An American in Paris: Day 4

Lizzie does Paris

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Travel Journal Continued…

“It’s officially 2018. My word for this year is BRIGHT and I think I’m off to a really great start!

I’m off to “L’endroit le plus heureux sur terre.” Which according to Google translate mean, “the happiest place on Earth.”

Oh, hey! Bonus! All the subways and trains are free on New Year’s Eve and most of New Year’s Day too. What a lovely New Year’s gift! Thanks Paris!

Lizzie does Paris - walking shoes

I’m eternally grateful that today and tomorrow include lengthy train rides in my schedule. My feet are in dire need of a rest after last night. Plus, I always did like train rides out of big cities and then back again. I used to love the train rides I’d take up to Bedford in New York. There’s something so soothing about watching the world fly by you.

I debated about including Disneyland Paris in my itinerary. Should I…shouldn’t I? Is it really how I want to spend one of my precious days in Paris? But the answer kept coming back as a resounding…YES!!! After all, this trip isn’t about the Eiffel Tower (though she was just what I needed last night.) It’s not even really about Paris itself (thought she is a dream I want to live in always.) This trip is about me! Letting go of things. Discovering new things. And ultimately…being incandescently happy for as long as humanly possible.

Lizzie does Disneyland Paris - rose gold ears
I think this face tells you all you need to know about my day at Disneyland Paris!!

 

My rose gold ears…the coveted ears of the year, come from @michelleashleyhoughton and @desirae_jae on Instagram. I won them from those beautiful Instagram ladies and they added extra magic sparkle to my day!! Thanks ladies!!

And may I just say…as I walk up Main Street and see that big, bright, pink castle waiting for me….this was the best decision for today!!

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You guys!!! This place is amazing! They have Sleeping Beauty’s Castle instead of Cinderella’s and…IT’S PINK!!! Could there be anything more lovely about today?!!

Lizzie Does Disneyland Paris

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Lizzie Does Disneyland Paris - Sleeping Beauty's Castle

What I loving about Disneyland Paris are the similarities and differences between this park and Disney World back home. The park retains that familiar Disney flavor, but it also has it’s own spice to offer. Plus…I have a new FAVORITE RIDE OF ALL TIME. Hyperspace Mountain. It’s Space Mountain, but with Star Wars (and without the crick in the neck when you get off.)

Lizzie Does Disneyland Paris - Hyperspace Mountain

Lizzie Does Disneyland Paris - Hyperspace Mountain
I was WAY more excited about this ride than the little kid next to me.

Couldn’t leave without getting a pic with little Annie!

Lizzie Does Disneyland Paris - Darth Vader meet and greet

One thing that is different here is their “Haunted Mansion.” In Paris they have “Phantom Manor.” Doesn’t that just roll off the tongue…”Phantom Manor.” You can’t help but say it with an accent. Or maybe that’s just me!

Lizzie does Disneyland Paris - Phantom Manor

I picked the perfect day to go to the park because #1: Everything in Paris is closed on New Year’s Day…says so in my guide book. And #2: This is the grossest, soggiest, most dreary day. And because I’m at the happy place, the rain and the cold…they just don’t bother me at all!

Lizzie Does Disneyland Paris - happy place
Everything about being here today has me feeling that wonderful sense of wide-eyed wonder!

I’ve also discovered a new life goal to add to my list…make it to every single Disney park in the WHOLE WORLD!!! A lofty goal to be sure! But in 2018, I’m already going to be seeing 3 different Disney’s in one year. Obviously Disneyland Paris, Disney World back home, AND…Disneyland California in June with my friends Erin and Cristina! I love how a plan comes together!!

Lizzie does Disneyland Paris

Lizzie does Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris has 2 parks to experience. And since this is my big trip…why skimp now! I bought a park hopper and it has been TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!

