Click here for the Paris journal from 2016.
Click here for the week of 10/04/15.
Sun, 9/27/15. Disneyland hangover.
Today we all woke up late and tired. Jean cleaned the house while we hurried to get ready, and Karin Braverman came over and we walked to Le Loir for lunch and pie. It was fun. The kids were very tired and shy and mostly just listened to us. Karin lives near the Champs de Mars, which are the grassy fields right outside the Eiffel Tower. In the afternoon we checked out this big park on Rue Monge where there is an enormous zip line about 150 feet long and about 20 feet high. Max and Gems wanted to do it but the line was about 45 min long so instead they played soccer and climbed around onto these rows of stone stairs and threw the soccerball and watched it bounce down the steps to me. I'd then throw the ball back up and we'd repeat. We crashed early today, still tired from our Disneyland hangover.

Sat, 9/26/15. Le Dream Pass.

We decided to reward the kids for finishing a month of school by taking them to Disneyland Paris again. We thought since summer is over it would be less crowded, but today was the Press Day or something and so it was extremely crowded. We forgot to check whether our pass was valid today, and we didn't think it was possible that a random day in late Sep would be blacked out but sure enough it was, so we couldn't get in unless we either bought new tickets, or upgraded our passes, so we did the latter, upgrading to dream passes which are good 365 days a year. When asking to do the upgrade, I asked if we could transfer to the "reve pass" and the woman said "It's just called Dream Pass. There is no French word for this." We had a great time despite the crowds and managed to go on lots of rides. Favorites were the Toy Story parachute ride, Pirates, Buzz Lightyear and the Haunted House. They were so tired by the end of the night we had to carry them, two 50 pound bags, back from the metro station.

Fri, 9/25/15. Voicemail.
We're finally all set up! It only took us 8 weeks, but today we finally got tv, high speed internet, and voicemail for our phone. It feels great. I tested out our voicemail by leaving a fake message in French from Le Cigale saying Mr. LaForge forgot to get a rendezvous. We invited Max and Gemma's boy girl twin firends, Timeo and Marie, over for Sat evening but now Timeo is sick with a fever so they had to cancel. Instead, tomorrow we may go to Disneyland again to celebrate the kids being done with their first month of school. For lunch Jean and I went to a restaurant down the street from the school and Jean ordered a steak. The server asked Jean how she wanted it cooked, and Jean was debating it and I said "entre a point et bien cuit", i.e. in between medium and well done. The food server smirked and said "That does not exist." Max and Gems love watching French cartoons on our tv. Today after school we took them to the park on Rue Monge to play soccer, and their schoolfriends Auri and Clara joined us. By accident I brought a basketball instead of a soccerball, but Max enjoyed sliding it down the slide over and over again while the girls played on the monkey bars and spinning seat.

Thu, 9/24/15. A tout a l'heure.
Today we waited for Monsieur Reille and the TV/phone/Internet guy to come over. They arrived in the morning and stayed about 3 hours only to say that it's not going to work for another 24 hours. And then, after 24 hours, we need to call someone to get a code to activate the TV and Internet. However, our phone does work now! It's strange because it doesn't ring; it only lights up. Max is excited about having a phone and wants to call Elijah right away. We went out to lunch again to Miznon, the Jewish pita place. It's crowded and noisy in there and has a very Berkeley vibe. Rick said it's like Intermezzo minus the nose rings, plus some scarves. We sat next to an older couple from Australia who had just completed a 35-day pilgrammage in the south of France. They walked 5-6 hours a day with their packs. After school, Rick, Max, and Gemma had a competitive soccer game with two random 8 year old boys at the park. Luckily, another random kid showed up and played with them so that their losses weren't too embarrassing. Max was goalie once and made a great block with his knee. Gemma had a very defensive play when she saw an opponent coming towards her and kicked the ball in the bushes. (Then she turned around to smile at Rick.) Gemma's on a roll with her meat and cheese selections. Tonight she picked an amazing vieux Gruyere, which was 14 months old. I was joking that it's older than their friend Zadig's baby brother (Swann). She also picked a great smoked jambon. Tonight Max went into the WC and before closing the door said, "A tout a l'heure!" I guess all that French school is seeping in.

Wed, 9/23/15. Magic wand.

Today we took the kids for lunch to the delicious Le Loir again and ate their incredible pie desserts, where we felt like pigs because we each got a piece of pie and then the table of 4 adults next to us seemed to be laughing and pointing at our food and then just got 1 piece of pie to share among the 4 of them, but later a few more pieces of pie showed up for them so we didn't feel too bad. Afterwards we went to the Science Museum which was just ok but not great. The highlight was definitely seeing the show about electromagnetism where the host seemed to be shooting electricity at the volunteers with a magic wand . They also had a cool room where the lights on the floor seemed to follow you and the image on this big billboard seemed to be you only swirly . Max and Gems also spent a lot of time swinging on these ropes meant to show you mechanics or something. A lot of the exhibits just had a ton of talking in really fast French which bored all of us even in the rare moments when we understood what they were saying. But Max and Gems liked the interactive stuff. We found out today someone in their classes has had lice, but so far Max and Gems seem to be clear of it. Gems says the girl in her class has "fleas".

Tue, 9/22/15. Pablo.

We finally got checks today, and then got annual family passes for the Picasso museum, which is great. The passes let you skip the lines which is quite a coup. After the museum we ate a delicious lunch in a restaurant in the middle of the Jewish neighborhood of the Marais. The restaurant was called Miznon and it was really delicious. I'm sure we will be going back there. It was by far the loudest restaurant we've been to in Paris. I guess people would call it Jewish food though I'm not sure if that's accurate. I got a lamb kebob sandwich, Jean got a spicy fish sandwich, and we split a roasted cauliflower. After lunch I picked up the kids, walked em to ballet class with Auri and her mom and sister, and then we took the bus back. I learned that strangely, the Mummins, who are Gemma's other friend Ouliana's favorite cartoon characters, come from Finland where Auri is from. Max was sad because he only got two desserts today. Jean successfully taught Max to multiply 4x3 using squares of Milka chocolate, which comes in rows of 4. We call it the Milka system.

Mon, 9/21/15. Futbol.
Today we bought a soccerball and a jumprope and took Max and Gems after school to the Parc Monge to play with them. They went over very well. While the kids were in school, Jean and I did lots of errands and ate lunch at a surprisingly good tourist trap cafe in the middle of the Tuileries. I think Max has already passed us in French. Jean says if anyone can guess what word Max is saying in this video , you get a free crepe when you come visit us.

Click here for the week of 09/20/15.