First Walk Down the Champs Elysées

After our flight had been delayed for an hour, we left the airport in Toronto near 1:00 am on 14 July to begin our family vacation. Finally we were in the air. I was not feeling too well as I had eaten something at the airport that my stomach did not agree with. I suspected I had a bit of food poisoning – though the flight attendants were convinced I was suffering from motion sickness. The flight was doubly uncomfortable for me (I do not enjoy flying) and I was relieved when we arrived in France. By the time we had landed in Paris, I was feeling better – and beginning to feel hungry (I had not eaten on the flight).

We were picked up at the airport by a family member who was pleased to see us. It was around 4pm on 14 July. It was Bastille day, one of France’s public holidays. Even though we were all feeling tired and desiring sleep, our host insisted we go out to eat a meal and afterwards go and watch the fireworks at the Eiffel tower. How could we say no? The first stop, though, was the supermarket where we bought a little food.

Thereafter we hopped into the car and drove to the Parisian city centre. From the parking we walked to the Champs Elysées, the main street in Paris. I hadn’t walked down this street in 29 years – and yet it felt like it had been yesterday. So much was the same – the wide sidewalks, the fast driving, and the uniqueness of the city.

We stopped at a restaurant (L’Alsace) to eat French cuisine as organised by my husband’s cousin – whom he met for the first time that evening. We ate hungrily and yet savoured the rich flavours of the food in front of us. Our first Parisian meal was delicious and definitely not a disappointment.

After chatting and eating, we walked to the Eiffel tower. The sun had set by then and we had been awake for a long time. (We had gained 6 hours while travelling).

My photos do not do justice to the amazing firework display that we saw. The following YouTube video will give you a good idea of the sight we beheld.

Staying up for the meal and the forework display was worth it and, as you can imagine, we slept well once we lay our heads down on the pillow. I had been up 21 hours and I welcomed the sleep.

walking-logoHave you walked down the Champs Elysées?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk. Head on over to her place and go for walks around the world.)

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A Walk in the Snow

Tuesday morning we woke to the sight of gently falling snow – a vision we have not seen much of this winter. It had snowed during the night, and our world was covered in a blanket of white. My first view as I stepped out of our apartment building was the branches of the trees. It looked so beautiful – almost like a fairytale.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
Snow-covered branches. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

As I walked to the subway station, I admired views I had seen before (but not this winter). This is the first proper snowfall we have had this year and I have missed seeing our environment covered in white. Grey is so dull and that is all we have seen this winter season.

As I walked down the road, I enjoyed the feel of the softly falling snow and admired the sights around me. The snow had not been dirtied yet, nor had it been turned to slush from trampling feet and moving cars.

After my train ride, I walked a little in the suburbs where the snow had been untouched by pedestrians.

I arrived early at my destination and I could not resist walking a little more before going indoors.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
A Snowy park. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

As always, my eye was drawn to the beauty of the snow-covered trees. I liked especially the silver birch tree in front of someone’s home.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
Snow-covered birch tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

The snow continued through the night and into Wednesday morning. I admire the beauty of a white winter but I know we will pay the price when the snowfall stops and the temperatures drop.

walking-logoDo you enjoy walking in the snow?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk. Head on over to her place and go for walks around the world.)

Christmas Windows

On Sunday when we went to get a few things at Eaton Center, we took the opportunity to walk along the Christmas window displays that have been set up in the store front of The Hudson’s Bay. I enjoyed looking at the the elves preparing for Christmas and Santa’s midnight ride to deliver all the gifts to children all over the world. There were scenes of carollers and of people in their homes on Christmas Eve.

In the last window, we saw Santa sitting down for his Christmas meal after a hard night’s work taking the time to relax and celebrate until preparations begin for the next year.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Santa’s work is done. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

As we walked up Queen street to catch the streetcar, we came across a wooden box holding a Nativity scene. Amid all the Santas that abound in the city and the glittering Christmas trees that are seen in every store, this scene was a welcome sight to behold.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A Nativity Scene. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

To me, the Nativity scene symbolises the true reason why Christians celebrate Christmas. The birth of Christ was was the beginning of a series of events that led to the spiritual salvation of many. Christmas is a time to ponder on this and on the reasons why we remain Christians in a world that is focused on materialism.

