Sunday, November 9, 2014

Paris

Brad & I had been to Paris before without Kason, (back here), but Kason really wanted to go to Paris so he could see the Eiffel Tower and eat macaroons. So, we hopped on the train and headed into the city. It's about an hour train ride, if I remember correctly, so it gave us enough time to eat some lunch (we ate pb&j's a LOT on this trip and we were soooo done with them by the time we were back at home and could eat real lunch!) and rest our feet before our afternoon of walking. 



Our first stop in Paris was the Rodin museum. We wanted to see this last time we were in Paris but it was closed on the day we tried to go. We also tried to go see the Orsay Museum but, it was "free Sunday" (every first Sunday of the month) and the line was insanely long, so we opted out of that. Rodin is home of the 'Thinking Man' statue. It was also free to get into the Rodin but, there weren't nearly as many people. 



These boys sure make our adventures fun! 




The 'Three Shades' statue is also kept at the Rodin. 


Kason needed to run to the bathroom so, I told him to go in by himself and I would meet him there. On my way to meet him, he came to me crying and holding the top of his head. He had ducked under the railing, on the stairs, and stood up too quick which caused him to hit the railing, on the top of his head, and split it open. We went over to a small patch of grass to clean it up where we got yelled at by the workers that "you're not allowed to sit on the grass". It made us laugh... 
We washed it out, determined he didn't need stitches and besides having a sore head, he was fine! So we headed off to the Eiffel Tower. But first...we had to stop and get the boys some eclairs, they live for those things! (I don't really care for them...give me a Pain au Chocolat instead!!) 






Wasting time in front of the Eiffel Tower...


On our way under the Eiffel Tower, we had decided we wouldn't be climbing up the tower this time (we prefer the view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe instead), but Kason really wanted to TOUCH the Eiffel Tower, which we thought would be an easy feat. Nope. All the bases are fenced off and on pillars. So...determined to help him live out his dreams, we taught our child how to trespass. We found one of the four bases that wasn't surrounded by people, threw Kason over the fence, he ran and touched the tower and ran back over. I should have taken a picture but, I think we were all just concerned about having him get over and back before security took us all to jail. Well, we succeeded and laughed about it the rest of the day. 

Kason took a couple pictures of the Eiffel Tower for us that day...



We walked up Champs-Elysees to find some dinner (which we failed miserably at...dinner was NOT that great, so we supplemented with ice cream...) & make our way to the Arc de Triomphe. We stopped in the Louis Vuitton store and I was blown away by those prices. Even if I was rich enough to afford a $3000+ purse, I'm pretty certain I wouldn't buy one! 


This picture is the epitome of Paris, beauty surrounded by garbage. Paris is a beautiful city but, it's also a dirty city. Much like any big city, I would presume. But, I just love how there's a Ferrari and a pile of trash right behind it. 


After dinner and ice cream we waited at the Arc de Triomphe for it to get dark. Brad took a nap and we talked to a family from the States, whose daughter was over in Paris for a study abroad program. As soon as it was dark, we climbed the stairs to the top of the arc, took some pictures, and then took the train back to the hotel! 



As much as I love Paris, I definitely loved it more with just Brad. Taking a child to Paris instantly gives it a different feel...much less romantic!! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Disneyland Paris: Day 2

Our second day at Disneyland we hit up the other park, Walt Disney Studios. It's the equivalent as California Adventure in Anaheim. We headed over to the back lot tour first. They show you how they do the special effects in the movies. Kason's favorite was when the water suddenly crashed down towards us. There was also a fire breathing dragon! 





Next up we headed over to the Toy Story Playland, we passed Mickey and the line wasn't too bad so we got in line. The boys were obviously thrilled about that ... maybe I bribed them into waiting with me? 



The workers were so helpful and willing to take pictures for us! So, after I got a couple of Kason & Mickey, Brad and I hopped in with him (I know I had to bribe Brad to get in on that one...I'm so glad he humored me though. Love this family pic of us!) 




On our way out we saw Buzz, but the line was crazy long so, I just grabbed a picture of him instead. Don't mind the random citizens...


Toyland is set up for you to feel like you're small, like a toy, so everything is huge. We didn't ride any of the rides. And they were also building a Ratatouille land that was opening summer of 2014, we had just missed it, darn it! We could see the construction but, it was all blocked off. 




Then we waited, and waited, and waited in line for Tower of Terror. This is Brad's FAVORITE ride and Kason hates it, but we were able to convince him to go with us. He hated it but, he still went on it again the next day. Maybe he didn't hate it all that much after all...? 



