“Baby you can drive my (vintage) car…”

Come and enjoy the ride with me ūüôā

Some would call it a funny coincidence, some would think that the universe is trying to tell me something… I will let you the judge of the little story that is about to follow.¬†First I must confess something important : I don’t drive, I never had a car, it is not my thing I ¬†guess… I prefer riding my ¬†lovely green bike Zo√© or walking, especially here in Adelaide. But it seems that for some reasons life has other plans for me… and keep sending me beautiful classic cars over the years in different countries where I go. So I am really wondering if that it is really just a simple coincidence or much more than that…

Enjoying the view in Adelaide Hills

 

1. PORTSMOUTH, UK

Sir John’s mythical yellow E Type Jaguar
Portsmouth Hills and see view

It all started in England. At that time I was still a student doing a 6 weeks internship at a local newspaper: The Portsmouth News. My lovely british family of adoption : Sir John and Lady Sandie happened to own a superb yellow E type Jaguar so I had the pleasure to enjoy beautiful rides. Sir John (as I like to call him) bought a red E-Type jaguar soon after qualifying as a doctor! ¬†It was a left hand drive 3.8 series 1 e-type made in 1961 and was the 219th ever made. Today it would be worth a fortune! He kept it for 20 years and then eventually sold it but a couple of years later, he was missing riding a Jaguar so that’s when he bought the yellow one in which we went altogether to the Prescott Hill Climb. This is really a great car, with a vibrant colour and the noise it produces is so unique. It is totally orignal but has had some touch of paintwork. It is a series 111 E-Type Jaguar, drop head, with 5.3 litre V12 engine and has now convered only 68000 miles despite being made in 1972!!! I played also the “Portsmouth Model” next to the Jaguar:¬†¬†private joke with my British family as I ended up posing for an ad related to France in the Portsmouth Newspaper) so this nickname kinda stayed as somehow I often end up in the local Newspaper/Magazines or brochures abroad (so far Uk, Germany and Australia)! But back to my story, there are some beautiful pics of me sitting on the long bonnet of this Jaguar and you will have to take my word for it that there were some glamorous and glorious¬†moments. This E type Jaguar even traveled to France and even spent a night in my family’s garden as Sir John and Lady Sandie came to visit me and get to know my parents ! As I am writing this article I regret, I don’t have the pics in my laptop to share with you, but this was a little while ago… but still a wonderful first experience with collectible cars.

2. LOS ANGELES, USA

It is me waving at Teresa, while sitting next to John – The car is a 1952 MGTD Midget

I met John and Teresa (my californian friends) when I was living in Paris. They are both great people and we naturally became very good friends. So when they returned to California, I made the wish to pay a visit to them someday…which eventually happened and this is when I took the real measure of John’s true passion for vintage cars as he owned at that time: a 1972 Lamborghini Espada Serise II, a 1968 Maserati Ghibli S, a 1957 TR-3 and a 1952 MGTD Midget. It was winter when I visited, just after Christmas, it was freezing but I was overjoyed to enjoy a beautiful ride in Los Angeles with this superb 1952 MGTD Midget, I payed the hard price since after this, I caught a really bad sore throat that Teresa tried to cure with natural medicines but it was soooo worth it! John just likes cars, none of the cars he owns were collectible at the time he bought them, they were just old cars but he had a crush on them and they became popular as the years passed. To quote John ” You should not buy anything just because other people like it. You should buy things that you like. Popularity is fleeting but your taste will probably be more consistent and last”. I absolutely agree!

3. ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

Sybilla (black dress) and I (white dress) posing on Hana (Warren’s Porsche)
Adelaide Hills and vineyards

I met Sybilla (Germany) this year at work and we became instantly friends. She is the most “Frenchic” German girl you could think of! She is married to Warren (Australia) who is adorable and together, they are a fantastic couple! Warren has a passion: he is an enthusiastic collectable cars lover and owns a beautiful vintage Porsche called (H)ana (Warren likes to make fun on my French accent as I can’t pronounce the “H”). One weekend we went altogether for a ride with “Hana” in the Adelaide Hills and then to the beach sides. It was a wonderful day. This car is absolutely beautiful, it is impossible not to fall for it at first sight: the colours, the shapes, the noise… And to quote this song “Isn’t she lovelyyyy”… I mean how can you not possibly love a ride in this beautiful car when the weather is so beautiful (hello summer), feeling the wind in your hair, hearing the birds singing. It is impossible not to feel so lucky and grateful for experiencing such a wonderful moment with such lovely company.

