The trip to Disneyland paris was a great success. There were eight of us on the trip - Joseph & Orla, Collette and Carla - two of my grown-up daughters - and Carla's three children. The hotel, Sequoia Lodge, was very comfortable and had a great swimming pool with a jacuzzi and water slide etc. The food (we had booked half-board, which gave us the choice to eat at many of Disneyland's restaurants as well as all of the hotels) surpassed our expectations and the restaurants were all extremely child-friendly. The hotel and parks staff were superb (in the parks, the staff are called "cast", and because most of them are playing a role in a fairytale land, this is probably an apt term), and since I have had plenty of experience of Gallic condescension, British indifference and American fake, over-the-top friendliness, this was a welcome change. And the Disney parks had plenty on offer to entertain anyone from the age of 2 to 102.
Joseph (7) and his couple-of-years older nephew, Lee probably had the best time. They were able to go on almost all the rides, and were old enough to appreciate almost all the shows and other entertainment. Both Joseph and Lee had their first "white-knuckle" ride experience on the roller coasters there, and now, having conquered the fear of such rides, consider themselves "white-knuckle" ride veterans. Joseph, who just couldn't believe that such a paradise as Disneyland existed, tells everyone who will listen that Disneyland is the best place in the whole world...
Reece (4) also had a really good time and had lots to enjoy, while Orla (3), although restricted by age and comprehension from getting the best out of the parks, was still impressed enough to tell me that she wanted to live there! Reece also wanted to move home to Disneyland, and on the day of our departure was most upset and asked if the French children had to go home, too. He must have thought that French children could live there!
Shannon (13), although she enjoyed the trip, probably got the least from it. Adolescent attitude prevailed, and I'm sure that if she had had a friend accompany her, or found a "fit" boy to spend some time with, her holiday would have been more fun.
I also had a very enjoyable time. I was able to share in the excitement and enjoyment of my smaller children and grandchildren, of course, but of equal value was spending so much time with my two older children. I see them regularly, but never for such prolonged periods. Their companionship was a real bonus for me, and they seemed to enjoy my company too. I can truthfully state that none of us had even the slightest disagreement during the whole trip. That is a rarity in itself!
The Disney parks aren't for those who seek peace and/or relaxation. We walked countless miles during our holiday (yet still managed to put on a little weight, such was the appeal of the food there) and practically collapsed into bed at night. It was a happy tiredness. On my return home, it took me a couple of days to recover from my break. This was expected by all of us and we had all booked an extra day or two off work to accommodate it.
My business missed me, more than I thought it would, and it took me a full week of being very busy to catch up.
Meanwhile, Marie had been having an enjoyable and (almost) anxiety-free time at her parents' house. She had (mostly) kept up her hypnotherapy and Linden method exercises. I had kept her informed of the highlights of our trip by text, including pictures, and she watched my video efforts when we got home. The children and I had missed her and we were, and are, all very happy to be reunited again.
We have decided that the next Disney trip will be in 2013, when Orla will be seven. Carla is going to go then, too, and I'm sure that some/all of my other grown-up daughters will come too. We're planning to go to Florida this time. Let's hope that Marie can join us!