As I was walking into the line for Tower of Terror, the worker at the front asked me to give this card to the next cast worker I saw. I always wondered how they tracked the wait times...one of Disneyland's great questions has now been answered! 


After Tower of Terror we were done with Disney for the day. We took the rest of the afternoon and went into the city (aka: Paris!). On our way out we passed this sign, which I loved, and they had Herbie in one of the shops!! I *loved* Herbie growing up, we would watch it all the time! Kinda fun. 



Outside the parks they had these plaques for each of the different Disney Parks around the world. I've been to 2 out of the 5, that's not too bad right? Maybe I can convince Brad to take me to DisneyWorld some day...


Next Up: Paris! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Disneyland Paris: Day 1

Back in April, for Spring Break, we took an adventure to Disneyland Paris!!! We're all pretty big fans of Disneyland and we were excited to enjoy the excitement in Europe. France is notorious for it's road tolls, I think at one point we paid 30-some euro on one toll. Craziness. 


We were pretty excited as we got closer and closer. We had stopped in Ramstein (an Air Base here in Germany) the night before so we really only had a 4 hour drive Saturday morning. The anticipation was killer ... 


FINALLY ... we saw a small glimmer of hope that we were getting closer. 


Those last 10km were killer ;) 
Then, we saw the glorious sight we had been waiting for, for months!! 



We parked the car, and headed off! This hotel was amazing. I'm pretty sure if we were rich, we would have stayed here. Gorgeous! You head under the hotel for the ticket office and park entrance...


Seriously...we were so excited to be there. I don't think there was any amount of sadness in our family for the next 3 days. Disneyland does that to people! We ended up getting 3-day park hopper passes which ended up being plenty of time to see and do everything! 


Since we went in April, everything in the park was decorated for Spring. The theme was "Swing into Spring" ... I loved these dancing bushes. They had a Mary Poppin's theme going on for the front gazebo. We happened to walk into the park right as they were starting a performance. So fun! 





We headed down Main Street towards Discoveryland (their version of Tomorrowland) ... and oh the Castle! I only took my phone into the park so some of the pictures aren't the greatest but, you can still imagine what it would be like to live in a Disney castle...


The first ride we rode was the Buzz Lightyear ride. Next up, was Autopia. Kason was my chauffeur. Then I went over and stood in line for Space Mountain. This Space Mountain was pretty intense! There was a loop inside and it shoots you up pretty fast, right at the start. After I rode, we did the parent swap and Brad got to ride it. He doesn't love roller coasters, so he didn't enjoy it quite as much as I did. 



 (that's Space Mountain...that tube off to the side is where it shoots you into the coaster, you start outside and end up in the dark. pretty amazing if I do say so myself...)

In Frontierland, we wanted to do the Haunted Mansion but, it was closed so we headed over to Big Thunder Mountain. This roller coaster was also a LOT more intense than the one in California. Kason...did NOT enjoy it. Tears were had (oops, one sad moment...) but, I was proud of him for going on it. He's a trooper. And also, seriously fun to go to Disneyland with an "older" kid who finds enjoyment out of the rides...makes the experience so much fun! 


(sweet Kason trying to smile after a not-so-fun ride for him...)

Disneyland Paris put an Arabian spin on their Adventureland. We headed over there and road Pirates of the Caribbean. Sadly, Indiana Jones was closed and there wasn't much else in Adventureland. You could explore a pirate ship and Tarzan's treehouse. Aladdin left his lamp laying around, too. 



On our way out of the park, we stopped in Fantasyland to try and pull out the sword, then we followed Mickey out of the park so we could go check into our hotel and get some dinner. 



We stayed next to the park in the Kyriad Disneyland Hotel. They had a free shuttle (that was often packed full...especially at night) and free parking, so it worked out well for us! Kason was mostly just excited for the bunk beds. 


After we got settled, we took the shuttle back to Disneyland. Before we went back into the park we wandered Disney Village to try and find some dinner. We stumbled upon this AH-MAZ-ING sandwich shop, Earl of Sandwich. Oh goodness, it was delicious. (I'm starting to think we have eaten our way through Europe...so many of our trips have delicious food attached to it...Hmm.) 


Then we headed back into Disneyland to ride a few more rides (Haunted Mansion being one of them...it was open again!) and waited for the firework show. The show ended up being cancelled because of technical difficulties so we vowed to come back another night to enjoy the spectacle. And that was the end of our first amazing day in Disneyland Paris!!