Click here for the week of 03/14/16.

Sun, 03/06/16. Ice skating in the Eiffel Tower.

We had an amazing day today, as we climbed the stairs up the bottom part of the Eiffel Tower where they have a little ice skating rink and today was their last day of the season, so we all skated. Max and Gemma loved it and were so good at it. They each said they like ice skating better than Disneyland even. It was really fun and an incredible, romantic setting with beautiful views of Paris while you skate. We ate a delicious 3 course lunch at the restaurant there which had the best pasta the kids had ever had and a fantastic ile flotante for me. After lunch the kids wanted to ice skate even more, and did races and danced together on the ice. We stayed there til almost 5pm, and still had to walk down all the stairs, get our trotinettes which were locked up a couple blocks away, and then go to the RER station and go home, so by the time we got home we were all really exhausted. By the way, yesterday Gemma invented a new dessert: chocolate ice cream on top of a piece of solid chocolate. She calls it the chocolate Gemma.

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Sat, 03/05/16. Wild animals.
Today while Jean Monoprixed I took the kids and met with Clara and her parents, Ewelina and Julien, and went to the Natural History museum in the Jardin des Plantes. It was pretty adult, full of skeletons of all kinds of animals, and I was having Max and Gems try to guess what each animal was. Ewelina didn't like it and thought it was way too scary for Clara, so we left after a few minutes and decided to go to the zoo there. It's a small zoo and pretty inhumane, with big leopards in relatively small areas just walking left and then walking right, like fish in a fishbowl. However, we had a good time, the main problem being Max and Gemma were rowdy and kept running off and trying to jump in puddles. I kept wanting to talk to Ewelina and Julien but it was hard to do it and keep an eye on the two wild animals. On the other hand, last night Max and Gemma got complimented on their good behavior by a native Frenchwoman, in a restaurant! Ok, fine, the Frenchwoman happened to be a relative, but still, they're learning how to behave generally.

Fri, 03/04/16. Quai Branly and Caroline Friedlander.

Today we met up with Auri and Iiris and their parents and went to the Quai Branly museum for a workshop called "Rain". It was ok but not great, as the workshop mostly involved the instructor talking in French about various artworks, but at the end she showed them musical instruments related to rain , from all over the world, and let them play them, which they loved. Later, at night we had dinner with Caroline Friedlander and her husband, Jean-Paul. Both were extremely nice and met us right down the street from us at her friend's restaurant, a cute and delicious little Vietnamese place we had never tried. Jean-Paul is a policeman and Max was very interested, and though Max and Gemma were shy and didn't say a word all dinner, after dinner Max said Jean-Paul was "super duper nice". Gems was very interested in Caroline's photos of her dog Isaac. Caroline was really funny, asking me "How again are we related?" and musing that maybe we weren't related and were just strangers meeting randomly for dinner. Here is a video of Max speaking Maxielanguage on the RER back from the museum.

Thu, 03/03/16. Cutting in line for the vortex.

There are a few things about Paris that we just will never get used to, and one of them is how the kids just completely cut in front of each other and push each other to get in front of lines, while their parents just sit back, watch, and smile. Today we went to the Cite des Sciences at Parc de la Villette and there were so many nerdy little kids there totally cutting in for all these little science exhibits. Both Max and Gems were almost crying at times because of all the cutting. It was crazy. One time Gemma was patiently waiting for this thing where you turn a wheel and it makes this little mini tornado vortex in water in a cylinder. What kind of kid cuts in line for something like that? And as I said, the parents are fine with it. Anyway, we had a really good time at the museum and after the science part we saw a movie in the geode. The movie was a one hour documentary about whales, and it was repetitive but really good. After that the kids went and played a bit in the park and rode their trotinettes around, and were exhausted by the time we got home. Also, Jean suspected that maybe Gemma actually drew the turtle from yesterday and today we asked Max about it. He told us that Gemma drew the outline and then he colored it in. Maybe they will be an artist duo team.

Wed, 03/02/16. Bigtime snow.

It really snowed today, just for an hour or two, but with big flakes coming down. It didn't stay on the ground but made a lot of noise, almost like hail. Today Jean took Max and Gems to a playdate with an American mom from L.A., Amy, and her 5 year old son, Alex. They had a huge apartment with a big playroom including a slide, a piano, and even a play car and motorcycle. Above is Pollock, Max's stuffed animal turtle, and below it is Max's drawing of Pollock.

Tue, 03/01/16. Apartment Museum.
Today was cold and rainy. It's March already and you can still easily see your breath outside. Today Jean went to have her first French and English conversation exchange and said it went well though the other woman's English was pretty good and they spent more time speaking English and ran out of time to speak French. Meanwhile, Max says he is creating a museum in our apartment and is making all these artworks, many of them very similar to metro maps, for the museum and also for Jean's birthday. I went to the doctor in the afternoon because I have all this wax clogging my ears after all the swimming last week. They gave me this ear medicine and I have to go back on Fri to give birth to all the wax in my ears. Our big outing today was just going to Monoprix with Max and Gems. They were really into it and helpful actually, but I played an uncle Z joke on Max afterwards and asked him where the pens were that I'd bought for him, and he looked stunned for a second til I said "I'm just kidding. I have them." He told Gems to hit me in the stomach as a punishment.

Mon, 02/29/16. Opera and Pompidou.

Today we divided and conquered, as Jean took Gems to a tour of the Paris Garnier Operahouse, and I took Maxie to the Pompidou. He wanted to go to the library part of it and play videogames, but the lines to get into the library were so long we couldn't do it, so we ended up going around the museum side and seeing the Kiefer exhibit, which was the most German thing I'd ever seen in my life. We then found this ittle library on the 3rd floor called the Kandinsky library and Max fiddled around on the computers there for a while. Meanwhile, Jean and Gems had a great time on their tour of the Garnier Opera, with about 20 people, all adults. The tour guide was Italian but spoke English and told them all about the history of the place. At one point Jean was talking to another woman and said "How long is this tour? I'm not sure how much longer my daughter can keep going." The woman replied, "My daughter is 20 and I'm not sure how much longer she can keep going either." By the way, yesterday I forgot to mention that when we were going back on the metro, Jean and Gems got in and Max and I were a little behind them, and suddenly the doors closed and Max and I were locked out. Fortunately we had already planned for such an event, and so Jean and Gemma got out at the next stop, waited for us, and got in our car, so it was all fine.

Click here for the week of 03/14/16.
Click here for the week of 02/28/16.
Click here for the Paris journal from 2015.