Monday, November 30, 2009

USO Paris Express November 2009

Some of you know that I volunteer to become a “Tour Guide” with the USO here in Heidelberg/Mannheim area! So since I speak French (did you even know that?) ;-) They send me on my first Gigue to Paris with a Full Bus. 49 of us plus 2 drivers!
First of all: I laughed because Siggi the Director of the USO in Mannheim signed me up as “tour Guide” and I received a mail later from a very “Official” area of the base who told me I was going to be the “Escort”!! AH AH!! I always wonder what escort did. And now I know! Well at least the USO escort that is! LOL!!!
We left very early in the morning on a Saturday and arrived in Paris on the area of the Notre Dame Cathedral at 8am. The bus dropped us off and while my group visited the inside of the Cathedral, I was waiting for the Guide that was supposed to meet us! After a little adventure going back on the bus and around and back to Notre Dame to pick up our guide. We started our tour!! It was very interesting. I do consider myself knowledgeable about Paris. I do know a lot of French History so, not too much were a surprise to be, BUT the guide did mention small little things about Paris and the area. Granted some didn’t make a lot of sense, even to a French person, so I doubt that those in the group even cared about it! LOL!! But oh well. I was sitting in the back so I was enjoying the view. We finished the tour under the Eiffel tower and then began our “Free Time”. 7 hours all together.
I went with Margaret (one of Matt’s old coworker, from WI) so it was fun touring/walking/talking/taking pictures and all. We stopped many time, first to eat because we were both starving and then walk some more, took more pictures. We started under the Eiffel tower, followed the river toward the center of Paris. We passed the Invalides on the right and continued on. Pass Alexander the III Bridge and then went into a street that was going off a little toward the inside of Paris. Found a little restaurant and ate there. Then back to the street we got back toward the river and passed the Museum of Orsay. We were thinking to go and see it, but I have already seen it at least 5 times, and she will be coming back to Paris with her husband and will have more time on her hand to visit. So then we cross the river just next to the Louvre and went on the Plaza. Went around toward the Pyramid and stopped on a bench next to a couple who were feeding the seagulls. (See pictures) we then went up the street toward the Opera, where Margaret was wanted to see the inside and take some pictures of the famous stairs in the Phantom of the Opera movie. (Of course we couldn’t, since they had a show) LOL! Then we took our time to rest at a cafĂ© to kill time and walked toward the Concorde Plaza where the meeting point were. There we went on a little spin of the “Big” wheel! Beautiful view BTW! And after checking out the Christmas market display on the Champ Elysees, we walked back to the plaza and waited for the bus to show up!
It was EXHAUSTING! But so much fun!! Needless to say that we did sleep in the bus on the way back and didn’t arrive back home until 1 or 2 am!! I slept until noon the next day! I am so blessed to have a husband who let me go and have fun while he watches the kids and Margaret’s dog! LOL!! And then let me sleep! I just finished doing my little slideshow of the tour. So enjoy and maybe see you in January or one of those months!!!

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: USO Nov09 Part I
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Click to play this Smilebox photobook: USO Paris Nov09 Part II
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Click to play this Smilebox photobook: USO Paris Nov09 Part III
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Potato Peeler!

Yes I know you are going to read the title and think: “What the Heck”!!

Well let me tell you a little story about myself. Most of you know that I was born and raised in France. I learn all my “Skills” in France (you know the kind of skills that you will need as an adult: Cooking, cleaning, Reading, counting etc…) So when I moved in the States in 1992 and married I was the Perfect “French” cook/Maid (you name it) well not that perfect, but that another story! ;0)
One day, I wanted to peel Potatoes, and Matt gave me the peeler that he had in his kitchen drawer.
Me with a surprised look on my face: “What is that?”
Matt with a “Are you that stupid” look on his face: “A potato Peeler, you asked me for one!”
Me with the “Oh no you didn’t!” look on my face: “That isn’t a Potato Peeler!!”
Matt with the “Oh that’s going to be interesting” look: “Yes it is, let me show you!”
And he proceeds to show me how to use this weird looking device, which I have NEVER seen in my life!
Let me explain: Matt had one of those Peelers with the blade that move. My mother had one with a fix blade, see pictures attached!

So, you might ask yourself, why I am talking about Potato peeler. Well, Matt and I had a argument over the Thanksgiving preparation of the meal, about the infamous Potato peeler and which kind is the BEST!
As French, I will need to go with the French one. Matt tends to think that his is better!
So, now, pictures, to show and let you decide which one you think deserve to stay in our drawer!

(Look at how round and perfect the French peeler made that potato look like!) HINT HINT!!! (Oh and look at the peels of Matt’s peeler, even the peels look NASTY!) HINT HINT!!! LOL!! ;0)

The part of the story that I almost didn’t tell is the Potatoes were for the “mashed potatoes” that everyone at Thanksgiving should have on their table so Matt’s answer to my question is: “Who care it is going to be mashed, so??”
For those fancy cook, look they even have cute little one in shapes of peoples!! I think I should change my old on to one of those and put it on my kitchen window area for me to show my point! LOL!!
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg. Alsace, France

On the "long" weekend of November. We decided to go on a little road trip to Alsace. I offered my friend Vanessa and her family to come along. (To bad that we didn’t have more room in the car, cause we were wanted our friend Lucile to come too), but we will do it another time with her, even if we have to take 2 cars. Maybe in spring when the trees are having more green on them! ;-)
The day before when talking we were wanted to go see the “Citadelle de Bitche” but it was closed since the weekend before, so we left it to not going to get our mug shot in front of the sign that actually say “Bitche”! I guess another trip is necessary to get that done! ;-) Then we were going to go into one of the “bunker” of the “Ligne Maginot”, but spending 3 hours in a dark tunnel that only have military museum info, didn’t sound appealing to us girls. And we couldn’t fathom what the kids will say about it either?
So instead we typed in “Chateau de Koenigsbourg” in the GPS and followed the road to it. We stopped at a nice little “thai-Vietnamese” restaurant in the city not too far from the castle. And after a good meal, we all got in the car and went up the road!
What a beautiful view. The colors of fall were all over. It was just amazing. We arrived to our destination (as the GPS lady will put it) and knew that we wouldn’t regret it!
For those of you who want more info about the castle and the why and what about it. Here are some links that you can follow:
Needless to say that we had the best time with our good friends. We took tones of pictures, since Vanessa is a mini copy of me (well in brunette, Vietnamese style, and very light version of me) but on the pictures taking, we are the same!! LOL!!
So here are a few slideshow of the best of the pictures!! Hope you enjoy it.

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Haut-Koniesbourg Part I
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Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Haut-Koniesbourg Part II
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Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Haut-Koniesbourg PartIII
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As usual, if you have any questions you can send me a note or comment and if I know the answer… I might be able to tell you! (Or might not, I am not THAT smart, LOL)

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