August 31, 2019


We have talked for several years about an Adventures by Disney trip and we have seen several interesting itineraries, but we just never 'pulled the trigger' until July 2018 when we saw the itinerary for the London and Paris adventures offered for 2019.  It had everything we wanted . . . so within a week we were booked!  Then Carol began reading, studying and planning!


As our departure date approached we both became more and more excited!


Our trusty friend, house-sitter and dog-sitter Kim agreed to move in for the two weeks we would be away from home.  We were all packed and loaded when Kim arrived at 11:15 a.m.  Carol and Kim reviewed dog care routines and then the two of us hit the road at noon.


We have been hearing horror stories about wait times at Pearson Airport and we wanted to be there at least four hours before our 8:40pm flight time.


We stopped for a quick lunch at Trenton.  Traffic was heavy on the long weekend but we moved steadily, with only a few slowdowns.  Carol had talked about stopping at the Disney Store in the Scarborough Town Centre but she changed her mind at the last minute and we pushed on through non-stop.

We pulled into the Park  ‘n Fly lot near the airport at 3:05 and were at the airport by 3:30.  Alas, we couldn't check our bags . . . we were too early!  We finally checked them at 4:40, 4 hours before flight time and headed through security.  Surprise – our Nexus cards worked.  In no time we were waiting in our departure lounge.  Perhaps such an early arrival was a bad plan . . . the wait seemed to take forever!


We had a good burger for dinner at one of the food court style restaurants and waited some more!


Our flight, AC# 848 Boarded at 7:50 and pushed away from the gate 10 minutes early.  The 5 hour and 44 minute flight was smooth but we didn't sleep as we'd  hoped – a young boy three rows behind us was screaming shrilly “Pappa, Pappa” through the entire flight.   It was relentless!  We kept our headphones on and watched some movies . . . they helped block the racket.

September 1, 2019


Mercifully we landed at 8:05 a.m., about 30 minutes ahead of schedule.  Sadly our luggage was on the plane first and off the plane last.


British Immigration was automated - we put our passport photo pages down on a scanner which read them and cleared us for entry.  No human contact, no questions . . . a very pleasant experience!

A hostess, Mary, and a driver, Ernesto, were waiting with an Adventures by Disney sign as we exited the baggage area.  They immediately took our luggage and walked us to the waiting car.  Ernesto drove us through Kensington into downtown London – I didn’t understand a thing he was saying.


We passed the National Science Museum and the Museum of Victoria and Albert – we could read what they were.


We checked in at the May Fair Hotel at 10:15 and fortunately our room was ready.  The room was small, like any older downtown hotel in North America and it was clean and well appointed.  The bathroom was very modern and nice - the floor and all four walls were marble with a large walk-in shower and a deep bathtub to soak in!  The bedroom area however was not what we’re used to at home, visually it seemed a bit dull and drab and there was very limited storage.  There were no drawers for clothing so we were forced to live out of our suitcases.


I guess European expectations are different than ours.  The May Fair is considered very luxurious and one of ‘THE’ places to be in London.


The front curb at the hotel is full of Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces with Arabic license plates that some Arab gazillionaires have flown in to drive during their stays here.  There are about a half dozen of these super-luxury cars illegally parked in front of the hotel.  They are ticketed and fined regularly but the gazillionaire owners don’t seem to care!


We were too pooped to even unpack, we had a nap!

Once we had rested up a bit we got settled then went to explore at about 2:00 p.m.  The hotel concierge got us 3:30 p.m. tickets for the London Eye!


We picked up a cab in front of the hotel and I started taking pictures out the window and through the sunroof.

Our driver was quite chatty and pointed out plenty of sights as we headed through Kensington and across the Thames River.


We passed Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and the Parliament Buildings.

In the picture on the left you see the parliament buildings, on the west side of the Thames, on the far left over my right shoulder and Big Ben is over my left shoulder.


Ben wasn't very photogenic during our visit; he's being refurbished and is fully surrounded by scaffolding!

Before we boarded the London Eye we posed in front of a blue screen for a 'special effects' photo; they erased the blue background and then superimposed a picture of the London skyline, taken from the Eye, behind us.


Most of the photos were spectacular and were wonderful souvenirs, but - Carol’s shirt was the same blue as the background – it looked like her head was floating in the air beside me.


It was so spooky looking that we couldn't bear to look at it!

The view from the London Eye was amazing – St. Paul’s in one direction, Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square just across the river.



We crossed the Westminster Bridge and walked along the Victoria Embankment to Horse Guards Avenue where we enjoyed the Whitehall Gardens.


After leaving Whitehall Gardens we followed Horse Guards Avenue and explored the Horse Guards Parade, the stables built in 1753 where the Household Cavalry (the Queen’s Horse Guard) keep their horses.


After a quick visit to the Household Cavalry Museum we followed Whitehall to Trafalgar Square. We stopped at The Clarence, a pub near Trafalgar Square and had some tasty fish & chips and for dessert we shared a Sticky Toffee pudding that was super good.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Admiralty Arch

After a few minutes taking pictures in Trafalgar Square we passed under the Admiralty Arch and followed The Mall all the way to Buckingham Palace.

The Mall is closed to traffic every Sunday so we were able to stroll along it's 1 kilometre length and enjoy the sights.

Behind Carol is the statue of Queen Victoria and Buckingham Palace.

On the left side of the picture is St. James's Park, on the right is St. James's Palace.

These guards are marching at St. James's Palace, home of Prince Charles and Camilla.

Entrance to St. James's Park.

By the time we reached Buckingham Palace and snapped a few pictures we had covered over 9,300 steps, about 6 1/2  kilometres.  We were pooped!


We hailed a cab beside the palace and were back to the hotel by 7:30 p.m.


We hadn’t yet reset our internal clocks, so bed came early.


Carol fell to sleep very quickly after a hot bath.  I tried to read for a while, but the soft rasp of her ‘restful breathing’ lulled me to sleep at about 9:00 p.m.


September 2, 2019

We slept until 7:00 a.m.  Hopefully our clocks are more or less adjusted.  The room has tea and instant coffee.  We both opted for tea.  I haven’t had tea in the morning since . . . never.  It may be that long again!  The first ‘filter coffee’ in the hotel’s May Fair Kitchen restaurant tasted great!


The breakfast buffet at the hotel was excellent – even Carol ate some and she’s not a breakfast person.  She found that she really enjoys English bacon, they called it 'streaky bacon'.


At 9:00 a.m. we met our guides Stéphanie from LeHavre France and Peyton from Scottsdale Arizona in the lobby and chatted with them for almost an hour.  They gave us general instructions of the tour and we picked from some menu options for the group meals we’ll be enjoying over the next week.


At about 10:00 a.m. we said goodbye and headed back to Buckingham Palace.

