Sunday, July 31, 2011

Paris, Day 8 – Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Angelic Pretty and Goodbye

When we woke up, we just got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast like any other day, but now there was a new feeling: everything would be for the last time.

Bye breakfast!
Bye breakfast. I’m going to miss you!

After breakfast, we went upstairs again to pack our suitcases, since we had to check out before 11 am. Our train would leave at 3:25 pm though, but we were allowed to leave our suitcases at the hotel. After packing and checking everything, we looked around the room for one last time and headed downstairs. The lovely lady of the hotel (she was so sweet all week long) took our suitcases to the basement, so we could enjoy the time we had left.
My mom had suggested the day before to visit Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and Angelic Pretty again, since I had that nagging feeling of regret for not buying the pink Tokimeki necklace (my mom is too sweet)! Since Angelic Pretty opened at 12:30 pm, we went to Baby first, just to look around for a bit.
When we got to metrostation Place d’Italie, I suggested to take pictures in the photobooth. I had wanted to do this all week long, but we constantly forgot. But this time we didn’t!

Photobooth pictures
Our awesome pictures: sweet smiles, chuu~, kiss and weird.

We then continued our way to the Bastilledistrict and arrived at Baby, the Stars Shine Bright.

Baby, the stars will always shine bright
Here we are again!

We looked around for some more, browsing through the clothes again. I also took many more pictures. We looked at the necklaces we had seen on Wednesday again too. My mom really liked two necklaces with roses on it in particular. I loved them too, but since I wanted to buy accessories at Angelic Pretty, I didn’t buy the one I liked.

Hearted China
I especially liked the heartshaped necklace with roses and pearls on it!

Suddenly my mom said: ‘I want to buy it for you!’ My eyes widened in surprise. ‘I want to buy something really beautiful for you and this necklace has roses on it too, so it’s perfect!’ So my mom just bought it for me like that!
Now my dear readers, I will tell you: I have the sweetest mom in the world, I know it! Not only because she buys me things (although it’s super kind and sweet and darling of her), but also because she’s always there for me and we understand each other so well! I wouldn’t know what to do without her. I love my mom so much! <3
My mom buying my present! I was so happy and touched!

I was jumping through the shop while the shopgirl wrapped the necklace in pink paper and put it into a pink bag.

Hearted China
My Hearted China Necklace!

The shopowner, Sawada-san, suddenly came in and I asked for a picture (I seriously want everything on a picture)! He was so sweet! ^^ I also asked for a picture with the shopgirl.

Baby's Shopgirl
The shopgirl was so nice! And I think she spoke Japanese.

I also decided to buy a pair of Macaron socks, a pair of socks that Baby, the Stars Shine Bright only sells in Paris.

The macaron has a glittery stone on it!

I finally had to say goodbye to Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, but of course not without a purchase picture!

I got an Alice and the Pirates bag and a blue wrapper for my socks! ‘Since you already have both pink for your necklace!’ said the shopgirl.

We headed for McDonald’s to have some pancakes. Unfortunately, breakfast time was over, so we couldn’t buy them anymore. We had some hot chocolate instead. We waited for a while until we knew Angelic Pretty had opened up and we went on our way!
When we got inside, I saw there was a different shopgirl: Madame Cocotte (I’ve read about her on other blogs). I met her last year already, but I didn’t know her name back then. We went upstairs and I browsed the shop again. The Tokimeki necklace was still there, but my attention got drawn by a black bow with a pearlchain attached to it. It was the Aqua Princess headbow. I loved it a lot, put it on and before I could even think about it, my mom said I should buy it. ‘You will regret it otherwise.’ she said. She knows me too well! ^^ She put the bow on her lap and asked Mme Cocotte if we could take pictures inside (please?). And she said yes! So I finally have pictures of Angelic Pretty Paris’ shop inside!

Ap Paris: pink, pink, pink!
Everything is pink! Even I’m pink! There’s a whole pink atmosphere there! ^^

I have more pictures, but I’ll upload them later! I picked up the Tokimeki necklace and the headbow and gave them to Mme Cocotte. We then went downstairs again and she wrapped them up for me in red paper with white polkadots.

Mme Cocotte!
A picture with Madame Cocotte! She has such a sweet face!

I looked around for a bit, paid and we then said goodbye to Angelic Pretty too.

Purchases #2
Purchase picture number two!

We headed for the metrostation, hoping to find a bakery with pastries on our way. When we arrived at metrostation Bastille, we found the perfect little shop with delicious pastries, including macarons. Okay, they weren’t Ladurée, but they were really good!

