...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

For those flying east...

...sounds like it might start to be tricky flying through JFK:

What Happens When JFK Closes its Biggest Runway?

Good to note, especially if coming from the west coast. Taking advantage of the early flights isn't really an option.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

wrapping up...sadly

It is already Sunday evening (and now Monday evening), and my family headed out today. It's been very fun to have my parents and grandparents visiting, and I must say it will be sad to see them go. Being so far away means that I don't get to be with them much anymore, and I was so happy when they told me that they would all come and visit at the same time. I managed to get all of my homework done in between too, so I'm not at all behind. Thankfully.

One of the highlights of the weekend was a surprise trip I had planned to take them to Ensenada...didn't tell them where we were going until we were in the car and already on the way down there. One of my buddies from work was kind enough to come along and show us where to go, so thankfully we didn't get too lost. The weather was beautiful, and so were the sights...and food!

The coast...just beautiful.

This was a favorite... :)

The Three Amigos!

Back to work.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

best and worst airports?

Afternoon - hope everyone is having a nice day today.

JD Power and Associates just released their airport rankings - feel free to check them out to see if yours made the list.

Gotta say the top 'medium' ranked airport surprised me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

email abroad

Beware those of you who happen to have your tickets booked to Iran already, and use Gmail for your email program...looks like another crackdown has started:


And...in case you missed it...Sec of State Clinton spoke in Doha today, at one of the campuses we visited, Carnegie Mellon!

Clinton Visit

Friday, February 12, 2010


I'm always fascinated for some reason by things that people sell on Ebay, and manage to score huge prices for. This particular item is no exception:


Made me run to my drawer and check my old NES system, and games I have. Too bad my Legend of Zelda isn't on that rare list.

Qatar trip follow up meeting tomorrow...woo hoo!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Superbowl Sunday

Congratulations, Saints!

A hard-fought game, and overall very fun to watch. Poor Peyton...that interception was all on him. And the Saints did what they were supposed to and scored.

The commercials this year I think were kinda 'eh'...the Coke ones were good, and the Chickens were fun to watch. But you had to love this one:


A fun weekend

And not necessarily due to the Superbowl.

My buddy Karl is visiting from Wisconsin this weekend, and thus far we have been having quite the fun time. Wii gaming, Magic, good food, what more could one ask for? I even managed to get most of my homework done in here somewhere, and now Sunday is almost upon us. Maybe we'll manage to even watch the game and most of the commercials.

These visits never last as long as I hope they do, sadly. He heads back to the bitter chill on Monday morning.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

am I really writing a paper again?

It's a little hard for me to believe, but here I sit, once again writing a paper for a course for the semester. Even though its our culmination paper from our 579 Qatar course, I'm still sitting here churning out a 7-9 page recap of my experiences and learning outcomes from the trip. And it's only the 2nd week of the semester. Ugh.

So, I'm taking a short break from said paper (just on to page #6) to offer a quick entry.

Last weekend's major mission was my brother - he just moved to Rhode Island, and I had promised him a visit to assist (since I had been very much out of the country before). We had a great time running around Kingston and Providence, and even got to sample some local fare at a pub one evening. I was very proud of him - he ordered a whole lobster and conquered it (his very first one!). I was happy to be able to be there and spend time, and am planning a return trip, hopefully in March when the ranges open so we can have some sporting time. Nothing like an outdoor range and shooting sports in the springtime to get you through the semester. I miss being in New England, honestly...so many trees, so very green in the spring...so many things.

Alright, back to the paper. Gotta get this thing done...

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Final Five from Qatar

Pardon the lateness of the final part of this list, as I was on the road in Boston and Rhode Island this past weekend (future recap to come). Here's the final five from Qatar!

5. The food - Easily one of the highlights from the trip. I've had a lot of fun being able to experience so many different kinds of food in the many places I've visited, and Doha was no different. Lebanese, Moroccan, Italian, Qatari...so many different varieties and ways to prepare things. Even though I was not able to sample the 'camel' fare, the wide varieties of 'chicken' and lamb dishes were well prepared and fun to eat. I can't wait until I'm able to do a sample again.

4. The Souqs - Souq Waqef was probably our most visited, but it sure is an experience to go down the streets, talk with vendors, and do some haggling. Anything you can think of you can probably find, including bikes, suitcases, food, spices, shoes, and I could go on with the list. And, the best part is...it's all negotiable! I think most of us learned that starting to walk away might actually get you that sale at the price that you want, even if they won't budge too much.

3. Dubai and the Burj - The Tallest Building in the world. Wonder how long that's going to last. I think as a group we were very lucky to be able to ascend the tower and spend time up there, given how sold out the board looked when we first got there. No doubt it will hold for at least the next 10 years or so (bold prediction), but I'm curious how much taller you can actually go. Our afternoon hired cab experience was also fun, and we were able to visit the Jumeirah Beach Park, the Al Arab, the Gold Souq, and the Pearl. All in one day. It was a whirlwind tour, and we had a blast. How many times will we ever get to Dubai, right?

2. Teaming up with our friends from Maryland - I think many of us were curious about how all of our integrated work with the team from Maryland would work out, but in the end I think all of us gained a new group of friends and colleagues that we will keep active for many years. I certainly appreciated the shared knowledge and experiences they brought to every discussion, and I have to admit that many of the conversations we had both in large and small group I'm still reflecting on. Here's hoping we manage to keep in touch!

1. Interacting with new friends and colleagues in Education City, the YPI, and Campus Immersions - This is easily my #1. The one component of our work that we as a group from USD kept talking about before we departed was an experience and knowledge gap, since we did not hear the perspective on our topics from our Qatari friends. I'm happy to write that this goal was fulfilled. It was invaluable to have discussions, work through our various topic areas, and reflect on both the Qatari and Western approaches to education and student affairs with our new friends. I know that without Abdullah, Abdulla, and Nada, my YPI group would not have been able to complete our discussions and work. I'm proud of our work, and happy to have so many new friends. I hope sometime in the near future we're able to get together again!