Friday, December 21, 2012

Second part of our vacation - Going half-way across the globe from San Francisco to the Mauritius

After feeling the cold weather in Europe both in Belgium and Romania (see here my post from Belgium and here my post from Romania), we were so very ready for a warm destination: Le Prince Maurice resort, in Mauritius.


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We started our journey in Europe (from my hometown, Cluj-Napoca, Romania), at 23 degree Fahrenheit (minus 5 degree Celsius) ...


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... And after a twenty-two hours flight we arrived in Mauritius at the Le Prince Maurice resort where the temperature was 86 degree Fahrenheit (30 degree Celsius)

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Villa 38 - our villa during our stay at Le Prince Maurice resort in Mauritius, is a Beach Villa with a private pool. 
It  has a very private entrance hidden behind these gorgeous red-flower trees


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Villa 38 - our villa during our stay at Le Prince Maurice resort in Mauritius, is a Beach Villa with a private pool

Our beach villa

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Three lounge chairs were permanently reserved for us on the beach, in front of our villa

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Our daughter - trying out the water in front of our villa



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At the beach

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Our daughter - rinsing her feet from the sand before entering the villa

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Our daughter - at the pool bar. 
Or, as my husband would say: "Sophia became proficient in ordering $10 drinks from the pool bar and charging it to our villa account."


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At the pool bar

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Our daughter - posing at the main pool

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At the main pool

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Sometimes, even in a dreaming place like Le Prince Maurice, waking up in the morning is not easy ...

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Sometimes, even in a dreaming place like Le Prince Maurice, waking up in the morning is not easy ...

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... but finally a morning smile is starting to show up on our daughter's face

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Our daughter - at the beach, in front of our villa

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Our daughter - Afternoon relaxation

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My husband - enjoying a cigar ...

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... while our daughter plays in and around the pool

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Dinner at L'Archipel, the flawless French restaurant where we dinned every evening during our stay at Le Prince Maurice resort

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The presentation of a marlin dish at L'Archipel, the flawless French restaurant where we dinned every evening during our stay.
Compliments to Michael Scioli, the executive chef. 

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The presentation of rabbit stuffed with foie gras, polenta and mango dish at L'Archipel

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Dinner at L'Archipel
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Dinner at L'Archipel
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Dinner at L'Archipel
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The main pool and the main building with the L'Archipel restaurant at night 

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The lobby at Le Prince Maurice resort at night

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The lounge at Le Prince Maurice resort at night

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We took a day off from lounging around at the beach or at the pool to visit the island.
Here we are at the Pamplemousses Garden.

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We took a day off from lounging around at the beach or at the pool at Le Prince Maurice resort to visit the island.
Here we are at the Pamplemousses Garden.

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At the Pamplemousses Garden

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At the Pamplemousses Garden
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Our daughter

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We took a day off from lounging around at the beach or at the pool at Le Prince Maurice resort to visit the island.
Here we are at the L'Aventure de Sucre / The Sugar Museum (after tourism, the second important industry on Mauritius is the production of sugar)

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At the L'Aventure de Sucre / The Sugar Museum (after tourism, the second important industry on Mauritius is the production of sugar)

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At the L'Aventure de Sucre / The Sugar Museum

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At the L'Aventure de Sucre / The Sugar Museum

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Our impeccable driver, Sanjay (at left), who drove us in the hotel's BMW car during the entire day of visiting the island.

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Our daughter's 7th birthday happened to be during our stay at Le Prince Maurice resort.
And the whole staff in the resort totally surprised our daughter (and us as well) with many lovely details throughout her birthday.
Here it was a delight to discover a bed decorated with flowers and two swans made of bath towels that together form a heart shape.  

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Our daughter's 7th birthday happened to be during our stay at Le Prince Maurice resort.
And the whole staff in the resort totally surprised our daughter (and us as well) with many lovely details throughout her birthday.
Here is a birthday card for Sophia from our room boy, Kunal.

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A surprise birthday cake for Sophia's 7th birthday from the L'Archipel restaurant.

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Experiencing the silence, the calmness, and the beauty of a very early morning walk

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Experiencing the silence, the calmness, and the beauty of a very early morning walk

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Experiencing the silence, the calmness, and the beauty of a very early morning walk

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I remember my 'We'll see ...' kind of smile when I saw the above panel that greeted us upon the arrival in Mauritius. 

After our stay at Le Prince Maurice resort I would use exactly (the type of advertising) words or expression such as 'sheer luxury', 'personal paradise', 'totally indulgent tropical hideaway', 'stunning architectural design meets relaxed luxury' to describe our wonderful experience.

Or, in my husband's own words:

"We just returned (back to Europe) after 8 days in paradise -- Le Prince Maurice resort in Mauritius. 
Three things stood out: 
1. The whole staff knew it was Sophia's birthday on the 17th, and helped celebrate it, with birthday cards, gifts, cake, balloons; 
2. When I told the chef (who deserves at least one, if not two, Michelin stars) that I had a craving for pan-seared foie gras, he whipped up a magnificent concoction with caramelized apples; 
3. The resort gave us the use of their BMW 7-Series, with liveried driver, to tour the island for the whole day for less than the cost of a taxi. 
The staff was magnificent in their professionalism, attention to detail, and ability to foresee and satisfy the needs of their guests."


***

Sunday, December 9, 2012

First part of our vacation - The Christmas season (and the very cold winter!) in Belgium

Our six-week vacation started with a trip to Belgium.  

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Leuven, Belgium
Our daughter at play in a beautiful park

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Leuven, Belgium

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At play in a beautiful park in Leuven, Belgium
I loved the play structures made of natural materials

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Leuven, Belgium

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Leuven, Belgium

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Leuven, Belgium - the impressive Town Hall

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Leuven, Belgium - the downtown

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Leuven, Belgium - the downtown

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At play, once again - sliding down on a huge inflatable purple slide in downtown Leuven, Belgium

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Leuven, Belgium
Walking the historical streets of the Groot Begijnhof van Leuven / the Grand Beguinage of Leuven

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Leuven, Belgium
Walking the historical streets of the Groot Begijnhof van Leuven / the Grand Beguinage of Leuven

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Leuven, Belgium
Walking the historical streets of the Groot Begijnhof van Leuven / the Grand Beguinage of Leuven

Brussels, Belgium
Creche in
Grand Place, the main square

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Brussels, Belgium
A great view of the Grand Place (the central square in Brussels) from the top of a very original, electronic, and at the same time controversial Christmas Tree (see photos below)

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Brussels, Belgium
View of the Grand Place, the central square

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Brussels, Belgium
View of the Grand Place

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Brussels, Belgium during the Winter Wonders and Christmas market

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Brussels, Belgium during the Winter Wonders and Christmas market

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Brussels, Belgium during the Winter Wonders and Christmas market

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Brussels, Belgium during the Winter Wonders and Christmas market

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Brussels, Belgium during the Winter Wonders and Christmas market

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Brussels, Belgium
The very original, electronic, abstract sculpture as a controversial Christmas Tree in the Grand Place

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Brussels, Belgium
The very original, electronic, abstract sculpture as a controversial Christmas Tree in the Grand Place

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Brussels, Belgium
The iconic Atomium building

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Brussels, Belgium
The iconic Atomium building

... It was so cold in Belgium, but in the end beautiful ... 

And in a few days we'll be heading for a very warm destination, Le Prince Maurice Resort in Mauritius.

(You can read my post from Mauritius here)