Aqua Princess and Tokimeki
Aqua Princess headbow and Tokimeki necklace.

We went back to our hotel and picked up our suitcases. We said goodbye to the lovely hotel lady and went on a horrible way to Gare du Nord (dragging suitcases, ugh).

Whel will it arrive?
At Gare du Nord, checking details about our train.

At the station, I asked a couple of guides if the Thalys would arrive at station 7 or 8, but they said it could arrive at any station (oh great). Then I asked a man from a Thalys train itself if the Thalys would arrive there and he said yes. I said to him: ‘I don’t think it’s possible that this is our train already, right?’ I looked at the train next to me. He looked at the number on my ticket and said it was! I was so happy! He just saved us running to our train and stuffing our suitcases somewhere in between other suitcases, while other stressed people tried to get in too (yes, I’m talking about last year). We took things easy and sat down, although we didn’t have much room due to our umbrellas and both old and new bags.

Macaron and 7up
My new bag, 7up, our tickets and a macaron. Bye Paris…

Finally, the train started driving and we said goodbye to Paris. We tried to ignore the annoying couple next to us and looked at the Sacré Coeur one last time.
Goodbye Paris, hopefully until next year!

Paris, Day 7 – Underneath The Eiffeltower and A 50% Sunfilled Cruise

According to the weatherforecast, it wouldn’t be a very nice day, but we still wanted to do something fun. We decided to go to the Eiffeltower again for some more pictures.

Umbrella no. 2
Umbrella numer 2!

The sky was very grey and sometimes we felt some raindrops falling on our heads, but luckily it didn’t start to shower. Since we made such great pictures in front of the Eiffeltower last year, we wanted to try to take some interesting shots again. The grey weather ruined this a bit, since sunny weather always brightens up everything. Therefore, we tried something new.

Happy girl
My mom seriously lay down on the ground while I bended over her so she could take these pictures!

It must have been an interesting sight to see us taking pictures like this. ^^ We took at least twenty pictures in this way. After standing up, we proceeded to Champs de Mars to try and take some pictures there too, but they were mostly dark. But we did take some jumping pictures.

I’ve noticed that in some of our pictures, a flying bird can be seen. I suspect him of following us around throughout our trip…

Between taking pictures, many sellers tried to promote the stuff they sold, but like any other time, we weren’t interested.

Underneath the trees
Checking pictures on a bench. You can see the machines that broke the concertstage down.

Then we went down the stairs to the river Seine, to eat crêpes at the same place again (we were hungry). While we were eating our chocolate and banana/chocolate crêpes, we suddenly saw a whole group of salesmen running underneath the bridge. It was a very weird sight, but we suspected them to be fleeing from the police (maybe they were illegally here?). After finishing our crêpes, we took some more pictures. My mom asked me to go stand on the bridge while she staid downstairs, so I, being the perfect model (XD), did.

From the bridge
I took some pictures back too. You can see the stand where we ate and the rivercruise boats.

We remembered that there was a nice shop where the rivercruise boats departed, so we went there. My mom bought a book for my father and a pink sweater for me and I bought an awesome pink and black bag (for the record, I almost never buy bags). Suddenly, the sun started to shine, out of the blue!
I looked at the sky and it seemed like the clouds were gone for a while, so my mom proposed to do a rivercruise (a croisière) again. She loved it so much, but this time we wanted to do a busride. But now, we were next to the boats, so we quickly bought tickets.

Vedettes Tickets
Our awesome tickets!

After a while, the boat started to move and we quickly drew out our cameras and sat down to enjoy the cruise.

J'adore Paris
Me in my awesome sweater! It says: J’adore Paris.

We crossed many bridges and buildings, including the Musée d’Orsay, Jardin des Tuileries and the Louvre and the Norte Dame of course.

Notre Dame from the Seine
When you stand in front of the church, you have know idea how deep it actually is!

The weather was lovely, until we turned around, about halfway. The dark clouds had followed us and it became extremely cold! The other part of the cruise was nice, but it was way better when the sun shone!

Well hello there!
Back at where the cruise started! Say cheese~!

After the cruise, we walked to Trocadéro. We loved the sight at the Eiffeltower from there so much! The sky was grey again, unfortunetaly, and it was pretty cold, so we didn’t stay for long, but we decided to see it that night for one last time.

ANother Eiffeltower picture!
It’s almost impossible to take pictures without any other people, but this picture is still so sweet!

Last year, my mom complained I hadn’t taken enough pictures of her too, So I made sure I did this year! ^^

Hi mom!
This one’s for you mom! ^^

I still wanted to see something we hadn’t seen before, so we decided to go to Centre Pompidou, a building my artbook talked about as if it was the most divine and ingenious place in France (I did hate artclasses, by the way).

