Mon, 8/3/15. IÕve decided to start chronicling our days in Paris, partly as a journal we can read years from now, and partly so we can remember what day it is. So far the trip has had mixed reviews. The 10 days or so before leaving, we put forth an enormous amount of effort into boxing and moving our stuff to get ready for this trip. It was ridiculous actually, with every day both Jean and me winding up completely sweaty and exhausted. My bad decision was to get a truck, hire people to load our stuff into and out of the truck, and use public storage in Colton, which was totally dirty and dusty so we ended up changing to public storage in Redlands. We needed two trips, the storage places closed much earlier than we expected and traffic was awful, and it ended up being an extremely stressful and exhausting thing. Even after moving most of our stuff out, we still had tons of last minute things to get rid of or store, and again packing them up in the last minute was really stressful and exhausting. We are pledging never to do anything like that again. Luckily my parents helped out enormously with babysitting and storing some of our stuff, and the rest fit in my office. My Dad also helped me take a load to my office, and Jennifer and her family watched Max and Gemma for much needed last min babysitting on our day of departure, and my parents nicely took us in two cars to the airport. The trials still were not over, as we packed so much stuff, with 4 big suitcases, 4 little backpacks and 4 carry ons, so navigating through the airport was tricky. Max and Gemma were terrific on the plane, very happily watching movies but hardly sleeping. When we arrived at 930am, we were all pretty badly jet lagged but really happy to be in Paris. The flight was great and amazingly no one of us got sick. With all of our luggage and a ridiculous line for the RER, we made a good decision to take the bus to Paris, which was very convenient and nice, and then got two taxis to take us to our apartment. However, we still found we had some troubles to wade through. When we got to our apartment, the landlady Madame Roset-Petit met us there and was really nice. She helped us pay for one of our taxis who would only take cash but had no change. Then she showed us around the apartment which was fine, with a great location, high ceilings, sloped floors, and a beautiful glass elevator that Max and Gemma loved to play with. Before she left, she said thereÕs a crazy man downstairs who always loves to talk and complain about noise, but just ignore him. Then she left around 1pm. While Jean crashed and took a nap, I walked around and had a delicious lunch with the kids, and then we napped, walked around a little, got a light dinner, and I got some groceries, and as we were getting ready for bed, sure enough the man downstairs, Jack, rang our bell and said the walls and floors in the old building are very thin and asked if we could keep it down.

Tue, 8/4/15. We all got up around 6am and had breakfast in the apt. Around 7am Jack yelled at us to be quiet. We left and were out most of the day exploring around our neighborhood and trying to take advantage of the last day of the solde. We thought about getting stuff from ikea like kid beds and a dining table and chairs. WeÕre currently using 2 chairs and a bed and a little round table to eat off of, and Max and Gemma are sharing a pullout couch. Instead though we walked to a department store called les Galeries Lafayette and I bought some pants and underwear. Max was hilarious, as I was asking workers there for help in French and Max turned to one and just started talking in jibberish. Also, in the streets when a car comes close to him as he is crossing the street Max sticks his hand out at the car and says ÒstopÓ. Max and Gemma seem to really like Paris by the way, and Gemma said the city Òis so aliveÓ. We spent a good amount of time in a very nice toy store there where Gemma really wanted a music box similar to one Jennifer has. Max and Gemma had their first crepe, both deciding on nutella only. It went over very well. When we got back home around 3:30, it only took til 4 for Jack so ring our bell and come over again. He invited me in to his place for a drink, and I came in though but said I had to leave in a couple min. He kept trying to offer me a drink, and rambled on and on about all kinds of things like gossip about Hillary Swank living in this building and antisemitism in Paris, and how his friends are moving to Israel and stuff. I kept having to cut him off. He said the noise is terrible and this morning it was like living under a racetrack. I repeatedly told him, I think 3 times, that we would be quiet at night, like between 11pm and 630am, but otherwise could not guarantee we would not make noise. Every time, he would say ÒYes, thatÕs fine, normall noise is fine,Ó but then in the next breath he would say something crazy, indicating that we were extremely noisy, like ÒJust donÕt treat the apartment like itÕs a racetrack.Ó The weirdest part was that we felt we hadnÕt been making any noise yet. All weÕd done was sleep basically. I left and went back to our place and we all took a nap. We ended up waking up at like 830pm, and just ate a small dinner in the apt. I went on a brief walk over the bridge with Max and Gemma and we looked at the lit up Eiffel Tower which they loved. Max also loves pushing the buttons to cross the street, even if we arenÕt crossing. We all went to sleep around 130am, and as we were putting the kids down and then just lying in bed talking about how crazy this Jack guy is, he started banging on his ceiling and yelling at us.

Wed, 8/5/15. We got up around 630am, had another delicious breakfast in the apt, and walked around the Tuileries. ThereÕs some kind of carnival amusement park thing going on there, and Max and Gemma really enjoyed playing not only in the park but also on these rides. We had a very nice lunch at a Lebanese place, and also got an ice cream, with Max and Gemma disappointingly opting for the bright blue candy flavor instead of the other delicious gelati choices. We walked to Lodgis, where we met with very nice Manuela Falletta and told her we canÕt stay in our apartment and want to move somewhere else. She showed us a place in the 15th, and we told her about two we like in the 5th and 1st. She said she would look into them and also would talk to Mme Roset-Petit. We had emailed Mme Roset-Petit the day before, telling her we canÕt live like this with this crazy guy under us, and she told us to call the police, which we have no desire to do. Anyway, we felt it went well with Manuela Falletta and felt optimistic we could switch. Max and Gemma were exhausted after all the running in the playground and walking around in the heat, and fell completely asleep in the office of Lodgis! Otherwise they didnÕt nap though, and when we got back to our place at 730pm, Max conked out without dinner and Gemma, Jean and I just ate a tiny dinner and went to sleep too. Madame Roset wrote us that she texted Jack and hoped things would get better with him, and sure enough it seems he hasnÕt complained tonight, though Gemma just work up crying at 2am and it sounds like he cranked up his tv in response.