Do you enjoy looking at the Christmas displays in store front windows?

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© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk. Head on over to her blog to see where else you can walk this week.)

A Festive Walk

Monday night was my daughter’s music concert and we walked to the school for the performance. Walking down a side street to the main road, we passed the property of two home owners who have lit up the evergreen trees they have in their front yard. This year I was able to take a better picture of the trees than I did last year.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Twinkling trees. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

After passing the lit up trees, we turned onto the main road. The afternoon was turning into evening and the lights were on duty. We walked quickly as we did not want my daughter to be late – and the earlier we were, the better seats we would get!

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Dusk in the city. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

When we turned into the side streets again to reach the school, I could not resist snapping a few pictures of my favourite house decorations. The lights really make the neighbourhood look festive.

On the way back home, we walked a little slower and were thus able to admire the Christmas trees that the store owners in the main street have put in the windows.

I enjoyed looking at the Christmas lights and decorations. It was an added bonus to a musical evening.

Do you enjoy looking at Christmas decorations?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk and the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge prompt: twinkle)

A Walk through the Park

Last week we had snow falling gently for over a day. Luckily we escaped a blizzard – but we did not escape the cold. The dropping temperatures forced us to dress in warm winter gear while still in the middle of Fall. Even though the temperatures were lower, I did enjoy the sight of fresh snow on the ground. The day after the snowfall, I had the chance to walk in a nearby park and thought I would take you with me.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Stepping out in the snow. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The snow that had been sprinkled on the ground suited the almost bare trees:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A snow-filled scene. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

There is a small brook running through the park and I have always loved the sight of it surrounded by white.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A small brook. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The angled branches hanging over the water does lend atmosphere to the scene, I think.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A winter scene. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The snow fell consistently for over a day but did not manage to cover every nook and cranny of the rocks found in the park.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A winter park scene. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

As I walked past the children’s playground, I saw that it was empty. Visitors had not yet come to disturb the virgin snow.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A winter park scene. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

I noticed that not all trees and bushes have lost their leaves – a sign that we are still in the autumnal season.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Fall leaves. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

As I walk past this bench, I do not sit down to pause awhile. The temperatures werebelow zero and I needed to keep moving to be warm.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A park bench. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

I noticed the sun setting behind the trees and could not help thinking how pretty it was.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Setting sun. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

As I left the park, I noticed a group of children tobogganing down the slope. They looked like they were having a lot of fun.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A winter scene. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

I enjoy walking on the snow – especially when not many have yet walked in it. I love the silence of the surroundings and the sound of my feet crunching the snow. Temperatures are warmer today and rain is forecast. I know, however, that I will have another opportunity to experience white winter scenes.

walking-logoDo you enjoy walking in the park after it has snowed?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk)

A Halloween Walk

On Friday night, the evening of Halloween, it was still raining (as it had all day). My children, however, still wanted to go out trick-or-treating. Dressing up warmly, we headed out. On our evening walk in the neighbourhood, we looked out for entrances that were lit with lights and jack o’lanterns.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A welcoming entrance. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

As my children walked up to the many entrances, we admired the decorations that had been set out by the home owners.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Welcome to my parlour! © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We enjoyed the many pumpkin carvings. I appreciated the carvings depicting a scene from Gulliver’s Travels:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A depiction of Gulliver’s Travels. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The one entrance we visited was surrounded by the beauty of Fall leaves. The entrance did not look so spooky to me – instead it seemed to be welcoming.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
An Autumnal entrance. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Not at all like this little ghost:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Boo! © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Or these skulls that littered one sidewalk:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A cluster of skulls. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

One woman’s Halloween decorations were purple-inspired. As you can guess, I loved it!