Carol had pre-booked a tour of the State Rooms in the Palace, where the Royal Family hosts visiting dignitaries.  These rooms are only open for viewing for about six weeks each year and we were lucky enough to be here at the right time.

The flags fly in front of our hotel - The May Fair

Green Park

We walked to the palace through Green Park, about a kilometre from our hotel.

Green Park - Buckingham Palace is behind Carol

We took a few pictures in front of the palace as the crowd assembled waiting for the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony.

The Mall - where we walked yesterday.

The Canada Gate

Queen Victoria

Picked up our tickets and began the 10:30 a.m. tour!



There are 19 State Rooms and individual headsets give a detailed interpretive description of what you’re seeing in each of the rooms you pass through.  They are amazing!


We took a leisurely pace and spent about two hours soaking up the majesty and history in front of us.


The palace began as Buckingham House, built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham.  King George III purchased it in 1791 and the palace has been expanded with the addition of three new wings in the 18th and 19th centuries.  There are now 775 rooms in the palace which is 828,000 square feet in area.


It became the London residence of the British monarch when Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837.


There is no photography allowed in the State Rooms; the pictures you see below are scans from a packet of post cards I picked up in the palace gift shop.

The Grand Staircase

The Green Drawing Room

The Throne Room

The Picture Gallery

The Ballroom

The State Dining Room

The Blue Drawing Room

The Music Room

The White Drawing Room

 The East Front of the Palace as seen from St James's Park

The Palace Gardens


The queen was vacationing at Balmoral Castle in Scotland during our visit, so we had to have tea on our own!

Carol enjoyed a cup of English Breakfast Tea while I had a Diet Pepsi and we shared a Mille-Feuille pastry at the palace tea house, the Garden Café.

The Garden Café is the canopied area behind Carol.

Naturally Carol had to spend a bit of time in the gift shop as we left . . . it's probably the only way either of us will ‘drop a few pounds’ on this trip.

Her Majesty has some pet geese . . . Canada Geese of course!

Just past the palace gift shop is the Buckingham Palace Dairy Ice Cream Shop.

Salted caramel – yummy!


We hopped a cab to Oxford Street and look what we found!


Disney is everywhere!


After Carol browsed through London’s version of the Disney Store we walked a few blocks along Oxford Street, a popular shopping area, but before long our tired legs were protesting again.


We hailed a cab back to the May Fair Hotel.


The drivers of London's 'Black Cabs' are wonderful ambassadors for the city!  They are well trained and licensed by the city.  Every cab driver we encountered was polite, knowledgeable and happy to help confused tourists like us!  One of the cabbies actually refused the tip I offered him.  He would not take it!


Oddly enough, Black Cabs come in all the colours of the rainbow.  They are 'black' because of their special construction, traditional shape and seating configuration.

We rested for a few hours before heading to the hotel lobby to meet our Adventures by Disney tour group for dinner.  There are only 16 people on this tour, a smaller group than the 30 to 40 that normally enjoy it.


We met in the lobby and headed upstairs to a meeting room where we had a nice private dinner and met our fellow adventurers.  We sat with Brian and Karen, a couple from Minnesota, Scott from Philadelphia and our Disney guide Stéphanie.

Dinner was a nice buffet and as we ate a highly energetic performer portrayed Sherlock Holmes and used hidden playing cards, books, a flashlight and a key as he led us through a complex mystery involving the mysterious disappearance of some of the British Crown Jewels.


After dinner we headed directly back to our room, at about 9:00 p.m, to rest up for a very busy day tomorrow!

September 3, 2019

We had an exclusive early preview today at The Tower of London so we were up very early - at 6:00 a.m.


After another wonderful breakfast in our hotel we met our `Blue Badge` local guide Sarah who escorted us for the duration of our stay in London.  Our driver, Gary, was waiting with our luxury highway coach beside the hotel and we boarded at 7:30 for the short trip to the Tower of London. for a private tour before the Tower opened.

A picture of Trafalgar Square through the window of the coach.

Sarah used the microphone in the coach to describe the buildings and historical sites we were passing along our route while our Adventures by Disney guides Payton and Stephanie passed out the red 'whisper units' we would use throughout our adventure.


Our guides wore a lapel microphone and we used the whisper units and ear buds or headphones to follow their commentary as we wandered about taking pictures   We didn't have to stay within earshot.

Entered the Tower at 8:15, an exclusive entry for the 16 Disney Adventurers, our 2 Disney guides and our local guide Sarah.  The nineteen of us had the entire place to ourselves for 45 minutes before it opened to the public.

Our host, Gary the Yeoman Warder

A Yeoman Warder, also called a 'Beefeater', met us at the entrance and escorted us through the tower grounds, explaining the history of this amazing site and the role he and his fellow Beefeaters are honoured and privileged to fulfill for the Royal Family.

There are 37 Yeomen Warders.  They are responsible for looking after any prisoners in the Tower of London and safeguarding the British crown jewels.  The Beefeaters and their families live in the Tower and it is considered a high military distinction to be selected to serve in the Tower.


A Beefeater must have served at least 22 years in the British Armed Forces and must hold both Long Service and Good Conduct medals.

A private guide escorted us through the vault where the Crown Jewels are stored.


Just the 16 of us, with plenty of time and no rush.  What a treat!


There was no photography allowed so you'll just have to take my word for it, the jewels are spectacular!

Those little red boxes are our 'whisper units' . . . we use them with headphones or

ear buds to follow Sarah's explanation of all the historical wonders we are seeing!

The guard is posted at the Queen's official residence in the Tower of London

The White Tower is the central tower or fortification in the larger fortress that is today known as The Tower of London.  It was the original building on this site and was built by William The Conqueror immediately after the Norman Conquest of 1066.


The original structure was a timber construction surrounded by a wooden palisade.  Construction of the current building, a stone keep, began in 1078 and was completed in 1080.

Carol and I in front of the White Tower

The White Tower was the home of all British Monarchs for several centuries beginning in 1066.

Inside the White Tower - armour worn by Henry VIII's horse.

King Henry VIII wore this armour.

Carol chats with one of the Tower of London ravens.

One of the 37 Yeoman Warders serves as 'Ravenmaster' and is responsible for the tower's flock.

The Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula

Yeomen Warders have been worshiping in this chapel since 1520

Lady Jane Grey is buried here.

She was Queen of England for 9 days before she was deposed by Queen Mary I and executed.

Winged lions mark the boundary of the City of London.


We left the Tower of London at 10:20 and re-boarded our coach for a short trip to Buckingham Palace.

We had received an e-mail a few days earlier telling us that it was unlikely that we would see the Changing of the Guard and sure enough . . . it was a 'photo-op' only.

