Click here for the Paris journal from 2016.
Click here for the week of 12/13/15.
Sun, 12/6/15. Belvedere Museum.
Today after breakfast, Dad and I took Max to run around in the playground of Stadt Park. Max had to poo, and we found a beautiful, swanky hotel and restaurant right in the park amazingly and it turned what we thought might be a disaster into a very nice experience. In the afternoon, Jean, Dad and I went to the Belvedere Museum while Mima stayed home with the kids. She talked to the Romanian maids in Serbian, so that's probably a first. At night, Gems was finally feeling all better except for her canker sores and blister on her tongue, so Mima went to see Rosenkavalier and the rest of us all went out to dinner and to see the Christmas lights and the Stefansdom. I asked Gems what she thought of Wien since this was her first real look at it, and she said "Yeah, it's better than I thought, but it's also colder than I thought."

Sat, 12/5/15. Haircut.

Today we let Mima give Maxie a haircut at the beauty parlor, Bundy Bundy, right down the street from our hotel. Gems is feeling much better but still taking it easy. Mima has been harping on me to put my passports in a safe in our room, but I have not wanted to do it because I think I'll forget them there. At breakfast, Umpa got a strange juice and Mima felt sure it had alcohol in it, and I thought it didn't, so we made a bet on it, and I won, so as a result Mima has to not bring up the passports again. In the afternoon Mima watched Gems, Umpa took a nap, and Jean, Max and I walked around the Belvedere gardens and the Christmas markets, tried some ok wurstl, delicious Teig circle, and very mediocre at best Lebkuchen, tried to find a playground unsuccessfully, but had a great walk. At night, Mima watched Max and Gems while Umpa, Jean and I went out for dinner. For dessert we had a "Mozart bombe", a delicious cake with pistachio, chocolate, and marzipan, shown in the first photo above just the way Amadeus liked it. They also had the Klimt cake shown above. During dinner, a piano player and violin player were performing in the restaurant, and they played a song I remember Gamma whistling when I was a kid. I remember one of the lines is something about my love being hotter than Gulaschsaft, and I just looked it up and it's from Grafin Mariza. After dinner we walked around the city center which is all lit up for Christmas, and we saw the enormous Stefansdom which is beautiful even at night.

Fri, 12/4/15. Der Spot it.

Jean took care of Gems all day, as Gems had a fever which is now gone, but she still has a nosy and canker sores on her mouth which make her complain and cry a lot. Meanwhile, Max and I have been doing a lot of eating, along with Mima and Umpa. We had a buffet breakfast, then a delicious lunch in the hotel, and at night went to good old Bierreiter for hot dogs, excellent fritatensuppe, and salats. We also went to Belvedere park which had a really nice kiddie park. The weather has been cold but not as cold as we expected. It's just slightly colder than Paris, with highs like 45F. We have also been playing tons of Spot It, the game Brooke and Dana gave us, and it's been a lot of fun. Max was cracking up so much at Mima and Umpa's frustration when he and I barely beat Umpa and Mima. He also laughed uncontrollably when Mima thought the yellow moon was a banana.

Thu, 12/3/15. Wien.

Today we flew to Wien, and it was remarkably quick and easy. The only problem was Gems got sick and has a fever and runny nose, maybe because we might have overdone it yesterday with the Du Pareil au Meme shopping. It was great seeing Mima and Umpa and the hotel is beautiful. It's right near the Arnold Schonberg Center. We ordered room service as soon as we got in and I immediately gorged on wienerschnitzel.

Wed, 12/2/15. Du Pareil au Meme.
Today we went on a mission to exchange Max and Gemma's boots for bigger ones at Du Pareil au Meme. We first went to the one near Chatelet but for some reason it was closed though the sign on the wall said it would be open. There was a 1/4 open front door so I snuck through it and a man pointed his hand at me and said "Non, ferme." So we went to another Du Pareil au Meme on Blvd St Germain, and they didn't have boots. So then we went deep into the 7th arrondissement to a 3rd Du Pareil au Meme and finally did the exchange. Max and Gems did the whole trek to the last two stores on their trottinettes. Exhausted, we took a taxi back home. For lunch today we all went to a delicious Korean place called Miam Miam. It's pretty close to our apartment and was incredibly delicious. I think we will definitely be going back there again. We ordered so much food the waitress said she thought it was too much, but Max and Gems did great and at the end almost all the food was eaten. Tonight when the kids were changing for bed, Gems was teasing Max and Max said "You can only look at my butt but not touch it, because it's a work of art." Tomorrow the kids are going to school til 130pm, and then we're going straight to the airport, flying to Vienna, and seeing Umpa and Mima!

Tue, 12/1/15. Team Joseph.
The big news today is that Max announced he switched to Joseph's team at school. He happily announced it and even though he joined the team, he still called it "the bad team". Joseph is basically the bully of the class. He's not a bad kid at all but is the roughest one in the class, and Max in the past has complained that Joseph has hit him and kicked him but on the other hand Max also has called him one of his favorite kids in the class. It seems like Joseph, and his henchmen Nathan, Timothe, and Matthias, chase around some people and try to get a rise out of them, one of them being Max. Now Max has joined them. I told Eva, on the way to dance class, and she said "That's what happens when you have 28 kids playing and only one adult watching them."

Mon, 11/30/15. Family matters.
I talked to the Directrice of the school today. I asked her as politely as I could, if Max and Gems could miss school from this Thu to next Wed so we can take a trip to Vienna to meet with my parents who will be traveling there. Her response was something like "I can't really say no, can I?" I elected to ignore the sarcasm she was trying to convey and just went with "Thank you very much." I also asked if I could take the kids out on Thu at 1:30pm and she was really nice and congenial about it.
I feel like Paris is kind of obsessed with my family. When we first arrived in Aug, there were billboards for Randy's movie. Then in Oct there were a lot of billboards for Moses und Aron which was playing at the main Paris Opera. Now there are billboards everywhere for Nanni's new movie, and next week there's a spotlight on Luigi Nono and they are performing a bunch of his works. What's next? I won't be surprised if in Jan they will be performing Melanie's piece at the Paris philharmonic. Or, maybe they will go straight to changing the French national anthem to Max's song "I'm Flancho Blanche". Maybe Kala's book about "Plunjers" will become a Parisian bestseller?

Click here for the week of 11/29/15.