To start off - the line to get into the Palace was long - I mean wait for hours just to buy tickets long. And so, trusting our better judgement we decided to head over to the area for the guided tours where there was NO line and it was only one extra euro for the behind the scenes guided tour - BONUS! I definitely suggest going this route if you are ever planning on visiting Versailles.
Aside from the nice tidbit of buying the guided tour ticket we also learned several other things on this trip.
1. Always have a baby carrier in the car. You never know when they will tell you that the stroller is not allowed and you will be forced to carry an extra 8 KG's (18 pounds) for 2 1/2 hours. Trust me it felt more like 16 (36 pounds) when he decided to fall asleep and we had to take him up and down stairs (and by we I obviously mean Cornel)!
2. Even when waiting for an hour in a place with a bathroom and various changing table options, our son will choose the moment right before we embark on a 2 1/2 hour tour to poop. Forcing his father to sneak away into a dark corner of a historic staircase to change his diaper. All while avoiding security cameras and guards.
3. Tour guides do not look favorably on sneaking into a famous toilet in order to sit on it an take pictures. A big "faux pas", so just don't ask.
4. It will take you longer to stand in line for the bathroom than it did to tour the castle, eat lunch and drive home, especially if you are a woman.
5. Signs politely asking you to "Keep off the Grass" in two languages, with a detailed picture - are obviously only a suggestion. This is especially true when the dancing water show is about to begin!
6. After exhaustion sets in from standing in line for the bathroom the best way to recuperate is to rent an electric car to take you around the gardens. When a car is not available - rent the bike. Especially one that comes with a baby seat and helmet for your little one.
7. When your child begins crying hysterically in the middle of bike ride - it is because he has chosen yet another key moment to poop. This time making sure to spread it all around his diaper to make the changing that much more FUN!
8. Don't ever pass up the opportunity to take a picture with King Louis. I have a fascination with Louis XVI (i think that is 16th, right?) and Marie Antoinette ("Let them eat cake!"). I happily took this picture with the statue thinking it was Louis 16th (you know the one that had his head chopped off), but only because I am to ignorant to know that XIV means 14 and not 16. A great picture none the less! I'm sure this guy was important too!
9. And of course, when you live in a country where it is hard to find a good cup of "american" style coffee to go...you NEVER and I do mean NEVER pass up an opportunity to visit Starbucks.
If we ever are back in Paris we will be sure to go back to Versailles. This time skipping the castle and spending more time in the gardens and visiting the home of Marie Antoinette (which is seperate from the great big palace). I hope the second visit is as memorable as the first!