Dear Mom: I am now you. Not cool mom, not cool.

It has finally happened.

I have become my mother.

Every daughter has that fear and makes a pact with their sister/best friend/cousin/daughter to inform us of that moment so we can take stalk of our lives and figure out how to correct the anomaly from happening. Unfortunately for me, no one told me. I had to discover this for myself in public. So this is an open letter to my Sister and Daughter.

Dear Sister and ChatterBox,

You suck.

Love Robyn/Mom

Don’t get me wrong, my mom is awesome. She does things that we all tease about and accuse her of being crazy, but I know you do the same to your mom. That is how daughters roll. It is called evolution. Then one day it happens to us. We turn into our mothers. We hear her words in our words, we see her figure in our figure, we notice her OCD tendencies in our OCD tendencies and we realize we married our fathers.

Dear Mom,

Thanks (for nothing!) 

I love you

Love Skichucky

Yes, my parents call me Skichucky. Tease me, I dare you.

One day I was sitting in the car with my mom and sister and mom said something. I can’t recall what it was, but I said to her, “Mom, remember when you said we were to tell you when you started becoming Grandma? Well, it’s happening.”

Mom replied with, “OMG (or something worse, I can’t remember) you are right! I do sound like my mother!!!!!”

She took immediate action to alter her behaviour pattern, every now and then it comes back. I like to think of it as a birthright. It makes me feel better calling it a birthright so stop hassling me already. Your turn is coming, I promise you.

I use to work in the family business. One day my mom came into the office and she was limping.

Me: Mom? OMG Mom what happened???

Mom: What are you talking about?

Me: Mom! You are limping!!

Mom: What???

We looked at her feet and noticed she was wearing two completely different shoes. One Navy and one Black. The Navy shoe had a heel and the Black shoe was a ballerina flat.

Of course she was limping. You try walking in two different heel sizes and see what happens!!

In my infinite wisdom of 34, I said “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM How could you leave the house like that???? I am clearing you appointments and you are staying in the office today unless you are going home to change! GEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE MOM!!!”

Dear Mom,

I am sorry I criticized you and judged you.

Please forgive me.

Love Skichucky

Yesterday I went for a run. I have two different pairs of running shoes. Both are Adidas Gel 4, both have the same lacing configuration, yet each pair is a different colour. I rotate my shoes because I fear plantar fasciitis. I carefully monitor the mileage on my shoes and get new ones when they wear out. I rotate through the shoes (every run) to give each shoe the opportunity to gain the same mileage as the other. They wear out at the same rate and my feet are happy campers.

As of late, I have had a lot on my mind. I have a heavy course load because one of the projects is not pretend it is real life. I am focusing on it and think about it lots because detail will be paramount in the execution of this project. I am excited about it, but it is scary as well. I have not been sleeping well and I think the fatigue from driving home after the race in Calgary is still affecting me. I also have that tumour annoyance in my brain.

Okay…Okay…All of these are excuses.

If I turned on the light in the hallway to grab my shoes this wouldn’t have happened:


I didn’t notice it until my 5th hill climb. Obviously I don’t look at my feet when I run.

This is what I learned from yesterday’s shoe episode:

  1. If you can’t dress yourself, hire a Lady’s Maid (Downton Abbey taught me that)
  2. If someone asks about the separate shoes, lie and say it is a training technique.
  3. Stay focused on the task at hand. Think about the project while running. That is when you do your best thinking.
  4. Start buying the same colour shoes and label them on the INSIDE
  5. Take a picture and brag about your forgetfulness before anyone can tease you first.

 Dear Mom,

Let’s get matching Lady’s Maids for us.

Then let’s go shoe shopping.

Love Skichucky

This is me and my parents in the good old days when we had it all going on and didn’t need Lady’s Maids



The Chain Smoking Angel is a Christmas Tradition in my house

I have spent considerable time reflecting and remembering on Christmas past. I decided to take on the Weekly Challenge at WordPress: Just Do It. My buddy over at Brown Road Chronicles inspired me and reminded me of the oddball assortment of Christmas decorations that adorn my tree. I am one of those Christmas Geeks who ‘theme’ out my tree. This year I have a Tiffany & Co tree,151071_10151349105206337_749003960_n

a Disney Tree,577823_10151359535226337_541165187_n

a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree404982_10151307316561337_1108099625_n019

and of course, the regular tree.

