Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I wish all my loyal followers a very
Merry Christmas and a
Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2013!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Trip to Dubai and Kuwait - November 2012

In November I finally got moving again, so to speak!  The month started off with a short (3-day) trip to Bakersfield, California.  I flew out on Monday, Nov. 5 and returned home from Bakersfield on Wednesday, Nov. 7th.  Not much to report - - - I was very busy and had no time to snap pictures around the city.  Then came my trip overseas - finally!  In past years, I've was getting quite tired of having to take so many international trips.  This year, it has been the exact opposite: I've not been anywhere outside the USA since last November 2011.

Emirates 212: Houston to Dubai

I finally managed to fetch an upgrade from Business Class to a First Class "Suite" on Emirates!!  Very nice indeed!  A mini-bar, wide-screen TV, and doors!  The upgrade cost me 52,500 miles but what the heck.  I always wanted to try one of these plush seats and NOW was my chance.

Breakfast aboard EK 212

Rotana Jumeirah Beach - Dubai

I arrived in Dubai on Sunday evening, Nov. 18th.  I was so very tired but I had a nice room at the Rotana Jumeirah hotel.  All was well with the room but once again I was saddened to learn that the Rotana chain charges 95 Dirhams per 24-hours for Internet usage!  Too much!!  And definitely not business-user friendly.

A view of the Atlantis- The Palm hotel from my hotel. 

I was in Dubai for four days (Sunday evening, Nov. 18 to Thursday morning, Nov. 22) to participate in a SPE ATW conference.  All went well and my presentation was well received.

One of the activities planned for our conference was a visit to the Atlantis Palm hotel and a tour of the aquarium (Lost Chambers) at the hotel.  This was followed by dinner at the buffet restaurant.

My hotel is next to a street level mall/shopping area.  All apparently constructed in the last five years!  Amazing what a little oil money can do!!

A nice apartment building along the Jumeirah Beach street.  Wonder what the rents are like???

Dubai's airport has become very busy.  The problem is this translates into many flight delays - including my flight to Kuwait on Thursday morning (EK 855).  We arrived into Kuwait International Airport about 30 minutes late.

Arival at Kuwait International Airport.

On my first weekend in Kuwait, I visited the new "Grand Avenue" extension to the Avenues mall (now the largest mall in Kuwait).  This Grand Avenue is by itself so very huge and has so many fancy shops including the above Starbucks - perhaps the fanciest Starbucks I have ever seen anywhere in the whole wide world!!  Honest!!

A view of Grand Avenue: the newest part of the Avenues mall south of Kuwait City.

Look closely a THIS store.  I never expected to see something like this in a Middle East mall!!  I am certain there is nothing like this in any Saudi Arabian mall! 

During my stay in our camp in southern Kuwait, I had occasion to visit our medical clinic and made a stop at the pharmacy to pick up a few medications.  Could not resist taking a picture of this sign!!  Ladies - here is where you need to go!

On Saturday, Nov. 24 our company invited about three (3) busloads of US Army personnel to our company's camp located near the Saudi border.  The troops were assigned to various villas where they were treated to homemade Thangsgiving Day dinners.  I was invited to one villa where I had a most enjoyable meal and pleasant conversation with some of our country's finest troops.

My visit to Kwait went very fast and ended too soon.  I returned to Dubai on Friday, Nov. 30 (arriving one hour LATE!) and spent the night at the Intercontinental Festival City hotel

The new Emirates departure lounge at the Kuwait Airport.  This is much nicer (and a whole lot less crowded) than the "Pearl Lounge" - another Business Class lounge used by all the other airlines.

The flowers in the lobby of the Intercontinental Festival City Hotel in Dubai.

After checking into my room, I walked thru the Festival City mall which was suffering from a number of leaks caused by a sudden rainfall earlier that morning.  Apparently the buildings in Dubai and NOT waterproof! 

Next stop: dinner!!

The remains following my dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill in the Festival City Mall.  I recommend the hammour - an excellent white fish found in the Arabian Gulf.

On Saturday, December 1, I flew home to Houston aboard EK 211 (one hour LATE!!).  My flight home lasted 15 hours and 50 minutes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Changing of the Seasons

Once again, I am forced to offer yet more apologies for my slowness in posting to this 'travel' blog of mine.  What can I say: I have not traveled lately (a short vacation to New York in June) and I have been so busy at the office.   On the plus side of things, Houston now has noticeably cooler weather and there is visible evidence of a change in the seasons.  Sadly, we don't enjoy the colors of the changing tree leaves so familiar to those up in New England or in those cooler climates throughout the world.  Still, once Fall arrives, the Holidays can't be far behind! 

To all my loyal followers who still check in occasionally, I do appreciate your visits to my blog and any comments which you may care to leave.  Hopefully, I will resume my travels soon and can then share some more posts of interesting places with all my followers!!

Happy travels ..........  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's Been a Loooong While Since I've Last Posted ....

To all my loyal followers: my apologies for the long absence.  I've been too busy at work and, frankly, I've not been traveling that much during the last six months!  My prior posting was from Bali and that trip was in October of 2011.  I had what turned out to be a way too short visit to Kuwait in late November (lasting only about 2 weeks) and a one-week visit to Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Scotland at the end of May (a mere three weeks ago!). 

I shall try to be more diligent in posting ...

At any rate, here are a few 'leftover' photos from the trip to Indonesia (October of last year) and a few photos taken in Houston during the Spring, 2012. 

A typical street scene in central Bali.

A Balinese dancer performing at my hotel near Ubud, Bali.

The sign out in the front of my hotel in Ubud, Bali.  Actually, this resort is listed as being situated in the village of Sayan.  The Four Seasons Resort hotel in Sayan is truly a remarkable hotel. 
CAUTION: it is expensive!

My humble little villa - complete with its own "plunge pool"!!!

CAUTION: The one important item missing in this fantastic resort is a lift (elevator) in the main lobby building.  I had to climb up and down 100 steps/stairs to go from my villa to the main restaurant.  Ugh!!

I spent the second half of my 5-day visit to Bali at the Oberoi Hotel on the West coast of that island.  Here is my villa.  Very nice (just not quite as nice as my villa at the Four Seasons in Sayan).

Next door to the Oberoi Hotel is the Ku de Ta bar.  This place is THE place to be and to be seen!!

One final picture.  This was taken at the Dubai Mall which I visited while on a one-night layover in Dubai following my visit to Kuwait in November of 2011.  A colleague treated me to lunch at this Lebanese restaurant.  Al Hallab serves very good food.  One problem, however, was the rather slooooow service.

The trip home to Hoston the following morning (December 2) aboard Emirates 211 was on time.  

Miscellaneous photos from Houston this Spring, 2012:

My 27-year old console TV (circa 1985) finally died and I had it hauled away.  I have since replaced this 'golden oldie' with a new 42-inch LCD flat screen TV.

A picture of our beloved Mayor, Anise Parker, officiating at this year's Art Car Parade.  It's an annual favorite event here in Houston, Texas!!