When Christian asked to go to Belleau Woods (Devil Dog), and it was only five hours from home, and I said yes, I also went & looked for a hotel. Five hours is just fine. 10 hours, up & back, is out of my comfort zone. But. Belleau Woods is in the middle-of-nowhere, France. There are a couple of quaint B&B’s, perfect for me & Dave. Not so perfect for me & Dave & Christian & Tess & Dane.

I widened my search by 25 km, and added in a pool. Dane loves to swim and middle-of-nowhere, France is not very fun for 12 year-olds. I thought I’d make it a little funner for him. Sure enough, a little farther away, not even 30 minutes away, was a hotel with a pool. I jumped on the deal! And then? Then I noticed tons of babble about Disney tickets, shuttle buses to Disney, Disney, Disney, Disney.

I zoomed out a little more and realized Belleau Woods is right next to Paris. Right next to Disneyland Paris. Um. Disneyland is so much more fun than a pool. Dave was super excited and immediately suggested taking the kids. As a surprise. Sometimes, last minute extravaganza’s are just what the doctor ordered.

I called my sister, Annelore, seeing if she wanted to come too. She lives another six hours the other side of Paris, it would be a perfect mid-point to meet up. But she had her MIL and nephew visiting, and the timing wasn’t great. Plus, she said, it was Bastille Day (July 14) on the day we would be going. It would be so busy, she said.

I almost changed my mind, but once the idea of surprising the kids with this treat took hold there really was no changing my mind. Off to Disneyland Paris we went! And it was a fabulous day! Not busy at all. The opposite of busy. There were no crowds. No lines. We waited 0 to 15 minutes for almost everything. Only Thunder Mountain had a line, and that was because of a brief stop in operations. We rode all the rides. Laughed. Smiled. And enjoyed ourselves to infinity and beyond!

Christian, Dane, Tess & Dave. Ready to go in!

Dane & Tess at Hyperspace Mountain. The first of FOUR times!

“Mom! Take a picture!” And then he doesn’t smile. Sigh.

Poor fam. They had to wait 2 whole minutes to board the Hyperspace express.

I think this is my favorite out of all the Disneyland castles.

Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril

Tess & Dane got in a lipstick fight. Don’t ask. Dane lost. So Dave bought him Simba ears. LOL!

Meet Simba!

Mufasa introducing Simba

I don’t know why… this reminds me of a Beatles album cover

Sadly, he’s not King Arthur

Sunset in Discoveryland. I could live here.

Or here. I could live here.

It got cold. Poor babies needed new sweatshirts ❤

Watching fireworks recorded on a phone is never as good as the real thing. But (I have a thing for “buts” LOL), the fireworks at Disneyland on Bastille Day were spectacular! This wasn’t your normal Disneyland Illuminations, the light-up the castle, play Disney songs, shoot of some fireworks. No this was the Bastille Day fireworks after Illuminations. Beyond breathtaking. I have never, ever, seen fireworks this magnificent. WOW!

They went on forever, I have many more minutes on my phone, but this last part, Tess thought they were done & then the finale started. She didn’t get it all but she did get it enthusiastically!