Decorating the tree was always a huge deal in my house. It was my mom’s favorite time of year. Now that her favorite little one’s (the grandkids) are all bigger than her, some of the magic sparkle has left the holidays. We cheer her up by sitting around after dinner/breakfast/lunch/dinner and reminisce about Christmas Past.  (Proof that I existed):73256_10151359512121337_124215547_n

That is me (pre-clown hair) in 1968 with my groovy cool dadeo.

When I was 4, we moved to row housing in Sherwood Park. This was my first Christmas memory. I remember getting Baby Tenderloin and 64 crayola crayons. All I remember of my brother was him in flannel pjs. I remember my mom hanging a box of angels on the tree. It was the 60’s, angel’s came in bulk. These fancy angels all were holding ‘so called’ candles. They never fooled me for one minute. These angels were chain smokers.

In those days everyone smoked, so it never occurred to me that angels wouldn’t. This drove my my crazy, “THOSE ARE NOT CIGARETTES!!” The more she denied it the more my brother and I were convinced she was lying. Mom carefully bent the ‘candle’ perpendicular with the angel and my brother and I spent hundreds of hours bending the candles so the angel could smoke. Tell me what you think.

Non-smoking angel:photo 1 (2)

Smoking Angel:photo 2 (1)

She even had a groovy black filter and kind of looked like Phyllis Diller. See for yourself:Phyllis-Diller-post-new

This year the after dinner conversation will start with “mom, why did you hang Phyllis Diller on our tree every year?” This should generate some heated frustrated conversation from my mom. You can’t call it Christmas and not have the mom go a little crazy.


Merry Christmas to all my Edmonton Tourist readers. I appreciate you more than you can every really know. Happy Holidays 🙂

You want to WHAT?


Dear Mommy DaVinchy, Mommy Einstein, and MommyMythBusters,

I feel your pain.

English: An afterburner glows on an F-15 Eagle...
English: An afterburner glows on an F-15 Eagle engine following a repair during an engine test run November 10, 2010, at the Florida Air National Guard base in Jacksonville International Airport, Fla. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just spent 30 minutes in discussion the 16 year old talking about strapping jet engines to his back and creating a series of controlled explosions to have him move 20km/hr with wheels strapped to his feet. He has created the plan, done the physics and discussed the “fun factor”. Before he sourced his materials he wanted approval for his project.

After listening to his argument for Pro Jet Packs – I said no. Listing the reasons as to how it would effect me.

  1.   Being a minor, I am responsible for his well being. I did mention once he turns 21, has a job and an engineering degree – I’m cool with it.
  2.  I do not currently have the time to to be engaged in regular meetings with a social worker from Family Support services due to my lack of judgement of letting my son play with rocket fuel.
  3. I have better things to do than sit in emergency waiting for details of fractures, comas, burns and lobotomies.
  4. Financial implications. Alberta Health does offer support for stupid acts of awesome, however they do not offer a pharmaceuticals plan. I would need Extra coverage from Blue Cross and I am currently not in the position to gain coverage for above and beyond the reasonable amount required by the average citizen.
  5. I have no desire to be on Dr. Phil explaining the reasoning behind not being a parent.

You see, I have a big opinion about parenting. I shall share this public service announcement with you:

If you choose to have children and KEEP them, then you must accept ownership. Part of this ownership is to be a PARENT not a friend, pal or buddy to your child. That is not to say it is not okay to enjoy them in a friend capacity, however – get your own PEER group for extensive sharing, exuberant activities and so forth. Being the parent requires the ADULT (you) to make JUDGEMENT CALLS on the activities the minor in your care wishes to make. This includes things that are life altering (wear a helmet when you ride your bike) and remember SAFETY FIRST. It is advisable and acceptable to say NO on occasion and you do not need to give an explanation. You are the PARENT. Do not worry if your offspring is going to hate you, THEY ALWAYS DO! They hate you because you are too strict, or they hate you because you are too lenient. You can’t win – so take my advice and do the right thing. JUST SAY NO! I do however, find it helpful to explain your reasoning as to how you came to this conclusion. It is important for emerging critical thinkers to understand all the steps involved in planning.

For example:

OffSpring – it would be cool to put on a cape and jump off a 3 story building.

Mom – No it wouldn’t and here is why…

Do not be afraid of NO. Practice it in front of the mirror. Say it out loud. Get use to hearing yourself say it. Then practice it on others, not just your child. It is OKAY to say no.

If you cannot think of a good explanation as to WHY they should not do something, then one of two things is happening.