I live for days like that ‚̧

Like I said above, I am not crazy about cars, or should I say fancy/modern cars… I don’t drive, I am way happier riding my bike actually! But… yes BUT when it comes to vintage cars, it is another story… I find it funny that over the years, in different countries such as UK, USA and Australia, I had the chance to become friends with wonderful people and experience riding those beautiful collectable cars. To me, they are not just cars, they are so much more! ¬†I have a sweet spot for them because they have all a story to tell. They have a soul and that makes all the difference. I like the way also these cars are treated by their owners but also by other people on the road : with love and respect! And you too, as a passenger you want to acknowledge this beauty, you even want to dress up ¬†with a beautiful dress to honour this special moment. It is not just going on a ride, it is going on an adventure ‚̧

OK, but first coffee

When you think about Australia and more specifically when you think about Australians… what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I mean as a stereotype, as a clich√©?! Before I moved to Australia, I thought that Aussies were all surfers and crazy about surfing mostly… that was THE thing! But then I moved to Adelaide and I realised that one of the most important thing for Australians is actually…. wait for it…. COFFEE!

They drink a LOT of coffee… and forget about Starbucks, because here it is not just about the coffee, but also about the cute little place where you enjoy your latte, the friendly and talented barista who knows you well and the vibes and atmosphere! For those who know me… I know what you’re thinking… V you don’t even drink coffee, what are you talking about?! Well I am a Chai Latte lover… so generally where there is good coffee, there is a good barista and de facto there is a good Chai, it is as simple as that ūüėČ And you know me, I like to discover new caf√©s and to blog about it… I have always this crazy fantasy that I am going to have my local caf√© where I am going to be a regular… Long story short : a bit like the Girlmore GirlsTV show with “Luke’s dinner” except that Lorelai did the mistake to date Luke, big time, and then they broke up so it was very awkward she could not go there for a while and she was really missing the coffee, hugeeeeeee mistake (lol, that was a wink for the TV show fans).

I know that some of you cried a river when the very hipster Tin Cat Caf√© closed but maybe this will cheer you up if I tell you that a new tenant has taken over : The black addition. Sounds promising for coffee lovers, isn’t it?! And this is quite an interesting story since it was¬†formerly a mobile coffee business which was pretty successful on the road…on various private and corporate events… so busy that they were hard to catch… it is like when the fun fair arrives in town and you have all those colours, those lovely smells and you just follow the music hoping not to miss the show! ¬†Actually they were so successful that some fans even made the secret wish that someday the 2 owners would settle down so it would be easier to find them and enjoy one of ¬†their delicious coffees and this wish came true!

So at the moment, they are operating in the former Tin Cat Caf√© in Kent Town. The two lovely owners Alison and Sean (a couple) are experts in the latte art and even host Barista classes in their lovely little caf√©! I had a Cha√Į Latte and it was absolutely delicious with coconut milk and it tasted different from what I am used to and I really enjoyed it! As for the coffee, because I wanted to give a fair review, I went to this place with my coffee expert friend : the lovely Jessica from Mexico (and god this girl lovesssss coffee and can be fussy about it lol) and she really enjoyed it, she said it was sensational!


And cherry on the cake they are opened until 7pm! And believe me this is something to definitely mention! You know, as every good french, I like to complain and one of my recurrent complaining topic is that in this city everything closes at 5pm so it is like nothing is opened for people who basically work during weekdays… so this is nice to feel welcome in this cute little place after work for a comforting cup of coffee while watching life passing by.¬†They also collaborate with other catering businesses so they can offer a nice range of yummy cakes and pastries. I have not tried them yet but I definitely intend to go back and it might even become my local ! And if you are in the mood to give this place a go, they also offer breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea so it is definitely a nice weekend plan! The two owners are absolutely lovely and will make you one of the best coffee in town ‚̧

What about you? Are you tea or coffee drinkers? Any nice caf√©s to recommend me?!!!! oh… I already know what you are about to say… OK V, but first coffee ūüėČ

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The Black Addition

107 Rundle Street

Kent Town SA 5067

Tel : +61 4 0174 3962

 

I scream ice cream!!!