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Purple-inspired decorations. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

This family had done a lot of pumpkin carving:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A cluster of jck o’lanterns. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

My daughters enjoyed the silhouettes of the characters from Monster’s University as seen in the window of this home:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Monster Silhouettes. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

And yet some more jack o’lanterns:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Jack o’lanterns. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

This spooky entrance caught my eye – the decorations were shown through the entrance windows of a house.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A spooky entrance. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We particularly liked this carving:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A three tier jack o’lantern. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Spiderwebs and cobwebs abounded as did skeletons, spiders and bats.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A cobwebby entrance. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We expected the skeleton lying in the driveway to move – and then realised we had the wrong house. Maybe those homeowners had moved away?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Skeleton Bones. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

This pumpkin pair had their orange guts spilled out onto the walkway.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Spilled orange guts. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

I hope you enjoyed a little of the Halloween sights we enjoyed on our walk. I always enjoy looking at the decorations and the children’s costumes. Sadly the weather this year prevented me from seeing the little goblins and witches in their full regalia.

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Did you go on a Halloween walk this year?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk)

Familiar Streets

On Saturday I was walking down streets I have walked down for years in all types of weather. What I enjoy most about this time of year is the beauty of the Fall trees.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A quiet neighbourhood street. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

I enjoy the blanket of leaves that fall on the ground and do not mind at all that they have not been swept up.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Falling leaves. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We have had many windy days and I am saddened to see that some trees are almost leafless.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A leafy street. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

And yet many trees are still ablaze with colour even though their branches are not full.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A blazing sight. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The blaze of colour mixed in with the green is a sight I enjoy seeing: so much so that I look up as I pass by.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Look up! © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Even though I walk these streets many times, each time I enjoy the sights before me.

Do you enjoy seeing the colour of Fall in your neighbourhood streets?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk. Head on over and see other walks that you can take.)

Out Shopping in Chinatown

As you know, this weekend we were getting ready for my daughter’s graduation from Middle School. We had been shopping for shoes in our neighbourhood but could not found the right shoes: they had to be flat sandals in a gold-like colour. Yesterday we decided to take a trip to Chinatown to see if we could find what we were looking for.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Welcome to Chinatown. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We got off the streetcar just as we entered Chinatown, hoping that we could find the shoe shop we had visited before.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Walking into Chinatown, Toronto. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Alas, the store had closed down – as have so many in the last couple of years. Store fronts stand empty even in this part of town.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Chinatown in Toronto. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We walked to the main road in Chinatown, Spadina Avenue. Here throngs of people were shopping or strolling along the road on this first day of summer.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Main intersection in Chinatown, Toronto. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

I have seen these streets busier – and they will be as the tourists come to visit and schools are closed. Looking around one can feel the vibe of the city. I love, too, that public transport is available and that the city is attempting to make the streets safer for cyclists.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A Streetcar and Cyclist. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Whenever we are in Chinatown, we always take the time to go for a meal. Yesterday we visited the best restaurant we have been to for dumplings, The Dumpling House Restaurant. The dumplings are made in-house and are freshly made every day.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Wonton soup and noodles. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We often order our favourite: wonton soup (for my husband), vegetable stir fried noodles (for my girls) and pan fried dumplings.  The meal is delicious – especially as we do not have it too often.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Pan fried dumplings. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

While in Chinatown, we take the time to stop by the supermarket to get some Chinese vegetables and cooking essentials. The fruit and vegetables are displayed outside to attract the passing trade.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Vegetables on display. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The signs showing prices are crude, penned on torn cardboard boxes or red card.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Celery on display. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The following sign was put up after people began bringing their own shopping bags to stores. As expected, the sign is also written in the language used by many of the clientèle.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A sign to customers. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The fruit always looks good and the scents encourage one to pick some up to take home.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Peaches and Mangoes. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We enjoyed our day out together as a family. The best part about it was that we found shoes for my daughter – and a little clutch purse that would go perfectly with her outfit.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Gold sandals and purse. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

All items are now ready for the big day. Later on this afternoon, she will be all dressed up and ready to celebrate.

Do you enjoy shopping in Chinatown?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was inspired by Restless Jo’s Monday Walk)