I didn't bring my good camera on this trip. There were moments when I was sad about that but I felt almost as if I had one less child to worry about ;) And there were scattered rain showers in the forecast and I didn't want to have to worry about my camera getting wet. Turns out, the places I went to, and the people I went with, are so darn photogenic that I still got some awesome pictures with my iPhone.
We left thursday afternoon and I drove by myself with the girls to Frankfurt to meet up with Jeff's parents and cousin Tyler who flew in from Texas. Then we all hopped in a rental car together and drove to Paris. A LOT of driving in one day- but I felt worse for them coming out of a 28 hour plane journey and then driving for another 6 hours. We arrived at our hotel at midnight.
The next morning we woke up, got ready, and went to DISNEYLAND, PARIS! A total dream. The cold and cloudy weather couldn't hold a candle to the blissful happiness that instantly greets you as you step into the park.
The lines weren't too bad, and the kids got to go on mostly all the rides they wanted to go on. The tea cups, carousel, flying dumbo, it's a small world, etc. It's A Small World sometimes gets a bad rap but that ride was absolutely mesmerizing! The girls slept on the floor as we waited in line to meet Ariel for half an hour.
We also went to the Paris Temple open house in Versailles. Judging from their behavior, I doubt my girls got much out of it, but I hope their little memories can at least hold the special feeling they felt inside.
After France we headed back to Belgium to Kim's house. We went to church there, and also were introduced to the HANDS DOWN best bakery of my entire life. They sold huge strawberry raspberry tarts, quiches, pies, and the best baguette sandwiches I've ever had. They also had a machine where you could make your own freshly squeezed (right before your eyes) orange juice! Holy cow that place was heavenly. They had WARM pan au choclat (croissant with chocolate in the middle). I've had so many of those chocolate filled things here in Europe; but these ones....fresh and warm straight from the oven were probably in the top 5 things I've EVER put into my mouth. That bakery will forever live in my fondest memories.
On monday we went to the tulip festival in Holland with Kim, her family, and Jeff's parents. None of them had been before and even though I went last year, I was just as excited to go this year. The lack of dark clouds and cold rain made this year's experience much more enjoyable :) Jane sniffed every single flower and her excitement never waned. It was as if each new flower she saw was the first flower she had ever seen! I love that she can appreciate beauty so deeply!
I can't believe all the fun things we were able to squeeze in to one week! It was incredible.