Click here for the week of 03/06/16.
Sun, 02/28/16. Aquarium.
This morning Fred the landlord came and flicked some switch which temporarily fixed the electricity. However, even while he was still here it went off again whenever we ran the laundry machine, so he said an electrician will come to look at it tomorrow. Meanwhile things are working, including even the laundry, as long as we don't run the heaters and laundry simultaneously. Today we ate lunch at the delcious Thai place right next to us, and then went to the Aquarium where we have a year pass. It's right next to La Tour Eiffel, and is a great aquarium but we've been there 4 times now and every time they say their computers are down so they can't print out our annual pass, though we're on their system so they do let us in. Jean and I were debating which would happen first, if we were staying in Paris indefinitely, getting our Aquarium passes, getting Jean's residency from the police station, or having the restaurant neighboring us open for business. They've been working there all year. I don't think any of the 3 will happen before we leave. At night Max and Gems opened their own restaurant in our apartment, using our kitchen and dining table, not far from the Amarino ice cream place they opened next to our couch. Last night Max was crying a little bit that we had to leave the Canary Islands, and Gemma was screaming in the night for about 5 min with bad dreams, probably due to the electricity outage.

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Sat, 02/27/16. No heat and no electricity.
This morning we checked out of our beloved Sheraton hotel which we will miss a lot, and rented some bikes and biked along the pier. Max and Gems had their own bikes and then Jean and I rented a 4 person tandem bike, and we ended up switching off quite a bit and had a great time. Then after a quick lunch we went to the airport and caught our flight back to Paris, sad to leave the Canary Islands. We clapped when the plane landed, as we usually do in an effort to boost morale, and this time we got roars of applause with us among the Spaniards, and even a whistle too. In general Spanish culture seems much more friendly and at home to us. Everyone seemed very comfortable with Max and Gemma in the Canary Islands and we didn't get the kinds of disapproving glances we get here in Paris. We like the sound of the language too. As soon as we got off the plane, it sank in that we were back in France, thanks to the gust of 0 degree air hitting our faces. Max and Gemma were great on the plane and were playing all kinds of crazy games with each other, as well as with the carts in the baggage claim area while waiting for our luggage, where they were giving each other rides around the airport. When we got back to our apartment, we turned on the lights and heat and almost immediately the power went off. I checked the surge protector but nothing seems to work, and I contacted Fred the landlord by email since it's too late to call, so we just brushed our teeth by candlelight and went to bed.

Fri, 02/26/16. Yamba Club.
Today after breakfast the kids wanted to play in the kids club, which is called the Yamba Club. I was joking that they serve Yamba Yuice. Jean stayed with them in the club for a while and then we went on a nice walk on the pier, came back and de-Yambified the kids, and then I took the kids to the mall down the street for more go kart action. We then tried to finally eat in the Spanish restaurant in our hotel, though it has usually been closed, and sure enough it was open but couldn't seat us til 9pm, so we went for the buffet again.

Thu, 02/25/16. Vamos a la playa.

We did a lot today. We had our usual huge buffet breakfast, then walked along the beach for a while. Then we swam in the spa pools, Jean took the kids to the kids club while I relaxed in the sauna, then we walked to the mall down the street, got some ear candles, the kids did go cart races, we ate at the delicious Indian restaurant, and came home. I can do a pretty good impression of Canary Islands people speaking English. It sounds just like Spanish, and is like 100 mph with every word blended together. For example, the woman who was translating everything in the Sea Lion show into English said "Whereyougo Estudancher!" Max pretty much won't walk anywhere these days without assuming his role as policeman and telling us when to stop and go. He also wants me to make a kitchen in our hotel room so he can make juice and sell it to people.

Wed, 02/24/16. So.

Today we went to this huge African Safari park called Oasis Park. When I asked about the zoo , the woman I asked looked at me completely blankly and had no idea what I was saying. I said zoo about 4 times, and tried it in different intonations and accents, and finally one clicked, as here it sounds like the word "so" in English. Anyway the "so" was great, and the weather could not have been better. We had a great day, saw everything, and are so exhausted now. They have an enormous cactus garden, which is really more like a whole separate hike filled with just a huge variety of cacti. Another highlight was getting to feed the giraffes and zebras with apples and tomatoes. And a third highlight was the parrot show where Gemma volunteered and got to stand in front of the crowd with a parrot on her head while the trainer yelled some things at the bird in Espagnol. The kids at one pointed wanted to ride on the camels, which was an option, but I kind of convinced them not to as the camels looked pretty sad, with harnesses over their faces and tied up to posts, and forced to carry people in these chair things that looked pretty heavy. I'm certainly a hypocrite though as we gladly enjoyed the sea lion show and I'm sure they're not the most humanely treated animals in the world, but I guess the camel was where I drew the line.

Tue, 02/23/16. Eureka.
We found the hot water motherlode today. For like $10 each, we can get full all day access to the spa in the basement, so we did it today and figured out that's where all the hot water is. There was an 80 degree indoor pool, a 95 degree hot tub, hot showers, a sauna, and waterfalls in the pool that served as amazing distractions for the kids and could also be used as massagers. We had a blast and stayed there for many hours. Jean said the kids actually had a slightly better time splashing around in the outdoor pools she thinks, but for me it was the paradise I was looking for. I just sat in the hot water for hours and feel great now. In addition to my runny nose I've also had a major pain in my right hip but it and my runny nose seem to be gone now. A 95 degree hot tub is amazing. It feels slightly hot and you can just sit in it forever. All I was thinking about while in it was that I can't believe our natural body temperatures are even hotter than this. We all ended up crashing at 5pm and the kids seem like they're gonna sleep through the night. Tomorrow we're going to the African zoo that's about an hour away.

Mon, 02/22/16. The British are coming.
Last night tons of British people checked into our hotel and now everything is full, especially the buffets and the pools. It's still super nice though. Gemma made a friend, some boy out at the pool, and told us "He spoke perfect English!" Today I was feeling better in the afternoon especially and while Jean and the kids were at the pool and the kids club, I discovered that for a brief fluke moment the shower was medium warm rather than its usual lukewarm, so I was finally able to take a shower and feel much better now. Gemma and Max both got sunburns, especially Gemma on her cheeks and nose, and both of them and Jean got so tired today from being out in the sun all day. At night Jean went to the store to get sandwiches and they were out of everything except donuts and ice cream. So, we ordered room service instead and got their fairly gross version of a hamburger which had a fried egg and ham on it, as well as a burger too.

Click here for the week of 03/06/16.
Click here for the week of 02/21/16.
Click here for the Paris journal from 2015.