Click here for the Paris journal from 2016.
Click here for the week of 11/08/15.
Sun, 11/1/15. Lutece.

I took Maxie to Lutece today for some soccer. Later, Max drew a picture and said it was Lutece. It is above. We think it's great. I wonder what Kala would think of it. We let them eat one Halloween candy today and will let them have one a day, which they're really excited about. I had a few Larry Davidesque moments at the market today. First of all, I'm on a first name basis with the checkout woman, Sam, and when she saw me she came up to me and said "Bonjour Frederic!" and I guess I was suppposed to do a cheek kiss but I didn't know it so, caught off guard, I didn't do it but it seemed like she felt awkward about it. Then when I was checking out, she asked if I needed a bag, and I said no because I had my backpack. But when I had just paid and was loading my backpack, it quickly because clear I was gonna need a bag. The bags are 10 cents, and I had no cash on me, and there is a minimum to use a credit card. So now what? I ended up just stacking and balancing a bunch of remaining groceries and leaving. How would you say Ai Wei Wei's name in Pig Latin? How would you say "A way I would weigh 8 weights by Ai Wei Wei is a ways away"? Our renter Stephanie and her 3 sons take the house tomorrow, and Mima and our gardner, Valentin, very nicely came today to take our dining table and chairs away.

Thu, 10/31/15. Le trick ou le treat.

Happy Halloween! Today we went to the American Library in Paris for their big Halloween party. We met some nice Americans there, ate their snacks, did some arts and crafts like making bat cutouts, spiderwebs out of yarn, and Halloween poems, and listened to them sing songs and do a magic show. Then we went trick or treating, with Max and Gems on their trotinettes, dressed as Anna from Frozen and a doggy. Max said one of the candies tasted like 68 lemons on fire. Gems said her favorite part was looking at everyone's costumes. Max said his favorite part was eating the snacks. After stopping for dinner, we went to a patisserie featuring Halloween themed desserts like the ones shown in the photo above. It was another really great day.

Thu, 10/30/15. Stroller Mountain.

Today we took the kids back to Disneyland Paris. This time we did it right, following the guidebook Doug and John gave us before they left. It was awesome. The book has so many tricks that helped us. We went early, getting there around 820am, to enjoy the 2 extra hours we get with our pass when it's only open to pass holders and people staying in their hotels. Disneyland was so empty in the morning and we got to do so much, especially since we followed the suggested itinerary in the book which was great. We did Peter Pan, Teacups, Lancelot's Carousel, the Haunted Mansion, Thunder Mountain twice, Buzz Lightyear, and Star Tours. We also saw two parades and a Disney Villains show, and partook of our free strollers that we learned also come with our passes. It was great, and the weather was incredible too. We did a Fastpass which I was always curious about, and it worked out really well too. The highlight for the kids was us scooting them around really fast through the crowds in the strollers, and they loved it and called it Stroller Mountain. We met a family from Texas in one of the lines. They live in Lyon, and I was curious what they thought about French people and the Mom said "They're ... different." By 3:15pm we were tired and went home, beating the crowds. It was a great day, with no meltdowns or fighting, and basically no waiting in lines. A big help too was we brought tons of snacks, drinks, and sandwiches Jean made which allowed us to eat in the lines without having to stop for the slow, crappy Disneyfood. Now we are home and exhausted but starting our Disney hangover early at least.

Thu, 10/29/15. Luxembourg and Pompidou.
Gemma's feeling all better! Today in the morning I took Max to the Luxembourg gardens for some soccer and trotinetting. He fell off his scooter at one point and a woman said "Ca va?" and he said "Oui", so he's getting comfortable speaking francais with strangers. Then while Jean went to the market and cooked delicious cheese souffles for dinner, I took Max and Gems to the Pompidou on their trotinettes. The highlight for them was probably listening to the didjeridoo player outside the museum. I'm getting addicted to the Rubik's cube. Max identified Rhianna, a guest on The Voice which is a really stupid show we were watching with the kids, as the voice of the girl in Home. On Wed we will have been in Paris 3 months, which is how long we were here in 2004. On that trip without kids, we saw every museum and ate at every restaurant. This time, it has not been quite the same, but I guess we've still done a decent amount.

Wed, 10/28/15. Cosi and Decathlon.

We had another casual day today. I took Max again to Lutece. It's pretty amazing how we can just play soccer right where they used to keep the lions 2000 years ago before gladiator matches. It's such a cool place. They used to have a big maze of bushes but they'd completely razed it to the ground this week. Gems is feeling much better and we took her out for her first outing in a week, to lunch at Cosi and then to Decathlon with Jean while I went to a park with Max. At Decathlon we bought a squishy soccerball which Max loved and just hugged and kissed it when we got home. Kala would like it too! Gems was crying about nothing on the way to Cosi, so much I lost my cool and exploded yelling at her and started taking her home, before she snapped out of it.

Tue, 10/27/15. Lutece.
This was a pretty uneventful day. Gems is getting a lot better. I took Max to l'arene de Lutece for some soccer and trottinetting, and we also went around the Notre Dame park. His favorite part was me using my watch to time how long he took to trottinette from one place to another and back. He's very good at it. I played basketball tonight for the first time in a couple weeks.

Mon, 10/26/15. Thermometer.

We were gonna take Gems to the doctor today, but she woke up significantly better than yesterday so we feel like she's on the road to recovery. I went to a pharmacy and got a thermometer and she registered at 96 degrees. The paperwork with the thermometer said it is accurate to within 0.2 degrees. Yeah right. Anyway, I think her fever is gone or almost gone, and she still has diarrhea but it seems to be going away too. I took Max to the Jardin du Luxembourg and he had a great time on the zip line, climbing apparatuses, and especially the spinning wheel. Two brothers, about 8 and 10 years old, were on it too and fighting really roughly with each other all over and around Max, and he was loving it. The French kids are so brutal in the lines and it always surprises me. I had to sit in line with Max on the zip line since so many people were cutting in front of him otherwise. My new hobby is I'm trying to learn how to do the Rubik's cube. I wonder if Kala knows how to do it. Every morning Max bounds out of bed and pursues his new hobby, drawing pictures and selling them to Jean and me for a coin. He wants to collect enough coins so he can buy more desserts here. Jean said this morning he was up at the crack of dawn making drawings and kept coming over to her bed with them and asking for coins, so finally she snapped at him to stop waking her up and he said "Ok, guess it's time for my yogurt" and waltzed into the kitchen to serve himself yogurt for breakfast. How did Jean and I have a child who's an early riser and in a great mood in the morning?

Click here for the week of 10/25/15.