Click here for the Paris journal from 2016.
Click here for the week of 12/06/15.
Sun, 11/29/15. Temples hangover.
As with the disneyland hangover, we had tons of fun with the Temples and spent today just resting and recovering. In fact, we spent the entire day in our pajamas, and watched two videos we had checked out from the library here, Nemo and Jean de la Lune. We played a lot of Spot It too, which is a great game. We started playing it where you have to say the object you spot in French, and Jean at one point said "chienne" and Max corrected her that the word for dog is "chien" and Gems said "Mama, your French is terrible." So it only took a little under 4 months for that sentence to come out. How long will it be before they realize my French is terrible too? Tomorrow I am gonna talk to the directrice of their school about missing from Fri to Wed while we are in Vienna, and also I will ask her if they can just go til lunchtime on Thu, and we will see how it goes. Jean says I just need to compliment her scarf first and it will be fine. I just feel weird, when people are waiting behind me to talk to her and there is all this chaos with students coming in and parents leaving, to casually chitchat with someone and take my time, not getting to the point. I guess it's the French way. It's just hard for me to adjust to it when people are waiting. I just have to focus on remembering all the dozens of times we've been here and have waited patiently while others have talked on and on with the sales clerk, receptionist, or whoever. I just saw on espn.com how Kobe Bryant has the lowest field goal percentage of any qualifying NBA player. I love it. I guess his fans never really cared about field goal percentage anyway, but it's pretty comical to me.

Sat, 11/28/15. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Today we met the Temples at the Jardin Luxembourg, where we saw Natalie Portman and her family, and we played on the zip line and carousel there for like 2 hours before heading to Le Loir dans le Theiere for lunch. That place is always a winner and the tartes and pies did not fail. It was surprising that we didn't have to wait at all for a table for 7 at 1pm on a Saturday, and in general I feel like I've been saying over and over to Brooke and Dana "I can't believe how uncrowded this is!" The combination of late November, the icy cold weather, and the post terrorism fear has made Paris ridiculously empty. I was laughing at Brooke for being overly ambitious in his plans for Paris but he's actually done almost everything on the list and quite leisurely. Anyway, to continue the Star Wars theme, after having run into Portman of Star Wars fame earlier, after lunch I took Brooke and the kids to the star wars themed art gallery while Dana and Jean checked out an outdoor antique market. After we couldn't immediately find Dana and Jean and Max having to go to the bathroom very badly, Brooke and I decided to take the kids and go to our apartment, and fortunately Dana and Jean didn't wait too long for us and did the same. They didn't miss much except for some hide and go speak games. (Max calls it that.) After another nice Thai dinner, and introducing Dana to bacon flavor peanuts, we said our sad goodbyes. The Temples were awesome guests, extremely generous and always in a good mood and so nice. We loved having them here. Our next visitor is, who knows? We are meeting my parents in Vienna next week, but have no plans for any visitors in Paris until Spring.

Fri, 11/27/15. Pizza party.
Today it was so cold, we could see our breath even at 3pm. I took the kids to the park after school so they could run around a bit, and they were the only ones there because it's so cold. We did relay races and made heavy use of the toilet, as I think Max and Gems are getting intimidated out of using the bathroom at school or something. Speaking of school, I saw the directrice today and thanked her for letting me take Gems and Max out of school yesterday and she was very nice about it so it seems like we are fast friends again. After the park, Brooke, Dana and Ella came over and we had a little pizza party here in our apartment, following their busy day of seeing the Picasso museum, an independent art gallery, and the kids museum of La Villette. The kids didn't do any plays tonight but we had a huge game of Spot it, which was won each time by the team of Ella, Gemma, and Brooke, but they barely won by only one card each time. We also had a big discussion about how the U.S. should combat terrorism and whether it is ridiculous or not for the U.S. to make it harder for Syrian refugees to come in to the U.S.

Thu, 11/26/15. Happy Thanksgiving.

