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 café 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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Mom in High Heels said...

Nice! How much fun for you! I knew that you speak French. Well, I didn't KNOW, but since you're from France I kind of figured you must.
Our first trip to Paris was on a USO tour. I hate being on buses though and vowed never to do it again. I love having a knowledgeable guide, but I cannot sleep on the bus. What were some of the things the guide said that you found odd? I'd like to know. We're going to Paris in 2 weeks! My dad is coming over and we're going to Bastogne, Belgium, Reims, Paris and Normandy. I can't wait. J'aime Paris!

Anonymous said...


Its good to be back in town again! It was great to visit with all of you guys last night. Here is that friend of mine blog site: She's great. Don't know if you have already seen her site but here it is regardless. I've known her for a while. She plans on teaching me how to quilt, LOL. I hope I don't suck!