As we walked down The Mall toward St. James`s Park  the Queen’s  Household Cavalry rode past on their way to the palace, a troop of about 15 horses and cavalry.  It was a highlight for Carol . . . she's always happy to see horses!

Buckingham Palace as seen from St. James's Park

Duck Island Cottage in St. James's Park

also called 'The Birdkeeper's Cottage'

We walked through St. James`s Park to the Red Lion Pub on Parliament Street.  The pub is adjacent to the British Parliament Buildings and was a favourite of Winston Churchill.


We each has a steak and mushroom pie followed by sticky pudding with toffee sauce and sea salted caramel ice cream.  Tasty!

As we left the pub and started to walk toward the parked coach we encountered a large group of protesters who were marching, chanting and calling for freedom in Kashmir.


They began to press against police lines and when we saw additional police emerge behind us rushing toward the developing conflict in front of us Sarah decided to alter our course and skip a few points of interest she wanted to show us.


It was a good call, shortly after she led us down a side street there were about a dozen additional police vans and motorcycles speeding by, lights flashing and sirens blaring – very exciting!


We boarded the coach and headed off to Westminster Abbey.  Sarah guided us through the cathedral which was built shortly after the Norman invader William the Conqueror took control of England in 1066.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Once again we were asked not to take pictures inside the Abbey.


Sarah pointed out the tombs and graves of all the kings, queens, poets and scientists buried there.  We saw graves for Queen Elizabeth I, King Charles II, King Edward the Confessor (St. Edward), Geoffrey Chaucer, D. H. Lawrence, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking and so many more.

Sarah described the many royal weddings and coronations which have taken place there, often showing us pictures of the events she was describing on a tablet she was carrying.

A Brexit protest.

After all the information Sarah had relayed at The Tower of London and Westminster Abbey we were reaching the point of information overload.  It was time for a diversion – a high speed boat ride on the Thames River.


One problem – police had closed Parliament Square because of that protest we had seen earlier.  We couldn't get to where we needed to be.


Our ABD guides spent a few minutes discussing alternatives and we were seconds away from leaving on foot for the approximately one mile hike to the Victoria Embankment when news came through that the square was once again open.

We breathed a sigh of relief and boarded the coach.


About half way there we ground to a halt – this time it was anti-Brexit protesters who were blocking Parliament Square.  We were at a total standstill but our driver, Gary, managed to inch the vehicle ahead so the door lined up with a traffic island in the middle of a block and we all bailed out.



Peyton ran ahead to buy tickets for the Underground while we all walked to the nearest subway stop.  Protesters were chanting and waving signs just a few feet away as we descended the steps into the  Westminster Station.


We only travelled one stop but it was enough to bypass the trouble and we emerged from 'the tube' into daylight very close to the dock where our rigid inflatable boats waited.


Once we all had our lifejackets on and had posed for a couple of pictures we split into two groups of nine and boarded two boats for a spin on the Thames.

We passed many sights along the river and a member of the cruise staff gave us a running commentary as we headed from Westminster, past the London Eye and the Tower of London, toward, and then through downtown London.

Once we were through the downtown area the captain pushed the throttle forward and we cruised a few miles downstream at high speed before turning around and racing back upstream.

The White Tower from a different angle!

Tower Bridge

We finished up the cruise at about 4:45 and our driver Gary had the coach parked just a few steps from the dock.  We were back to the hotel by 5:15.


Carol and I chilled in the room until about 6:45 then went looking for a local pub for dinner.  We ended up at Henry’s Café, just a few blocks from our hotel.  Carol had a tasty buttermilk chicken sandwich, I had a wonderful Scotch egg and some so-so nachos.


We were back home by about 8:30 and crashed after a very full day!


We had walked over 14,000 steps, about 10 kilometres; our feet and legs were tired!

September 4, 2019


Today we had a more leisurely start to our day.  We slept until 7:00 and enjoyed a relaxed breakfast in the hotel.

We boarded the coach at 8:30 and arrived at Beaumont House, near Windsor at 9:30 for 'archery in the countryside'.

Steve and Carolyn were our instructors.  There were six shooting positions and six targets set up.  They broke our group up into teams of two or three.  It was Carol and I against 5 other teams.  We shared a bow and had 5 arrows each.


We had two practice rounds, ten shots each, then 2 scoring rounds.  After each volley Steve and Carolyn tallied up our scores as they retrieved the arrows.

After the first round Carol and I had a slight lead on the competition.


In round two we widened the margin a tiny bit.



Then the target changed, we shot a longer-range volley at a human shaped target, dressed as a Roman soldier, far off at the bottom of the hill.


No one struck the target, but Carol's arrow was closest to the far-off soldier . . . clinching our victory!


Carol and I were victorious, beating all the other teams . . . and we each won a swell Disney pin!

Then everyone else got the same pin


It was great fun!

We hopped back on the coach for the short hop to Windsor and at 11:30 we walked through the old (retired) train station to the village which sprung up beside Windsor Castle.


Like the Tower of London, construction of Windsor Castle was ordered by William The Conqueror shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066.  It is the longest occupied palace in Europe and is the favourite home of Queen Elizabeth II.

We had some time on our own to explore the town and have lunch before our group tour. 


Carol & I ate at the Carpenter’s Arms Pub and then poked around the town a bit.

We popped into a quaint old Anglican church and admired a tapestry, a gift from King George III, dating back to about 1600.

I've given up my dream of a career in law enforcement.

The hat just doesn't suit me!

Carol did a bit of shopping before we rejoined our group at 1:30.


Our local guide Sarah led us into the castle and gave us a running commentary of what we were seeing.


We wandered around the grounds of the massive complex, enclosed by towers and tall fortified stone walls listening to the amazing history of the place.


We walked through the chapel, an amazing structure, and saw the crypts and graves of Henry VIII, his third wife Jane Seymour and a number of other former monarchs.

This is where Donald Trump walked in front of Queen Elizabeth as he inspected the troops.


It’s an impressive structure, no wonder it’s so dear to Queen Elizabeth’s heart.


Our last tour was through the State Apartments, the rooms where the royal family lived before a new wing was added in the 1880’s.  Now they are used to host foreign dignitaries.


Wow!  It was amazing to see the place.


We finished the tour and met up with our group at 4:15 for the trip back to the May Fair Hotel in London.  Traffic was heavy, we got back at 6:00 p.m., just in time to freshen up for our 6:30 dinner in the May Fair Kitchen.


The restaurant is a fusion of Italian and Spanish and we were given a list of dishes to choose from, three choices each.  We shared a small pizza, two different types of pasta, beef tacos, risotto and chicken skewers.  It was quite tasty!

After dinner, about 7:45, we hopped in a cab so Carol could browse her way through Harrod’s Department Store, not far from our hotel.


