A kejap, then we chopchop to local attraction.

We stopped at the Cologne Cathedral, known for its gothic architecture. Cologne brings back old memory; doner kebab. Such a feeling when it goes into throat. Haha. The thick bread is one of a kind. The thin meat slices cooked with herbs is superb. I wish i could bring home one for Mak. Which i did. But i had to throw it away in Rotterdam because no one would it eat anyway, we have many more days to go! Lol. We sightseeing around KΓΆln Altstadt Nord (Cologne Old Town North), saw rows of tulips, truly beauty almost look like artificial. Tulip is the best.

Dont forget to buy souvenirs at every stop. There’s Hard Rock in Cologne, FYI. And pay attention to parking meters. When renting a car, try best to adhere to local rules and regulations, just to avoid unnecessary headache.

Next: Road Trip Day 6 The Netherlands!

14 Hours Flying

As planned, we get on GrabCar at 6 AM to the airport. From home it is about an hour journey by car. We took off from KLIA at about 9:45 AM. I have received ample notifications (e-mail & phone call) on the delayed flight (+45 mins from original departure time). It’s always gets in the heart when traveling with Malaysian Airlines (MAS). MH is a little sentimental.

We boarded on Airbus 380, MH004. I did mobile check-in which was available 48 hours before flying time. Totally forgot the upper deck seating. Sigh. I asked Bapak his preferred seating, he said he prefers near the loo and not too far from the pantry so he could get the in-flight meal faster. If he’s hungry, oh boy, he aint gonna wait. Not enough patience that boy.

It’s a 3-4-3 seating, i picked 67th row, in the middle. We were the first to get on board, because we had a stroller with us. Family with little children is a priority, move away First Class flyer. Hehe.

Having Boboiboy a local cartoon series in the flight media is a big bonus. It made the bois sit tight. I assumed headphones provided by the airlines would not fit Mukhriz so I brought from home his own. Clever mama, kan? πŸ˜€

Mika & Mukhriz slept well through the long hours, behaved and enjoyed Boboiboy. I thought it would be an aching one, but i was wrong totally.

Major love for the perfumed cologne, lotion, both for men and women they placed in the washroom. Do I need to mention MAS steward/stewardess service performance? Top notch. Experienced, friendly, gentle and efficient.

We were hit with air turbulence, which is normal. Our flight got shaky but it is just for a moment. And 14 hours later we landed smoothly and safely.

This was the start of a wonderful family adventure! ❀

On MAS Mobile Check-In (iPhone 6s):

  1. Download MAS apps. Don’t forget to Update.
  2. Make sure correct name spelling, passport number and nationality.
  3. Pick your seating. Follow instruction. Done. Check everyoneΒ in, one by one.
  4. You will receive an email of your boarding pass.
  5. Tickets were bought under my name. There were four of us but I only received only one boarding pass under my name.
  6. Do not worry. At airport, go to MAS Luggage Drop counter. You’ll be fine. Forget the kiosk.

What took me so long updating this #littleromanticcomedy?!

I’ve not been feeling well of late. So i thought i was getting my menses but it never came despite stomach cramps and sore breasts. Well, just a day before flying i tried the last piece of pregnancy test kit i keep in my bag.Β  But the purple lines ran up quickly and in seconds there were two lines. We’re gonna have a baby!

I went to see Dr Suhaimi, my gynecologist and he confirmed the sac. I was advised to walk every 2 hours in the flight.

10 days gone. And a month later, tada! here i am, doing some sharing. Morning sickness this time around is a little bit more than i can handle. Nausea was quite bad. I get it all the time. I get hungry at crazy time too. I just had Mee Goreng Basah at 1:30 AM. IKR. Must buy fruits tomorrow.

More sharing coming. Toodles.

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