Hôtel de Ville
When we got out of the metro, we saw this building. It turned out to be Hôtel de Ville.

We walked through a street and we already saw big, colourful tubes. I had read that centre Pompidou was so special, since the architect had put all the important tubes for water, electricity and the elevators on the outside and gave them their own colours. According to my artbook, it was marvellous. Unfortunetaly, once again I did not agree with my artbook.

Centre Pompidou
I couldn’t see the beauty of the building, sorry. The only cool thing were the escalators in glass tubes, so you could see the people inside moving upwards.

There was a funny pantomimist on the square in front of the building though, but his show got ruined by the rain. It didn’t rain for long though. Eventually, we were pretty tired and decided to go back to the hotel, so we could relax the rest of the afternoon before having dinner.

The hall
From our window, you could see the window at the stairs.

We watched some television and we felt a lot better after a while. We packed some of our things for the next morning and went to an Italian restaurant close to the hotel, where we both had different tagliatelle. Then we went back to the Eiffeltower.

Trocadéro view
I think I’ve made at least a hundred pictures of the Eiffeltower. ^^

We went downstairs to have a closer look, but my mom didn’t pay attention while walking. She tripped and fell down on the road! Luckily, she wasn’t hurt seriously, just a graze on her knee (it was her painful knee though). I was so glad she was okay!
We walked up to the Eiffeltower and tried to take the same kind of pictures as we had done that afternoon.

It's like... this big! XD
J’adore Paris!

We were very surprised by the amount of people that night. We expected many more people than during the day, but it was way quieter! Suddenly my mom said: ‘Why don’t we buy tickets and go upstairs?’ I so, so wanted to say yes, but we both realised that our Navigotickets would expire at midnight and it was almost 11 pm already. Secondly, it was really cold and we knew that upstairs it would be even colder. Although we really wanted to go, we decided not to. Another one for the next year-list!
Instead, we sat down on the ground in Champs de Mars and waited for the sparkles to begin. My mom sat behind me and closed her arms around me and the Eiffeltower started to sparkle. I remember feeling so emotional… I think this was my favourite moment of the whole trip: I just felt so incedibly happy and peaceful for a short while, looking at the magical sparkles. For a moment, I wished it would never end…

The sparkles are just too beautiful, I swear!

Eventually, the sparkles did stop and we had to go back unfortunately, but first we took some more pictures underneath the Eiffeltower (really difficult to do this with an almost empty battery). Then we had to hurry back to the metrostation at Trocadéro, since we had to cross the gates before our passes expired. Luckily, we were on time and we returned to our hotel, tired but happy.

Last night
The last night in our great hotel…

Next time: Last minute Lolita shopping and saying goodbye!

Paris, Day 6 – The Latin Quarter and Italian Food

We were still very tired from walking all day in Disneyland, so we decided to have a bit of a quiet day. We still didn’t want to waist our time of course, so we went to Quartier Latin, a quarter with a lot of small streets and little restaurants. So in the afternoon, we went on our way.

Thumper joines the trip
Thumper joined us on our trip.

We mom brought her own Paris guide that included lots of interesting stories and details. While holding the book in our hands, we followed the suggested route through Quartier Latin (after I visited a Claire’s and bought some adorable jewelry).

Angel and the Dragon Fountain
A beautiful fountain we had seen from the bus a few days ago turned out to be in Quartier Latin!

We really enjoyed walking through the small streets. There were restaurants everywhere and it smelled delicious!

There were men in front of the restaurants that invited you to come inside. They were pretty funny!

The route told us some really interesting things and details about buildings. It also led us to Paris’ smallest house!

Paris' smallest house
It really was small! ^^

After that, we arrived at the L’Eglise Saint-Severin, a church that wasn’t really special from the outside, but beautiful on the inside! You could also light candles if you put money into some kind of mailbox.

Three lit candles
We lit three candels for our familymembers that passed away last year. It was really emotional…

We decided we wanted to go back to one of the Italian restaurants, but first we walked a bit further to see a certain shop, since our book said it was so awesome. We passed several souvenirshops and I bought a bunch of coloured Eiffeltowers for my friends.

Colourful Towers
I love cheesy souvenirs!

We quickly found the shop due to the route in our book: Shakespeare and Company.

Shakespeare and company
It was a tiny shop, stuffed with new and secondhand books.

The shop was filled with people and literally crammed with books. Every possible free spot was filled with books in every possible size. I managed to climb the stairs to the first floor, filled with even more books and a tiny space with an oldfashioned typewriter. The shop had such a romantic feeling to it!