I found a comfy chair to wait in and she surprised me by coming back in less than an hour, with no bags.  She enjoyed the browsing and can now mark Harrod’s off her bucket list.


There was a bit less walking today, about 13,000 steps and 8 kilometres, but much of it was up and down hill at both the archery and Windsor Castle.  Our septuagenarian feet and legs were tired again!


We were home at about 9:30 and settled in for the night.

September 5, 2019

It was moving day!  We were heading to Paris so we had to be up early.


We woke at 6:00 a.m. and had our luggage in hall for pick-up by 6:30.

After a leisurely breakfast we met our group in lobby at 8:30 and soon boarded the coach for short trip across the city to St. Pancras Station.


If you're a Harry Potter fan the station might look familiar.  When the films were made they used King's Cross Station for the interior filming but used St. Pancras for all of the outdoor scenes!

We cleared the Eurostar security check then pre-cleared French customs by 9:15 which gave us time for a coffee while we waited in the departure area for the 10:24 departure of our Eurostar high-speed train between London & Paris.

It was a surprisingly smooth and quiet ride! 


The Eurostar whisks you along at 180 miles per hour (300 kph) through 'the Chunnel’ under the English Channel.


London to Paris in a mere 2 ½ hours!

We disembarked at Gare du Nord in Paris at 1:45.


Our local guide Valerie was waiting near the platform and led us to the waiting coach.


First stop was Montmartre, Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre is a beautiful basilica set on top of the tallest peak in Paris.

We walked part way up the hill, took some pictures, then rode the funicular up to the basilica.

Because of the view the area around the church became a popular hangout for artists Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Amedeo ModiglianiClaude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and many others.

The art `vibe` is still there – local artists line the narrow cobbled streets hawking their wares and portrait painters offer their services to all who walk past.


We walked down the cobbled streets for a few blocks, saw where our 3:45 wine-tasting was going to be, then Carol and I returned to the basilica for a tour.


It’s an amazing place and we found ourselves wishing we had more time to poke around.  There was another church next door, dedicated to Saint Denis, patron saint of France and we didn`t have time to check it out.

We were back to La Bonne Franquette restaurant by 3:45 and joined the rest of our tour group for a wine tasting.  The restaurant staff explained the details of wine appellation and the blending of grape varieties to make the wines of France.

It was pretty much all lost on Carol and I, neither of us enjoys wine.  I tasted 2 varieties of white wine and passed on the red offerings,  We did enjoy a nibble of bread, cheese and charcuterie.

We left at 5:00 and headed back down the hill in the funicular and boarded the waiting coach which whisked us off to our hotel, The Hilton Paris Opera.

We arrived at 5:30 and the hotel staff greeted us at the door with fresh cold water, a variety of sweets and the keys to our rooms.  Our luggage was waiting in the room when we got there and we quickly got settled in.


The room is lovely, not overly large, but roomy enough and beautifully appointed.


We met our Adventures By Disney group in the lobby at 6:45 and headed to Le Pain Quotidien, a restaurant directly adjacent to our hotel.


We had a very nice meal and by 9:00 we were back in the room resting after a busy day.

September 6, 2019

We were both up at 7:00 a.m. and soon headed downstairs for breakfast at hotel.

After the wonderful breakfasts we had at the May Fair the breakfast at the Hilton was disappointing.  The cheapest room in the hotel is listed at €859 per night (about $1,250 Canadian or $950 US) and they serve powdered eggs.  Really?


After breakfast we walked around the area outside the hotel.  Gare Saint-Lazare was right next door and the area was teeming with commuters heading to work.

The Lobby Bar at the Hilton Paris Opera

Gare Saint-Lazare

Our hotel - The Hilton Paris Opera

At 9:40 we boarded our coach and headed to Choco Story Paris, Le Musee Gourmand du Paris.


The chocolatiers (or were they Oompa-Loompas?) gave us a lesson on chocolate, where it comes from, how to blend it and pair it with fruits and nuts for flavour.

The Eiffel Tower on the left and the Arc de Triomphe above are both made entirely of chocolate.

Each team was given a bowl of light or dark chocolate, heated to about 160 degrees.  We had to add a second type of chocolate and then stir until the temperature dropped to 130 degrees.

We stirred our bowl of molten chocolate for a long, long time before it cooled enough to pour it into a piping bag.

Once all the piping bags were filled we squeezed the molten chocolate into molds and added fruit and nuts. 


I'm not a chocolate fan; I don't like the taste and I avoid eating it, but it was good fun making it.


We both enjoyed our time with the Oompa-Loompaa!

After our chocolate bars had cooled and set we got back on the coach and made our way to the Champs-Élysées where we were free to wander for several hours.

The Arc de Triomphe at Place Charles de Gaulle

Eiffel Tower as seen from Pont Alexandre III

Carol and I decided to take a ride on the Batobus, a hop-on hop-off boat ride on the Seine river.


Ken from Maryland joined us.  It was great fun, there are nine stops on the route and the boat makes a complete circuit in an hour and forty-two minutes.


The three of us walked from the Egyptian Obelisk at Place de la Concorde on the Champs-Élysées to the Pont Alexandre III which crosses the Seine in front of Place des Invalides.  A few steps down from the bridge took us to the Port of Champs-Élysées where where we boarded the Batobus.

The Pont Alexandre III is behind us.

Notre Dame Cathedral

We stayed onboard through eight of the nine stops and had some amazing views of Paris along the way including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre.


All three of us got off the Batobus at the Louvre stop and walked from the bank of the Seine through an arch, into the courtyard area formed by the Louvre buildings.

We saw the glass pyramid and the smaller replica of the Arc de Triomphe, then followed the Jardin des Tuileries back toward the Champs-Élysées.

It’s a magnificent park filled with statues, fountains, flowers and wide grassy areas where people were relaxing and enjoying a day of sunshine. It’s a real ‘people-place’.

Did I mention that Carol likes horses?

Ken and Carol, right back where we started!

Once we were back to Place de la Concorde we hailed a cab and the three of us returned to the hotel.

When Carol took off her fit-bit at about 3:15 we had walked a bit more than six kilometres through some absolutely breathtaking scenery

We rested back in our room for a few minutes and at 4:15 met our Adventures by Disney group in the lobby to head out to the Eiffel Tower.


The tower was designed by French engineer Gustave Eiffel and was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 Worlds Fair held in Paris.

Carol and I both marked off a ‘bucket list’ item when we rode up to the observation level, 410 feet high above Paris.


The view was spectacular; our entire group walked all the way around as our Paris guide, Valerie, pointed out interesting sights and answered all of our questions.



Then Carol and I walked around again on our own, snapping pictures.  It was awesome!