I know, I know… it is still winter in Australia, so an ice cream seems like the craziest idea. When all you want is to snuggle under a comfy blanket and just wait for summer… But sometimes, it is nice to remember that when it is cold here in the south hemisphere, ¬†there are some other parts of the world that are nice and warm and it means that soon it will be our turn ūüėČ

So before I scream for summer, maybe I’d just scream ice cream, like a magic prayer, so it will make summer come quicker! And when you hear these mouth watering words, there is a special place that comes to my mind where you get the best ice creams you can think of. I am not even sure I should share this secret with you because it is such an enchanted place. Maybe I should just keep it to myself so it is mine forever… but that would not be fair. Little gems like Kem CoBa must be shared ‚̧

So if you happen to go someday to Montreal in Canada and it is one of those warm days… then go to one of my favourite areas : the Mile End, it is definitely worth the walk. There are lovely boutiques, with some good vibes and a really nice trendy atmosphere. Look for the little pink and green shop and the queue on the sidewalk, because here is Kem Coba and its delicious homemade ice creams owned by a charming couple.

Cute ‚̧ this one is called “La romantique” and acts like a love filter! Forget about the traditional roses bouquet, this ice cream says it all!

Those people know how to make your heart melt. Who said that an ice cream would make you cold. Those “cr√®mes glac√©es” are just pure sweet love. Imagine what happens when a cute vietnamese baker meets a French baker…. it is all hearts and ¬†ice creams!

Kem CoBa it s a bit like the Jacarandas in Australia announcing spring and summer! It is opened from May to September, best days in Montreal ¬†ūüėČ

They are as beautiful as delicious. Besides they are all made with natural ingredients: so super healthy… well… as healthy an ice cream can be ūüėČ It is been years… but I still remember the lovely flavour of the Masala Cha√Į ‚̧ and I have heard that the “beurre sal√©” (salted butter) is reallyyyyy good too!

Dulce de leche and mangoes. Because in a perfect world, you don’t have to choose, you get both!

But the cherry on the ice cream is probably Kem CoBa’s famous “cr√®me glac√©e molle” (soft ice cream). It looks like an italian ice cream to me with a torsade and double flavours and coulours! They have each week I believe a new combination: blueberries and honey, vanilla and passion fruits, dulce de leche and mangoes… I tried them all haha when I was in Montreal and I highly recommend to do the same. Besides trust me because normally ice creams are not my thing but Kem CoBa is the kind of place that turns a “never in my life” into a “normally not but this one is different”. Yes this is how good it is!

The soft vanilla from Madagascar allied to the exotic passion fruits because life needs this je ne sais quoi touch!

I could spend hours describing the vibrant colours, the exotic flavours of those sweet treats, the lovely texture, how they melt on the tongue leaving an exquisite taste but I guess the best way to really get the feeling is to go and try them all and tell me about it! So next time you go there, make sure to tell me what is your favourite!!!

 


Kem CoBa

Mile End

60, avenue Fairmount Ouest

kemcoba.com

Cash only

 

Chez José

Last Christmas, I was in France and I had the opportunity to meet my brother’s lovely girl friend who happens to live in Montreal. Talking with her about this beautiful city brought back some memories. Oh Canada, Canada… you are not a country, you are a season! And as for you Montreal, you are my morning Bagel at Saint Viateur, you are this cute maple leaf on the sidewalk, you are my enchanting stroll¬†in Mont-Royal Park, you are my chai latte at caf√© Pikolo, you are my bubble tea in China town, you are my favourite ride along Saint Laurent river, you are my matcha ice cream at Jean Talon market, you are this lovely blue sky even when it is so cold outside. ¬†And my heart just melts¬†when you are wearing your majestic white coat that gives me the feeling that for a minute the time just stopped.

