Thursday, April 19, 2018

Euro Disney in Paris

We arrived right when the park was opening.  Our sweet Genevieve gave us all a good laugh when she was telling one of the little boys that Cinderella's picture was on the sign and "for some reason they called her Bienvenue."  She thought it was pretty funny too when we explained that that is the word for welcome in French.  We took a picture under it to always remember laughing all the way into Disney Paris.

We all went through the entry together, but then we split up for a little while.  Genevieve always wants to do the bigger rides and most of the time the other kids all go with me.  The other kids went on the Buzz Lightyear ride with me and my mom.  We shot at a bunch of aliens and Bob still talks about this ride.  I think it was his favorite.

Then everybody wanted to go on the next ride that Genna and Brian were going on, some Star Wars thing.  So Bob, Judah, and I went to check out the Snow White and Pinocchio rides.

We met up again to do the Small World, Peter Pan, Dumbo, and the Pirates of Caribbean rides together.  Somewhere in there we ate our lunch that we packed and watched the Disney show.

Bobby fell asleep on my back in the Ergo while in line for Peter Pan.  When we realized he was asleep we turned him around onto my front thinking that they would let me ride that way since they were making people turn backpacks around on other rides.  However, they would not let me keep him in the Ergo or even hold him during the Peter Pan ride.  I had to slide him over onto the seat and just lean him on me.  Amazingly enough he slept through it all.  He never stays asleep if we move him, but I guess no real naps and staying up way past bedtime for 5 days in a row is all it takes to make him tired enough.  Even after the ride was over he let me put him back in the Ergo without even stirring.  He slept through the Pirates of Caribbean line and ride too. 

Brian and Genna split off from us again after a bit and then Bobby and Judah wanted to meet a Toy Story character.  Jesse was on duty and we waited in a very long line behind many adults who wanted to meet Jesse and get her autograph.  Jesse was so very sweet and really funny.  I was entertained in the line watching her interact with all the people and pose for pictures.

It was worth the wait!  Before finishing up with the parade and the souvenirs Mimi had promised them, we did the Snow White and Pinocchio rides one more time so the others could do it.   Then  Judah all of the sudden wanted desperately to ride the Carousel.  He had turned it down earlier when we were waiting on the big kids.  

The parade was really good.  It was the best part of the day, in my opinion.  The show at lunchtime had just been okay, and so I wasn't expecting much from the parade.  However, it was very nicely done with a fire breathing dragon and Sleeping Beauty's fairies on hover-boards.  It started to rain right after the parade was through so we rushed into souvenir shops and finished up the day.

It was no Disney World, but the children had a good time, and they don't know any better since we still haven't been to Disney World.  We picked up my dad and went to get burgers for dinner.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Driving Day Turn More Sightseeing

The next morning we hit the road again, but this time we were moving cities and "apartments."  On the way, we stopped in two different cities.  The first one was William the Conqueror's birth place in Falaise.  It had a castle up on a hill that we could park right at the bottom of.  The kids all enjoyed running around inside the walls and running off some energy.

The next place we stopped was in Rouen where St. Joan of arc was burned at the stake.  Her church right by where she died was pretty modern and ugly on the outside, but it had these redeeming stained glass windows from a 16th century church implanted into this modern (forgive me!) eyesore.  

The whole group is right next to where St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake; the sign marks the spot.

Right across the street from this church we ate lunch and it was my favorite meal of the whole trip.  I had a big salad with tons of stuff on it and it was perfect!  Before loading back up in the van we looked in the Kathedral von Rouen, a Gothic cathedral which was huge and gorgeous, especially the outside.

Judah with St. Jude Thaddeus

Isaac Thomas with St. Thomas

When we arrived at our next rental we were a little surprised to find that it was not attached to the owner's house, but right in the owner's house. I mean we walk in and they are all looking at us and come to find out that we are renting three bedrooms upstairs next to their grown daughters' two bedrooms.  The information on AirBnB was that the hosts live downstairs and breakfast was included and prepared by them.  It also had many reviews saying how lovely the family was and how much they love children.  So I was semi-prepared for them being around and for the possibility that the dining room would be in their part of the house, but this was a little shocking to me.  We had planned to eat sandwiches for dinner since we'd had a late lunch.  We had all the stuff in our cooler, but I wasn't sure how that was going to work once I saw the set up.  In addition to that, the following day my dad was going to just stay at the house while the rest of us went to EuroDisney.  

It turned out to be fine, even better than fine.  The couple had six children of their own and a slew of grandchildren now.  They were super sweet and the breakfast was delicious.  They were quiet when we were sleeping and had toys for our kids to play with when we were there.  We had full access to our own dining room and a mini fridge.  It all worked out just great, but I wish it had been on the site that they would be in the same areas because I feel much better about renting a place with a lock and separate area when you don't know the people.  God took care of us and they were wonderful people though.