Our local guide, Valerie, had previously told us about the massive reconstruction of Paris in the 19th century.  In the mid 1800's the urban areas of Paris were filled with old medieval buildings and lacked a proper sanitation system. Most neighbourhoods were overcrowded, dark, dangerous, and unhealthy.  In 1853 Emperor Napoleon III commissioned French engineer Georges-Eugène Haussmann to carry out a massive urban renewal program of new boulevards, parks and public works in central Paris.


For the nearly two decades of Napoleon III's reign, and for a decade afterwards, most of Paris was an enormous construction site.  The Haussmann plan called for large parks, wide boulevards and a uniform building style with no buildings to exceed six stories in height.


The results are obvious in the cityscape seen from the Eiffel Tower.  To this day there are no skyscrapers in the heart of the city, buildings are still kept to a maximum of six stories!


Looking southeast along the Champ de Mars


The Basilica at Montmartre in the distance.

At 7:00 we boarded the coach again and headed back toward our hotel, stopping several blocks from ‘home’ for dinner at Grand Café Capucines, an authentic French Café.

We both started with an appetizer of crab salad with avocado then Carol had steak and potatoes while I had a nice vegetable dish on flaky pastry. For dessert we both opted for a ‘Floating Island’, a creamy sweet meringue floating in a vanilla bean custard pudding and drizzled with salted caramel sauce. It was delicious but I could only eat about half of mine before I was stuffed.

A 'Floating Island'

Carol ate some of hers but all the while she was eyeing the profiteroles and Ice cream that Brian, sitting beside her, had ordered. Brian was also looking longingly at Carol’s Floating Island, so after he finished the first profiterole they swapped plates and Brian finished the Island while Carol ate the second profiterole.

Looks like we’ve ‘bonded’ with our fellow ABD Adventurers!

We were home at about 10:00 p.m. and soon fell into bed, tuckered out after a very good day.

September 7, 2019

We slept until 7:15 and once again we both headed down for breakfast.  I wanted to avoid the powdered eggs so I tried to order some a la carte eggs.  I think the server was speaking Spanish and her French was as bad as mine.  When I said 'Eggs Benedict.' she nodded vigorously and said, 'Poached.'  I replied, Yes, Yes!'


She came back about fifteen minutes later with two soft boiled eggs in little egg cups.


I refused them and instead toasted up a waffle that looked like an Eggo.  It must have been sugar coated, it was dreadfully sweet.  I'm sure not impressed with breakfast at the Hilton!

We boarded our coach at 9:15 and headed off toward the Louvre.

Our coach drove through the centre arch.  Only inches to spare on each side!

We took a quick drive past The Louvre, and then went on to Sainte-Chapelle, a wonderful gothic chapel built by King Louis IX.  Construction began in 1238 and the finished chapel was consecrated on April 26, 1248.


The chapel is located in the courtyard of the royal palace on the Île de la Cité.

Sainte-Chapelle was the original home of the Christian relics collected by Louis IX, including the Crown of Thorns.  Most of the 30 or more relics, now stored at Notre Dame Cathedral were purchased from Baldwin II the Emperor at Constantinople.


The most famous feature of the chapel, among the finest of their type in the world, are the great stained-glass windows.  In order to maximize the impact of the windows the stone wall surface is reduced to little more than a delicate framework.


The effect is mesmerizing!

At 11:00 we hopped aboard the coach again for a short trip across Île de la Cité to Notre Dame Cathedral.  We were originally scheduled to tour Notre Dame rather than Sainte-Chapelle, but the fire that nearly destroyed Notre Dame on April 15, 2019 changed all those plans.


The building is all cordoned off with construction hoarding after the fire, but got a few nice pictures from a distance.




We had some free time to explore in the Latin Quarter on Île de la Cité.  It's a wonderful old area with narrow cobbled streets, gift shops and restaurants.

We paid a quick visit to Église Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, a Melkite Greek Catholic parish church built between 1165 and 1170.

We stopped for lunch at Les Galandines.  Carol had a crepe with butter and brown sugar, I had one with ham, cheese, bell pepper and egg.  They were both very tasty!

Carol browsed through a few shops while I poked around out on the cobbled streets. 


I discovered an old medieval-looking door in a stone wall that piqued my interest!

I wonder where this door leads?

Saint-Séverin was a devout hermit who lived on the banks of the River Seine during the first half of the fifth century.  L'Eglise Saint-Séverin was built over his tomb at the beginning of the thirteenth century.


There is a significant restoration taking place in the church and in one area there appears to be an archaeological dig under way.

After touring Saint-Séverin we explored a few more of the quaint old medieval streets in the Latin Quarter and stopped to browse a bit in the Shakespeare & Company book shop.

Before leaving the Latin Quarter we stopped in a quaint little tea shop and enjoyed a pot of tea and scones with Devonshire cream.


We were back on the coach at 1:15 and headed to the Louvre for our date with Mona Lisa.


The Louvre was very crowded and very hot.

During renovations the Mona Lisa is being displayed in a temporary hall so Disney is unable to bypass the normal queue.  We lined up with everyone else and shuffled slowly up a few flights of stairs and down a few halls, then we were released into a small, roped-off viewing area.


It was an absolutely crazy process, as soon as we were allowed to enter the viewing zone museum staff began yelling ‘keep moving, keep moving’.

We ignored them for a few seconds and were able to snap a few pictures.


It's a shame that people cannot have time to savour the experience of such a classic old piece of art!

I was lucky to get this picture with our little point-and-shoot Canon camera!

After they shouted us out of the Mona Lisa area we carried on strolling through a few other galleries in the museum as our guide Valerie pointed out works by Italian Masters, French Masters and a host of famous artists.

That's me behind Venus de Milo.

Carol is in front of Venus de Milo.

In a very short period of time we were able to see the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Nike.


Neither Carol nor I are patrons of the arts or even serious art fans, but it is impressive to have a chance stand so close to those priceless old classics that you can almost touch them!


Our feet were hurting by the time we left the museum at 4:30.  We were back to our hotel at 5:00 and rested for 15 minutes before we left for dinner.  We tried Mollard, a restaurant directly across the road from our hotel.  It was a big disappointment - 75€ wasted on an inferior meal.


After dinner we hopped in a cab to the Eiffel Tower.  Carol had pre-bought tickets for a ride to ‘The Summit’, the highest viewing level, a full 906 feet above ground.


We were allowed to join the line at 7:30 and by our appointed time of 8:00 p.m. we were stepping off the elevator on the upper observation deck.


The view was spectacular; it was dusk and the lights of the city were beginning to come on.  The fading sunlight didn't allow for vivid photographs, but the sights we observed with the naked eye were stunning!


It was windy and cold at that altitude so we didn't tarry too long once the sun went down!


Arc de Triomphe

The Trocadéro

We started on our way back down to ground level at about 8:40.  The trip to the top level, and back down, involves two separate elevators and we got to the exit at just the right time to see the tower ‘sparkle’ for 5 minutes beginning at 9:00 p.m.