Today the kids played hooky from school and we went to the Sainte Chappelle with the Temples, and then we all went to the Pompidou and out to dinner at swanky Fish La Boissonerie. We had the traditional Thanksgiving squid and whitefish. The dinner was very expensive and I tried to pay or at least pay half but Brooke and Dana insisted on paying for it, which is ridiculous and we are deeply indebted. After dinner we went to delicious Amarino for gelati, and on the way stopped on Rue de Buci to listen to the guys in the street playing music, while the kids danced. By the way, the Pompidou was great and we spent hours in the kiddie area designing architectural structures and then trying to make them out of sand. It was a lot of fun. Next to us was a huge sand statue by world champion sand castler Dale Murdoch, a Canadian, who we were told will be returning in December to crush his masterpiece and build a new different one. Speaking of masterpieces, the Sainte Chappelle totally lived up to the hype and was very cool inside, with all the stained glass. We had fun trying to figure out what parts of the bible were being described in each pane. It seemed surprising to me that God in the Genesis was depicted exactly like Jesus. Brooke noted there was no snake in Genesis, and we had a lot of trouble distinguishing the other biblical stories, but the stained glass is incredibly beautiful. When we first entered the main room, Max said "Whoa", and later when we were looking at a window showing 3 men in it, Jean joked that it was when the apostles said "Whoa".

Wed, 11/25/15. An exceptional day.

Today when I picked up the kids from school, I told the director of the school Max and Gems are gonna miss school tomorrow, and she sort of frowned and asked why. When I told her it was because their friend is visiting and it is just for the day, she said "Hmm, ok, but just for this one exceptional day." It seemed funny to give me such attitude, but I told Eva about it and she explained that I had not done it the French way. I should have asked her for permission to take my kids from school for one day and pleaded, explaining how important it was, and how their friend had traveled from another continent to see them. Anyway, after school we met up with Brooke and Dana and we all went to the Louvre together. We had a great time, though the kids were mostly glued to their audioguide which had all kinds of interactive maps and games. The Louvre is so huge it is a little hard to navigate, and in the past we have just wandered around, but today the Temples really wanted to make sure to see the big highlights like the Mona Lisa and it wasn't easy to figure out how to get straight there. I ended up leading them the totally wrong way and into the replicas of Louis the 14th's bedroom and other royal furnishings, which was actually very cool. Afterwards Jean and Dana went shopping a little while Brooke and I took the kids to the Tuileries and on the merry go round before coming home and eating a pretty meager, thrown together dinner at our place. The kids did these terrific plays in Max and Gemma's room, one where a woman goes to a witch, gets a potion to make a balloon salesman fall in love with her, and then he drinks the potion, falls in love, and takes a gun and kills the witch. In the other play, it was a haunted house where Max played a ghost, a vampire, and a werewolf, and at the end all the lights went out.

Tue, 11/24/15. Enough honey for the whole world.

Today it rained all day, so we went to the musee d'Orsay with Brooke, Dana, and Ella, and then when Max and Gems got out of school we took them to dance class and then had the Temples over at our house for a delicious takeout dinner from the Thai place next door to us. At the Musee D'Orsay, there is a lot of nudity in the paintings and statues, and we told them how Max constantly points at the "bare weeners" and "bare boobies". Because it was such a full day and so cold and rainy, we ended up taxiing to and from dance class, which only cost 8 Euros each way, whereas taking the bus or metro would be like 5 or 6 Euros, so it's totally worth it, but when I told Eva and Ewelina we were taxiing home they were making fun of us for being so upscale. I guess it is kinda funny to taxi to a dance class, but it's not like we pulled up in a limo or something. Anyway, the Temples are great and we all got along with them incredibly well. Gems and Ella especially are hitting it off. Ella knows what princess pet goes with each disney princess, and has told us lots of hilarious jokes, such as something like "Why did one bee have another bee? Because otherwise there would just be one bee and then there wouldn't be enough honey for the whole world." It was reminiscent of a classic text written by Kala when she was about that age, where she wrote a story of a plunger falling in love with another plunger and having a plunger baby. The last line is "plungers have some seryes bisnas."

Mon, 11/23/15. The Temples.
Today Brooke, Dana and Ella Temple arrived. We met them for lunch at Cosi, which is conveniently just steps from their hotel, and then walked to Jardin Luxembourg with them. They came with us to pick Max and Gems up from school, and we then grabbed some crepes and saw the Notre Dame. It was great seeing the Temples and Ella and Gems got along famously from the first minute. Ella was all gussied up and very ready to practice her French. She just turned 7 and is super cute. She was picking out the chives out of her sandwich and said "I don't like the grass." I was talking to Dana about whether kids have a sense of time or not, and Dana said after their 5 or so days in London, Ella said something like "It was fun spending a month in London." At night, we skyped home to talk to Mima and Umpa who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary today. They said they were fighting all morning and barely made it to 50 years together. Gems was asking Mima about her wedding and her wedding dress. Today at school we showed up 3 min late and the kids had to sit on the bench of shame. It was only the 2nd time we've ever been late. On the plus side, when I picked them up, Max's teacher was gushing about how well Max sang in French during chorale today.

Click here for the week of 11/22/15.