Click here for the Paris journal from 2016.
Click here for the week of 10/25/15.
Sun, 10/18/15. My feeling is I'm hungry.

We had sandwiches with Doug and John before seeing them off on their bus to the airport. Their next stop is Berlin. We had a really good time with them. Doug said he suspects that Max's obsession with dessert is really a manifestation of something else, like a desire for more attention or love or to express his feelings. It could be, but we're not so sure. On the walk home, Max was complaining that he was hungry and wanted to stop for ice cream or something, so I asked him "Do you want to talk? Do you have some feelings you want to express?" And he said "My feeling is I'm hungry." We ended up going to the Pompidou where there was a huge line for the bibliotheque but no line for the museum so we went in the museum part and did a little kids workshop on architecture where they make buildings out of sand. Max and Gems's artworks were basically cakes made of sand. Tonight Gems made the drawing shown above, of Snow White. We have some postcards from the l'orangerie above Max and Gems's beds, and today Gems was looking at one and asked if it was Monet, and I said yes, and she said "He's a really good drawer."

Sat, 10/17/15. Sacre Coeur.

Today we went to the Sacre Coeur with Doug and John. We had a great time going up the fenicular. Doug took one look at the Sacre Coeur and said "My God. It's hideous." We had a nice walk inside and around it though, and then went down the hill and all around in a circuitous route back to the Opera near Doug and John's hotel, where we stopped and watched the little band playing in pajamas. Near the Sacre Coeur we saw two singers harmonizing, and Max and Gems stopped roughhousing and were spellbound.

Fri, 10/16/15. Orangerie and vacances.

Today we went to the Orangerie with John and saw all the impressionist paintings including the huge Monet water lily paintings. It was really fun. Clearly the creepiest painting of the lot was one by Rousseau of a very adult looking baby with no neck. I was struck by all the great works by impressionists I'd never heard of, like Marie Laurentin. It was surprisingly hard to find a place for lunch afterwards and we ended up opting for sushi in the 1st, and then picked up the kids and celebrated their last day of school as we start our vacances on Mon with our trip to London and then Ireland. They won't have school for 2 weeks. Gems had another great day of school today and said everyone was nice to her today, which means 4 of the 5 days this week she said were great and only the 5th, yesterday, left her in tears and wanting to go back home. By the way, can you guess which of the masterpiece art works above is by Gems? She said she was trying to do a Picasso.

Thu, 10/15/15. Jewish standoff.

Today we went to the Pompidou museum with Doug and John, and got to hear their extreme opinions on artists, such as "Chagall is a hack." Jean saw some more of what she considers "real Baron Randenakis" some of which are depicted above. We then had lunch and wandered around the marais into this gallery showing Star Wars related art that was very cool. We also stopped in a couple clothing stores, including one where John found a jacket he liked and thought he might buy it but not right then. Doug then decided he was gonna buy it for him, John insisted he not, and it became what John called a "Jewish standoff." Jean and I then had to split and pick the kids up from school, got some pains au chocolat and then scootered around at the park before meeting up again with Doug and John for dinner at Maoz Falafel and ice cream at Amorino. There's a lot of press for Moses und Aron including the ad Doug saw, above. It's freezing here. This morning Gems could see her own breath.

Wed, 10/14/15. Softie.
After school, I took Max and Gems to meet Doug and John for lunch. Jean stayed home recovering from her cold. We went out to Korean food at Ari Ari which was delicious. Max was in a rather whiny mood, which may have discomforted Doug and John somewhat. They felt I was a "softie", i.e. overly soft on Max for not staying in his chair and not always listening to me during lunch, and also for repeatedly asking if we were gonna have dessert later, which to me isn't really that bad but maybe that's the point. Gems and Max are getting good at tennis and singing in French .

Tue, 10/13/15. Miznon, Dance, and Cosi.
Today while Max and Gems were at school we went to lunch at always delicious Miznon with Doug and John, and then walked around the Marais and Pompidou, then I got the kids and we scooted to dance class. The bus back was super crowded and it was standing room only. Gems and Auri were sharing a seat but an elderly woman made them give it up for her, but then took Gemma on her lap. Gems said she had a great school day both today and yesterday. In the evening we went to Cosi with Doug and John and then got some pastries for dessert which we at back at our place while talking about kids and all sorts of things long into the night. Max and Gems were very social and comfortable with Doug and John, which was surprising because usually they're so shy and quiet whenever anyone comes over or if we go anywhere. Gems patted John's head, said "You're bald!" and asked him all about his hair.

Mon, 10/12/15. Fire station, Doug and John.

This morning I went with Max and his class to the fire station for their field trip. I was instructed to chaperone Max and these two girls, Pauline and Camille. Pauline was very chatty and kept trying to talk to me but I had trouble understanding her. She said Max is very good in the class, good meaning in terms of not misbehaving. There was also a girl in the class named Mila who heard us speaking English and was intrigued, and said she was from the United States too, though she didn't seem to speak much English so I'm not so sure. The fire station was quite a production, with the firemen totally putting on a show, to the point where one of them faked injury while the other firemen climbed ladders and slowly lowered him down the building. One fireman also said to us at one point "I'll be right back" and ran up some stairs and then slid down the pole. The kids were very amused by that. Max was not participating in several of the activities, such as climbing a platform and putting on the fireman's jacket, helmet and gloves, but when he opted not to shoot the firehose I knew he was just being shy so I forced him to do it and he loved it. He said later it was his favorite part of the field trip. At night Doug and John arrived and Jean was still a little too sick to go out so she stayed home while I went to their hotel and went out with them for a quick bite. They were surprisingly their usual energetic and cheerful selves despite all the flying to get here, and it was great catching up with them.

Click here for the week of 10/11/15.