The basic illumination continues all night, but the 'twinkling' strobe lights are only active for the first five minutes of each hour after dark.


Once the strobes completed their show we hailed another black cab which had us back 'home' at 9:30 p.m.


There was a lot of walking again today, over 9 kilometres, so we slept well!

September 8, 2019


We had to get going early today for our trip to Versailles.


By this time Carol had given up on breakfast at the Hilton, so I ate alone.  I ordered an omelette but it never arrived so I had to be happy with a couple of slices of toast.


Our adventurous group met in the lobby and boarded our coach at 7:45.

We arrived at the Palace of Versailles at 8:30.  There was already a huge line forming for the 9:00 a.m. opening.  Our group  bypassed the big line and entered before the palace opened.  We were sure happy to be well ahead of the crowd as we toured the interior of the palace!


Versailles began construction in 1623 when King Louis XIII built a small hunting camp on the site.  In 1631 he decided that the modest hunting camp wasn't befitting for a king so he began a large reconstruction and expansion project that lasted over three years.


His son and successor Louis XIV added opulent new wings between 1670 and 1710.  Louis XIV died in 1715 before his vision if Versailles was complete but his work was carried on by Louis XV and Louis XVI.  There are now over 700 rooms in the palace, which measures more than 721,000 square feet in area.


Carol and I live in a 2,700 square foot home in Kingston.  You could put 267 homes like ours inside the Palace of Versailles!


By the late 18th century the buildings were so lavish and opulent, the grounds and gardens were so lush and pristine that it's no wonder the French people revolted in 1789 and overthrew the monarchy . . . their riches were flaunted in such a striking manner!


But Versailles is certainly a huge tourism attraction today, and it was the highlight of our visit to Paris!

It was amazing.  We toured the state and family rooms of Kings Louis XIII, XIV and XV.  To say that they lived in the lap of luxury is a significant understatement.


There was gold leaf everywhere, magnificent statues, ornate painted ceilings, classic works of art and so much more.


There was more to see than our minds could really grasp!

The Royal Chapel.

The Hall of Mirrors

A look out the window teased us with what was to come!

The scale of the art was sometimes overwhelming!

At about 11:15 we headed outside to the gardens.  They are massive, covering almost 2,000 acres.  There are 400 sculptures and 1400 fountains scattered throughout the grounds.



We rode in a tram to the lower gardens where we enjoyed a lice lunch at La Flottille.  It was excellent . . . the salmon I had was the best meal I recall during our stay in France.

After lunch our Parisian guide Valerie led us on a walking tour of gardens where we savoured the sights . . . statues, fountains and a magnificent outdoor ballroom.

The outdoor ballroom where Louis XIV danced with courtiers.

The black stones are a cascading water fountain.

This picture of the Ballroom was painted by Jean Cotelle in 1693


It was a phenomenal day!  I have been anxious to see Versailles since we first booked this trip, and Carol surprised me when she said it was the new highlight of her trip.


After hiking more than six kilometres up and down the hills in the gardens we were vary happy to see the coach waiting for us!



Traffic heading into Paris was very heavy, the return trip took a full hour.  We were back at the Hilton at 3:00 and rested for a while.


Carol spent a bit of time packing for our trip to Disneyland Paris the next day, then we headed to the Lobby Bar where we joined a few of our fellow adventurers for a drink.


At 7:15 we met in the lobby and boarded the coach one more time for our trip to La Durée, home of the Macaron, for our Farewell Dinner.


Our Disney guides greeted us at the door wearing traditional French berets and then each of us was given our own beret adorned with a special Disney pin.

It was a very nice dinner, Carol and I had different appetizers then we both had Croque Monsieur and sampled two different desserts, each with raspberries.  We enjoyed everything except the salads.

An accordion player entertained us throughout dinner.


After our meal Stephanie and Peyton showed a slideshow of the pictures they’ve taken during our trip.  It was very entertaining!  They had been snapping pictures with their iPhones since we started touring a week ago and after the trip was over they uploaded over 800 photos to a web site we could access to download them!


There were some great shots on that web site and some of them have been used in this report!  Thanks Stephanie and Peyton!

Then it was pixie dust time again . . . we boarded the coach for one last excursion . . . to The Trocadero where we watched the Eiffel Tower twinkle at 10:00 p.m.  It was a different perspective seeing it from further back.

We hopped onto the coach one last time for the trip back to our hotel and spent a few minutes saying goodbye to our fellow adventurers.

The first phase of our adventure was closing, but the next morning we were leaving at 9:00 a.m. for Disneyland Paris!

September 9, 2019


We were both wide awake at 6: 45 probably because we were anxious to get to Disneyland.  I went for coffee and toast while Carol did the last little bit of packing.


The Bell Man picked up our bags at 8:45 and Carol and I headed down to meet Stephanie in the lobby.  Adventures by Disney had set up a private car to take us to Disneyland Paris.


Our driver arrived at 9:00 and loaded our luggage into a large Mercedes sedan.  We were on our way at 9:05.


The driver lives about 10 minutes from the Disneyland Paris Resort so he described some points of interest as we passed them and gave us a few tips for the parks.

When we booked our London and Paris Adventure by Disney over a year ago we added a three day stay at Disneyland.  Because we booked it through ABD it included a few 'perks'.  It included private transportation from Paris to Disneyland and from Disneyland to Charles de Gaulle Airport, our accommodations at the Newport Bay Resort, Park-Hopper Passes for the length of our stay, VIP FastPasses for the length of our stay and breakfast every day at our hotel.


We arrived at the Newport Bay Resort at 10:00 a.m. and Carol went to check us in.  As we expected, our room was not ready.  Check-in time is 3:00 p.m.

Mickey went by as I waited for Carol.

By the time I got the camera turned on he was past me!

We left our bags with Bell Services and walked to the park.

It was a very nice walk along the water, or it would have been if we weren't still worn out from all the walking we did in London and Paris!


We passed through Disney Village, the shopping and dining area, and browsed a bit in The Disney Store.

What a treat to see a Disney Store that still looks like a Disney Store!  The few stores remaining at home in Canada and those in the USA have been stripped of their unique character.


Even the big World of Disney Store at Disney Springs in Orlando now looks more like a Wal-Mart or Target than a Disney Store.

The entrance to the Disneyland Park is gorgeous!


Just past the Sorcerer's wand are the tiered flower beds, flowing fountains and manicured gardens that lead to the entry arch!

The entrance takes you through the Disneyland Hotel to a small concourse where turnstiles scan your park tickets before you pass through the Train Station and enter Town Square.

We browsed our way through the Emporium on our way up Main Street heading toward Frontierland.

