Exams are over and the Ordinary Decent Gamer is back in business. And what do you do to celebrate the end of a terrible month? You make pasta! Wait, no. That comes later. First, you leave the country as soon as you can and go as far away as you can afford to at that moment. For us, that was Paris and the wondrous Disneyland. I had never been to Paris or Disneyland before – the closest I had come was the evening I spent in Tokyo DisneySea last summer.
We were staying in the Santa Fe hotel about fifteen minutes walk from Disneyland itself, and it was bloody freezing. Not the hotel, it was fine. It was everywhere else that was the problem. There was no doubt that it was Winter in Paris, but we were well prepared and nothing was going to put us off exploring the parks. All in all we had three days split between the parks, Disneyland proper and Walt Disney Studios, and one day in the capital. Three days was the perfect amount of time to see both parks and have enough time left over to go on the best attractions again. It was a chance to have the childhood experience I missed out on. I never remember wanting to go to Disneyland when I was younger as I was never invested that heavily in any of the characters; I was spending my time taking apart plugs and reading Argos catalogues. The closest I had gotten to a theme park prior to Paris was Alton Towers, which is not nearly as exciting. That’s a lie – I did spend time at what may have been Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Indiana, USA, or some kind of theme park with wooden rollercoasters. Disney was much better.
My highlights were Space Mountain, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (le Temple du Péril, en francais), Pirates of the Carribean, and the Tower of Terror. Going to the parks as an adult, you can really appreciate the amount of effort that has been put into designing and theming the various attractions. Tower of Terror has several different themed waiting areas, so even when you’re stuck in a queue, you’ve got plenty of things to look at. Not that we queued for long most of the time. We practically walked on to a few of them with barely any wait, thanks to the inclement weather. The first day was beautifully clear, but after that the rains came. Many people took shelter or abandoned the parks altogether, but we weren’t going to let a little rain stop us. If you lived in Northern Ireland and didn’t go out in the rain, you would never go out at all! It has given me a skewed image of Disneyland. One where you barely have to queue and can go on any ride you want as often as you want. We also spent one of our nights at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, which was great fun.
We ate in our hotel on a couple of nights, and to my surprise, it was really nice. The food was laid out in a buffet, with a range of Tex-Mex and other themes. I can’t recommend the food served inside the park for the most part. It might appeal more to kids, but for me it was overpriced and average. The food in the Blue Lagoon fared better, though it was more expensive than the other restaurants. Where the Blue Lagoon really stood out was its location. It was inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, close to the beginning. Definitely an experience worth having if you ever find yourself in Disney. I ended up trying surf and turf, with half a lobster and a veal steak, while Sarah had roast piglet. There was definitely a baby animal theme going on, which isn’t normally my cup of tea, but when in Rome…or Paris.
And I should probably get to Paris after all that. We spent a day in the capital, which consisted of a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and lunch and art perusal in Musée d’Orsay, admiring a range of Monet paintings. Given my general lack of art knowledge, I hadn’t realised how many famous paintings were housed in Musée d’Orsay. Following the museum, we were headed for Notre Dame when the rain caught up with us. And it didn’t just rain. It poured. Torrential rain and we were caught out in the open. And then it snowed. We didn’t have the sense to hide in a café at the beginning of the onslaught, and ended up soaked to the bone. It stopped eventually, well after we were past the point of no return, though we did manage to pick up some macarons and saw Notre Dame from a distance. It was time to get back and minimise the chance of developing hypothermia. We were taking the metro back to the hotel, but it was rush hour, which is never good in Paris.
There was no room in the first train, and when the second came there was still no room. Sardines. We managed to fit into no space, or Sarah did, at least. I was stuck in the closing doors. I managed to pull myself in just enough to let the doors close, and away we went! At that point, I was very conscious of being pressed against the doors with no way of supporting myself. If the doors opened on my side, there would be nothing I could do to stop myself falling back first onto the platform. It might make for a good YouTube clip, but it would have certainly messed me up. The doors…did not open on my side, but rather the opposite side. We were not giving up, even though there was a sea of humans in our way who didn’t give a toss whether we got off or not. Channeling that mentality, we shoved through everyone and barely made it off in time. Exhilarating, but I wouldn’t want to do it every day. Or any day, come to think of it.
All in all, Disney was great, and I really need to get back to Paris and spend more time exploring the city. I’ll take my chances walking, though.
Speaking of France, lets talk about Italian food. Through the power of homemade pasta and a pasta machine, I made sheets of lasagne and tagliatelle for the first time. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, though I need more practice at the rolling. The lasagne sheets needed precooked before the lasagne itself was assembled, which was much less of a mess than the time I tried it with dried sheets. The pasta possibilities are almost endless.
Metal Glitch Solid
I’ve got a new video! It’s not a long one by any stretch of the imagination, but hopefully it will keep you entertained till I finish the Fallout video. Check it out here: