Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mainau Island ,Germany

  •       78465 Insel Mainau, Germany

  • Mainau Island in Germany is similar to keukenhof in Holland.It's like a big wonderful garden with lot's of beautiful flowers and a wonderful scenery.

    They have beautiful gardens with different themes.The kids loved the big peacock and duck formed flowers.We visited at the beggining of spring which was still a bit cold but sunny,perfect weather to walk around.They also have playgrounds and picnic place all over the place whenever you want to have a break after a long walk.

    When i first saw the place ,it reminds me of the "secret garden" cartoon series that i used to watch when i was a kid.

    Inside the park they have souvenir shops and you can find nice postcards or calendars showing the beauty of the island if Mainau.They also have restaurants selling "bratwurst" a typical german sausage served with a piece of bread with mustard or ketchup ;)

    They also offer different activities for the kids like treasure hunt,children's tour,pony rides etc.
    It's worth a visit specially in spring when the flower bloom everywhere.

    Here's the website for the full information:

    Tulips and travel - Keukenhof farm, Netherlands

  • Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse, Netherlands.

    A place for tulip lovers and flower enthusiasts.The picture above is not actually inside keukenhof but around lisse.I did a biking tour with my son around Lisse where keukenhof farm is located.There's bike rentals on the side of the farm,click the link below for the price and infos.

    We decided to explore Lisse first and to look for tulip fields to take some photos before going inside of keukenhof.

    The place is really beautiful and breathtaking,a lot of tulips everywhere! (Literally),made us stay longer just to look at the fields while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful weather.We went there during spring (of course! :D fyi Keukenhof is only open every spring) it was a bit windy and cold but sunny, so not that bad at all.And expect a big volume of tourists coz at the same time it's the flower festival in Lisse.

    Going to keukenhof is so easy.Just take the bus from amsterdam/Schiphol airport,just on the side of arrival area.They have direct shuttle bus going to keukenhof.It's also good for a short trip if you have a long transit time.Bus + entrance costs 19€ and you can buy it right there at the bus terminal.

    We bought the Holland pass,so we got a free ticket + roundtrip bus ticket to keukenhof.

    HOLLAND PASS is an all-in-one city pass in amsterdam.Click the link for all the information.

    If you think you will visit mostly the main attractions like madame tussauds,keukenhof,Nemo science center,canal tour etc. it's worth it to purchasr the holland pass specially if you have a kid w/ you ,it also serves as a fast track ticket to some attractions.

    For all the info. about keukenhof click the link below ;)

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    Red velvet Cupcake

    One lazy rainy sunday ,we were all at home and i thought of trying to bake red velvet cake for the first time,good thing i had all the ingredients at home but not enough for a cake so i just did cupcakes.


    3 large egg whites
    red food coloring- paste form (that i bought in
    1 half tsp.vanilla extract
    200 g flour
    200 g sugar
    3 tsp. baking powder
    2 tsp cocoa powder ( we just have nesquick available and it was fine)
    1/2 Teaspoon salt
    55 g butter
    120 g butter milk

    For the frosting:

    270 g cream cheese, (cream cheese) 19° c.
    100 ml. Double creme
    200g. Mascarpone cream cheese 
    1 cup confectioners sugar


    Before you begin:

    Set out muffin dish and Preheat oven to 175 ° c..

    Dough preparation:

    In a mixing bowl, mix butter at medium speed ,put the flour mixture  ( sifted flour,cocoa powder and salt) 
    then put buttermilk and stir on medium level until everything is moistened then put the egg mixture slowly (egg, red food color and vanilla extract)

    mix baking powder to 1 tsp. vinegar  together and mix it with your finish dough and about 2/3 dough, fill each muffin cups quick and bake 20-25 minutes,let it cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.

    Cream cheese frosting:

    Mix The mascarpone cream cheese and the normal cream cheese together until smooth.Then put the double cream and confectioners sugar and cool it in the fridge.

    Decorate the Cupcakes with the frosting using pastry bag or pallet.

    I use one extra cupcake as a topping using cheese grater.

    It was quick and simple recipe,i don't usually follow what is written online because of too much extra ingredients and dificult procedures. I just bake the way i want it to be though is really important to follow the exact ingredients i'm always making sure that everything is balance to have that delicious cupcakes.

    Hubby Bakes - Apple streusel Cake

    In german: Apfelstreuselkuchen 

    My husband baked the cake last night ( i was so jealous coz he baked it like a boss, no effort at all!  ;D )

    His recipe is so easy,he prepared everything just in 20min.


    4 big apples, diced

    For the dough:
    250 g flour
    125 g margarine or butter
    100 g sugar
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 Egg
    1 pck. Vanilla sugar

    Margarine or butter for the form.

