for the Paris journal from 2016.
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
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
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
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
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.
for the week of 11/22/15.