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