I am so far away from you now, it is summer here in Adelaide and still winter for you. But lately you have been a lot in my mind. So I thought today, I would share with you one of my favourite place for a delicious sandwich in Montreal ūüôā should you ever visit this beautiful city!

As for many French people, Le Plateau, is my kingdom. I know that Canadians like to joke about the fact that obviously French people must be missing so¬†much the Parisian expensive lifestyle¬†that they are¬†attracted like magnets to the trendy Plateau area… What can I say?!¬†¬†I like the atmosphere, the little caf√©s, the shops and the artistic vibes all around.

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Colourful, vibrant, local!

In a charming¬†little street stands a funky Portuguese caf√© called¬†“Chez Jos√©”. A cute¬†and tiny little place¬†that tends to get crowded at busy hours, but the food they serve makes the wait worth it.¬†If my memory is is correct, I had a lunch combo (smoothie + sandwich) for something like 10 dollars! I must say this spicy sandwich was something very special… and normally spicy is NOT my thing but… I guess when you find something special, some rules may not apply… the chicken was¬†thinly sliced and paired so well with the homemade hot sauce, the cheese and the avocado. I really enjoyed each bite of it. It was fresh, it was delicious, it felt very local and typical!

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This sandwich is killing me softly with its sweet spicy sauce!

Sometimes, you discover little gems like “chez Jos√©”¬†and you are so grateful they do exist. How can a simple sandwich make your day?! Was it just about this sandwich or the whole journey?! Walking in this little street, looking for this address, spotting this graffiti wall, gazing at all these vibrant colours, looking at the people queuing happily outside, trying to imagine who they are, discovering new flavours and being overwhelmed by this new experience… I think it was a mix of everything. Next time I will go back there, I will just order the same but this time I make sure I won’t go on my own and share this precious moment hoping that it will be once again a¬†delightful moment ¬†‚̧

“Life is about creating and living experiences that are worth sharing” Steve Jobs


Chez José

  • 173 Avenue Duluth E
    Montreal, QC H2W 1H4 РPlateau-Mont-Royal 
  • ¬†Phone number(438) 764-1381
  • ¬† Website www.chezjosecafe.com
  • ¬†Cash only

Let’s go crabbing!!!!

What could be better than sitting¬†on the Semaphore jetty, catching crabs, drinking beers and having fun with a bunch of good friends?! That’s called a perfect Aussie summer day ūüėČ

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Let’s go to the jetty!

Last Friday, Kim (Vietnam) came up with the perfect and most original idea: “Let’s go crabbing at sunset”, she said! It is something that none of us have experienced before. We thought, yes sure, why not, let’s give it a try! Jessica (Mexico) believes that each week we should do something totally new in order to embrace our new Australian lifestyle and make some good memories.

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Sometimes it feels like your own private desert island!

I must confess I was a bit confused about the technique and was picturing myself running on Semaphore beach, lifting (small) rocks and chasing (or being chased) by crabs and running even faster should this happen to me! I thought, yes well, worst case scenario I would enjoy the beach and maybe even an ice cream.

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Catch me if you can ūüėČ

But actually, I was wrong, crabbing is easier than I thought, all you need¬†is a jetty, a bucket to hold your catch, a fishing basket with¬†line¬†and a little bait to attract crabs such as fish heads… mmm I know yummy! Like fishing, it requires some patience, so the best way to make the time flying by is to enjoy this activity with some crazy and lively friends!

So lucky to be surrounded by my international friends!

Our friend Kim (Vietnam) was the best instructor ever. She gave us many instructions how to throw the fishing basket far far away. You need to keep if flat and be careful with the strings attached to it because you don’t want to end in the sea with it eaten by the crabs. Three, two, one, GO and fly away!

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Thank god, I have been working out lately and it shows!

We were pretty successful and we managed to catch something like 12 crabs. Actually we caught more but we had to release the little ones. Everybody was super happy and Peggy’s kids (Taiwan) were so proud and they had so much fun. It is definitely a good idea for a family/friends activity.