Lizzie Does Disneyland Paris

Ok, something I’ve discovered over here. The meals are amazing! In Paris, they believe in a balanced meal. So every meal comes with a side salad or veggies, a dessert and a drink. And it’s more affordable than I would have imagined a complete and balanced meal at Disney to be.

Lizzie does Disneyland Paris -

I couldn’t resist a meet and greet with Mickey Mouse. Even though I meet and greet him all the time back in Orlando. Doesn’t matter! Every time you meet Mickey Mouse, it’s like being a kid all over again!

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And guys…Mickey LOVED my bright green hair! How cute is that!

Lizzie Dies Disneyland Paris - Mickey Mouse

I miss the big hat that used to be at MGM (Hollywood Studios) back in the day. But look what Paris has…

Lizzie does disneyland Paris

The day just got better and better as it passed by. The weather went from dreary to almost sunny, back to dreary, then there was a break around sundown and the evening was perfection.

Lizzie does Disneyland Paris - Mike Wazowski Monsters Inc

I wandered back and forth between parks, doing as many rides as I could, watching both fireworks shows and just generally being the very happiest version of myself!

Lizzie does Disneyalnd Paris

Best thing about going to Disney alone…delicious Mickey-shaped cakes for ONE!!

Lizzie does Disneland Paris

Lizzie does Disneyland Paris

First fireworks show of the night was at Studios…

Lizzie does Disneyland paris

And then it was back over to the pink castle for their fireworks show!!

Lizzie does disneyland Paris

Lizzie does Disneyland Paris

Lizzie does Disneyland Paris

Lizzie Does Disneyland paris - Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Lizzie Does Disneyland Paris

It was fantastic, stupendous, majestic, unforgettable, just what I needed…what’s the word…oh yeah…MAGICAL!”

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 23

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 23 Dopey Dwarf from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Disney fashion blog post

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 23: Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

For as long as I can remember, I have been a Disnerd. Disney is in my blood. I grew up watching the movies. I have a favorite Princess, a favorite Prince, a favorite Disney song, a favorite Disney movie, a Disney Princess I most relate to, a Disney Prince I’d like to date and of course…a favorite Disney character of all time. Well, to be honest, I have two favorite Disney characters of all time.

The first is the Genie from Aladdin (RIP Robin) and the second is Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Sure, he doesn’t have much to say or even that much screen time. But there was always something about Dopey. I find him endearing. And he has been at the top of my list for a very long time. When I was a kid, it was rather customary for me to receive something with Dopey on it for my birthday or Christmas, in my stocking and I think I even got an Easter basket once that had a Dopey item or two.

My love for Dopey has matured…it’s grown, as I have. And here we go:

Dopey Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Disney

Hat & Shoes from Plato’s Closet

Dress from Goodwill

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 23 Dopey Dwarf flat lay Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Disney fashion blog post

dopey

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 14

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 14 Aladdin Disney fashion blog post

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 14: Aladdin

Aladdin is one of my all time favorite Disney movies. It’s neck and neck with Lion King for me. I must have watched it over 1,000 times as a kid and still continue to watch it as an adult (though since the death of Robin Williams it’s been much harder to watch it without crying uncontrollably!)

Which is your favorite Disney movie? We all have one (or 4.)

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 14 Aladdin Disney fashion blog post

Hat from my dad’s extensive hat collection (go on Instagram and check out his #30DaysofNerdyHats )

Pants from my Aunt Becky’s dance closet (we used to do a dance to Arabian Nights at her belly dancing class when I was a kid.)

Vest from OMG Thrift

Undershirt from Goodwill 

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 14 Aladdin Disney fashion blog post flat lay

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Thrift Store Cosplay Day 9

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 9 Fairy Godmother from Disney's Cinderella (1950) fashion blog post

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 9: Fairy Godmother from Disney’s Cinderella (1950)

Everyone’s always giving all the love to the Disney Princesses, ok…I know…me included.¬† But what about the supporting characters who make the Princesses’ stories happen. Like…for example…Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. We don’t know much about her, but we know that without her Cinderella would be up a creek without a paddle, if you will.

