Monday, May 30, 2011

Disneyland Paris

As I mentioned in my previous post, we took Emmett to Disneyland Paris this weekend to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his Double Switch heart surgery. After a six hour drive there, we did little more than grab a bite to eat and crash into our beds for the night, hoping to be fully energized for the days ahead.

Day one didn't start out as planned. For some crazy reason, we didn't think they would be busy yet...I mean, it's only May, right? WRONG. It was nuts. We went downstairs for our breakfast, only to find that the two waiting lines wrapped outside of the restaurant, up the stairs, and into the lobby. I wanted to just say "Forget it" but Baby B had other ideas. I knew that if I didn't get something in my belly soon, Momma would pay the price. We waited for about ten minutes before we saw the hostess, who quite hurriedly pointed at my pregnant belly, called a waitress over, and immediately moved us to the front of the line (ahead of about 40 non-pregnant guests). Score! I finally found one advantage to going to an amusement park 30 weeks pregnant--sympathy seating!

After a nice continental breakfast of breads, cereal, yogurt, and fruit, we headed out for the park...and not a moment too soon, as E had been talking about seeing pirates since the minute he woke up in the morning. Our first stop was Adventureland, because, well, that's where the pirates live. It is there that E took his first real ride--Pirates of the Caribbean. As much as he wanted to enjoy it, he just couldn't crack a smile. It was a little too dark, a little too scary, and a little too creepy for our Big E. We had to laugh though, because Emmett being Emmett, he never cried or complained. He also NEVER changed his expression, not once, even when the boat took a little dip down river. He just stared straight serious. Any of you that really know Emmett can totally picture this, I'm sure. I love that kid.

Since our first ride wasn't a huge success, we decided to follow it up with a classic, "It's a Small World". It is a very small world indeed, and it became a very familiar one as we rode it four times in just two days. Truth be told, E would have probably ridden it four more times had we let him. He loved it. And every time, he just took it all in, noticing something new around every corner. He's such a little observer.

Aside from these two rides, Daddy took him flying with Dumbo as well as Peter Pan. We also spent time at a couple of playgrounds, explored hidden caves, crossed a suspension bridge, and ate numerous popsicles. One of our favorite E moments was when we were walking through a cave. He was leading the way in full pirate attire--hat, flag, and sword at the ready. After turning a particularly dark corner, he immediately stopped, switched on his oh-so-serious face, and headed out of the cave saying "I don't think so...there's pirates in there".

Last but not least, the parade. Joe and I went to Disneyland Paris eleven years ago. Of course, we were in our twenties with no kids, so mostly we just hung out at the restaurants and had some drinks. It was also in October, a particularly slow time at the park, so seeing the parade was not a big deal. In fact, it seemed like we kept accidentally running into it, without planning. Not the case this time. People started claiming their spots along the parade route an hour in advance. Knowing that E probably wouldn't make it an hour, we decided to hit the gift shop, take a potty break, and try to find a spot before it started. This was when Operation Baby Bump came through yet again. As we were wandering the streets, a Disney employee stopped me and asked if I was looking for a place to watch the parade. I said yes, and he pulled back the rope to the handicapped section. He said "You should't be walking around in your condition. Come stand back here." Front row, baby! Apparently, in France, being pregnant is a handicap. I'll take it. I was so tired and sore at this point that I didn't think I could walk a step further anyway. Go Disneyland--way to treat the Mommas!

All in all, our first Disney experience with Emmett was a huge success. In fact, as we were loading up the car, he was crying "I don't want to leave this happy place. I love it here!" Something tells me this won't be our last trip to Disney :)

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