A show was starting as we approached The Hub.  It's called Jungle Book Jive and involves lots of characters in colourful costumes.  There is plenty of music, live drummers and lots of dancing.  It's a very spirited show!

You don't see Clarice very often!

We stopped for a quick hot dog at Casey’s before heading into Frontierland.

Phantom Manor was first on Carol's to-do list but we were distracted along the way by this trio!

Phantom Manor is quite different from the version we have seen in the American parks.  It is in Frontierland and the setting is quite 'western'.  The final scene in the ride takes you through a wild-west scene populated by skeletons, ghouls and zombies.


Even the Sheriff is one of the un-dead.


Wow, it was great!

We took a spin on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  The Paris version of this attraction is much longer than either of the American counterparts.  There are some long, dark stretches and it seems to be bumpier. . . Carol said once is enough!

We crossed into Adventureland and tried the European version of Pirates Of The Caribbean.  The sound track is the same, and there were a few familiar scenes, but much of the ride is uniquely different than what we've seen before.


We really enjoyed it and hope to try it again!

About 3:45 we were heading back to the hotel when Carol decided to stop and browse the Christmas Shop in the Castle.  I waited on the drawbridge but I was soon kicked out; they were setting up again for Jungle Book Jive and the area in front of the castle had to be cleared.


Carol was coming out of the shop as I arrived back at the drawbridge arch and we circled around the back of the Castle toward the exit.


Carol spotted Imagineer Terri Hardin, who we met a few years ago in Dayton Ohio, and we chatted with her for a few minutes.  Terri was traveling with a few friends and wanted to show them the dragon under Sleeping Beauty’s castle which she designed, then helped to build and install.  The dragon attraction was closed and Terri was looking for a manager to see if she could get in to show it to her friends.  She invited us along but we were too pooped.


We headed toward the hotel hoping to catch the shuttle bus but we missed the turn and walked all the way back to the Newport Bay Resort.

Carol and Terri

It was 5:00 by the time we retrieved our baggage and got to the room.


We both crashed for an hour, then Carol unpacked a bit while I set up the electrical converter and all of our charging cords & stuff.


At 6:30 we headed down through the lobby and caught the shuttle directly in front of the hotel; now we know where to find it when we exit the park.


We had planned to stop at Earl of Sandwich for dinner, but the shuttle bus stopped near the train station, well past Earl’s so we carried on into the park.

We checked the menu at the Deli on Main Street but nothing caught our eye so we walked on to Fantasyland where we noticed people lining up at 7:15 for the 9:00 p.m. Illuminations show.


We planned to have a bite to eat and then join the throng to watch the show.


All the restaurants in Fantasyland were closed.  Even the popcorn carts were closed!  We went on to Adventureland only to find that everything there closed as well.  Frustrated, we went back to the Main Street Deli but as we stood in the door surrounded by pushy adults and whining children Carol said she’d had enough.


We left the park, stopped at Earl of Sandwich and had a late dinner.  The tomato soup was more like a tomato paste or puree and Carol’s Philly Cheese steak sandwich was tough and chewy.  It’s the first time she’s ever been disappointed at Earls.  My Club Sandwich was great.


We walked back to the hotel, arrived at 9:00, both worn out after a long day.


Carol browsed the hotel shops a bit but after walking over 12 kilometres that day I lacked the energy

September 10, 2019


We wanted to get an early start at Walt Disney Studios so we were both up by 7:00 a.m. and headed down to the ground floor dining room for breakfast.

Once again we caught the shuttle bus which unloads near the Eurail Train Station, beside Disney Village and not far from the Studio entrance.

Newport Bay Resort

We were in the park by 8:45 and took our time, enjoying the new sights and snapping a few pictures as we made our way toward Crush's Coaster.

It was a cute ride, but the cars were tiny and much too cramped.  Neither Carol or I are tall, I don't know how anyone 6' or taller could do it!

Ratatouille was cute too, a 3D race through Remy's kitchen shot from the perspective of a cute rat.  It was fun, but once is enough.

I rode RC Racers, a Hot Wheels style track where the cars run up one side of the curved track and then swing back down and up the opposite side. Carol took a few pictures as she waited for me.

Next up was the Backlot tour.  It's very similar to the ride that used to be at Hollywood Studios in Florida.

The tram takes guests past some old movie props and makes a stop in Catastrophe Canyon where a movie shoot is in progress.  Lots of fire and lots of water, then a ride past some more old props.


It was nostalgic and took is back a few years but it also confirmed that we really don't miss the old ride!

The Hollywood Tower of Terror gave us a bit of a surprise!  The elevator car doesn’t move forward or back, just up and down.


We were in motion long before we expected it!

We had lunch at Restaurant en Coulisse in the front lot and enjoyed a very good burger.  Carol shopped her way out while I waited outside and snapped pictures of a few characters who were hosting 'Meet & Greets' in the area.


You don't see Bert and the Penguins often in the American parks, and Goofy was wearing an outfit I've never seen before!

Carol stayed to shop through the big World of Disney Store but I was pooped so I shuffled off to catch the shuttle home.  There was a long wait and as we pulled out I spotted Carol trying to flag down the bus.  No dice, the driver kept going so she had to wait for the next one.


I was back to hotel at 12:45 and Carol about 30 minutes later.  We both enjoyed a well-earned nap!



We caught the shuttle to Disneyland at 3:30 and headed straight back toward Frontierland for the Lion King show.


We were striding along with the sun in our eyes when Carol heard someone call her name.  It was Imagineer Terri Hardin who was going in the opposite direction.  What are the odds we’d bump into her twice.


Terri told us that she got to see her dragon the day before, it's only closed while the parade is going.


The Lion King theatre was already full for the 4:05 show when we got there at 3:55 so we joined the line for the 5:05 show and stood in line for an hour.  Just what our tired feet and legs needed!


It’s a fantastic show, lots of energy, singing, music, dancing, acrobatics; it's very well staged!

The 5:30 parade was still in progress as we approached Main Street so we stopped to watch the last few floats.  The fire-breathing dragon is still operating in Paris and Carol got a great picture of it.

Carol had made a dinner reservation at the Plaza Gardens Restaurant and we both enjoyed the buffet.

After dinner we had some time to kill before the Illuminations show so we walked to Discoveryland and took a spin with Buzz Lightyear.  I had a lot of trouble with the ride, I just couldn't see the red laser dot when I pulled the trigger . . . so Carol beat me.  She beat me badly!


That's unacceptable so I insisted that we ride again.  We hopped back into the FastPass line and in no time we were spinning again!  This time it was different - my score was worse and hers was even better.  Oh, the humiliation!


I lined up for HyperSpace Mountain while Carol waited nearby.  There were about 150 people ahead of me in the FastPass line.  After about 10 minutes the line hadn't moved at all so I gave up and rejoined Carol.


