The direct flights out of Brazzaville go to various places in Central and West Africa, Addis, Nairobi, and Paris. On our way to Michigan and Connecticut for the holidays, we stopped in Paris for a few days. I think I ate my weight in delicious food. My dear friend Jiyoung met us from London, and we also took Lily to Disneyland Paris for day. It was a lovely trip!
We stayed at Le Petit Paris, a small hotel in Saint-Germain. We took the RER from the airport, which was really easy even with an overtired child and several bags. We hit up some Christmas markets, had some mulled wine, and explored shops and restaurants. The weather was actually quite nice, in hindsight. It felt cold at the time, but then we came to America just in time for an Arctic Vortex of painfully cold temperatures. It was -12 F at one point, with wind chills even lower. It snowed, for ages. But back to Paris! Everywhere was decked out for Christmas, and there were no shortages of lights, trees, treats, and Santas.
For Disneyland, we took the RER there also, which was super simple. Disneyland was also decked out for the holidays. I was blown away by how fun it actually was; I had low expectations. We met Mickey Mouse, saw some dragons, did the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, saw both parades, and attended the Frozen Sing-Along, which was really special.
From Paris, we flew to Detroit and then Grand Rapids for my birthday and Christmas! Onward to Connecticut for New Year’s, and then back to Brazzaville. We kept seeing photos from friends back in Brazza of flooded roads after torrential rains! I hope our roof didn’t spring new leaks while we were gone…
Lily’s sling explained: a week before we left for Paris, Lily fell off the hammock and broke her collarbone. We got it checked out by a specialist in Michigan, and it’s healing up just fine! It was terrifying to go through in Brazzaville, though. There just isn’t great medical infrastructure and anything more serious than a broken bone would be almost impossible to treat there. In any case, she’s fine now, even with a *slightly* shorter shoulder on one side than the other (one centimeter), until she’s fully grown.