Lovely to get away for a bit, and we were blessed with the weather - the sun shone every day; even a faint watch strap mark to show for it.
We aren't usually so lucky with Easter trips to France; I packed plenty of jumpers and coats just in case, but blue skies and sun meant we weren't stuck indoors at all. Still, we didn't do much - everyone was tired - so just enough to keep the kids happy, with the promise of a big-time treat at the end of the holiday. Worked wonders you know!
The youngest two were bursting with excitement about going to Disneyland Paris - the almost 12 year old doesn't do bursting with excitement anymore. Seriously not cool.
This was our first ever family trip to a big theme park - I don't know how we've got away with it for so long. Well, actually I do. I hate rides, and all that themed razzmatazz. Yeah, yeah, I know it's not about me, and even for an old sceptic, Disneyland is an experience - spectacular, familiar, gigantic, magical...and mobbed, obviously. It was the Easter holidays after all, and another blistering hot day. Really, when it's busy it's not possible to do many rides. We managed a good 8 hour stretch in the various parks, and spent most of our time queuing or walking.
We walked miles - something I didn't think about, so wasn't wearing the most sensible foot attire! But I did bring plenty of food and drink, because I am the Picnic Lady. A law-abiding one though, so when my husband said he'd seen a 'no food' sign as we approached the Bag Search area, I was about to turn on my heel and take all the stuff back to the car... He was winding me up...as long as it's not a hamper, you can take snacks in, and it's worth it to stave off the nagging for expensive food stops - you're talking over 15 euros just for five drinks. Anyway, if you don't get nagged for food, you're bound to get nagged for Disney merchandise - honestly the shops are easier to find than the rides. So many of them, all selling the same stuff. Spending a whole day in fantasyland is a type of retail torture; wearing you down until you eventually give in.
I'm being an old grump again (could have actually bought a Grumpy t-shirt) and it was kind of lovely seeing so many little girls swirling about in sparkly princess dresses. Not lovely enough to be persuaded to buy one for my little princess though...but we didn't come away empty handed.
It's like being in the best toy shop ever. For hours. Parents haven't a hope.
Somehow the kids managed to persuade me to go on the Hotel Hollywood horror ride - basically a lift dropping at speed. I must have been caught up in all the Disney magic, because it was hellish beyond words! Truly my idea of a nightmare. Never again.
That was me done after that, apart from a few goes on the teacups; so while the others queued for nearly an hour and a half to go on Crusher's Coaster - yes, an hour and a half….I sat in the sun, watching the world and Mickey, Minnie, Goofy et al go by.
Lovely it was too - don't get to sit still doing nothing very often - though I was in earshot of the Monsters Inc Screamometer, so it wasn't exactly quiet.
My husband looked positively green after the Nemo ride, of course the kids thought it was the best thing EVER.
It felt like we did a lot, but looking at the map we barely scratched the surface. Still, by 6 o'clock everyone had had enough, so we headed back to our hotel.
We stayed at the Paxton Resort and Spa, about 10 minutes drive from Disneyland Paris. It sounds swish, but was in fact a lot more reasonable than the Disneyland hotels, especially for just 2 nights; and believe me, I looked. I spent hours searching. The longer I looked the harder it got, and when you put 5 in the guest number box, things get tricky. 4 is fine, but not that many places seem to cater for a family of 5, unless you're prepared to take the extra hit and pay for 2 rooms. Anyway, the Paxton had family rooms for 5, and once we'd got over the black wall, stripy carpet, 80's decor thing going on in the foyer and corridors, the room was actually a pleasant surprise: bright and clean with everything we needed, plus breakfast included. Best of all, a comfortable bed, which is definitely what you want after a day trekking round Disneyland.
Everyone was exhausted, so lights out by nine, and when I closed my eyes I was back on that bloody lift…
Linking up with The Photo Gallery - this week's theme is Easter.