for the Paris journal from 2016.
for the week of 08/23/15.
Sun, 8/16/15. Pearl Beach.
Le petit souris left Gemma a note in french and a spirograph in exchange
for her tooth. Gemma was very happy about the transaction. Today we found
beautiful Pearl Beach and had a wonderful time there. Elijah had been not
too crazy about the water yesterday but today was swimming and splashing
around with Max and Gemma with full gusto. The water was really shallow
for a long, long way so it was really easy to just let the kids play. We'd
heard the water was 75 degrees here and that seems like an
exaggeration as it is cold at first, though once you are in you get used
to it immediately.
We tried to make the kids nap yesterday but they didn't so as a punishment
they didn't get any dessert. So today we told them they needed to nap in
order to be able to get ice cream at night, and they did it very
obediently and are eating their reward as I type.
Sat, 8/15/15. Toothless in Saint Tropez.
Gemma's first tooth fell out today! She was eating strawberries and it
just quietly, bloodlessly and painlessly
fell out .
She then put it in her room where le petit souris, the little mouse French
equivalent of the tooth fairy, will grab it in the night and leave her a
present. The last photo above is Gemma's note to le petit souris, stating
her name and age.
We had a fun day at the beach in Saint Tropez with Elijah and his
family, and at night Tony and Margaret cooked a delicious feast of
bruschetta, garlic bread, and pasta bolognese. There was a lot of What
Time Is It Mr. Fox and Hide and Go Seek played as well, and the running
knock knock joke is Knock Knock, Who's There, An Interrupting Shower, An
Interrupting Shower Who?, On and you're all wet. If you don't get it,
don't worry, neither do I. The house here is so great and Saint Tropez is
very picturesque and a lot of fun so far. It's a little strange that they
apparently don't believe in screen doors or windows, and you're supposed
to leave your garbage in the middle of the street at night, so I'm not
sure what the bug situation is here exactly but we haven't noticed many.
Gemma was at one point feeling a little left out of the lovefest between
Elijah and Max but it seems to have mellowed out. Saint Tropez reminds me
a little of a combination of a Greek Island and Beverly Hills. There is a
level of glitz and opulence that is kind of annoying, but it is also
charming and beautiful and just exploring the town we came upon some
really nice and fairly empty beaches where we had a great time.
Fri, 8/14/15. Elijah!
We took a 5 hour train to Saint Raphael and then a 90 min bus to Saint
Tropez, to spend a week with Elijah and his parents and grandparents. It's
gonna be great. Saint Tropez is very picturesque and the house we're all
sharing is so great, just a short walk from the center of town and super
nice. Max and Gemma loved the train ride but didn't sleep at all. It was
pretty stressful trying to make it to the train on time after getting up
early and taking the metro in the rain with all our bags, and we made it
and stepped on the train immediately before finding our seats, which
turned out to be literally the very last seats all the way down the train,
which meant we had to bump into countless strangers as we climbed down the
crowded train. The Elijahs had a very similarly rough train experience.
But, once we got to Saint Tropez it was really nice, and we
had a nice crepe dinner with the Elijahs tonight and then ice cream and
went to bed. It's Max and Gems's first slumber party as they and Elijah
are all sleeping in bunkbeds tonight. The 2nd photo above is Gems's
sippycup. We bought Darth Vader thermoses, but Gemma found hers too scary
so she used stickers to make it into Dora Vader, which we joke would say
things like "Come on, Luke! Vamanos to the dark side!" and
"What can we use to get to the Death Star? Map!"
Thu, 8/13/15. Robot zombie.
We went to Lodgis to try to get proof of our new residence we will have in
a couple weeks so I can try to get the kids in preschool, but they
wouldn't give me such a letter yet since the owner hasn't signed the
contract yet, as he is out of town. We went to the nearby lego store and
toy store, where Max saw a
robot zombie he loved so we secretly got it for
him for his birthday, and Jean snuck off to get Gems the Anna dress she
wants. Maybe Max will be a policeman actually. In addition to cigarettes,
guns and motorcycles, he also is very interested in handcuffs and coffee.
