Wednesday, January 4, 2017

LaGuardia Airport

We managed to sleep pretty well for 4 to 4 1/2 hours...then got up at 3:00 to take quick showers, turn our underwater inside out, and get to the airport for our 6:00 am flight to Chicago.  Fortunately the heavy fog that hovered over the region yesterday has lifted and flights are getting in and out.

The airport was teaming with people.  La Guardia is due for a complete overhaul.  I felt like we were in a dungeon....very closed in and dark - at least in Terminal C where we were. 

The hotel gave us a To Go breakfast with a banana, an orange, and a yogurt cup, so we aren't hungry.  

The plane is full, but we are in the air and a step closer to home.  Let's see what O'Hare has to offer!  Fortunately it offered an on time flight into Milwaukee.  Our helpful friend, Tim, was at the airport waiting for us.  It was bitter cold and windy but very good to be home again!  Andy went to the store and picked up some basics to make it through a couple of days while I sorted the mail.

At the moment I am in bed with my pjs and a robe reading Christmas cards and letters!  How great is that!

Thankful for another opportunity to serve Jesus and faithful workers.  Glad to be home and grateful we don't jump into a busy season!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Newark Airport

We landed in Newark on time.  I watched 3 movies and the time went by more quickly.  I enjoyed Queen of Katwe the best of the three.  They fed us about every 3 hours so that helped, too.

We just now got a text from United as we sit at the gate for our 4:10 flight to Milwaukee.  The flight has been changed to 7:30, so we won't get to Milwaukee until 9 and home by 10.  Ugh!  We have already been awake for 40 hours....  Looking a bit bedraggled!

It gets worse.  The flight was cancelled.  We waited in line for a new reservation.  They did give us $40 in vouchers for something to eat.  Eventually the second flight was also delayed and then cancelled.

We waited in line again.  Ended up with a flight from LaGuardia.  Had to leave our luggage at Newark, hoping it will make it to Milwaukee at some point.  We were given a voucher for a taxi to take us to a hotel near the airport.  

Aimee helped us with that piece...made a reservation and sent us directions.  So we are settled into our roomwith  no toiletries, clean clothes, or PJs.  But the bed is nice and clean, it's quiet, and they gave us a toothbrush and toothpaste.

We need to get up at 3:30 to get to the airport.  Pray that all goes well tomorrow.  Short night...sleep fast.

Zurich Airport

Landed safely in Zurich with snow on the ground.  We have a couple of hours here so I've done some walking around the airport.

Remember the Camel at the Dubai airport advertising the cigarettes?  Here they have a special smoking lounge sponsored by Camel...look at their tag line.


I'm wondering if they have been bought out and the new owners are trying to rebrand them and make them great again!?!

Andy just took our bag of leftover Euros to see if he can get some coffee.  Switzerland uses its own currency.   He just got back - had to use the credit card and he has no idea how much he paid.  They only take paper Euros, no coins.  Picky Picky

Just looking at my calendar...not much in there for this week.  So glad and grateful.  I need at least a full week to recover from the past 7 weeks!

I managed to get in 4 miles walking before boarding.  Have been up for 24 hours and just leaving Zurich.


As we taxied to the runway we could see the trees, heavy laden with snow and then we were off.


Views of Switzerland...



Out over the Atlantic the clouds are so thick and fluffy, it looks like you could just jump out and land softly.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Dubai Airport

Here are some of the sites in the concourse at the Dubai Airport.


High end avant-garde stores...


Glitzy Displays...


An ad for Camel Cigarettes!  The tag line was 'Every Camel Has a Story.'


Take a chance at winning this Aston Martin luxury car...


I've never seen a CNN coffee shop before...


Interesting light fixture made with Coke bottles...


The food court wouldn't be complete without a Krispy Kreme....


Every January there is a huge Shopping Festival...the other night we drove by the City Center Mall and every space in the car park was taken and more were parking on the streets and in the sand around the mall.

On our way...

It's 11:00 pm local time.  We are at DBX on the first leg of our trip home.  I feel like a zombee and we are just getting started.

Our last day...we served breakfast and cleaned up the kitchen this morning.  I had four errands I needed to run after that.  Got them done and made it to my appointment at Mary's Foot Spa Mirdif to get a manicure, pedicure and foot massage at 1:00.  A dear friend here gave me a gift certificate for my birthday.  On Mondays every service is half price for seniors!  Bonus!


Two young girls from the did the massage and the other did the pedicure and manicure.  They are cousins...and loved having their picture taken.



I think it was the longest time frame I just sat and did nothing in the whole 7 weeks we have been here!  Was kinda  nice -- though work needed to be done back at the our room, finish packing, prep and serve supper.  But we got it all done, had a debriefing, and said our goodbyes.  Rommel took us to the airport.

We are in the brand new D concourse.  Think I'll go wander around...

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Only one more day in Dubai!  I know it's time to go home...I'm exhausted, tired of my limited wardrobe, have no more room on my phone for pictures, I miss my kids and grandkids...  It's time!

So the day started with breakfast for 30 and cleanup...sound familiar?  You can skip this's okay.  Really!  Cheesy Potatoes, leftover egg casserole, Danish coffee cake, cut fruit...  The potatoes were a hit.  One friend said she remembers them from last year and just loved them!

Did clean up and started laundry for 5 then it was lunch time.  In the afternoon we took down the Christmas tree and packed away all the decorations.  A good job done before we leave.  

None of our supporting friends were available for a farewell dinner, so we went by ourselves to our favorite local Lebanese restaurant.  The food was good - the service not so much.  We did sit outside and it was very nice.

Maybe you noticed on pictures last night I had my jacket on.  Andy was chilly all evening as he forgot to bring his...  Tonight we weren't out as late and we weren't by the we were comfy sitting outside.

Andy ordered this lime was very limey!

We love the bread!  I rarely eat bread at home but cannot resist this...with hummus!



Love their Shawarma!  Add a few fries in a cone and I'm good to go!

My hair was cut pretty short when we arrived November 16th.  Now I need a haircut pretty badly!  Looking a bit shaggy.

Fun conversations around the house with several families.  Since this is our third extended visit, we know quite a few people now!

Must admit I've been a bit tired today.  Not because I've worked so hard or so long.  More because it's been a long tine since I was out on a date until 1:15 am!

So ends another day...better get to bed. Breakfast at 9:00, clean up, packing, get the idea!

New Years Eve

It's been a routine day for us --- breakfast for 30 with waffles, 2 egg casseroles with beef and chicken sausages, a bowl of cut fruit, oatmeal, blueberry muffins...  After cleanup I wrote my last grocery list (at least I hope it's my last), and then made a 2 1/2 hour trip to the store.  It's the 4th time I've spent over 1000 dirham for groceries.  I've bought 20 kilo of sugar and 30 kilo of flour, 15 kilo of minced meat (hamburger), 14 kilo of chicken, dozens of cartons of yogurt, and liters and liters of milk and oj.  And that's just the big stuff.

I made homemade croutons for the first time this afternoon --- they don't have them at the CarreFour..  When I asked for dry bread they sent me to the rye bread.  They turned out pretty good and worked well on a Caesar salad with crusty bread and lasagna.  We had sundaes and decorated Christmas cookies for dessert.


At the moment it's 11:16 pm and we are sitting on a beautiful corniche along the new canal where we took the boat ride a few weeks ago.  The New Years fireworks at the Burj Khalifa start at midnight.  The crowds AT the Burj are unreal  -  they are expecting 750,000 to a million...  Last year it was a parking lot for miles around the downtown so we did not want to get caught in that mess.


This is a cultural experience.  We are here with hundreds of families and friends from India and Pakistan.  They are grilling, laughing, singing, riding bikes, dancing...a real party!  I walked for a little bit and suddenly found myself surrounded by six young teenage girls...asking all kinds of questions....where are you from, do you have children, have you been to New York, what are you doing here, do you like Dubai.  They were so sweet and excited I would talk with them.


We have lawn chairs so we are sitting here watching a boat parade...huge yachts and dhows covered with lights. Hundreds are joining our party by boat.  Really colorful and pretty.  So glad we decided to venture out!  There's lots of entertainment to pass the time till the fireworks start!




I just took some pictures of a group of little girls singing.  They started out with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star when I came up.  The Dads gave me permission to take pictures.  Then they sang their national anthem.  I asked the Dads if you put your hand over your heart it or salute (making the motions as I spoke).  They laughed and stood up straight and put their hands at the sides at attention.  So I did the same. It was a sweet encounter.  Everyone has been so friendly and kind.  I think we are the only westerners here!


The fireworks started with a countdown to midnight.  Everyone cheered.  The show at the Burj was coordinated with smaller displays all around us 180 degrees.  One was right behind us - maybe a couple of blocks away.  The little kids were cheering and laughing - so very excited!  


Colorful lights are on buildings all over town.  The show lasted about 15 minutes and was non stop.  It will be fun to see it on You Tube!  I'm guessing there was coordinated music at the Burj.  


It. Was. Spectacular.  I'm so glad we came on a beautiful night in Dubai.


This was the grand finale.  All of the displays around town were on cue and lit up the shy in this brilliant red.  I only took this one picture.  I just wanted to be in the moment, enjoying the sights and sounds.

Now we are in traffic wondering how long it will take us to get back to the house....reporting took 50 minutes.  We got down there in about 25 minutes.

All in all it was a grand way to bring in the new year!  I wonder what 2017 will bring for us....