I travel the world and am truly amazed with the sights, cultures, and people but in my eyes there is no place like home.


25 November 2008


No matter where we are we always have fun together and always seem to reconnect right where we left off. He is one of the few people I can go on a vacation with and still like afterwards. Jeff and I were supposed to road trip from Kileen, Texas to Council Bluffs, Iowa this week in preparation of him leaving for Iraq (since I should have been home by now). Instead he left for Iraq early and I am coming home later than planned. At least we were still able hang out for a few days. Even if it was in Kuwait, and a good portion of it was spent at Ali Al Salem Air Base.

We debated for several hours Sunday the risks of him “missing” his evening flight, letting me kidnap him, and sneak him off post. I wanted him to see what Kuwait really looked like, where I lived, and meet Aeisha. Eventually he gave in and agreed (honestly it didn’t take much convincing!). Only later did he admit that he was quite worried at times. He was afraid he wouldn’t be let back on post as didn’t have the right paperwork, would therefore miss his flight, and loose his job. Funny guy where is his faith in my ability to sneak people on and off post! I figure it’s payback for all the times he convinced me to do bad things in my high school and early college days (sorry Mom & Dad!).

One of these days we’ll end up in the same location for more than a week at a time…..Even if it does end up being a war zone.

23 November 2008


Dubai was amazing as usual, too short but great. However some jerk at the airport stole my camera out of my suitcase so now I can’t post any of the photos I took. Makes me soooo mad. I would have rather they stolen some of the other valuable items out of my suitcase than my camera any day. Plus I am now without a camera for the Turkey trip on Wednesday.

Anyway I almost missed my flight out of Kuwait as I had a meeting that ran late, there was an accident so traffic was bad, and then the airport itself was a madhouse. I walked onto the plane 2 minutes before take off and was one of the last to board. Anywhere but here I would have missed it. I did get to chat with the cutest British guy ever while waiting (as he too was late). He was mega cute and the British thing obviously made him even better. But he was married so a no go on that one. Bummer.

Thursday night was the opening of the new Atlantis in Dubai so the place was pretty packed. We asked our hotel for a bar/club recommendation and they directed us to a club at the Hyatt. It was a night club and could have been cool however it was quite shady. For lack of a better term there were “ladies for hire” lined up around the entire dance floor and every square inch of the place. I knew Dubai had a lot of this but had yet to witness it in this extreme. It was crazy.

Friday we were slightly under the weather due to the late night and the red bull and vodka consumption that may have occurred. Brunch seemed to be the best option. After the hotel’s failed recommendation the night before I was leery to take their suggestion for brunch (the mall across the street) and called up my good friend Steve who lives in Dubai. He directed us to the Fairmont and their "Brunch in the city" and it was amazing. It was an all you can drink champagne brunch. It was AED500 ($137) per person but what the heck, not like I am in Dubai every weekend. The food was amazing and there was everything you could possibly want. On top of that you had as much champagne as you wanted and any other cocktail. The drinks were plentiful. They even had a room that was a cheese and port room. The dessert buffet was massive. We had a great time and stayed for the full 4 hours as did everyone else there. The place was very lively around 2ish. Just such a cool concept and fun thing to do. Although after that a nap was needed to prepare for the big interview.

I think I did great on the interview. They had 24 candidates and interviewed 4 of us. I think I was the last to get interviewed. I had solid answers for the questions and afterwards they told me a lot about what I would do, how much I would make, etc..., and seemed very positive. You never know and I am sure the others did great as well. I am hoping to hear something this week and hopefully it is a job offer! Back in Kuwait now but only for a few days.

19 November 2008

Kuwait Towers

The Kuwait Towers are one of two main Kuwait Landmarks or “touristy” spots. With the other being the Grand Mosque that I must sheepishly admit I have not been to yet. They are actually quite cool and when you ride the elevator to the very top (120 some floors up) you can see out over all of Kuwait and it is very pretty. The sad thing is they just don’t keep them up very well. The windows are very very dusty so you can’t get good photos or see out very well (as you can tell in most of these photos).

You would think with all the money this country has they could at least keep the Towers in pristine condition. There is a restaurant on the 80ish floor that is pretty nice – it’s a buffet though and quite pricey but was cool to experience once. These Towers were destroyed during the Iraq invasion and they have photos up showing what the “barbaric invaders” did when they were here. For some reason that term makes me laugh. Although obviously not a laughing matter during the invasion.

18 November 2008

New hair

At home I always get my hair cut and fixed on my birthday. However I decided to go in a bit early this year so it would be all cute for Dubai, Turkey, and the visit of the HS BF. I desperately needed it! My stylist is Scottish and she does an amazing job – I will miss her when I leave but won’t miss the KD57 ($200+) price tag. Although the salon does overlook the water and they bring you diet coke & cookies while waiting. I wish I would have taken photos – it’s very cool (that probably would have been a bit nerdy). Most stylists British so I am able to get my fix of the UK version of InStyle, Cosmo, etc… Always makes me wish I lived in London.