    For the streusel:
    200 g flour
    100 g margarine or butter
    100 g sugar
    1 pck. Vanilla sugar


    Peel the apples, dice and saute briefly.
    Mix the ingredients for the dough. Give the dough in a greased springform pan. Press it lightly. Give the stewed apples on it.
    The ingredients for the streusel mix and briefly knead with your fingers until they have become to sprinkles then put it on the dough and the apples. Bake at 175 degrees about 70 minutes.

    Super delicious! The best homemade apple streusel that i've ever tasted. 

    Perfect for my tea afternoon. Perfect partner with green tea.

    Friday, March 21, 2014

    Universal Studios, Singapore

    Universal Studios ,Singapore
    Resorts world Sentosa,Sentosa Island Singapore

    We had a 2-day stop-over in Singapore during our easter asia trip.
    We got a brochure showing all the attractions of the city.

    We took a taxi to Sentosa island where universal Studios is located.It was a hot summer
    afternoon and perfect weather for a day adventure.

    Unfortunately at  that time,the park's fountain was under construction which is not cool because we were not able to have that "fountain selfie" lol

    We truly enjoyed the whole place specially that hot temperature in asia after leaving switzerland with cold spring weather.
    Better bring extra clothes for kids coz it's so humid over there.

     The Highschool musical number on the street was really nice,my son was dancing the whole time :D

    They have lots of Merchandise Shops inside the park,my son loved the m&m's store,he bought a MnM's canister and lots of MnM's chocolate,who doesn't love chocolate? :D They also sell fan-spray bottles coz it was scorching hot that day around 37C which is normal in asia during summer.


     We will def. go back here again ;)

    here's the website for the entry ticket Price.

    Sea life ,Konstanz

    Sea life ,Konstanz
    Hafenstr. 9 · Konstanz,Germany

    As a Merlin Card holder we are entitled to visit 16 selected Family attractions in Germany and that includes Sea life (we live in Zurich just 1-hr drive going to Konstanz)

    Let me explain a little bit about Merlin Annual pass (in german Merlin Jahreskarte)  
    It's a Card that we purchased in Legoland Germany that gives us an annual pass in 16 different attractions including:

    Sea life Aquariums
    Legoland Germany
    Legoland Billund
    Lego discovery Center in Berlin
    Maddame Tussauds Berlin
    Heidi Park Resot

    click the link above for all the Information.

    it's worth it to have Merlin Card if you have Kids,specially if you live at the Center of europe.

     It was a rainy and cold saturday so we thought to go somewhere indoor for the kids,so we went  to sea life which is just 45min. from our place.

     You'll find different marine life with all the trivias and informations posted on the side of the Aquariums ,sometimes they explain everything about the
    animals,like how they feed them and it's origin.

     It's not just for kids but for the whole family.The place is somehow small
    but it was really nice and good enough for an afternoon adventure.

     They don't just have fishes or sea creatures since it is called "sea life" but they also have other animals like squirrels,bears and a lot more.They are  very informative and so realistic .
    I'm not sure if they're preserved those animals or just fake ones but they look so real to me.

     at the end of your trip inside sea life,there is a nice souvenire shop waiting for you and a Restaurant for those who wants to have a small meal after the visit.

    after our afternoon visit in sea life we had a short walk with the Kids around Bodensee ( in english lake Constance),which is also a good sidetrip for the whole Family.Very nice place to relax.

    If you want to go Shopping or go to the Cinema,just on the other side of sea life,there is a big Shopping mall Lago.

    For all the infos about sea life check their website below.

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    Family Fun at Legoland Germany

    Legoland Germany
    We always go to Legoland in Germany every fall break (October),to celebrate our eldest son's birthday.We stayed at Legoland Resort which is just at the back of legoland park,just few mins. walk through their "legoland forest" with beautiful lego characters.We went there the first time w/o Reservation and luckily we got the 4-bed superior room.


    The Egypt Family room is a 2-room package for 2D1N.It's a 24-sq. family room.The parent's room comes with a double bed and a private room for the Kidswith bunk a bed.
    Shower/toilet,hairdryer,flat screen TV,mini fridge and a terrace for 315€ for 3persons and 361€ for 4persons.that includes:breakfast,2-day park entrance plus lego magazines and free products for Kids.That time we got a free Pasta samples ,coloring books and HIPP Baby product samples. For the normal entrance ticket pls. check their website.

    Free Lego magazines in the room.

    The Resort itself is really nice and ideal for families.They have playgrounds around the area and kids will never get bored just walking around the place.We travelled with our twin babies that time they're like 4mnths old,and the place is baby buggy-friendly.Legoland is for all ages but for infants in my opinion better bring Baby buggy/strollers since they will just sleep most of the time.Baby carrier is maybe tiring,having your baby with you the whole day is tiring too.They have diaper changing and feeding area all over the place (they should have!).