  1. Their request is reasonable
  2. You do not have the know-how to understand consequences. If this is the case, then by all means allow your offspring to attempt this outrageous request. Darwin called it survival of the fittest. Natural selection by elimination has been done by nature for years. This is how humans keep the gene pool strong and healthy.

My 16 year old ended the conversation with “Well, now I know where the line is”

Damn straight Offspring, but don’t get too comfortable, it is my prerogative to have that line be flexible and move as I as fit. After all, I AM THE PARENT!


I have become THAT Mom

We have been celebrating a bit LOT in the Tourist household this past week!  It seems that if you say YES more than you say NO, the possibilities become vast.

This time last year, my eldest kiddo GeneticOffspring (GO) registered for High School and said he was going to take bigger risks and try new things. I encouraged that frame of mind. It was working for me so why wouldn’t it work for everyone? GO is a was a very shy person who was afraid of what if’s. That seems to be an epidemic. The worry of What If. He entered High School with the intention of joining new clubs, speaking to new people and best of all trying new things.

How did that work out for him? Well, grade 10 was filled with new friends, higher marks, extra curricular activities, and laughter. All of these outcomes were a result of saying YES! Because his attitude and hard work became visible to teachers who run the extra curricular clubs, GO was invited to join the Grade 11 and 12 Concert Band and Improve Team to travel to California to represent Canada in a band competition. Since he was already on the Improve team, Band, Jazz Band and is a nice kid, the selection was made easier for the teachers. He was given a new instrument to learn (E flat alto clarinet, not that big of a change from B flat but big enough that we needed to google E flat alto clarinet fingering ) and new music to play. He had 3 days to learn before his first performance. Knowing him the way I do, this was a HUGE step of YES and I knew he was shaking inside.

The highlight of the trip for him is performing IN DISNEYLAND. We all know how I feel about Disneyland. Well, I passed that gene on to my kiddos. He says he can’t wrap his head around sitting in the Plaza Gardens beside the Castle, overlooking Walt and Mick (the Partners Statue in the center of the Hub). He has been practising for hours. He has learned that with practice and hard work you are better. Better at music, better at understanding the reasons behind hard work and most importantly, better at being an authentic self.

While he practices, we get to enjoy the musical stylings of the Alto Clarinet while it plays the Muppet Show Theme song, The Disneyland Medley and and a bunch of other fantastic musical numbers that have my toes tapping.

Alto clarinet
Image via Wikipedia

Occasionally I yell out “TEMPO” and the Tempo returns and the music is once again easily recognized.

This is SUCH a proud moment for our family, it was decided that we must pack up and fly to Disneyland to listen to MY Offspring play Disney music IN Disneyland! How could I not? I am going to film it. We booked the flights and the hotel. Plan to be there for just the weekend. We shared this wonderful news with GO and as you can imagine it went over like a led balloon…

The look of horror on his face said it all. The first thing out of my mouth was “you won’t know we are there. We are staying far from you. If you see us on Main Street, I won’t look at you. If you want to approach us then you must come to us”. He seems a little better about that. I understand, I really do. His first trip alone and his mommy is coming. First of all I WISH! They get to go to Disney Studios! I promised I would pay for the trip only if (he thought I was going to say only if he paid for half the ticket, but NO) took a lot of pictures of the studio! I WANNA GO! He was surprised and thankful to hear that!

The truth of the matter is, it didn’t occur to me that I should fly down that weekend to watch GO play, I was thinking how cheap it would be to travel without him! I could think of a million things we could do without him complaining. We wouldn’t have to go to the Lego Store! I asked ChatterBox where she wanted to go and she said to see the Stars on Hollywood Blvd. Cool! I’d love to do that! We could go to El Capitain Theatre, I have always wanted to do that and see the Chinese Theatre, then go eat at Disney’s Soda Shop!

So for all intense purposes I am THAT Mom, the one who can’t wait to get rid of her kid so I can go play. Only you and I know differently…and so will GO after we return home and he sees the stalker concert footage filmed by a proud mama.

Just DO IT Already!

The other day, my friend The Reader put this on her facebook wall:

So yesterday I found the most amazing bathing suit… called the ‘miracle suit’ and it was pretty miraculous. But it’s just over $200 😦 I’ve put it on hold, but am having a very hard time justifying that kind of expense. What do you all think – buy it or not?

First of all, typical gal, needs her friends to help her decide. Secondly, why do women have such a hard time justifying purchases that are good for them? The Reader easily spends more than $200 in books a year. Of course we are trained into believing that books are good for the mind and soul. They help create thoughtful conversations and can be enjoyed over and over. The list goes on.

