Sunday, January 27, 2013

I cannot wait for Spring Break 2013!!

If you think that sounds slightly like something I have said before, well you are right. Last year I was super excited and could not wait for Spring Break 2012. Last year we went to Tuscany with/at the same time as the Brocks. (I say ''with'' but with 6 people in each family we have to take separate cars, stay in separates places, etc).

We had a blast!

So shortly after last years Spring Break we started talking about where we wanted to go for this year. B and I knew we wanted to take the kids to Disneyland Paris but over the summer would be too crowded, Nanaw and Papa were coming to visit and we didn't yet have our tourist passports. We got to talking to the Brocks once again and they were also planning a Disneyland trip in the near future....one thing led to another and Spring Break 2.0 was born!

That's right ya'll for Spring Break we are headed to PARIS!! How freaking exciting is that? For this small town Kansas girl, I feel like I need pinched! We will be spending the first 4 days/3 nights at Disneyland. We have a family-room in a partner hotel nearby (Disney resorts didn't have a room big enough for all 6 of us, they wanted us to book two rooms..ugh!) and we have park passes to both parks for all four days. We can take our time and really have fun! The Brocks also booked Disney for those same dates! We will be there together but will probably split up quite a bit once in the parks because they have been to Disney parks before and we haven't yet navigated the park with kids. {Random factoid, B and I eloped in Las Vegas, then spent the day after our wedding at Disneyland California}. Our boys could.not.be.more.excited!

They are saving their money, they are planning on meeting Buzz Lightyear, they look forward to riding the the flying Dumbos and hopefully they are big enough to ride in Crush's Coaster because they are really excited about that. We also reserved a 'Breakfast with the Characters' meal so hopefully they will love it! Truth be told I am nervous since Logan was freaked out by the Sesame Street gang at Sea World.

So on the fourth day, we will leave Disneyland and head for the apartment that we will be renting, in the 6th Arrondissement. We found the apartment on VRBO.com which is rental website. Most people when traveling in Europe do not book a hotel; they are small and very expensive. Many people rent a property from a website such as homeaway.com, VRBO.com, or even vacation rentals from tripadvisior. It gets you a better deal, a bigger place at the cheaper price, usually right where you want to be and has the amenities of home: washer, dryer, bathtub, kitchen, etc. The hotel still had some appeal for me (indoor swimming pool if it rains, extra pillows/towels/etc a call away) but this will save time and money and immerse us into a neighborhood usually reserved for the locals.  Now the Brocks also found a place but I believe there apartment is in the 16th arrondissement. While we will be split up for this part of the trip, we hope to meet up for dinner at some point!

So, the apartment...I love it and we haven't even seen it. This is the one we rented. I have a friend who recently moved from Paris who helped us when narrowing down a 'district' to stay in and I am so glad for her help. We are in the district she thought would be perfect for us! A five minute walk from Notre Dame! A 15 minute walk from the Louvre, and a quick Subway ride to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe. It's 5 mins to the nearest metro station, which has a line right to the airport so when it's time to say goodbye, it should be fairly simple. Oh and literally right across the street is a Starbucks. Like 10 feet from the entrance to the apartment. Oh how I've missed thee! (I'm sure its a sin to drink Starbucks in Paris but I plan on doing it over and over...I gotta make up for a years worth of missed time!)

While we don't have a daily itinerary, we do have a list of ''Really, Really Want to See/Do". While traveling with young kids I realize a ''Must See" list is a bit of a pipe dream. Ideally we want to...
  • Visit the Eiffel Tower, go up to the top!
  • Ride in a double decker bus for a ''hop on, hop off'' tour of Paris. 
  • Visit the Louvre, admire the art, see Mona Lisa's smile and take a forced perspective photo similar to this..

taken from google images...links to here:http://cookingaweighthelbs.blogspot.it/2012/09/our-trip-to-paris.html

  • Climb the tours of Notre Dame (all 422 steps...)
  • Eat a french baguette, buy and eat macarons (ideally from the famed LadurĂ©e ..it is a 10 minute walk from the apartment we rented) and the boys want to eat French Fries and French Toast while in France. 
  • See the Arc De Triomphe (the boys recognize it from the movie Cars 2)
  • Visit the Jardin du Luxembourg, also less than 10 mins from our Apartment, and ride the carousel and perhaps rent a toy sailboat. 
  • Visit the Orsay Museum and/or Musee de l'Orangerie (several of Monet's pieces are here, love love love Waterlilies) 
And just relax, if there is any time left! We will be there for one full week and it's ''moderate'' tourist season. We're planning on getting the Paris Pass so hopefully that will cut down on the long lines and expense of travel. Overall I'm just excited to go!

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