Traveling with a four-year-old and a two-year-old to the grocery store can present challenges; taking them on a week’s vacation to visit The Mouse and Company in a foreign country in the middle of August can present, well, insanity. We all survived, however, and following are some musings on our recent family vacation to Disneyland Paris . . . our last big trip as a Party of Four.
Top 5 Really Great Things About Our Week
- France, unlike Italy (where we live currently) has Starbucks! Can you say Momma’s Latte Fix?
- Food is basically arranged into 4 categories: wines, cheeses, breads, and Nutella. At nearly 7 months pregnant, I steered clear of the first, but indulged in the other three. At every meal. Say what you want about snobby French people; they know how to eat.
- Character meals are just as much fun for the grown-ups. I have a very entertaining picture of my husband with Captain Hook to prove it.
- Playhouse Disney on the hotel TV . . . in French! My girls thought it was fabulous and were quite humored by seeing all of their “old favorites” in a new language . . . it mattered not that they don’t know a word of French. We even ended up going to see Playhouse Disney Live in English, Spanish, and French, after which my older daughter wanted to know when we could catch the Italian version.
- Meet and greets with costumed characters . . . they are so REAL to a preschooler it’s just beyond adorable.
Top 5 Really Annoying Things About Our Week
- The younger decided she and Daddy needed matching velcro suits, and the older decided it would be the ideal time to perfect her attitude. This made for some fun commutes to and from the parks, but generally once we arrived they both mellowed.
- It rained almost every day. Granted, we were thrilled just not to be in 90 degree temperatures for a week, but still. Packing rain jackets for all definitely a good idea.
- Cattle herding. Sometimes you think you are getting into a show when the doors open, but alas, you are just being herded into a holding pen to wait some more. Sigh.
- People in queue lines can be rather irksome. Some tips: don’t let your kids cut in line or get too far ahead of you, for goodness sake curtail your public displays of affection (please!), and I know it’s challenging, but try to actually Form A Line.
- Parade watchers who try to overtake your space . . . especially when you have been standing there for 15 or 20 minutes to get said space and they show up 5 minutes into the action. One father actually sent his 4 or 5 year old daughter over to stand “with” us (read: she took up valuable space we had staked out) so she could see better.
All in all it was a good week. Of course, by the end I had pretty much reached my capacity for Pregnant Travel, and ended up being tired and nauseous for most the the return trip. I’m glad we decided to go this summer, however, instead of waiting and attempting the same trip next summer with THREE kids. There will be enough time for that kind of craziness later.