Books = Excellent Purchase

And I might add, none of us lady folk ever call a friend to help us decide if we should buy a book or not, but we do lend them out as we read them. The gift that keeps giving!

So why is it when there is an item of clothing we want/need/desire, we have a hard time allowing ourselves to buy it? I think it’s moms that tend to be guilty of this practice. We make sure our young cubs have everything they need before we do. This practice isn’t just for cash, it is other things too, like:

1. Sleep – Moooooooommmmmmmm, I forgot I signed you up to bring cupcakes for the party tomorrow. I know its 10:00 PM but I prooooooooooooomised! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase????  And so we do it.

2. Movies – Mom…no one wants to watch stupid Tom Hanks, lets see yet another Transformer/Star Wars/Sci-fi anything instead! Won’t that be waaaaaaaaaaaay better?

3. Dinner – Gross mom, who wants to eat sushi when we can have Steak and fries? mmmmmm

I use to be guilty of indulgence as was my mother before me. I now practice what I preach.

1. You need cupcakes? Well you better get out of bed and get baking! I will pre-heat the oven for you.

2. Here (gives them a movie ticket) – you go see that movie and I will meet you out front when it is over.

3. Then stay home. There is chicken nuggets in the freezer.

Giving in is not the same as compromise. With compromise there is negotiation. This is not to say I don’t occasionally spoil and treat my kids, because I love too! I just do it less and I now have children who rival some of the best litigators in the world with their negotiation techniques! I look at it as a win/win.

I am liking this middle-age thing. I am feeling it – maybe its mojo. Or maybe its entitlement. Or maybe its because it feeeeeeels goooood. I read this the other day by Andy Rooney:

Andy Rooney says:

As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.

If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.

A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.

Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know.

A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.

My Life Coach said to me yesterday, “The best part of being 50 is when someone asks you to do something and you say – hmmmm I don’t think so, or better yet – no. My answer usually is – now that I am 50 I don’t have to do that. It is kind of like when you were facing off with a bully and would say – You aren’t the boss of me!”
So why does it take us so long to figure that out? Some women are pleasers all their life, I can’t be that person. I like making choices that are right for me. So my Reader friend, buy the damn bathing suit! Wear it proudly because you earned it and after all your hard work this year, you will look FABULOUS in it! Meanwhile, keep this in mind:

Epic Fail? I don’t think so…

Frowny Face

A few days ago I had several appointments I had to keep for the offspring and myself included. Late in the day I had a lovely conversation with a gal who was very interested in how I set goals. I wish we were talking about scoring goals, but alas it was the personal, attainable goals she was referring too.

I explained to her, there were the large picture goals. Such as finishing my degree. That came out of a work goal at evaluation time. Then there is the “where do I want to be in 5 years” goal, and the always popular “one day…” goal. She gave me one of those frowny faces and said “Ed, I want to know how you set short term goals”. I looked at her and matched the frowny face and said I don’t have a short term goal.

Apparently, I fail at short term goals. The frowny face proved it.

This made me think about short term goals. I guess in the bigger picture, I see my life as a series of calendars. Months go by, then years and there is  hope I will achieve a goal or two along the way. Apparently this is a GIANT FAIL! She never said it to my face by the frowny face said it all. Then she said, those goals are vague, not attainable. She didn’t mean pursuing my degree, that apparently is an actual goal. She wanted to know how I decided what I was going to achieve  goals within my week, and more specifically, my day. I explained that I get up, follow my routine for morning prep, get grouchy if it deviates from it, like have to make lunches on a day that is not on my schedule, leave the house and head into the office. Once I am at work, I have a serious of tasks that I need to do to help clients meet goals.

This is where she stopped me. I help clients meet goals, but can’t make a single goal for myself during my day? Again with the frowny face…EPIC FAIL! I make it sound more dramatic than it was, she was very kind and interesting. How am I possibly able to make into next week if I don’t count myself and my goals as important? Good question Frowny Face.

This reminded me of a conversation at lunch. Wally Banana was telling everyone she works full time 6 days a week. So She pays two ladies to come in and clean her home for $150.  Everybody yelled “WHAT?!?!?” Wally B exclaimed, but I like it! The Bionic Woman wants to clean Wally’s house for $150, so did Polly. I didn’t. I had that job one summer, it is HARD WORK. It is bad enough I do my own house….blah! Then Wally was telling us about her massage she had. We all groaned. Of course we are jealous. We want a cleaning lady AND a massage too! Wally then said, “well, I guess I am selfish. Maybe I shouldn’t do this.”  All I could think was, ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!

