Thursday, December 31, 2009

Explorers Hotel near Disneyland Paris

Paris here we come!!! For Christmas, we gave Opa a little coupon that said "Good for one trip to Paris, France!" He was SO excited. Driving to Paris from our house in Germany is no big deal. It's only 4 hours (like driving to Vegas from UT or CA). We woke up bright & early & drove to Explorers Hotel near Disneyland Paris. We loved that hotel when we took Oma to Paris last May, so we booked a room there again. Before we left we checked the weather for the 2 days we'd be there & found out that there was a 40% chance of rain the 1st day & a 70% chance of rain the 2nd day. SO SAD!! We were hoping it wouldn't be so overcast that we couldn't see the Eiffel Tower. We packed 5 umbrellas & TONS of clothes to layer so we wouldn't freeze on the streets of Paris.

The plan for Tuesday was to make it to the hotel, hang out & play, & then go to dinner at downtown Disney. After driving through strong winds, horrible rain, & dense fog for 4 hours, we made it safe & sound at our hotel right around 11:00 am. We made great time! We grabbed our lunches that Opa packed for us that morning & went inside to check in. I guess you can't check in until sometime between 1 & 3 pm. So we were kind of stuck there for a while before we could get into our room. But Explorers is a fun hotel, so we took the kids to the giant pirate ship play area. They loved that. They climbed the giant squid, played in the caves of the lower deck, & climbed to the upper deck to steer the ship. The girls love to play hide & seek so they were playing that for over an hour. Even Taya is getting good at hiding. They're so cute.

Right next to the pirate ship was a bunch of little ride on toys & Taya & Bladen were having a blast on those while we waited as well. Bladen was SO cute buckled into the little car ride. He's getting so big!

After playing for a little while, the kids started getting hungry so we broke out the food. We had made a simple lunch: PB&J sandwiches, juice boxes, chips, & some snack foods leftover from Christmas. As we ate, Bladen got cranky (like usual). He always gets fussy when we eat. He wants to eat what we're eating & he gets frustrated that he can't have it. But we did give him his own apple juice to see if he could drink from the little straw. . . AND HE COULD!! Once he figured it out, he was downing that juice box! It was so funny. He would kick his hands & feet & start panting like a little puppy until Trek would give him some more. Such a cutie pie!

After lunch, we let the kids play some more on the pirate ship & in the playroom just around from the tables. The playroom was a big room with jungle gym & lots of balls to jump around in. The kids loved it. Cadence & Lorien were all over the jungle gym & Taya stayed on the pirate ship. They played until about 1 o'clock & then they were done!

Now when a kid is done. . . . they're DONE! They all started whining & crying that they were tired, or that they wanted to swim in the pool. We were planning on taking them to the pool, but we kind of wanted to get in our room first so we could go through our suitcases to get the swimming suits & get things situated first. We kept encouraging them to play, but they really were done. Opa went to check on the room again & they told him it still wasn't ready yet & that it wouldn't be ready until around 3:00. The kids had done well for a full 2 hours, but how were we going to keep them happy for an additional 2 hours? We had to give in with the swim thing. Trek ran back to the van & scrounged through our suitcase & found all the swim gear. Opa stayed with Bladen in the lobby area & Trek & I took the kids to the pool. Of course, as soon as we walked up to the entrance there was a huge sign that said CLOSED until 2:00. (You've got to love the European "lunch" periods. Out here everything shuts down from noon until 2.) I wanted to DIE! It was only 1:30. The kids were crying & mad at us thinking it was all our fault. So we took them back to the lobby & sat listening to them whine for another 30 minutes. We were first in line when it opened again at 2:00. It took us 20 minutes & 3 full lockers later, we were all in our swim suits & had our floaties & towels ready. We walked to the pool & got in. Can you say
Oh my goodness! It was the coldest pool I've ever been in . . . & it was indoors!! I'm not a big swimming pool fan as it is & this just about did me in. But we HAD to swim until 3 otherwise we'd be stuck without a room with 4 very bored kids. Trek & I were laughing the whole time because our teeth were chattering. The kids had a blast though. There were a few water slides a few other fun things to play with. Trek would occasionally peek out at Opa & the baby & the baby was getting restless. I was first to volunteer to get out of the ice pool to get the baby. I got dressed again & ran out to get Bladen. I would hold him up next to the window & let him wave to his sisters. They all loved that. Taya kept giving him window kisses. It was so sweet. At 3:00 Trek waved for me to come & help him get the kids dressed. I gave Bladen to Opa & ran in to help Trek. It took us FOREVER to get those girls out of their swimming suits & into their normal clothes again. You should have seen the swim diaper we took off of Taya. I never knew a diaper could hold so much water! ha ha ha. By the time we got them out, the room was ready. We got a 6 person room & it was great. At first we were worried because there were only 3 beds in the room, but after we talked to the front desk, they unlocked the "secret door" in our room which led to the 2nd bedroom with the bunk beds for Cadence & Lorien. It was perfect. We all laid down & rested for a little bit & let the kids watch The Land Before Time in French. Then we took off for dinner at downtown Disney. But first we took some cute pictures with some of the statues at the hotel. We had to hop on a shuttle bus to get to Downtown Disney which is always fun when you have 4 kiddos. Half the people on the bus are annoyed because of the space the strollers take up & half just stare at the kids & mumble "4 kids!" to everyone else! Yes I have 4 kids & I love every single one of them thank you very much! The kids love bus & train rides so they were in heaven!

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