Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas in Paris continued....

Wakie wakie: time to get up and at em.....lots to see and lots to do, there is no time to waste! Each morning seemed harder than the one before to get up and out of bed! Vacations really are not vacations at all unless you are on a deserted island!

It had snowed the night before so we were all dreading the weather outside. However, we were going to make the most of our day at Disney Studio Park. Note to self: don't let your tween son pack his vented mesh running shoes for a day outdoors in the cold and snow! I think we were at the park for about 10 minutes and his feet were frozen! Oh well he bought some nice warm fuzzy socks to wear! We were very thankful for all the "indoor" shows and rides on this day. Especially since the Parisians don't believe in shovels or plows. Mason loved the Hollywood Tower Hotel
 ride, and could have rode it all day had we let him. Luke really enjoyed the Playhouse Disney Live show, as we all did since it was indoors and in a heated room!

We tried or at least I tried to avoid any rides that went around and around fast and up in the air. Once you got up in the air it felt like you were going to instantly turn into a big block of ice. Mason on the other hand didn't care and wanted to ride EVERYTHING, and since that is what we were there for we couldn't tell him no. So you can see how thrilled I was to be on the spiny up in the air carpet ride!

Luke got a kick out of seeing all the characters, especially his buddy "BUZZ." Luke's favorite ride of the day was the parachute ride!

We tried to end this very eventful day at the Rainforest Cafe, but after being seated and taking all of our coats off and getting comfy...we sat for another 25 minutes and never got waited on. So we got up and left and walked down to Planet Hollywood where we had wonderful service and excellent food!

PART 5: Our last day in Paris we spent at the main Disney Park. France was beautiful but it didn't START getting light out until about 9:00am and then started getting dark again at about 4:30. Not a whole lot of daylight, and we didn't actually see the sun until our last day there. We were very thankful for the sun, since the temps were in the 20's the sun sure did help keep us warm. This day was quite the venture getting to the park. The hotel we stayed at provided bus transportation to and from the park, but we had to take a taxi the day before because the bus wasn't running in the snow. So on Saturday (CHRISTMAS) we were down in the lobby a half an hour before the bus came. More and more people started coming down, and I was beginning to wonder exactly how many people were going to fit onto this bus. As soon as it stopped there was a mad rush for the bus...pushing and pushing and pushing. That is one thing I HATE about the consideration for others. It is all about themselves. Clark and I were trying to keep track of all the kids all the while getting SHOVED onto the bus. Doesn't matter that we were standing first in line, we got shoved aside. Anyway after getting smashed into a crowded bus, since it had snowed and there were no plows people just parked wherever. So our bus goes about 10 feet to turn the corner and can't make it thru because of a parked car in the middle of the road. So we had to back up a full block length to turn. It was quite the adventure and one we will joke about for a long time. We were very thankful that we were only 10 minutes from the park. I wish I would have taken a picture of how many people were on this bus! I am sure we were in a code violation!! 

We didn't want to waste a lot of time standing in lines to get pictures of the characters so when we saw the short line for Mickey we jumped in it. However that was the only SHORT line we found all day. So excuse all the character pictures with random strangers in them!! :)

Luke's favorite ride of the day was the Buzz Lightyear ride. Any ride that took us indoors and warmed us up was a favorite of mine! :)

There were a few rides that were not open, and Mason enjoyed going on the roller coasters which had the longest lines. He went on Space Mountain and then Thunder Mountain. I went on Space Mountain and came out with a headache. I am getting to old for those rough rides! :( Mason and Kaleb's favorite ride of the day was the Pirates of the Carribean!

You of course cannot go to a Disney park without going on the It's a Small World ride! I do have to say that the UPDATED version is much better than the 19 OLD something version! :) The boys really liked this ride too.

Yep folks it was cold!!

Now it was time to go pick put a prime spot for the "Once Upon a Dream" parade and do a little shopping. 

The parade was short and sweet, and a great closure to our visit to the Disney park in Europe. We ended the night with dinner at Planet Hollywood again! The kids don't look spent at all do they? :()

And so then closes the book on this very fun, once in a lifetime Christmas. I am so greatful for this opportunity, and hope that the kids appreciate it just as much when they get older. Since getting back from Paris the boys have watched Rush Hour 3 a million times, since it was filmed in Paris. They like watching it and seeing all the places we were at. :) GOD IS GOOD, and we have enjoyed seeing His creations in a whole new light, and whole new country!

The following day was another early start to get on the road at a good time. We drove thru Switzerland on the way home so it added a couple hours to our drive. It sure was beautiful with all the snow, a lot more interesting drive than driving thru France.

Thanks for taking the time to keep up on our European adventures! It ceretainly is a place you need to visit at least once in your lifetime!

FUN FACTS: From my updated "Paris" book.
* Paris has 11 million people. The city center has 2,170,000 and covers 40 square miles. Paris has the highest density of any city in Europe, about 20 times greater than that of New York City!
*McDonalds or better known as chez MacDo the Champs-Elysees branch is the most profitable one in the world. We didn't stop here but we drove by it. The popularity of le fast food in Paris is a sign that life is changing, and that the era of the 3 (THREE) hour lunches is over. The French must now compete in a global world, and if that means adopting a more American lifestyle, c'est la vie.(Rick Steve's Paris) I really don't see Italy catching onto the American way anytime soon. They enjoy their 3 hour lunches waaaaayyyyy to much. During our whole trip we never came in contact with one French person who couldn't speak English (even the hotdog lady could speak some English). Would be intersting to know if a lot of places are requiring their employees to learn or know how to speak English??

Good bye, Ciao, Au revoir!
Love, The Gilleo's

Will post all of our Paris photos on Facebook in the next day or two!!!