Why is it that women put their self last? Why is this? Their children come first, I think this is really important! Children can’t fend for themselves in the wild, that is why they have moms. Putting them first doesn’t mean they can have every single little thing they want. Food, Love, Affection, Clothes & Shelter should be high on the priority list. After that, fun stuff. Should children get more fun stuff than the mom? Hmmmm…..

I told Wally she deserves everything she gives herself, enjoy it, embrace it, ignore us because we are jealous. I am jealous. So I need to do something about it.

Frowny Face suggested I make a simple attainable goal everyday. I write in a red journal everyday, but this isn’t my goal. I decided to write a goal in the top right hand corner of my journal every night. The next morning I read it and think…Oh YA! I forgot about that goal! When I achieve it I give myself a happy face. If I don’t achieve it Frowny Face will be placed on that page. Once I get good at setting daily goals, I will move on to weekly goals. When I set a BIG HUGE goal for myself I tell the Universe about it. I say in my car out loud, I AM GOING TO DO…. The Universe needs to know if it is going to help me achieve it. I decided I need to tell the Universe my daily goals too.

Yesterday, my daily goal was to give myself some ME time. After dinner, I took myself to Chapters for some Chai, and Book browsing time. The Universe rewarded me with $2 book sale, meeting with some old friends that I use to work across the hall from, a very delicious extra hot beverage with no foam or water, and I facebook checked in to Chapters and the universe gave me a 40% off coupon for a regular priced book! WHOOOHOO! Thank you Universe! I used the coupon to help me tell the Universe about my next big goal.

I bought the Lonely Planet Travel Guide to New York City. Did you hear that Universe? I AM going to New York City. Don’t worry Universe, I don’t expect that trip to fall into my lap, I am willing to work for it. I called Santa and told him I would like to be  a Face Painter again. I am buying myself a lap top for school, then saving the rest of the money for New York City. Am I spreading myself too thin? Sure I am! Do I like that? Secretly? I really do. Face Painting takes up a couple of hours every so often. Not so bad. I don’t have to say yes every time Santa emails me. I likely will, but I don’t have too. I am willing to work hard for what I want.

Do you hear that Frowny Face? I am making daily goals, AND I am working towards what I want.

The Universe has my back, we’ve got this.

So it will be either an EPIC FAIL or a SPECTACULAR ACCOMPLISHMENT. I will win, because I am competitive like that.

The Land of Disney in Paris: Part III – Frontierland

When I was a kid, my brother and I we able to venture around Disneyland alone. Before you say a THING, it was a different time. We were given my mom’s watch and had to check into the Hub and see them every so often. The sense of freedom rocked my world. We would ride coasters endlessly. When we returned as older teens, we would ditch the oldies at night, and head into the park to ride coasters at night. SO FREAKING AWESOME! Our favourite ride was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (BTMRR) located in Frontierland.

Our early morning adventure in Paris was about to begin and we stood with the crowd waiting for the rope to drop at the entrance of Frontierland. I knew BTMRR was waiting for me. I knew it was vastly different from the other parks, I couldn’t wait to try it out!  As the cast members dropped the rope and allowed us to enter the land, I was taking in the detail of the the place. I had been to Walt Disney World in August when the Halloween Decorations went up. I found that to be fun and exciting. Nothing had prepared me for the amount of thematic  decorations placed all over Disneyland Paris. There were pumpkin people every where, I must admit, I loved the attention to detail! I was caught up in looking at all the amazing little things before I realized I was at Phantom Manor. It’s equivalent is Haunted Mansion in the sister parks in the states. Phantom Manor sat on the hill over looking Frontierland. It had an air about it not unlike the home next to the Bates Motel. It LOOKED spooky and creepy.

The queue was particularly well themed with nifty little details that rocked my world. My family was walking fast up the hill while I was quickly snapping photos along the way. We were in a time crunch and wanted to see everything, but how I WISH I could have lingered just a bit longer to take in the surroundings!  As we entered the Manor, the spiel was given to us about not getting out alive, just like the other parks. Only it was in two languages, quite comfortable really for Canadians who are use to everything being duel languages, it felt oddly home like.  Away we were whisked to the Doom Buggies and on our first Disneyland Paris Adventure! The ride did not disappoint! The order was different from the American Parks but the story was very similar, Madame Leota’s voice was french and didn’t not sound even remotely the same, but I loved it just the same.