14 November 2008

Birthday's and Dubai

Since it’s my birthday month and a milestone birthday I decided to celebrate with a few trips. The first Dubai trip ended up not working out due to schedule issues. However next week I am definitely jetting off to Dubai and over Thanksgiving/My Birthday I’ll be in Turkey. In anticipation I thought I would share a few photos from Dubai. My awesome parents bought my little brother Justin a ticket to Kuwait for his 25th Birthday last May and he flew over to spend a week with me. I treated him to a weekend in Dubai on his actual 25th. We had an amazing time!! Justin, bless his heart, just had surgery yesterday to repair a torn tendon so he needs your prayers and thoughts for a full recovery and patience during this time of healing.
Justin and I at the beach in Dubai near our hotel.

The view from the hotel club level where we had free cocktails (at breakfast and dinner), snacks, and breakfast. You can see The Palms which are man made islands that now house very expensive homes. You can also see the mass amount of construction going on in Dubai. Everywhere you turn there is more construction. They are obviously not experiencing the same weak economy as the rest of us.

Buddha Bar where we ate the first night. The place was packed and we couldn’t even get dinner reservations until almost 11! The food was amazing though and we had a lot of fun. They almost didn’t let us in as Justin had sandals on – the audacity of him. These were dressy sandals, not flip flops.

The Burj Al Arab the world’s only seven star hotel. It was amazing. Not sure I would pay AED5600 ($1524) a night to stay there (that is the cheapest room) but still an amazing hotel. We went for High Tea as they won’t even let you in the place without reservations of some sort. Justin was ready to be ill after the amount of sugar that was consumed at high tea but we had fun.

Justin’s Birthday surprise from the hotel (more sugar) and wine.

Ski Dubai on Justin’s birthday. We went too late to ski as we thought it would cost a fortune but in reality it wasn’t too expensive. Oh well I am an awful skier anyway. So instead we hit the bars overlooking the slopes and eventually met some locals.

Hours later here we are at some random bar at like 3am. Sorry Mom we weren’t the most responsible children on this trip as we felt it was a grand idea to get into a care with two Iranians, an Indian, and a Russian and ride about Dubai hitting different bars and eventually dinner/breakfast. We survived, had a great time, and have great memories. We rolled into the hotel around 530am only to leave a few hours later.

Arabic Cooking

I have been taking Arabic cooking courses at the AWARE Center for the past few weeks. Last week we learned how to make a very difficult Kuwaiti dish. It was quite tasty though and even learned how to make Baklava one of my favorite desserts. This week we learned how to make a dish from Libya called Mabakab. It was a pasta dish with lamb in it. I am not a fan of lamb and the dish ended up quite spicy but the class was fun and educational as usual. The instructor did say you could substitute lamb for chicken and if I add less spices I think it would be quite tasty.

We put all the men to work this week and had them do all the prep work since even the instructor was a man. Which is very rare as last week our Kuwaiti female instructor said it is considered “shameful” (more or less beneath them) for an Arabic man to cook in her culture. That is work for the ladies or hired help.

I actively took notes so I could hopefully recreate the dish later. Or maybe I’ll bring the recipes home to mom and dad and supervise while they make a tasty Arabic creation. Next week is Lebanese food which is said to be easier to make and I already know I like Lebanese food so looking forward to the class. After almost 2 years in Kuwait I am finally making an effort to enjoy the culture, better late than never.

05 November 2008

Gloomy weather, positive thinking

Today is rainy and gloomy again, the forecast is that it will remain this way through Friday. I always hate when rain or dust interferes with the weekend. I guess I should consider myself lucky that the rain is very rare here and that I get more sunshine than gloom. I also need to remember how badly we need this rain and think positive instead of negative. If I was home in Iowa right now there would be no chance of hitting the pool over the weekend (even with the unseasonably nice weather they have been having), here at least I have a slim chance. So I am going to try to focus on the positives, the rain will be short lived, the rain will keep the dust storms from being so bad this summer, and the rain means no watering plants. Instead of the negatives, the rain makes me gloomy and miss out on the pool. Always better to think positive than negative. And maybe I'll end up here this weekend after all....

This morning as I worked out I was able to watch the election coverage. By the time I arrived at my office the election was over and Barack Obama was elected as the next US President. I was very much hoping John McCain would win and was of course upset he did not. I have enjoyed reading Megan McCain’s blog throughout the campaign (www.mccainblogette.com ) and just really felt McCain would make an amazing President. However since trying for positive not negative thinking, I realized we as a nation made history today and elected the first black president ever. We choose to elect a President based on qualifications, views, political ties and did not let race become a factor. So even though my views are very different than those of Obama, I am proud that as Americans we have shown that we do not let race or gender (as both Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin played a big role in this year’s election) stand in the way. Instead we focused on the substance. Shows how much we have progressed over a nation and will continue to progress. Next up will be a women president. I still wish McCain/Palin would have won but I will hope for nothing but the best for Ohama/Biden.

02 November 2008

Rain rain go away,

Ok maybe not as I know we need it. Today its raining, this is rare. We get maybe a week total of rain in Kuwait. This makes me a very happy camper as I hate rain! Although here I almost welcome it as without rain we have summers that are full of dust storms – and that gets in the way of pool time which makes me unhappy! Also rain is so few and far between it’s not as unpleasant. However, this also means that the already bad driver’s of Kuwait turn into even worse drivers when the rain hits. For one they aren’t used to it and for two the streets get very slick due to the oil on them. Just driving from my office to Bayan which is maybe 10 minutes I saw two accidents occur, host nation said they received around 15 accident calls in the first hour of the rain storm (and this was just for one company!). Crazy huh! Hey at least it didn’t rain over the weekend and now I don’t have to water my plants this evening.