Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Disneyland and Paris, France

Over Memorial Day weekend, we drove approximately four hours to the outskirts of Paris, France.  We surprised the girls with a trip to Disneyland, Paris and Paris.  I was a bit worried they would be too young for both.  I was pleasantly surprised.  We had a fabulous time.  The weather held up well,  Davy Crockett Ranch, where we stayed, supplied us with a nice breakfast of croissants, French bread, butter, jam, coffee, milk,  and orange juice. I had packed some organic cold cuts and cheese and made sandwiches with the leftover bread from breakfast to bring into the park. We packed our water bottles and sunscreen and spent two fun-filled days at the park.
Liv being camera shy, Matt's typical photo face and Lila ready to go!

Lila only had to wait a few short minutes to get her picture with Cinderella

I had heard ahead of time that Euro Disney is not quite as fabulous as Disney World.  That turned out to be true.  The bathrooms were filthy by late morning, walk-ways needed repair, paint touch-ups needed everywhere and many of the ride keepers didn't care about keeping the line orderly, allowed for cutting, pushing, shoving (I, pregnant as I am, was shoved out of the way so someone could get on a ride with her child) and general bad conduct.  This park could use a lot of improvement.  However, the girls didn't notice and that's all that mattered.  We still had fun!

Meeting up with Pluto at Davy Crockett Ranch

We only spent one day in Paris and that was really all we needed.  While I would have loved to explore shops and return to many of the museums I went to many many years ago, it would not have been very enjoyable with the girls.  So, we took a bike tour around the city.  Fat Tire Bike Tours did a pretty good job of guiding us around the city.  We even stopped at a park cafe for lunch.  If you're planning a walking tour around the city with children and are skipping going in most museums, this tour is for you.  I think it would be exceptionally good for the first day Paris, to kind of get your bearings and decide which museums you want to visit during the rest of your stay. That way, you can just take the metro the places on your list and avoid walking too much in the heat of the summer (if that's when you go).
It was a bit hot during the bike ride - glad we brought our water bottles!

Seine River
The Family in Paris
The bike tour ended at the Eiffel Tower. After which, we walked around, had a bite to eat at a street-side cafe and then headed to the top of the Eiffel Tower (we had purchased tickets online a month ahead of time).  Olivia was very excited as she's read so much about the Eiffel Tower (Fancy Nancy, Madeline, etc).  However, it was hot and stuffy and not quite as fun as she had thought it was going to be.  However, she says she likes the Eiffel Tower better than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 

Paris is one of those cities in which I actually feel very comfortable.  It was my second time there and again I didn't feel overwhelmed or lost like I did in Prague or a few other cities we've been to (Dublin is another city in which I feel quite comfortable).  I look forward to going back without the girls, however, it's unlikely that will happen as the baby is due in a few months.

For the first time in several years, I immediately made a photo-book of our trip.  Matt was getting on my case about having all these pictures of our trips saved in various places online and on our computers, however, no photo-books for us to flip through.  If any of our family members are interested in a copy, please let me know.  Prices start at $25 and go up from there, depending on hard cover or soft, etc.


Grams said...

The trip sounds wonderful and looks like you had a great time...What did the girls use their money on from Grams and Gramps....I have yet to see any princess dresses, so I take it that didn't happen.....

The Dunns said...

I like that family pic. You look great! I was surprised at how well my boys did in Paris with 2 full days of walks, trains, boat, museum, and all the rest. It's nice when they surprise me like that! We read about Paris in a couple books, too, including one of The Magic Treehouse series and we have since checked out some books and videos from the library to learn more. Learning trips are the best!

Angie said...

Good for you getting the photobook done right away. I always seem so behind on photos!