Monday, July 19, 2010

Counting Down The Hours

In less than 24 hours, I'll be on the first leg of my flight to Muscat, Oman. Tomorrow I have a flight from Washington to Zurich, about 8 hours. I will spend the night in Zurich and then fly on to Dubai, another 8 hours, where I have a layover of about 90 minutes. Then it's back on a plane for about an hour for the final leg, arriving at Muscat around 10:35 PM on July 21st. It's lots of travel in 3 days and hopefully I won't be too wiped out by jet lag when I get to Zurich. I'd like some time there to wander around and take some pictures. If I can get some sleep from DC to Zurich, I should be able to handle being awake for the rest of the day. I hope taking 2 Benedryl before the flight will make me drowsy enough to fall asleep for at least some of the flight. I really wish I had gotten an Ambien from someone!

For my one night in Zurich, I made a reservation at the Swissotel Zurich. It looks great online so I hope it turns out to be in a good location...sorta close to the airport but far enough away to be quaint and have lots of photo ops.

While I've been in the states, I think I've managed to eat at all my favorite places, shop at all my favorite places and have seen all my favorite people. It will be at least a year before any scheduled return here because the flight is pretty pricey. I plan on traveling to regional areas from Oman...Italy, Greece, Turkey, many opportunities. And I'm told the flights are very reasonable. I hope I've been told right!

My next entry will be after I get internet in Oman and I'm told it takes a couple of weeks. Believe me, it will be at the top of my To Do list!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Home Leave, Phase 3 - Washington DC

Home Leave morphed in to Training/Consultations with my arrival in Washington DC on June 28th. With 2 suitcases that weight right at 48 pounds, I really need to keep a safe distance from places where I can buy anything! The fee charged by the airlines for overweight bags is not something I am reimbursed for by my boss! I've already mailed several boxes ahead to Oman, anticipating that I would exceed the 50 lb limit so my shopping days are over. Well....Maybe. Next week my training begins and on July 19th I fly off to Oman. I think I'm at the point where I wish it were tomorrow! I'm ready to get back to work...before I forget all my passwords!!

Yesterday was the 4th of July and what a great day it was! I went to the Washington Nationals vs. the NY Mets baseball game (Nationals lost...booo) and then watched the fireworks over the National Mall from the grassy area in front of the memorial for those who fought at Iwo
Jima. What a gorgeous memorial...the largest bronze statue in the world.

The fireworks were magnificent and everyone loved them. I couldn't help thinking about those who fought for our freedoms many many years ago, as well as those who continue trying to preserve those same freedoms for us today. If you have never been to Washington DC and seen the many memorials, I recommend you make a huge effort to come here. It really makes you stop and think about how strong the desire to be free was/is and what huge efforts were made when this country was in its infancy.

July 4th is not just another paid holiday off work. It should be a day when we all think about what a great country the United States of America is and will be for many years to come. In my mind, the important thing is to be involved. Get to know who you are voting for, even in your local elections. Remember, it's those people who go on to be President. Once you live outside this great country, you really come to realize how good it is. Sure there are things I would like to see changed but, in spite of everything, it's still the best place in the world to live.