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Old 18 Dec 17, 09:10 PM  
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slightly serious Dibber
Join Date: Mar 13
A birthday at DLP - Day 1

Day 1 – 31st October Travel Day

We woke as normal on our travel day and got up and did jobs around the house as well as last minute cleaning, tidying and shopping! I nipped to Asda to buy a travel lock and Dh and Ds went to the barbers to get their hair cut. We were all back home by 10.30 and on a final stretch to get ready to leave the house for 11am. We were a little bit later than this by the time the suitcases were in the car and we set off on the road then realised we had left dd’s birthday present from her ds on top of the book case! Luckily we hadn’t got far before we realised this so turned around and went back home to collect it. We then decided we would be as well picking up magazines for the children now rather than in the airport so went back to Asda. Once sorted we set off to the car park, this time leaving at 11.45. We arrived here about 12.30pm as we aren’t too far away from the airport and traffic was very kind to us. Checked the car in, left the keys and hopped on the bus transfer to Terminal 1. Our flight wasn’t until 5.25 but we wanted to arrive early and spend the maximum amount of time in the lounge. As Jack has ASD we have found that the lounge lends itself to a far more comfortable start to our holiday as it avoids the hustle and bustle and guarantees we have somewhere to sit.

Arrival at the airport was quick and easy as there was a bus waiting to leave and once we arrived at the airport (at 1.00pm) we simply went straight through security as we were taking carry on luggage with us and had checked in online. We were through security by 1.10 and we were in the airport lounge by 1.30 and found a nice and comfortable place to sit. Well, it would have been comfortable if we had been allowed to stay there but pretty much after sitting down we realised it was the quiet zone and as my two children are anything but quiet (especially when heading to Disney) we soon moved to another seat!

The Aspire lounge in Terminal 1 was very big and comfortable with friendly staff. The children dived straight into the food and throughout the duration of the stay they had pasta and meatballs, sweet potato, spinach and chickpea curry, highland vegetable soup (Libby loved this so much she had 2 bowls full!) egg mayo, coronation chicken, ham all on bread. We also helped ourselves to a couple of lagers each (Dh and I) and some coke from the self serve machines. Following on from the savouries we had fruit, muffins and biscuits. The food was plentiful and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in the lounge. We had an exciting half an hour when looking out of the windows onto the airport we spotted 2 fire engines right next to a plane, where they stayed for quite some time. Not sure what went on there but hopefully everything/everyone was ok.

When our allotted time in the lounge was up we left and headed towards the gate making a quick stop at boots so that dh could pick up a razor and shaving gel as well as a couple of bottles of water for the flight. Boarding was on time and we were soon on the plane. The children and I were sat in a 3 and dh was across the aisle. As the pilot was taxing along the runway ready to take off the gentleman behind dh was busy taking a phone call about something very important and all the while I was willing him to hang up the phone and turn it off as he had been told! He did eventually turn it off, but only just before take off.

The remainder of the flight went ok and the kids were brilliantly behaved. About 30 minutes into the flight dd complained that the little girl behind her was kicking the seat and had been all the way so far and that it was annoying her. I explained that I couldn’t do anything about it and asked if it would be possible for her to ignore it and just get on with the flight. This she did for about 10 minutes before telling me again it was annoying her and could I speak to her. Not a chance I was speaking to her or the parents especially as this child belonged to the man on the phone so I got up and suggested dd swap seats with me. The little girl at this point did stop kicking for the remainder of the flight until we were taxing on the runway at which point her mum told her to stop kicking the seat in front…goodness knows how she had not noticed this before.

As an aside, the family behind had their children dressed up in Halloween costumes and when the in flight service arrived with them the air stewardess asked Mum if they were off to meet Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Paris. Mum had to tell the air hostess that the children knew nothing of their up coming trip. Just desserts I think for the kicking of my seat! Regardless, a word of warning if this is a surprise trip for any of you!

We landed on time and soon disembarked the plane and as we had our cabin bags with us we were straight off and on our way. I had booked a hotel at the airport and knew that we could get a free shuttle there. I wasn’t sure how far it was but figured as it was on the airport it wouldn’t take long if we wanted to go to the hotel and check in then get a shuttle back to have some food at the McDonald’s.
Unfortunately, this is the one aspect of the trip I had failed to plan….We found the shuttle stop really easily and on looking at the board we both said that Novotel was on the black line so crossed the road to the black line bus stop and waited. We waited about 5 minutes before a bus came on and we piled onto it. The bus was very crowded but we found two seats on the back for the children and two a little further forward for us. Dh got his phone out, typed the Novotel address into google and told me, as the bus started on it’s journey, that it was going the wrong way….Then it was ok and it was going the right way…no, the wrong way…no it’s ok.

Oh my, this continued until the bus pulled into what we would call an industrial estate in England but at Charles De Gaulle it was an estate full of Hotels. We looked at each one as we pulled up and there was no Novotel Suites. There was a different Novotel, but it was a conference so we stayed on the bus. Then we found another Novotel but again not a Suites. At this point we both began to panic so Dh got his phone out again and this time checked the website from the email confirmation where it told us to catch the blue line…oops! We were more than a little grumpy at this point and I was wondering whether the holiday would be a fail because of this so we continued on the shuttle back to the airport. This whole journey took over 30 minutes and it was getting later by this point plus when we arrived back at the airport we arrived back at a completely different place to where we got on the bus so once we got off we had to figure out where to catch the bus from. Luckily the bus stop was just up the road from where we got off and we found the blue line. A blue bus eventually appeared and we set off to our hotel…again!

This time we were on the right bus and we went in a different direction until we made it to the Novotel Suites…hurrah! Everybody was very pleased to arrive. The hotel was very modern and clean and the reception staff were very friendly. Room key in hand we hot footed it up to our room with a view to dump the bags and get some food as it was gone 8.30 by this point and we had a very early start tomorrow.

We found our room right next to the lift, scanned the key and…it didn’t work! Tried it again and it still didn’t work. So dh made his way back down to reception where they gave him a new key. We tried the new key and…it didn’t work either! We were getting very cross by this point. Tried it again and as we had no luck dh went downstairs and explained the situation again. A receptionist came up with him and she tried the key and it didn’t work. She then let us in with her master key and explained the door lock needed resetting and would be back in a moment. Finally in the room we were very pleased with the size of it, a very spacious family room with a separate toilet and bathroom and a curtain to partition the adults sleeping area from the children’s. The receptionist soon arrived and took the door lock off which she then reset with a machine. She tested our key and finally it worked, hurrah!

On the road to the hotel we had noticed a restaurant and rather than sticking to our original plan of getting a shuttle back to the airport (we’d done that already so why do it again?!) we went back downstairs and out to the restaurant where we were seated immediately. It had the feel of a harvester without the free salad bar. The restaurant was called ‘Courtepaille Grill’ and seemed to be a chain in France as we saw a couple on the drive over to DLP the following morning. We ordered 2 children’s meals (1 burger and 1 chicken nuggets if my memory serves me correctly) which came with drinks, I ordered a chicken breast sandwich and dh ordered a beefburger, both of our burgers came with fries and we had a pint of Heineken each. Once our order was taken the waiter brought dh and I a bowl of lettuce with a sauce and the children a plate of salami and pickle. We enjoyed this then ate our mains. The restaurant was ok, however, Ds deemed it should have a Michelin star! I’m not quite sure I would agree this time…Total cost of the meal was €59.50 and we were given the bill at 22.41.

We paid and left rather than eating dessert as it was so late. Hotfooted it back to the room for a good nights sleep with the alarm set for 6am ready for our adventure!
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