A crammed shop
On this picture it seems spacious, but it really wasnt. So cute!

Somehow we managed to get outside again and we went back to the Italian restaurant we had picked out to go eat. It was a small restaurant where you could see the cook prepare the pizzas.

The forest
Inside, it was as if there was an entire forest above our heads!

I ordered a pizza, my mom a tagliatelle and we both had a salad. The food was incredibly tasy. ^^

My mom’s delicious tagliatelle! You can see the cook too.

After finishing our dinner, we went back to the hotel. We were very tired and spent a quiet evening before going to bed.

Next time: The lady of steel and a sunny cruise!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Paris, Day 5 – The French Kingdom of Magic and Pretty Princesses

On Friday we went to Dinseyland Resort Paris! We had pre-bought tickets at home, so they were a little cheaper than in Dineysland itself.
We woke up early, got dressed and had breakfast. We took our time and when I had finished my last e-mail on my laptop, we went on our way.
To be honest, I’d rather not talk about how we got there. It was a very horrible and terribly stressful experience and I’d like to forget about it. So let’s just start at the point where we got through the bag-checking at Disneyland Resort Paris.

Entrance to magic
The entrance! We were so happy to see it after all the stress we went through!

We already thought so, but our tickets weren’t valid yet. We first had to exchange them for real tickets. After standing in line for a while, ignoring all the hyperactive children that had to climb on every possible thing, we got our tickets and went into the park, finally!

We're here!
Mainstreet, leading to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. We were still a bit buzzing with the stress, but we could finally let it go.

It was a beautiful day with a forget-me-nots blue sky. We walked up to the castle and took some pictures.

Castle and posing
I love the castle so much! I want to live in it, seriously!

We went looking for the dragon’s cave and this time we found it! I heard several French children cry that they were scared. I remember from when I was little, I thought this was really scary too and now I know why: that dragon looks incredibly real (as far as I know how dragon’s should look)! We walked further and got out inside of the castle. We immediately went into the Christmasshop. This shop is literally filled with anything Christmas-related, but mainly Chistmas ornaments. I especially loved the Tinkerbell baubles and a bauble with Bambi’s Thumper coming out of a Christmasgift. We decided to see more of the park first, before buying anything and walking around with plastic bags.

Princess with mouse-ears
I love how every tiny little detail is beautiful, even the walls and pillars are amazing!

Behind the castle, there were of course more shops and my attention was drawn by a group of colourful princessdresses. I had seen several girls walking around in Disneyprincess-dresses and I can’t tell you how jealous I was! When I was a little girl, there weren’t many dresses yet. I guess the whole Disney princess-hype wasn’t really big back then. I so wanted to be those little girls…

So many princess choices
The dresses were so incredibly pretty! I was especially attracted to Ariel’s wedding dresses, a white dress with sea blue details.

We went to Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarves, where the line was not too bad. A warning said that the ride might be scary for children. Well, I thought it was scary! The ride mainly consisted of dark parts with the evil witch! There was no glass coffin at all… But the animals were cute, so hey. ^^
We walked around for a bit and went into Pirates of the Caribbean, a ride I always enjoy to the fullest. I really wonder what this ride is like in other parks.
Afterwards, we walked around again, bought candy, enjoyed the surroundings and just walked wherever we liked. So we took a road that led us to the castle again.

Castle Close-up
Seriously, who doesn’t want to have a house like this? ^^

I had read on the schedule that there would be hours where you could meet Disney characters. I’m personally not very fond of characters in those big suits, but actors in disguise are always awesome! We accidentally found the place where Rapunzel would come in the afternoon, so we took pictures there.

Kiss the... frog?
Pascal! Isn’t he adorable? He reminds me of one of my dogs so much!

I loved Tangled (which has a different title in my language) so much! I had to get used to the huge eyes at first, but I really like the characters!

Such a handsome poster!
Hugging a tree with Flynn’s poster on it!

Then we went to Mad Hatter’s Mad Tea Cups, because a visit to Disneyland is not complete without them! While standing in line, a woman tapped on my shoulder and asked me where I got my Minnie Mouse-ears, since she couldn’t find them. I told her that I had bought them last year and she was quite disappointed. Throughout the rest of the day, many people asked me where I had bought my ears. (Even in Spanish! I was quite proud of myself when I answered them back in Spanish.) There was one man that had searched the entire park! But they didn’t sell them this year. Every person was so disappointed with my answer… So I sent an email to Disneyland Resort Paris, advising them to consider selling the ears again. ^^

Mad Teacups
Mad Hatter Tea Cups!