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Summer time can be so hot in Australia, sometimes the temperature is so high that sleeping at night becomes nearly impossible despite a good air con. Some people prefer instead to spend the evening until late at night on the jetty crabbing. There is a cold breeze coming from the sea and as the sun is disappearing the temperature is dropping. Actually I recommend to bring sweaters, socks, trainers as it can get pretty cold on the jetty… As it was a first time, many of us did the mistake to come in their beach gears, not the best idea especially at sun set, it was “freezing”!

We spent a really good time together and stayed at Semaphore¬†beach from 6pm to 10pm. We also had like a little picnic there because the sea, the air, the activity make you very hungry! Kim was thrilled, I must say some crabs were HUGE and Liliana tried to make me pause with a crab on a picture but I was a bit scared (she is a naughty girl haha). All in all it felt like being on holidays somewhere else. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of money or being in fancy hotels to enjoy life, simple things can actually feel even better. Best Friday, since a long time, I really enjoyed it ‚̧

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But the fun did not stop there. Crabbing¬†is something and eating crabs is something else! And the party went on at Kim’s house. She invited us in her beautiful home and taught us how to cook the crabs. She also made some delicious sauce to go with. It was fun, because we learnt how to eat a crab, breaking it in small pieces and sucking the flesh out of it… does it sound like a zombie/vampire thing?! I must say it was delicious and we all enjoyed it¬†very much and we can’t wait to go again crabbing!

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I would have never imagined that eating crabs  that I caught could be so much fun!

These moments make me realise how important it is when you are abroad to be surrounded by amazing and generous people that you can call friends. They will make you smile, welcome you in their home and share some part of their culture with you. This is the beauty of living overseas, getting to know new people, bonding with them, discovering new places, opening your heart to new experiences and so much more. The more you are discovering about what is surrounding you, the more you are learning about you ‚̧

Who could have imagined that crabbing could be so deep ūüėČ

 

Happy Mauvember!

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When Spring looks like a French Autumn, the only thing you can do is put a hat on, grab your bestie and chill out with a latte! Nasim (from Iran) and I are always on the same page when it comes to enjoy life at its best!

Spring has been so lazy to come this year. We experienced a lot of morning showers, grey sky, wind and some severe storms in September and October. In one hand, it was a bit depressing¬†+¬†there was a “major” water leaking in my house (one morning I woke up and water was coming from the ceiling, click here for the full story) but in the other hand, it is really good for mother nature because the trees and flowers look amazing right now with beautiful deep and lively colours. I guess you can’t have it all!

These past few days, spring is back on the track and it feels good to wake up with a big bright sun in the bedroom. I like to ride my green bike in the parks with this beautiful weather and explore new places whenever possible. In Australia, you have to wear an helmet (it is the law) and I must say when the weather is warm (sometimes around 40 something) I miss to feel the refreshing wind in my hair when biking! But again, I know this is for my own good so I am just going with the flow…

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A romantic vision of a young girl with¬†a white dress walking on the Jacarandas’petals on a sunny spring day.

Maybe you will think I am a fool but one thing I was really expecting was to see the Jacarandas blooming! They are my favourite trees and their romantic purple flowers appear the first weeks of November announcing that spring is here and summer is only a month¬†away. This year, because of the strange weather, the Jacarandas only started now to spread their vibrant¬†colours in the whole city. Their mauve flowers petals are falling on the¬†pavement¬†like confettis and it brings a “je ne sais quoi” to the streets of Adelaide. Someday when I will own a house with a garden I will plant a Jacaranda tree to gaze at it!

At the moment, my friend Jessica (Mexico) is encouraging me to practise “mindfulness”. I started doing it in London with my yoga teacher and I must say it is a really calming and grounding state of mind. We are so busy with our everyday lives sometimes, worrying about the past and the future that we forget to fully live the present moment. Maybe it will seem odd to some of you but sometimes just taking the time to stop for a minute and gaze at a tree or a flower¬†can make a big difference ¬†in the rest of your day ‚̧

Just try it and tell me in the comments below how it felt!

