The Happiest Place on Earth (in France)

sleeping beauty

Last week was a long, eventful week. I finally received my titre de sejour, which will give me some peace of mind when I travel to the US in two weeks (yay!). I submitted a small manuscript on behalf of our team in Cairo for review and (hopefully) publication. Moreover, I did two long and elaborate make-or-break experiments for my primary project in the lab. The first consisted of a 13-hour day and the second of 18 hours. No kidding. By the time the weekend rolled around I was more than slightly delirious from exhaustion.

disney gates

So, after conquering my week, where did I go? To Disneyland Paris, of course!

smallworld

A quick aside: do championship sports players actually go to Disneyland after winning the Super Bowl, World Series, etc? Or is that just a gimmick whenever the game is broadcast on ABC – owned by Disney? I just have a hard time seeing it.

disney castle

Well, it turned out to be perfect timing for me, as the possibility of this trip had been in negotiation for quite some time. It had been 15 years since my last trip to the Magic Kingdom, and I was looking forward to doing it alongside close friends and their kids.

disneystainedglas

Although the weather forecast had been dismal and we barely escaped a downpour and sudden hailstorm (thank goodness for the canvas awnings over the line for The Pirates of the Caribbean), most of the day was cold but relatively nice. And, due to the rainy outlook, the park was practically empty and most of the lines were extremely short – our longest wait was about 20 minutes for Autopia – pas mal (as the French would say).

autopia

The last time I went to Disneyland, I was 15 and traveling with our high school band (yes, I am that band kid – and I do have band camp stories). We were all teenagers, trying so hard to act grown up. For one day, as we walked through the gates of ‘The Happiest Place on Earth,’ we were all given a free pass to be kids and not be embarrassed about it.

beanstalk

This time around I was the adult I had wanted to be so badly back then. The ironic thing about growing up is that now I can just take pleasure in fun things and sharing them with good people, no matter what the appearance. And, as an almost 31-year old, I loved Disneyland all over again. And it was especially fun to have the kids around – to see the castles, Christmas decorations (already!), rides and ‘magic’ through their eyes.

disney tree

It truly was a great way to end a complicated, yet victorious week. Next time I win something (maybe the lottery – it was a bit pricey), I am in!

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