Friday, April 11, 2014

Paris Part I: Disneyland!

Originally, our trip to Paris was going to be a 6-7 day vacation doing every major thing Paris has to offer.  But, with some things I've got coming up these next few weeks the dates weren't lining up the way we hoped, forcing us to shorten our trip to just 3 days.  Which for me, wasn't going to be enough time to do the things I wanted to do.  

I was mostly disappointed to not have enough time to spend in the Lourve.  When we found out we'd be moving to Germany, and only living 4 hours from the Lourve, I "scheduled" a date with my Grandma- that whenever we visited the Lourve she'd be there with me in spirit.  I may not have inherited any of her talent, but I did inherit her love of art.  Actually, I almost double minored in college- art history and communication disorders- but by the time my last year of college rolled around I was beyond over it and just ready to graduate!  So I graduated with one minor (communication disorders) and only a few credits short of an art history minor.  Alright, so I'm just rambling.... but, this explains why visiting the Lourve is so important to me.  I need at least one full day there, but I'd prefer two, and we just couldn't fit that in, so we scraped it all together and will go back at some point where I can have my "time" with my Grandma.  
Then, tickets to the Eiffel Tower were completely booked for this past weekend two months ago!  So we had to scrap that too

So, since we had to shorten our trip to just three days, and since the Lourve & Eiffel Tower were out all together, we opted to break our visit to Paris into three separate day trips:
  1. Disneyland Paris: This was Isabelle's big birthday gift- She. Was. Excited! 
  2. Versailles: Rick Steves' said to give Versailles one full day, so by-george that's what we were going to do!  And then if we had time we wanted to walk around Paris.
  3. Rouen: Where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.  {Rouen isn't in Paris.  It's about an hour north and is the capital of Upper Normandy.}
Obviously, there is more in Paris than just the Lourve and Eiffel Tower, but we felt like we came up with a good plan, and were excited to see Rouen.   
Since I average about 200 pictures of each place we visit, I've opted to break up our visit into three separate blog posts so I can show y'all as many pictures as possible.

First up:  DISNEYLAND!!

Taking my daughter to Disneyland Paris was on my bucket-list, and the one place Isabelle said she really wanted to see.
It was cold this day and completely gray- not good conditions for taking pictures, and I didn't pack a jacket for any of us.  You would think that my put-everything-in-a-suitcase-whether-we-need-it-or-not-as-though-we're-leaving-all-civilization-for-decades packing would include jackets just in didn't.  So we had to buy Disney sweatshirts to keep warm.  I have nothing against Disney sweatshirts, mine is very comfortable and I fully intend to lounge in it constantly!  But, I do have a problem with looking like a tourist.  I mean, people here know we're Americans just by looking at us (I'm not exactly sure how, but they know) and now with a Disney sweatshirt I looked like a tourist, minus the fanny-pack, and I was a little embarrassed about it.  Yes, I know that every single person at Disneyland is a tourist, but that doesn't mean that I wanted to look like it.  I won't forget jackets ever again.

So this was the one picture I let be taken of myself because I was embarrassed, but then THERE WAS MARY POPPINS and I totally forgot about looking like a tourist for a second.  

Our hotel was a 5 minute shuttle ride from the parks which were 30 minutes outside of Paris, and literally across a small street from the metro station, so other than the bus trips where we don't have to worry about driving at all, this was the closest to stress free driving we've experienced since moving here!  In other words, Eric was relaxed enough to have fun!

This is adorable!

Family picture! 

There isn't much to tell you about Disneyland, just that we had so much fun!  I was too busy riding rides and watching my kiddo have a blast to think about what I wanted to tell y'all.  We rode rides, met Ariel, watched a Mary Poppins parade, wore Mickey ears, and wore ourselves out!  It didn't matter that everything was in French- we actually loved that part!

'It's a Small World' ride. 

Our girly said it was "the best day EVERRRRR!"  And Eric and I were just so happy to be able to see her visit a place on her bucket-list for the second time (first time was the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C).

Disneyland Paris is teeny compared to Disney World in Orlando, but we still had fun!  We went to Planet Hollywood for supper (not as cool as I remembered it) and that's where we realized that the gloomy weather had worn us out.  We got back to our hotel room later than we were planning since we knew we were going to have a long day in Paris the next day, so we were sound asleep seconds after crawling under the sheets.

To be continued....

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