After the ride we wandered down the path to the cemetery to take in the hilarity of the tombstones. A very western theme was present. It gave the impression that America is all about the wild west. The views from the cemetery were really spectacular, showing off the sights and sounds of the Mark Twain. We took a bit of time to soak it all in, when we should have been hightailing it to BTMRR!! It was a Saturday with the first sunshine Paris had seen in a while, the park was getting busy! So we made our way to BTMRR and looked at the stand-by time, 10 minutes! YAY! That is barely a wait at all. My general rule of thumb is if it is longer than 20 minutes stand-by then get a fastpass! So away we went! Within moments we realized the Stand-by LIED! It LIED to my face! We ended up waiting about 30 minutes, not cool Stand-by!  Did it really matter? it did a little, it took away from other rides in the afternoon. But in the big picture, BTMRR was super fun! It was mor intense than it’s sister coasters. Traveling under the water to get to the island was a fun experience. Didi I like the ride itself? You Betcha! It did disappoint me to see all the garbage in the queue and the way people would just toss stuff on the props as if it was a landfill. Use the Garbage People! Disney provides one every 20 feet for your OWN personal use! Take advantage of it please!!!


Next Stop, Adventureland!

The Land of Disney in Paris: Part II – Main Street

Here I was, Disneyland Paris. Park #3 on my bucket list.

Walking up to the hotel was very exciting. The Entrance to Disneyland in Paris looks nothing like it’s sister parks in the United States. The big reveal takes a while. Through the ticket booth, up to the turnstile and across an open walkway and finally you are at the tunnel. The Tunnel is in the sister parks too. The train travels over head. In the other parks I went to there is only two choices, left tunnel or right tunnel with a sign over hear that reads : Here you leave today and enter a world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy. I looked for a similar sign and could find it. It must have one. That was the first thing I noticed was different, that and THREE tunnels to choose from.When we travel to the parks, we take turns deciding which tunnel to go through. I prefer entering the park on the right and leaving on the left. Here in Paris, we threw caution to the wind and went in the center tunnel! Crazy and shocking, I know! Thrilling none the same.

My fist glimpse of Main Street, There was a gazebo where the American Flag stands in the States. I understand why the flag was not there. The Gazebo was charming all dolled up for Halloween. I looked for the Fire Hall… To my extreme disappointment, there was a store in it’s place. There was no apartment overhead, no light in the window, no sign of Walt Disney. Maybe that is why the spark was not the same. I sent the muppets off to get photos with Characters before the rope drop (park opening), while I went to City Hall to make dinner reservations. By the time I found them, they were disheveled and flustered because here in Paris, guests do not queue up for pictures and autographs. They channel their inner hockey players, hoist their elbows up and force their way to the front. For a couple of Canadian muppets, this concept felt rude and unappealing. No autographs this trip. Secretly I was relieved, this meant more time for rides and details! YAY! Score one for the mom!

As we walked closer towards Main Street, I noticed the Castle drawing me in. She was beautiful and more spectacular than the other two castles I have loved before. It was hard for me to pull my eyes away and discover the details that surrounded me on Main Street. Windows on Main Street traditionally are painted with names of Disney builders, and imagineers, these windows did not disappoint. Except they are sparse in comparison. The street is wide and gives you that “walking down the red carpet” feeling Walt had wanted for the other two parks. By this time I was so excited to get to the castle I could barely contain myself! I wanted to see the Partners Statue and compare it to the others. We passed Casey’s Corner, and Gibson Girls Ice Cream Parlor, saw a shop that gave a nod to Lilly Disney – that thrilled me. All I could think was, I am walking right down Main Street in Paris with my family, Luck me!

Off we went to find the rope and join the masses for rope drop. We reached the “hub” and noticed no Partners Statue! WHAT THE…? It was later when I discovered it was at the Studios, a separate park – WRONG WRONG WRONG! But WHATEVER, it’s not my park, I understand you can put it wherever you like Michael Eisner, maybe that is why you don’t work there any more….poor decisions. The Castle up close and personal, amazed me with the scope and grandeur. I fell in love with my 3rd Castle. Although I think she is my favorite.

We had time to listen to the Main Street Loop music that is piped in. It really adds to the magical feeling in the park. Listening and singing while we waited in Frontierland for the rope to drop and our brand new Disney Adventure to begin!