Monday, March 21, 2011

First Day of Spring in Paris

What a weekend! I drove to Disneyland Paris Friday afternoon. Yeah, that's right. I drove the whole way and we're still alive! I actually did really well. My hubby even said he was proud of me haha! His back was bothering him so he had the heating pad on for most of the four hour drive. 

The townhouse we rented at the Marriott Village d'Ile-de-France was beautiful. Too bad I didn't think about taking a few pictures until our crap was spread all over the entire place! (*We got a discount for being military. Make sure you bring your tourist passport and military ID though because they require you to write your passport number down when you check in and the ID to get the discount.) 

It had 2 bedrooms upstairs with bidet & a giant tub in the master bedroom (all three of us fit in it) and another bathroom with a shower in the hall upstairs. There was a full kitchen and another bathroom downstairs, a dining room, living room with a pull out couch and a patio with "french" doors (hehe!) I managed to lock myself out on the patio twice. You'd think I'd learn after the first time. We even had a little stream in the back yard with ducks swimming by. They came right up to me when I went outside. The sign said not to feed them but apparently a lot of people disregard that. They were awfully friendly. I guess the ducks don't know that the French are supposed to be rude ;) I didn't have any trouble with rudeness so I think that must be a myth. I thought people in New York were much worse than the people I've encountered in France. 

Too bad it rained quite a bit the first night we were there. We ate supper at Cafe Mickey and my little one got to meet all the characters. For some reason she was being shy on this trip so it wasn't as much fun as last time. I guess it just wasn't our weekend. Adam's back started spasming Saturday and we had to postpone our train ride into Paris. I ended up going to the local market and buying groceries for lunch. I was surprised how reasonably priced everything was. We each tried something different and we got some waffles dipped in chocolate for breakfast the next day. Mmmmm! So good! We didn't think we were going to make it to the Eiffel tower but he took his muscle relaxers and pain pills and his back brace and was a trooper. We parked at Disney (it's free parking with the annual passport) and took the RER from Marne-la-Vallee-Chessy to Charles de Gaulle Etoile. The entrance is right next to the entrance to Disney. Then we switched to the metro 6 and got off at Trocadero. We walked the 2 blocks to the tower  arriving only 30 minutes late. We were still able to skip the line and ride to the top even though our reservation was for 8pm. (*If you are planning to go up the tower save yourself tons of time and buy your tickets online. They cost the same and you get to skip the line. Just allow enough time to get there because you have to select your time when you purchase them. )

It was so beautiful from the top although my pictures didn't turn out very clear. It was a little chilly up there so we didn't stay long. I made like a tourist and bought some souvenirs in the nice warm shop inside. On the way back to the metro we grabbed some Subway (bad bad idea!) and barely made the last train back to the hotel. We thought we had missed it because our stop wasn't lit up. We took it anyway thinking we'd ride as far as we could and then take a taxi the rest of the way. Luckily the train left us off in Torcy at 12:23 am and the last RER came along at 12:33 am. Whew! Thank goodness because I didn't see anywhere we could have hailed a taxi and we can't use our mobiles in France without huge roaming charges. 

Sunday was the first day of spring and the sun actually made an appearance. We went back to Disney for a few hours. We didn't go on many rides since Adam's back was really hurting but we walked around a bit and then ate at the Rainforest Cafe. I managed to take a 30 minute detour through Reims, France on the way home. Everyone in the car was asleep or it probably wouldn't have happened. I guess that part of the Autobahn was new and not in the GPS. Crazy GPS lady (that's not what I was calling her last night) thought I was off roading and started re-calculating which tricked me into thinking I had missed a turn somewhere and made me take the next exit off the A4. We ended up paying 3 extra tolls to get turned back around and on the right road again. I was a little frustrated. 

All said and done we had a nice time and learned a lot even if it wasn't as much fun as last time. When we go back in August we'll be brilliant tourists and know exactly where to go ;) (yeah right!)

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