Tomorrow we leave early for our 5 hour train to Saint Tropez to see Elijah
and his family. We are very excited about the trip. It's raining tonight!
Wed, 8/12/15. 9.1 miles.
While it's warm, we've been trying to walk a lot and do outdoorsy things,
but today was a bit extreme both in terms of how hot it was and how far we
walked. It was 93 degrees and we walked 9.1 miles!
In the morning we went to Parc Monceau, which was as picturesque
as we'd heard, and there was a little playground there where the kids
played for a while. In the first photo above, Max found a little stick he
felt looked like a bow and arrow and was very excited about it.
By the way, Max has some interesting proclivities. He has seen people
smoking and said "I wish I could smoke," and he also wishes he could ride
a motorcycle and shoot a gun. I'm not sure how we raised a redneck but it
seems like we got one. Anyway, then
we walked to the Champs Elysees and saw the movie
"Le Petit Prince" completely en francais, and then walked home, had
dinner, and then walked to the 6th for more ice cream at Amarino. Max had
a bad moment when his ice cream fell, so we got him another one. We
started implementing a system of just one dessert a day and if they get 5
whiny points they don't get the dessert. They cut it close today, with
Gemma getting 3 whiny points by like 930am but then no more, and Max
cutting it extremely close with 4 whiny points, all accrued at his
hungriest moments. They get whiny points not just for whining but for
general bad behavior like trying to not hold our hands when crossing the
street or kicking the table or each other while eating. So, actually 3
points in a whole long, hot day is not bad. The food has been incredible
everywhere so far, but I have to say the popcorn in the movie theater was
the worst I've ever had, stale and oversalted. It's surprising, since I
would have thought the French would have doted over each individual
Tue, 8/11/15. Monkeys.
Today we went to the Quai d'Anatole and played the monkey game again,
and then Max and Gemma played on these monkey bars that much bigger kids
were playing on, and Jean said she thought it should be their goal to be
able to go across the bars on their own by the end of the year.
About 5 min later, Gemma went all the way across
on her own!
They also played solo tennis and ate more crepes.
Is it our imagination or is the whole milk here 53 percent fat?
Max and Gemma love watching videos from Mima and Umpa and making videos
back for them, and especially watching their own silly videos to Mima and
Umpa where they say things like "Happy Goodnightday to poop."
Mon, 8/10/15. Patiner.
Today we went roller blading and roller skating at La Tour Eiffel. I
actually didn't do it but Jean roller skated while Max and Gemma did
rollerblades for their first time. They were surprisingly good at it,
especially Gemma, who said she wants to get good at it so she can put on a
show. She was referring to a roller blader who was doing a street
performance near our apartment the other day. Our landlady went to the
police today to put a cease and desist order on our neighbor. Although
he's annoying, it shows what
a tourist driven city Paris is that a guy could get in legal trouble just
for bothering a family of Americans and complaining about noise. We've
noticed some other "little differences", to quote Pulp Fiction. For
example, the sign on our fridge with emergency phone numbers lists a
Does that refer to emergency haircuts? Also, a carton of eggs
has 10 eggs in it here. I guess because of the metric system, again to
quote Pulp Fiction. Max thinks the big decorative doorknocker things that
are everywhere around la Seine are "handcuffs".
We found a delicious cafe called Crepe Mamy off of Rue
St. Dominique on the way to La Tour Eiffel and it was so good we went
there twice today. Max was in a terrible mood on the way home but I think
he was just hungry, as after lunch he was fine.
In French class back home in LA, Max and Gemma's teacher Crystelle used to
sing this song with them about "Un Elephant" and it goes like
this , and it's funny because
right outside our apartment is a big statue of an elephant.
At night we walked along
the Seine into the 5th and 6th arrondissements, had another delicious
Amarino ice cream, and saw the school where they will probably go on Rue
Saint Andre des Arts. Jean's favorite ice cream flavor so far is
grapefruit, mine is hazelnut, Max's is strawberry, and Gemma's is nutella.
for the week of 08/09/15, the first week here.