We walked to Fantasyland and rode Peter Pan then returned to Main Street to watch the Illuminations show.


It's a Small World was closed for refurbishment during our stay.

Illuminations was awesome!

Projection, lasers, music and fireworks!

The best castle projection show we've seen yet!

After Illuminations we waited about 10 minutes for the crowd to thin, then headed toward the exit.  We decided that the shuttle would be too busy so we went right on by and walked all the way back to the Newport.


By the time we got there Carol's FitBit had registered almost 11 kilometres.



September 11, 2019


It was our last day at Disneyland Paris and we hoped to make the most of it!  We were both up at 7:00 a.m. and soon headed downstairs for breakfast.


When we walked out the front door of the hotel we saw the 8:15 shuttle just pulling away to head t the parks.  We had to wait for it to return.


Fortunately it didn't take long; we got to park at 8:30.

There was no one in the Main Street Police Department Paddy Wagon so we hopped aboard and took a ride up Main Street to Sleeping Beauty Castle.


We headed into Into the cavern below the castle to see Terri Hardin’s dragon.  It's a very effective audio-animatronic.  The lighting is dim with a bit of a green glow.  The dragon lifts it's head and swings it slowly and ominously from side to side.  It's piercing eyes open and close, it's wings flex, the feet and talons even move.


It's an eerie place - Terri . . . you did a good job!

We wanted to finish all the Fantasyland rides during early opening, before the crowd grew but the only one open was Peter Pan . That sucks!  We rode Peter Pan a second time, then went across the bridge to Adventureland and rode Big Thunder for the second time.



While we were in Adventureland we took another ride on Pirates of the Caribbean, then headed to Fantasyland to check our Alice's Curious Labyrinth.


It's a real maze with neatly trimmed hedges filled with all those odd creatures from the Alice in Wonderland feature cartoon.  Very entertaining!


Next on our list was Le Pays des Contes de Fées (Storybookland) which is similar to the attraction in Anaheim . . . but the boats in Paris are much more comfortable and the displays just seem to be a bit more 'magical'!

It was 11:00 o'clock when Carol announced, 'I haven't done any shopping yet today.' and off she went to Sir Mickey's.


I wandered around the area snapping a few pictures.

A trio of princesses went by as I waited for my princess!

It's a Small World was closed but they were testing the clock.

Beanstalk Mickey

Sir Goof-A-Lot

There was a long line for Les Voyages de Pinocchio but since there was no FastPass queue we joined the line and took a ride.  It's identical to the ride in Anaheim.


We enjoyed a very special lunch at Walt’s an American Restaurant.  Carol had tried to book a dinner there before we left home but had no success.  It turns out that they're only open for lunch!


Our Adventures By Disney guide Stephanie is an interpreter at Disneyland Paris when she isn't off leading adventures and she was able to phone just a few days before we headed to Disneyland and book a lunch for us.


Thanks Stephanie . . . we really enjoyed it!


We sat in the Main Street room with a window overlooking Main Street USA.

The view out our window.


After lunch Salvatore gave us a ‘VIP Tour’ and explained how the décor in each of the restaurant’s six or seven themed rooms reflects different areas in the Disneyland Paris Park.


Salvatore is a native of Italy and in addition to working at Disneyland Paris he has previously worked in the Cultural Exchange program at the Italian Pavilion in EPCOT.  He hopes to return to EPCOT in about a year.


We were sorry to hear from Salvatore that Walt's Restaurant would be closing on September 15th and no one knew whether it would be reopening.  The cast members are completely in the dark!


After lunch we walked up Main Street.  I took a picture of this window which we could see from our table at lunch.  It honours Imagineers Marty Sklar and Tony Baxter who were both extensively involved in the creation of Disneyland Paris.


 At the Hub we turned left into Frontierland where we took our second ride through Phantom Manor.  It seemed like it was even better the second time!


After our journey with those wild-west ghosts Carol headed to the Frontierland Pin Store to do some shopping and I headed to Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains (Snow White) in Fantasyland to wait for her.


When Carol arrived  we took a ride with Blanche and the Nains.  It’s almost identical to the Florida version of Snow White.


We walked around the castle on our way to Gibson Girl for an ice cream and had a startling encounter with the Evil Queen along  the way!


While we idled over ice cream we decided to hang around long enough to see the 5:30 parade and then head back t the hotel to pack for the trip home.


We wandered down Main Street through the Arcade with a few browsing stops along the way, then found a strategically placed park bench in front of City Hall where we could wait about 90 minutes in relative comfort for the parade.


Carol wandered off for some more shopping while I guarded our bench.


She returned at about 4:45 and said, ‘I’ve had enough.’


We bailed out and had an early dinner at Annette’s Diner in the adjacent Disney Village.  It was very good; I had an extremely sloppy but tasty bleu cheese burger and Carol had a quesadilla which she said was less messy but equally tasty.


We caught the shuttle bus back to our hotel.  We had walked another 10 kilometres today so it seemed like a good idea to don our bathing suits and head off to the pool and hot tub for a relaxing soak   Aaaah – that felt great!


Carol did a bit more packing and we got to bed early!

September 12, 2019


We were up early for our 7:00 a.m. breakfast reservation then went back to the room for a bit of final packing.  By 8:15 we were outside with our luggage, enjoying the fresh air as we waited for our 9:00 a.m. pick-up.


The same driver who brought us from Paris arrived promptly at 9:00 and because he knew the local area so well most of the 40 minute drive to Charles de Gaulle Airport was on quiet country lanes.

There was a very short line at Airport Security and we breezed through by 10:30.  That meant a wait of 2 1/2 hours for our flight!


Fortunately Carol found a Disney Store where she could while away some time!

Air Canada Flight 881 was delayed 20 minutes because of a chemical spill on the tarmac.  They had to clean it before the plane could pull up to the loading bridge.


It was a smooth flight, but long!  The Captain announced that we were taking a more northerly route, passing over Greenland to avoid some turbulence.  Sure enough, at one point Carol saw snow-covered mountains of Greenland out the window.


The flight was a tedious 7 hours long.  I watched 2 movies and read my book, but the time still dragged on!


We landed at Pearson International Airport in Toronto at 3:20 p.m. then had a long wait for bags followed by long wait for our Park ‘n Fly shuttle.


We were in the car and leaving the airport area at 5:00 – the height of Toronto's rush-hour.  Traffic was brutal until we hit the 407/ETR Toll Road, then we picked up some speed.


We made one quick stop at Port Hope, about half way home, for gas a hot dog and pulled into our driveway at 8:30.  I know that doesn't sound late . . . but remember we had just left Paris where it was now 2:30 a.m.


We were too pooped to even unpack, I hauled the luggage inside while Carol greeted four very happy dogs, then we all went to bed!