Monday, September 30, 2013

DIsneyland Paris 2013

A trip to France is not complete without a pit stop at Disneyland Paris! 

 Located in Marne-la-Valle, it's not far from Paris.  If you are staying in Paris, you can get to Disneyland by either a 30 minute drive or by riding the RER A4 train which will deposit you at the train station in Disney Village, a general shopping and eating plaza just outside the entrance to the two parks of Disneyland Paris.  If Disneyland Paris is your first stop in France, there is a shuttle that will bring you to the park from the airport.

We decided to stay at the Sequoia Lodge because it was newly renovated and we liked its theme of the rugged outdoors.  Here is the lobby:

We decided to book a stay in the "Golden Forest Club."  The Golden Forest Club gives you centrally located rooms, free breakfast with Character visits and afternoon snacks in a special lounge, a one per day/per guest Fastpass to use on any attraction in the parks and a private check-in that never seems to have a line:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Easy Sushi


 The kids and I had fun trying our hands at making sushi this last weekend.  We made cucumber rolls, spam rolls and -my personal favorite- smoked salmon and cream cheese rolls.

  To make sushi rice, you take 2 cups of calrose rice that you rinse in a sieve until the water runs clear, then add to 3 cups of boiling water.  Reduce the heat and allow the rice to cook slowly.  Then,  move the rice to a big bowl and add about 1 cup of rice vinegar and stir it occasionally until it is cooled.

  I prepped everything I needed and laid it out around the cutting board with the little roll-up mat I bought at the store.  Our supplies included a package of seaweed paper, plastic wrap, a mug of cold water, all the fresh ingredients and a bowl of sushi rice.  This was our work station:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Grocery Shopping In France

  When we go on a trip to France, I look forward to shopping at the local grocery store.  To me it's almost a tourism destination because you get to see the real people who live where you are visiting, and what food and other products they use and it's kind of fun to me to compare it to what grocery shopping is like at home.

  The grocery store chain We shopped at the most is called Casino Geant, which is like a Target Superstore in the US.  In addition to bringing your own shopping bags (unless you plan on buying bags at the check-out), you will need a coin to unlock a grocery cart.  When you are done with it, you return it and your coin will pop back out.

In my experience, you haven't felt like an oddball until you've taken pictures inside a grocery store.  I tried to be subtle so that no one was going to look at me funny and wonder why on earth I was taking pictures at a grocery store.   

Monday, September 16, 2013

Paris with Kids - Jardin du Luxembourg (with Video)

  This August we took a family vacation to France.  We spent a week on the French Riviera, a week in Paris and two days at Disneyland Paris.  I think we made some really nice family memories on this trip. 

  One afternoon in Paris we had a very enjoyable and sunny afternoon at the Jardin du Luxembourg.  The Palais du Luxembourg, which was once a private palace inhabited by Orleans branch of the former ruling family of France, is today the seat of the French Senate.

  At one end of the Jardin du Luxembourg is a place where you can rent a little sail boat and for half an hour guide it with a small staff when the wind blows it close enough to reach.  There is a little house for the ducks who call this place home.  They putter around calmly between the boats, and in the springtime their little babies trail behind them.  It's really cute.

A video of this area: