A Day in Dubai

Much to my surprise our route took us over the southern tip of Greenland, over Iceland, Copenhagen, eastern
Europe, Turkey, and Iraq.  We landed late here late this morning.






From one to five we took a tour of the major sites.  Photos follow.  Because I have limited wifi time, I will post photos and explain more later if I run out of time.  As a person not particularly fond of cities, I did not expect to like Dubai so much.  What an amazing city.  One of my favorite stops, Saga, displayed amazing crafts, clothing, rugs, art work, all from this part of the world.  However, we were not allowed to take photos there.  Some of the photos were taken from the little tour bus.  The humidity surprised me.  If you have been to Houston in the heat of the summer, well, it is more or less like that with no breeze.  It was also very hazy.  We did have a chance to stick our feet in the Arabic part of the Persian Gulf, the visit the mosque modeled after the one in Istanbul, see the world’s fourth tallest five plus star hotel, see the Atlantis resort at the end of the island built in the shape of a palm tree, stop by the aquarium in Dubai Mall and see the fountain show in front of it.  Our final destination was the Gold and Spice Souq.


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Up, Up and Away

Except I won’t be in a balloon.  This will be very short because I leave my house at 5 in the morning headed to the airport.  Board a plane for Dallas at 6:20 or so.  Then at 12:25 board Emirate Airlines to Dubai.  The longest flight I previously experienced I think is from Tokyo to San Francisco.  This flight to Dubai is 14 hours and 45 minutes.  We will spend a day in Dubai and then head to Addis where it will be approximately 35 degrees cooler.  The temperature in Dubai the last time I looked was 109.  With any luck, my next blog post, assuming I get Internet to work there, will be a Day in Dubai.

Learning Something New Every Day

My goal recently has been to learn to use my iPAD as much as possible before heading to Ethiopia a week from today.  At this time next week, I will be on a 14 hours and 45 minutes flight to Dubai on Emirate Airlines.  That gives me about six days to keep learning.  With the help of my more computer literate friends, today I learned how to download photos from my iPAD to my iMAC and to connect my iPAD to iCloud.  In the midst of all this, guys are working on my house roof because when it rains just the right direction with the wind blowing, it leaks in particular places, depending on the direction of the wind and rain.  Here is a photo of them up high in the sky working.




Yesterday, I decided to play with my iPAD camera so I can take some good photos as we wander around Dubai and Ethiopia and post them for all of you to see.  I am reading the 2012 Man Booker winner, Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel.  Henry VIII is not someone I would want to like me.  Once he was done with one wife, he had her executed or divorced.  The only exceptions are Jane Seymour, who died two weeks after giving birth, and his last wife, who outlived him.   I read while on my patio.  The evening view struck me as very photographable so I took several.




The view from where I sat reading.




The sunset from the edge of the patio–two views.





Of course I knew about Henry VIII more or less, but wow, he and Cromwell….This book is sufficiently fascinating that I may download (the next thing I am going to learn to do) Wolf Hall, the book that you are supposed to read before you read Bring Up the Bodies, onto my iPAD so I can have something to read on that long, long flight.  People who have flown Emirates tell me there will be about 60 movies available, but I may have to see that.  Really?!

Yesterday, I also took my grandson to his soccer lesson at the WTAMU soccer field.  It has rained so much here that once when I thought I was just walking through grass, I ended up wading in the water.







Wine tasting and book signing

This day has been so full of events and planning that I almost forgot to blog.  First, I made a quick trip to town to accomplish some necessary tasks before my big trip to Ethiopia starts in two weeks.  In fact, two weeks from this moment I will be on Emirate Airlines flying for 14 hours and 45 minutes to Dubai.  With a long layover there, we get a hotel room and a tour.  Then on to Ethiopia for two and one half weeks.  Since only wifi is available there and only in a few places, you will hear from me but not all that often.

I bought an iPAD mini to take photos (in addition to a camera) and keep a log of my daily adventures–maybe I will turn it into some sort of small travel book or my friends with whom I am going and I will make a book.  When I returned home, I tried to figure out some things on the mini myself, but alas, it is not the same at all as this iMAC.  Finally, I gave up and called my ten year old grandson (he has a mini).  Of course, he knew exactly what to do and walked me through everything.

About that time the wine guy at Market Street showed up with this huge cooker–it is really large, bigger than my Mini Cooper.  Tomorrow night they will have a wine tasting at my house, but with a different twist.  Market Street is providing the food:  hamburgers, hotdogs, brats, and all the trimmings.  My garage has boxes of buns, chips, and I am not sure what all stacked up.  In  my great room boxes containing 100 wine glasses are stacked.   The guests are supposed to bring their favorite bottle of wine to share.  I have told several friends to not bother because I have about five bottles of white wine I want to get rid of–I am not a white wine drinker.  We expect approximately 100 they told me.  They predict thunderstorms.  I am hoping the storms, if they come, hold off of until late.  Here on the canyon edge storms provide incredible drama including waterfalls.  And mud.

While in town, I stopped by Hastings, a chain that sells books, movies, CDs, that sort of thing.  This Saturday, the 21st at 3, they are hosting a book signing for me for my new book On the Rim of Wonder.  We have everything all set and ready to go.  They already have fliers posted, gave me one to display during the wine tasting and said I could bring chocolate brownies to share with buyers.  Yesterday, I was in a minor panic because they had spelled my name incorrectly on the flier.  Kudos to Crystal at Hastings, she got it fixed quickly.

Now I am going to vacuum even if it is ten at night.