And another thing. We know Cinderella is Becky with the good shoes, but dang, if the Fairy Godmother didn’t have her own exquisite taste in footwear, would she really be giving Cindy such a great pair of heels? Women with bad taste in shoes don’t give shoes as a gift. I’m just saying…Fairy G Mom is probably rocking a pretty epic shoe closet back at home. With that in mind…here is my take on Cindy’s Fairy Godmother, mind the shoes!!

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 9 Fairy Godmother from Disney's Cinderella (1950) fashion blog post

Top from Salvation Army

Pants and Shoes from Goodwill

Check out those sparkly shoes!! That’s how Fairy Godmother rolls!!

Day 9 Fairy Godmother from Cinderella flat lay

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Bippity Boppity Booya!

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 7

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 7 Rapunzel from Disney's Tangled fashion blog post

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 7: Rapunzel from Tangled

Today’s thrift store cosplay is a minimalist version of Disney’s Rapunzel. It’s more of a bounding, if you will. For those of you who have never heard of Disney bounding…look it up. It’s a simple way of representing your favorite characters at work, at Disney…basically anywhere you are, and still seem like a fairly normal person to the outside world.

This outfit could easily be worn anywhere and people would not automatically suspect me of cosplaying. That’s the beauty of Disney bounding, it’s more of an internal cosplay and the people who get it are the ones you discover to be kindred spirits!!

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 7 Rapunzel from Disney's Tangled fashion blog post

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 7 Rapunzel from Disney's Tangled fashion blog post flat lay

Rapunzel from Disney's Tangled

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 3

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 3 Finding Dory fashion blogger Disney bounding nerd post

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 3: Dory from Finding Nemo & Finding Dory

Full confession, i didn’t see Finding Nemo when it first came out in theaters back in 2003. And by the time I finally did see it, the movie had been over recommended to me and hyped so much that actually watching it was a bit of a let down. People were telling me that it was better than Toy Story…settle down, people!

I enjoyed Finding Nemo just fine, but it was the character of Dory that quickly became my favorite. So when she got her own sequel movie last year, I was pumped! I mean, who could ever resist Baby Dory? Who, I ask you who??

Plus, Finding Dory introduced me to one of my new favorite Pixar characters, Hank the septopus with his snarky, cranky attitude and his seven tentacles! Maybe I’ll even thrift store cosplay him one day!!

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Blue striped hoodie from Goodwill

Yellow skirt from Plato’s Closet

finding Dory thrift store cosplay

thrift store cosplay day 3 Finding Dory inspiration fashion blogger post

#PrincessBootCamp – Moana Week Inspo

Disney Princess Boot Camp Moana Week inspo music movies list nerd blog post

Princess Boot Camp Moana Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

This week’s playlist is populated with selections from the Moana soundtrack, naturally, as well as songs about water and the ocean. It great for a lazy day at the beach or to get you pumped for Hula class or even to take paddle boarding with you!

  1. Deep Wide Ocean – The Jezabels
  2. Orinoco Flow – Enya
  3. The Ocean – Mike Perry, Shy Martin
  4. The Ocean, The Wild Wind
  5. We Move Like the Ocean – Bad Suns
  6. Walk on the Ocean – Toad the Wet Sprocket
  7. Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride – Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu
  8. Hawaiian Air – Friendly Fires
  9. Tuloa Tagaloa – Olivia Foa’i
  10. Where You Are – Christopher Jackson
  11. How Far I’ll Go – Auli’i Cravalho
  12. We Know the Way – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  13. How Far I’ll Go (Reprise) – Auli’i Cravalho
  14. I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors) – Rachel House, Auli’i Cravalho
  15. Know Who You Are – Auli’i Cravalho
  16. We Know the Way Finale – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  17. How Far I’ll Go – Alessia Cara
  18. Only Time – Enya
  19. Caribbean Blue – Enya
  20. Dark Sky Island – Enya
  21. Brighter than the Sun – Colbie Caillat
  22. Something in the Water – Carrie Underwood