Twinsters

I don’t watch TV very often but I do have a Netflix account where I can watch on demand films and TV shows (speaking of the latter, did you hear about the Gilmore Girls being back?!!! I don’t want to gossip but I bet Rory is pregnant and Lorealai is freaking out.. as for Luke I am sure he is going to propose to L). I like to think of my life here in Adelaide like a good “old” GG show, by the way still haven’t found Luke’s Caf√© but I am still looking and opened to any recomandation ūüėČ

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This is the kind of food, Luke would definitely serve! You can enjoy this breakfast at the Royal Oak in North Adelaide.


Lately, as I was browsing on Netflix, I decided to have a look at the documentary section and one called “Twinsters” (fusion of the word Twins and Sisters) caught my eye and I decided to go for it. So basically, the story line is that in 2013 Samantha Futerman, a 25 years old American Asian girl living in Los Angeles and using youtube to post funny videos received a life changing message via Facebook from Ana√Įs Bordier, a French Asian fashion design student living in London. Actually Ana√Įs friends watched a video on youtube featuring Samantha and they were so surprised by the identical appearance of the 2 girls that they encouraged her to contact her copycat! After a few Skype sessions, the girls discovered that they¬†shared much more than just the same face: it turned out that they were both born the same day and both were adopted in Korea shortly after they were born!!! Could it be possible, could they by any chance be twin sisters?! This documentary is about the journey of Samantha (American) and Ana√Įs (French) discovering¬†about their past, their history and the bond that they may share together through social medias.DSC_0057

I believe it is a real sweet story and I really enjoyed watching it, witnessing the different emotions these two amazing girls (and their respective French + American families) explored. What stroke me the most while watching this documentary is how life found a way to reunite these two girls that shared different lifestyles, cultures and mother tongues. It is like no matter what, it was meant to be. How perfect it is that Samantha Futerman (the American) was making cool and fun videos on Youtube that will be seen overseas (and obviously in UK) and what were the chances that Ana√Įs Bordier (the French) would decide to study fashion design in London and become fluent in English. Even if the two girls were raised in different countries and not sharing the same mother tongue, they were able to communicate straight away in English together which made the relationship between the 2 way easier. They both chose artistic careers, one being an actress and the other being a fashion designer, they are so similar and so different at the same time… so interesting to hear about their journey.

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But beyond that, it makes you reflect on your own story, your family, the bond you share with them, your relationships. It makes you appreciate even more the luck to have  grown with your siblings. What it feels like to have a sister, a brother (maybe both). What they mean to you and by extent what life would have been like without them. It is a special and strong bond and nobody can deny that.

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I have a sister and a brother (I am the eldest), we spent all of our childhood together but our adults’ life separated us geographically. My sister lives in France, my brother is an air pilot in Canada (yes girls don’t get too excited ūüėČ ) and I live in Australia. As you can imagine, it is not so easy to see each other and to give you an example I have not seen my brother since 2013! ūüė¶ I know it sucks… I miss my sister (and her kids a LOT) and my brother too of course. I am hopeful that in the future, as our respective lives settle down we will live closer from each other.

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When I see them¬†(especially after a long time apart), it is AMAZING! ¬†I¬†‚̧ family reunions and to catch up with everything I missed since last time. Luckily, I come from a big family and I have also many cousins ¬†around my age or my brother’s age. It is hard to feel lonely or depressed when you are around your family! Each year, during summer time, a¬†“cousinade” is organised (we made up this word in French) but basically it is a “cousins party” where all cousins (on my mother side) are invited for a barbecue and drinks at my aunts place and it is really¬†fun! Christmas are also pretty fantastics¬†and are celebrated several times in the same week since the family is huge! Each year my family (on my father side) organise an unusual christmas dinner to spice up the routine and so far we had a Mexican, a Texas, a Caribbean and I believe last year it was an Australian theme christmas : AWESOME and so refreshing!!!

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“Family is not an important thing. It is EVERYTHING!” – Michael J. Fox

I really can’t wait to come to France and pay a visit to my loved ones ‚̧ and I wish all the best to Smantha and Ana√Įs!

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