    The only thing that i don't like is the long lines which is normal during peak season and it was my son's birthday so i thought they will give an excemption for him to go through tm but they don't have that "Special Treatment" or birthday perks but just gave my son a big badge saying, "it's my birthday today",which is also a nice remembrance.Maybe they have those Special birthday packages but you have to inquire in advance and with extra cost.

    That time they got a Special offer for their 1-yr Family Merlin ticket.
    I can't remeber exactly how much it was but it's way cheaper than the original price.
    My husband bought that Special offer but for me, first you have to think how often you will go there every year, not to waste the money that you paid for it eventhough it's a special offer.For us it was really worth it,because we live in switzerland (around 3-hr drive from our place) and on top of 1-yr Family ticket ,you can also use it in Legoland Discovery in Berlin,Sealife and other Merlin Group of Companies,We were also able to use our merlin card in Gardaland in Italy.

       Our Family enjoyed the legoland trip a lot. The Lego miniature was really nice,i mean for an adult like me :D i enjoyed by just looking at them.For the Kids,the rides is their main attraction and the lego factory.

    Another thing that we like about Günzburg ( where legoland located) is,Kfc,which we don't have in switzerland.Nearest kfc is just 40 mins. drive away from Legoland.Also Worrishofen Thermal Bath for the whole Family.

    Since it's a 3-hr drive for us ,we always make sure that our trip will be memorable and not just focusing on one attraction,we always do sidetrips to make our long drive more adventurous.By visiting other places around the area,you will discover nice places,that you haven't seen before. Check my other Posts for Worrishofen thermal bath.

    We will go back there every year so far we've been there twice and hopefully again this year.

    Family fun at Gardaland ,Italy

    Gardaland in Castelnuovo del Garda at Peschiera del Garda in Gardasee in the Region Venetien.

    We went to Gardaland during our Venice trip last summer and also because of our legoland Merlin Card subscription,that includes 1day free entrance ticket for the whole family.

    The place is really nice but so crowded and hot during peak season.Again,Long queus is our problem since we have small kids with us.We just walked around and simply enjoyed the place,they have small game booths for small children.If you'll check their website, it's exactly the same in actual (i was a bit disappointed in Disney, was not that fab like on their Website).Restaurants during Peak season is full so better eat at their Kiosks or take away area.Families can do picnics as well but strictly just at their Picknick area.

    My son (actually all of us) enjoyed this surprise thingy like 1€ for every paper bag surpise.
    At the end we had like 7 stuffed toys with us,luckily we won the biggest ones.

    They have different themes inside,like this arabian building which is really nicez
    Again we have small Kids with we were not able to check what's inside this building .

    They also have their own Gardaland characters that you can have photos with ,for small Kids this is a good Entertainment.

    For babies or toddlers they have small rides like the carousel,banana rides and a lot more!

    for the ticket Price pls. check the link below.

    Happy Niko got his frist stuffed toy Price ;)

    Again, we visited Gardaland during our Venice trip and aside from that we visited Verona which is on our way home,so we thought to check it out as well...also Garda Lake.Always think of side trips on your travels because you'll never know maybe there are interesting places nearby,you just need to know where ,google is always available for all the  Infos you need ;)  
    We stayed in a farm that turned to B&B.

    Check agriturismo and there you will find Family b&b's for an affordable Price but good standard ones.

    Visiting Disneyland,Paris


    We went to paris just to see the Eiffel Tower and to explore the City itself but it was again our son's birthday so we thought to surprise him in Disneyland.We booked our flight from Zurich to Paris via with car rental.We always travel with the whole Family so having a car is a good way for us to avoid long queus at the Train Station and the hassle of rush hour.

    at the entrance.

    It was a sunny day but cold ,t'was around October.A lot of poeple at the park that time.

    They have express ticket if you want to avoid long queus but with extra cost.

    My son enjoyed all the rides and i was able to join him in this elephant ride :D
    in some rides parents are allowed to join their Kids if their not that brave enough to go alone.

    The steam Train is a nice attraction for the whole Family,a good way to relax after a long walk in the park.

    The toy story gang

     In the afternoon they have this traditional Disney Parade,which was really nice and very beautiful with all the famous Disney characters ,everyone loved it! Always bring extra battery for your camera ,for sure you will take loads of photos during your stay.

    There was a lot of poeple so better pick a nice place to have a perfect view.

     Buzz light year my son's fave toy Story character. They have a lot of Disney Merchandise shops all over the park,so better buy a souvenir as rememberance if your sta.My son bought  a buzz light year toy,exactly on the Picture ( small version).


    Disney at night.

    just check their Website for all the info.