Moana

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This movie was long anticipated. But I had no idea how much I would love Moana till I went and saw it in theaters…three times! Moana is the story of a young girl, the daughter of a chief. With her very birth comes the expectations of family and tradition. But Moana’s heart feels that #wanderlust and she wants to do out beyond the borders of her island life. Her meddlesome Gran is in her corner, but the call of her family is strong. And something just keeps holding her back. Until her true destiny is thrust into her hands by her Gran, who on her death bed tells her she has to follow her heart! Moana follows it past the shores of her island. She follows it to the demigod Maui. She follows it into the unknown, where she fights monsters and wrestles with her true nature. If you still haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? It’s on Netflix…go on, I’ll wait!

Life of Pi

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Life of Pi has a lot in common with Moana. Where Moana’s story is one of discovery, Pi’s story is one of survival. But they both have familial expectations to wrestle with and come to terms with. Pi’s family is lost on a voyage across the ocean. And only him and the family’s zoo tiger, Richard Parker, survive. This movie’s visuals are stunning! Definitely worth a watch, especially during Moana Week!!

Cast Away

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Cast Away may seem like a strange choice for Moana Week. But when you look deeper into the story of Cast Away and the way that Tom Hanks has to survive insurmountable odds, there are a lot of similarities to draw upon. Plus can’t you just see the similarities between Moana’s silly chicken Hei-Hei and Tom Hanks’ volleyball companion, Wilson!!

Journey 2: Mysterious Island

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Ok I mainly chose this one because it’s a fun little movie and has The Rock in common with Moana. There aren’t a lot of comparisons to draw between Journey 2: Mysterious Island and Moana. But Josh Hutcherson and the Rock are dreamy and there’s an island and I could go on, but I’m really just stretching here! Watch it for fun!

Waterworld

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Ok…Waterworld. I know…I know, worst movie ever made. Huge inflated budget, one of the most expensive films ever made. And what’s worse..it tanked at the box office. But have you gone back and watched Waterworld? I don’t think it’s as horrible as we all seem to think/remember. I’m not saying it deserves Oscars or anything, though it was actually nominated for one. I’m just saying, I wanted a reason to watch it and it really only seemed to fit on my Moana Watch List for Princess Boot Camp. So here it is… Waterworld. The story of a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future where the polar ice caps have melted and the world is submerged underwater, forcing the remaining citizens of Earth to survive in the perpetual ocean…the water world, if you will (yep, I did that.)

Atlantis: The Lost Empire

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Who among us isn’t captured by stories of Atlantis? Have you ever dreamed of being among those who find the lost empire? I know I have! And Atlantis made me think a little of Moana. Both stories have that element of the search for something, the journey taken and the fellowships we make along the way to our destination. Did you know that Disney had plans for an underwater park based on Atlantis, but since the movie didn’t overwhelm at the box office, they cancelled it? I’m sad about that! I would love to go to an underwater theme park with an Atlantis theme!!

 

Swiss Family Robinson

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There’s a theme on this watch list and it’s survival. Which is not really what Moana is about at all. When Moana leaves her island of Motunui, it isn’t survival that is first on her mind, it is mission. But with adding ocean and island tales to my list, survival themes just seem to come naturally with that. Swiss Family Robinson is the story of a shipwrecked family…the Robinsons. Who are forced to survive on an island together. And to rebuild their lives in the face of overwhelming odds. And there are pirates.

Muppet Treasure Island

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Speaking of pirates. I added Muppet Treasure Island as a little visual and musical treat for everyone. It wouldn’t be right not to have another musical selection on the list. And this movie has lots of ocean and islands and journey through oceans to islands. Incidentally, it’s also one of my family’s favorite movies to quote. Enjoy!