After the teacups, we went to ‘Le Pays des Contes de Fées’, a quiet boatride along moviescenes, including Aladdin, the Wizard of Oz and Peter and the Wolf.

Climbing up
They included a new scene: Flynn climbing up Rapunzel’s hair!

After that, we went to Casey Jr., the circustrain from Dumbo the Flying Elephant. We had to stand in line for a very long time, but I loved the ride so much that I forgot all about it! Even though it’s more of a little kid’s ride, it went pretty fast! And we sat in front! ^^

Taking the train
We had so much fun during the ride!

When we got out, I noticed the small group of people standing around someone. Of course you can expect it’s a Disneycharacter right away and indeed: it was Tiana from the Princess and the Frog! I really wanted to be in a picture with her and since there weren’t many people around her, we took our chance. Even though the parents almost jumped at the poor princess to take pictures with their children and ask for autographs, I managed to ask her for a picture too and it worked!

Princess Tiana
I’m in a picture with a real princess, yaaay!

We went to get some ice cream at the same place we did last year, since we knew we loved their flavours so much! While walking to the shop, I saw a line in front of a tent with a lot of girls. It turned out to be a line for Ariel in a blue dress. I doubted about going to stand in line, but it was so long I decided not to. Later, Ariel got replaced by Sleeping Beauty. We ate our ice cream and looked at the people passing by. After that, we went into It’s a small world, a ride both my mom and I love to death.
I had read on the schedule that Rapunzel would come very soon, so we went to the little platform we had been to before that afternoon, but what a change! There were now rope fences and there was a huge line with parents and children! I didn’t want to wait that long, so we just watched from the front, which gave us a great view (later I tried to get in line, but it would take about one and a half hour to get to Rapunzel)! After a while, the beautiful long-haired princess showed up and God, was she beautiful!

Princess Rapunzel
My mom took several pictures from kids we didn’t know, but they were just so cute! Look at that little girl’s awesome wig!

Her dress, her face, her hair! Rapunzel was just perfect and she posed in the cutest ways! Sometimes even the dads wanted to pose with her!
We kept on watching her for at least 45 minutes, she was so adorable! Suddenly I spotted Flynn Rider himself when I tried to get in line for Rapunzel (which I gave up pretty quick), but he walked by too fast to ask him for a picture. But luckily he returned later and I still got a picture with this extremely cool (and hot) guy!

Flynn Rider
When I told him (in French) that my French was not so great, he said: ‘It’s not that bad!’ *swoon*

We also encountered both Aladdin and Jasmine, but they walked by pretty fast so we could only take a quick picture.
We decided to look around the shops again to look around for some more things we wanted to buy, especially in the Christmasshop.

Shall I take this one..?
How I wished I was a little girl again! I loved the dresses so much…

Before we really started buying things, the parade started and we hoped that the line at Peter Pan would be shorter, but this was not the case. Instead, I went into Big Thunder Mountain while my mom waited for me (the noise and music were a bit too much for her at that moment).

Big Thunder Mountain
Big Thunder Mountain in the sunlight.

Then we officially started our shopping. We bought many, many things, including four Christmasornaments, a glittery candleholder, two necklaces, keychains (of course), two stuffed animals and a photoframe.

Choosing your crown
I also bought a Sleeping Beauty’s crown. I loved it so much, I just couldn’t leave it there!

We visited many shops and there were lots of people everywhere, many more than last year. Unfortunetaly, because I was tired, I suddenly started having a panickattack. I’ve never had one before, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. The stress from the beginning of the day and the crowds and noise throughout the day had taken their toll on me. You don’t really read about it in this post, since the memories of that day are already faded a little and I mostly remember the good stuff, but I do know that I freaked out for a moment. After breathing calmly for a while I started to feel better again and we continued to do the last of our shopping.

Disney Flowers
Some of the pretty flowers. I love every piece of detail in the park.

We ended up with a lot of plastic bags and tired feet and we decided to return to Paris. After looking back one more time at the castle, we left Disneyland Resort Paris.

Time to say goodbye
Bye bye, Disneyland!

Luckily, the train seemed to have waited for us, because when we went down the escalator, it stood there ready. There were no sitting places left, but we sat down in the very last compartment on the floor.
Finally the train started driving and we called my dad to tell him we wouldn’t come online on Skype anymore and we wished him goodnight. After about half an hour, we arrived in Paris and took the metro back to our hotel.
We we’re so tired, we fell asleep immediately!

Next time: Three lit candles and a crammed bookstore!