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Thursday, July 7, 2011

it's summer vacation

So school is out, kids are home for the next 60 or so days and are looking to me to entertain them!  What!  Since this is the first summer vacation they can remember (oh how I miss you year round school back in N.C.) they are under the impression that like the Y.M.C.A. (miss you too Y.M.C.A.) I am supposed to have this vacation thing all planned out...... you know, crafts, activities, funny songs, blah, blah, blah.  Don't want to break it to them that real life doesn't always come this way ~ sometimes it is boring and there are chores to do (Surprise! even on summer break we must vacuum and do laundry) as Mom doesn't get the summer off!

But thankfully because we are where we are, there are all sorts of new things to do and see.  Only yesterday, I entertained them for about 2 1/2  hours by trying to find a store in Paris (which I never could find!) by taking the bus and getting a wee bit turned around.  Along the way, we saw some things (Eiffel, Seine, etc), bought some drinks since we were thirsty from wandering around in circles and topped it off with a quick trip to the Paris-equivilent of a small Big Lots (thankfully no toys at this store). How's that for fun, kids?!?!  On today's fun agenda kids, we get to wait for the Paris equivalent of the cable guy and if he lives up to his Paris standards, we could be waiting a LONG time (different ideas of time here.  Parisians seem to have a different time zone that everyone else.  More on that another time!).  What?  That doesn't sound like fun?  What could be more fun than letting a stranger in the house while keeping the dogs locked in another portion of the apartment and quiet and playing charades and speaking "Frenglish" with the cable guy?  Come on, where's your sense of adventure?

Max did go to a birthday party for one of his classmates a couple weeks ago.  It was held at a place with mini-golf, go-carts, indoor soccer and a few arcade games.  The kids loved it.  The parents of the birthday boy, Yoon, had arranged for the boys to do 2 sessions of karting and have a one hour indoor soccer match.  There were six boys there so they played 3 v 3 and the place provided a referee so there was no "confusion" as to the rules (as boys tend to make up there own when left to there own devices, I have found out!).  It was a virtual United Nations around the table for cake.  Yoon, the birthday boy, is from Korea and two boys born in Paris but parents from England and Australia, one from Nigeria, one from India, and Max from the U.S.  Samantha and I wandered around some shops in the area and went back to get Max just in time for cake (!) and a little air hockey.
Sam watching Max and Yoon play

Max and Yoon











Samantha is going to spend the night this Friday at her friend Sophie's house.  I am sure much giggling will have to be endured by Sophie's parents.  God bless them!
Sophie and Sam at school's summer BBQ

Sophie Appleyard and Samantha












Since summer is underway, there have been music festivals popping up all over.  There was one held at the Hippodrome that we can see from the apartment.  We could also HEAR from our apartment but only bass tones and the occasional lyric.  It was a three day event and I read later that some people camp out at the place for all three days.  From what I could tell, it looked well attended and seemed to have quite a few tents and other things besides music.
Think the big white tent was the stage

Looks like a good crowd

So what, you may be wondering, are those cranes doing there?  Well they were lifting people up and then dropping them attached to bungee cords!  Called the kids to the window and we watched for a while as two by two people went up and then, wooooooooo, down they go only to spring back up for a couple of time.  Looked like fun!
Arrow pointing to person
(click picture for bigger view)

This is two people boucing

It was a beautiful day and while I was taking these pictures, noticed I could see Sacre Coeur really well so here are some more pictures of it from my bedroom window.
Just below tree line is the Hippodrome and music festival



Soldes (bi-annual sales) are still in full force and we went out last weekend to see if we could find any deals we couldn't live without.  We did find some shoes for both kiddos at good prices and saw lots of people.  I think I like seeing the people more than seeing the sales but there are some places that make me wonder "what?".  Like this one:
Shoe store named after U.S. TV talk show host?
Whatever.....

These are the boots women here wear to run to the bus!
And during this event they are only 25 Euros!
Sometimes things get lost in translation here.....or do they?  Maybe this person has a weird sense of humor or great business savvy because this store was sure getting noticed by everyone who went by!
Good ole Western wear in the heart of Paris!
Off to plan some more fascinating summer adventures for the kiddos.  Let's see, how about walk the dogs without dislocating an arm or trash chute tag......it's going to be a looooong summer! **wink**