Click here for the week of 07/10/16.

Sun, 07/03/16. Cooking class for kids.

Today I took Gems to the park, first the helicopter park across the street and then to Cluny Park, while Max stayed home wanting to nap. However, Max quickly changed his mind and Jean and he met us at Cluny. Garance was there, and I talked to her Dad Cyrille a while. He asked if Gemma and Max speak French now, and I said Gemma can understand it but she's too shy to speak it. He said Auri was the same way after 1 year, and now she speaks as well as anyone. They're planning a trip to the U.S. next year so I said they should come see us in L.A. Afterwards we went to a cooking class for kids in Vincennes that Jean found online through her facebook group. It was a tiny little mom and pop store, and very hard to find, so when we finally got there we were late but they were super nice and the workshop was great. The kids made delicious chocolate cupcakes and decorated them. Max put coconut shavings on his which I felt were to protect his cupcake from me, but he insisted it was better with the coconut and he said even I would like it. The store owner was so nice and walked us all the way back to the RER station from the shop. This was our last Sunday in Paris. It's been cold and rainy as usual the past few days, which on the bright side will make it a little easier to leave. Tonight I'm going over to Tabue's to watch the soccer game, France against Iceland. The whole country seems to be gearing up for it.

Sat, 07/02/16. Jungle Book.

Today we went to the Quai d'Orsay and Max and Gemma did the monkey bars for a while, and we all did the warped wall. Jean made it on her first try, but it took me 3 or 4 attempts. Finally Max coached me to success. We then went to la Defense and saw Jungle Book and then ate sushi there at the place where the sushi goes around on the conveyor belt. Max and Gemma always love it. On the way home we stopped by the Notre Dame and saw these great dancers in front of it. Max and Gemma were mesmerized. It was a great day and one that Gemma picked out because we wanted to give her a day of whatever she wanted since she's so disappointed about Jennifer not coming. In a week we will be outta here, as far as Paris is concerned. We're going to Italy Sat morning and then from there to Dublin Jul 15, and home to LA Jul 20.

Fri, 07/01/16. Farewell party.

Today after school Clara came over and played with Max and Gemma for a while, with Max speaking a lot of French with her, and then we had our farewell party, saying goodbye to all our friends here in Paris. A lot of people came and it was kind of a wild bash with all the kids making a huge mess in Max and Gemma's room and then putting on a "spectacle" which was basically them marching around and counting to 10. It was fun seeing everyone but sad saying goodbye. We also got some more sad news about one couple of friends here who just separated, and then we called Julie Chahin and found out Jennifer's not coming to Paris after all. Gemma started crying immediately when we found out. She's been looking forward to Jennifer coming all week.

Thu, 06/30/16. Finn party.

Today Jean and I cleaned the apartment while the kids were in school and then had the Aaltos over for a last hoorah. Eva was sick but Kale came over with Auri and Iiris, and they ate, drank, danced to Ella's birthday CD, which drove everyone crazy, sang Toute la Famille Se Reveille in French, and put on a play for us. The kids get along so well together. We're really gonna miss them. Fortunately we'll get to see them one last time tomorrow. Today when the kids got home from school, Max showed us a picture of a fish the lunchlady, Wassila, gave him as a goodbye. It's shown above. Gemma had a great picture she drew of the kermesse party, showing her fishing for ducks, scaling a rock climbing wall, and holding a plate while climbing around the apparatus.

Wed, 06/29/16. Dance class party.

Today was the dance class party, and nobody we knew came unfortunately so we left early. Gemma is counting down the days til the Jentrance, i.e. when Jennifer arrives on Saturday. The kids are both very excited to have only 3 days of school left. Jean is busily selling off stuff to her Facebook group of Americans in Paris. The kids were overtired today and made a huge mess in their room but then cleaned it up nicely. We have a lot of fun stuff coming up, with our date with the Finns at our place tomorrow, our good bye party at our place Friday, and then the Jentrance on Sat.

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Tue, 06/28/16. Kermesse.

Tonight there was a kermesse, which I guess means a party or something, at the school. It was a nice way to see everyone, some for the last time. We also got Max and Gemma's report cards and they were surprisingly positive and very thoughtful. They seemed to be very carefully done. Both of them got mediocre grades for oral French, but Max got good scores on writing and both got good scores on math, especially Gemma. Gemma's teacher said very nice things about how she has persevered despite not knowing French and at the end said "Brava, Gemma."

Mon, 06/27/16. Tower of Terror.

Today we played hockey, as Max calls it, and went to Disneyland instead of school. The morning was incredibly empty and we got to stay on rides a bunch of times instead of getting off and waiting in line again. However, at 10am everything got insanely crowded. We tried to beat the rush and went to Crush's Coaster slightly before 10am, but there was already over an hour wait. We ended up leaving and seeing Finding Dory in French, because it was cold and rainy and we couldn't imagine waiting in line in the rain. After the movie, we waited in the hour line for the Tower of Terror, so Jean could finally see what the fuss was all about, and it was incredibly scary. There was so much anticipation that Max was crying he didn't want to go and was completely in tears before the ride began. Jean was inclined to let him off but I kind of forced him to stay after all the waiting, and he ended up loving it and was all smiles afterwards. Gemma was cool and calm and loved the ride, as did Jean and I. As soon as it started, we felt a real jolt because it goes so fast and we both thought "Whoa, what are we doing here", after having done just Pinnochio and Snow White previously, but it's not nauseating at all and is a lot of fun.

Click here for the week of 07/10/16.

Click here for the week fo 06/26/16.

Click here for the Paris journal from 2015.