Being the primary caregiver for two family members sure eats up ones downtime. But boy, was that one of the reasons getting to take this little Paris adventure was so extra necessary for my body and soul.
Now that there are a few moments to myself again, I’m feeling the need to document the final 2.5 days. And I’ve still got some notes on my phone from my trip, so I can share those here, and then share a whole bunch of photos (because Disney is always good for a colorful photo opportunity). When I’d first agreed to this trip, it was going to end with 1.5 days in Disneyland. After booking my flight, the group decided they needed more Disney time (as there are two parks). So suddenly it was 3 nights Paris and 3 nights Disneyland. Not my personal ideal way to divvy up the time, but it was actually really lovely. The idea of staying behind in Paris by myself for an extra day didn’t seem worth it. And I do really enjoy the Disney experience, even if it’s a total shame that their food quality doesn’t match all the Parisian deliciousness around them. But the themed restaurants are great for style and attention to detail (just not in the food itself as much).
Our final morning in Paris, we went to meet some of Melissa’s pals in Montmarte for lunch. It’s such a colorful neighborhood. Walked down a street full of tiny closet sized shops doing all kinds of different textured hairstyles. Each shop was just big enough for one barber’s chair and sink. Full of laughter and conversation on this sunny morning. Very cool.
The streetside cafe was super cute with tasty food, and it was a lovely final goodbye to the city.
It was dinner time once we’d checked in to our Disney adjacent hotel. Wandering the “Disney Village” outside the parks, we ended up at “King Ludwig” for dinner. This silly Medieval European Castle themed restaurant. It was “Latin Fest” which meant all of the waiters were wearing Hawaiian shirts, leis, and those woven straw hats. Which didn’t feel “Latin” necessarily, and was extra strange to see that inside this fake castle. Also, the restroom signs were TOTAL BULLSHIT! The women’s room had a princess on the door, so I expected the men’s to have a knight or something (which is irritating enough). But no, the boy’s toilet had a FRICKING BATTLE TIGER on the front. That is a bad ass Tiger, standing on two legs, wearing chest armor and carrying an axe or something. WTF!! The girl’s room should’ve at least had an awesome dragon or Pegasus or something. Sheesh. I’ll see if I can figure out how to share the video here!
That evening, Melissa and I had this epic walk trying to find the Super Marche grocery store nearby. It was only 0.75 miles away, but was on the other side of this giant shopping center that was closed/gates drawn. And Google maps failed us, so we walked forever in the wrong direction. and then it was still much farther than listed. But we saw this amazing sunset along our walks!
And we arrived just 10 minutes before closing, with the intention of buying a bottle or two of wine. But the selection and prices were insane. So we ended up getting 3 bottles each (her of Province rose and me of premiere cru burgundy). Then I tossed a few random french candies in our basket and we started the walk back carrying all our wine and big bottles of water for Judy and Marie. Ha!
Tom’s Disney Blog was Melissa’s bible for planning this trip, and it was full of some great tips and saved us a ton of money, too. They offer different vacation packages to different countries. They way they can do this legally in the EU is by technically making them available to anyone. But they don’t advertise that fact. So we got an amazing package offered to UK visitors, that included some fast passes and special reserved seating for the fireworks show and a discount on most of the restaurants too. Pretty dang cool.
The next morning we started our Disneyland Paris adventure. I got a Yoda baseball hat. and their Sleeping Beauty castle is much better than Anaheim. We met Genie from Aladdin. Their “Adventure land” is Agrabah/Aladdin themed, and it is gorgeous and very cool.
It was very sweet watching a young couple waltz at the end of the castle walk through, as it plays the song.
It was the final day of their Marvel superhero stuff, so I dragged everyone to the stunt show. They were good sports about it. And it was wild hearing Captain America speak French. (The park does a good job of blending french and english, so that you can get the context, even if you don’t speak both languages. And a certain percentage has to be french language. But it did seem an odd choice that CAP was one of the French speakers. Really?!? Captain America?!?
I loved the wide variety of different cultures and peoples visiting the park. So many different languages. Laughing faces wearing mouse ears over their head scarves. At one point I overheard a 5 yr old British girl explaining, “I didn’t like that ride, mummy. It was too tummy-flipping and scary in the dark.” Another little girl had lost her tooth and was proudly showing her bloody gums to me. We didn’t share a language, but could still share her excitement.
Totally warmed my heart seeing so many little girls and tweens wearing the Captain Marvel superhero outfit. Like those “muscled” full body suits for all the other superheroes, it was amazing seeing these young girls get to be superheroes too! Their joy and pride. Representation matters.
The fireworks show is pretty dang impressive. They project video on the castle, integrate water effects, and fire works. Plus Ariel sang “part of your world” in French. And a huge portion dedicated to “Frozen” because Disney ain’t fools.
Thunder Mountain remains one of my favorites. Great fun. And witnessed a super cute moment, as an old-timey prospetor costumed employee was talking to a 3 yr old boy and his mom. He gave him a written certificate with the kid’s name, because Henry was too short to ride. “Now this is very valuable. You can bring it with you once you are tall enough, and that day you can have UNLIMITED fast pass for the ride. And there’s no time limit on using this. You can even bring it with you as an adult.” So that’s pretty cool.
They sell champagne (Disney has it’s own bottle) from the lemonade stands in the evening. So we got to have a champagne toast to say goodbye on our final evening.
Our ride the next morning to the airport took us past all these gorgeous fields of poppies, and led to me doing Wicked Witch of the West impressions the whole time. (mostly inside my head).
While the airport offered a sushi conveyor belt, I was entertained to see plates with croissants also going around the conveyor. There was total drama boarding the plane. Marie had issues getting the Delta app to work and it was a bit of a panic as we tried to board. So I stayed behind as we went to the desk to get them to print out her boarding pass. They also hand me a new boarding pass with a new seat assignment. What? I had specifically chosen this flight so I could sit by Melissa. I ask if I can have my old seat back (that seat assignment was valid and on the boarding pass I got at airport check-in 3 hours ago). They tell me they had to move me so a family could sit together. I’m super irritated that I’ll have to do the 10 hour flight by strangers. But can sort of understand if they had to move people for a small child (although normally the airline SHOULD ASK for volunteers and not make these changes without consulting me). Also I’ve been given a window trapped by a stranger, when I intentionally chose aisle months ago, because I get restless and need to stretch/stand up. It sort of worked out, because it was an exit row, so the extra bit of leg room meant I could mostly get up without making the person in the aisle stand up. But still, totally lame. Also lame being next to the bathroom smells the whole time. AND upsetting to see that the “family” that displaced me had zero children. It was a mom in her 60’s and two adult children in their 30’s/40’s. WTF. Then you have to book your flight earlier if you want to sit together. Just because I was a single reservation seat doesn’t mean I’m less valuable. Also they were super bitchy entitled people who brought on MORE CARRYON bags than allowed, that couldn’t fit in overhead bin. It was a nightmare. God I wish more airlines would enforce the frigging rules. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Delta/Air France must’ve been super concerned about safety. I’ve never seen so much attention paid to exit rows before. They spent lots of time explaining how to open the doors, etc. And I’m a rule follower. And I had a Boeing engineer beside me and the two gents behind me were pilots, so we were the safest exit rows ever! If shit had gone down, we were prepared! I watched “The Hate U Give” movie and sobbed my way through those two hours. I mean, movies on planes are more likely to make me cry, and the book had devastated me, so I was prepared. But still, emotions!!!
It was a wild and wonderful 6 days. I’m so grateful that this trip literally fell into my lap, and that my life allowed me to squeeze it in, just barely. Thanks again, Paris. I’ll definitely be back.