#PrincessBootCamp – Moana Fitness Plan

Princess Boot Camp Moana Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

I am a summer girl through and through. So Moana Week is right up my alley with the beachiness, the tropical food and the love of water. Next to Pocahontas, I think Moana is the next Disney Princess that I most connect to.

Disney Princess Boot Camp Moana Week fitness blog post

The call of the unknown certainly calls to me and sometimes I feel like I don’t have the freedom to just pick up and follow that call. But also like Moana, I continue to learn over and over again that “the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me. It’s like the tide always rising and falling!”

In order to get fit like Moana, this week, here’s a look at the activities that will help you channel the spirit of Moana:

Surfing

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Picture from Patagonia.com

I wasn’t actually able to take surf lessons this week. But it’s on my master bucket list of things to do one day. And, I think, if surfing was an option on the tiny island of Motunui, Moana would really be great at it. It’s similar to our next fitness activity, but much harder. The reason I decided not to go through with a singular lesson, is because it’s an activity that needs a lot more dedicated lessons and practice to really get down. One day!

Paddle Boarding

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Picture from paddleboardthrills.com

Paddle Boarding is having a serious moment this summer. It’s a cousin to surfing and utilizes a lot of the same muscles groups, but is far easier. You don’t have to be as attuned to the ebb and flow of the tide for paddle boarding. In fact, I did all my paddle boarding this week in a lake. So no need for tides at all! What I love about paddle boarding is that you can do it a couple different ways. You can stand and paddle or sit down or be on your knees. You can also go on full paddle boarding adventures and take breaks during the day. I packed a little lunch, threw it onto my board and had some really amazing moments out on the water. No one else was around and it was relaxing and energizing at the same time. I went out on the water 3 times this week. This is an activity that can feel like you aren’t burning as much as you are…I was sore, to say the least! The good kind of sore!

Hula Dancing

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Picture from Vimeo.com

To finish out the activities this week, I added Hula Dancing to my list. Hot Hula to be exact. There was actually a hula class at the community center that I wanted to try out, since the community center had worked for me during other weeks. But the scheduling didn’t work out. I think I will try it some time in the future, though. And if you have a live class available to you, I encourage you to try it. I always prefer a class of other human beings over a video at home. There’s something great about doing something new with people. It helps you create new connections. But this week, it was videos for me. Specifically these on You Tube:

 

Enjoy!!

#PrincessBootCamp – Rapunzel Meal Plan

Princess Boot Camp Rapunzel Week Disney Fitness Blog
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Rapunzel is a young girl who was taken from her family as a baby and raised by an evil woman in a tower. She is a hopeful dreamer who thinks that there must be something beyond the borders of her little tower. She is a trusting, happy soul who never once stops to question why she has to stay in the tower in the first place.

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This week, we are focusing on Rapunzel as represented by Disney Studios in Tangled. If you are unfamiliar with the original, more gruesome version…look it up. That is not the one we are focusing on, but it’s interesting to read the original fairytales and wonder, how in the world Disney saw the happy, romance in such cautionary tales? I pose that question to you.

But aside from that, we are talking Rapunzel. She of the impossibly long and enchanted hair. For our meal plan this week, we’re getting creative. This is probably a province of England, though no one has accents…so choosing a menu based on region proves a little more difficult this week. Instead we are focusing on foods that are inspired by the movie Tangled and foods particularly helpful in promoting healthy hair growth.

Here’s our shopping list this week:

-angel hair pasta (get it!)

-flaxseed (great addition to smoothies and yogurts)

-Fruits (blackberries, apples, strawberries, etc.)

-Spinach and/or Kale

-Brussel Sprouts and Green Beans

-grilled Chicken, pork and/or beef

-Hazelnut Soup (Rapunzel’s favorite)

-beans and nuts (for extra sources of protein)

Like I said, this shopping list is a little more whimsical than the other princesses. I hope you enjoy it!