#19 – Start of a small whirlwind of visits!

Published September 4th, 2018
Our friends Michelle and Matt visited us in Paris! They landed on Friday, August 3rd, and right away we started showing them around the city. It was still quite hot in Paris when they arrived, so getting around was a little less comfortable than normal (to put it lightly). We started by going to the Tocadero Gardens, which gives you an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. We walked through the gardens and over the bridge to the Tower, and got an obligatory crepe. On the other side of the Eiffel Tower is the Champ de Mars, a huge open green space with large fields in the middle where many people picnic.

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Then we took the metro over to the Louvre and walked over to Notre Dame. By that time everyone was a bit tired from walking, so we went back to the apartment and had dinner.

I didn’t know it until coming here, but there is a Disneyland just outside of Paris, which is what we did on Saturday. It was another hot day (I made sure to wear my backpack with the water pouch), but we got there first thing in the morning, when it wasn’t too hot and wasn’t that busy either. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that busy the whole day – most of the lines were pretty reasonable.
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Half of Disneyland Paris is almost an exact replica of Disney Word – Magic Kindom. And when I mean and exact replica, many of the rides are nearly identical, the park names are identical (Fantasyland, Fronteirland, Adventureland, etc.), even the locations of things are similar. So it was a little disorienting – because so many people spoke English, and everything was so familiar, it felt like being in the US, even though we’d only travelled an hour on a train to get there. I also really appreciated the Big Thunder Mountain ride a lot more – the colors of the fake rock really makes it look like a landscape you might see in Utah or New Mexico. We all had a great time going on the rides and feeling a little like kids again. 
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On Sunday, we visited Versailles. I’ve talked about Versailles before, but just to reiterate, it’s a massive place, with huge gardens. This time we visited, we rented a golf cart to drive around the gardens – this was a huge help as it allowed us to see a lot more of the different gardens – and even one of the musical fountains! We got lunch in the gardens and afterwards, visited the Trianons and Queen Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet.

On Monday, Kelly and I went back to work, and Michelle and Matt visited Normandy. On their way back, there was a large storm, which knocked over a tree onto the train tracks (and breaking the overhead wires used to power the trains) – they ended up getting stuck in Caen for a few hours and didn’t get back to Paris until around 5 am. We went out and got one last meal with them on Wednesday night, and they flew back Thursday. It was so great to get to spend some time with Michelle and Matt, and it sounded like they had an amazing trip!

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