Bonjour: Paris Surrounds

Brooklyn Limestone
We just got back from a weeklong trip outside of Paris. That's right - I said outside.  As you can probably guess, we absolutely adore the city of Paris (which is why we visited in 2007, 2012, 2014, and 2015) but opted for a different trip this time.  Partially because I felt dealing with a baby, stroller and 4 year old on the Paris metro would be less than relaxing and partially because I had always wanted to see some more of what lay outside one of my favorite cities.

We stayed in a villa near Disneyland Paris splitting our time between the park and some other more grown up friendly pursuits in the surrounding areas.  We could have taken a train into Paris at any time but we managed to kill all of our time without even thinking of going into the city.  We spent one day just relaxing and taking in the local town and then the rest of our time out and about.

Our primary target was Disneyland Paris. I've always been curious about it and having a princess obsessed 4 year old seemed like the best excuse to go.  Agatha loved it, of course. As an adult, I feel like it was a pretty poor excuse for a Disney park. All of the expense and the crowds without the great execution I've seen at Disneyworld.  The lines for everything - including buying a snack or souvenir no less the rides - were incredibly long.  Based on the fact that many rides and stalls seemed to have unmanned areas that could have accommodated double or triple the guests, it seemed the park was operating on half staff with a full crowd which was very frustrating with small children. I could go on but I won't except to say it was disappointing.  That said, it was in France so it's got that going for it!

Now on to some great highlights. We visited Vaux Le Vicomte - which was wonderful.  Shades of Versailles without the crowds - we practically had the whole castle to ourselves.  Sadly they didn't allow strollers in which mean only Agatha and I visited but it was still a lovely afternoon.  They even had princess dresses for kids to play for a small fee.  Naturally I found the servant's quarters far more interesting than the grand halls. I wonder what that says about me?

Another highlight was a day spent in Reims which was about an hour away from where we were staying.  We had a lingering lunch in a local cafe and then took a champagne cave tour with Veuve Cliquot.  The brand and it's found has such an interesting history and of course there was tasting at the end.  Thankfully they were no phased in the least to have children there (I was a bit worried it might not be practical to bring them) and it was my favorite part of the trip.

All in all, it was a wonderful week.


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