Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Back Home in Washington

I've been back for a few days and am enjoying being on American soil. I went to fly the Boeing 757 Sim for Costco which went very well, I've always wanted to see what it would be like to fly one of the big planes. Unfortunately I received a call a few days later and let me know that they are going to hire a woman for the position, which of course was another huge surprise being that I came off my contract early and thought I already had the job. I asked them if there was anything I could have done differently, to which they replied no and they'll see me in another position there when one becomes available in the future. All of this was very confusing to me. Anyway, I have accepted a position with SP in Hayward, CA and am very happy with their offer. I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas... These pics are from the Murphy Christmas Party. Their was a Mexican theme and by the end of the night we were getting into Chris's stash of funny coats.



Saturday, December 1, 2007

Flying around the middle east.




We have primarily been flying around Saudi Arabia and to Dubai. Our plane has had a number of issue's therefore we have been here in Dubai for about five days again. One night we could not find rooms anywhere and ended up at an unbelievable hotel called Raffles. It resembles a pyramid and may be one of the nicest rooms I've stayed in on this trip. I should be heading back around the 12th.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A few days in Dubai





We have been here in Dubai for about ten days now and I think we are all ready to start working again. Fortunately for Jim, his brother has been here vacationing the whole time we have been here. The first night, I went out to dinner with Jim and his family at a great restaurant and then up to the lounge at the top of the Burj Al Arab hotel, the self proclaimed only seven star hotel in the world. Chanel has a few friends here also. I was able to hang out with her crowd with dancing, BBQ, and live music. We are heading to Saudi for a couple days, then to London and then on to Geneva. I can't upload pics for some reason in Dubai so I'll do it when I get to Saudi.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pyramids of Giza







We made it out to the Pyramids of Giza yesterday and had a great time! When we arrived in Cairo we had another flat tire. The problem has been diagnosed to the anti-skid system which is holding pressure on the brakes when we release them. Anyway, we decided to make use of our time on the ground and did the tourist thing. On our way to the Pyramids we crossed the Nile River then met with a man that arranged for a tour guide named Mohamed and a boy named Ali to lead us around the site on horses. I am so glad we got the horses, I've ridden before but not for this amount of time. I named mine Harold, he was a good horse and liked it when I scratched him behind his ear. The first thing I noticed about the Pyramids is how close they are to the city. I have always felt that they would be a bit away from the city. I snapped a shot from the car that may give you a little perspective. Mohamed let us know that if we wanted to buy anything we should tell him since we would be overrun by the merchants if we started pulling money out of our pockets. We first rode near some under ground structures on our way to the three largest pyramids, (The great Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Kafhre, and the Pyramid of Menkaura). The guide wanted us to touch the great pyramid so we got off our horses and took a couple pics. We then rode to a vista point where we could see the pyramids from a distance. On our way Mohamed had each of us speed our horses up to a gallop. At first I was riding wrong (bouncing up and down) and my butt is feeling it today. After that we headed down to the Sphinx. I gotta say, it was an unbelievable day of site seeing. In the afternoon we headed to the airport to receive our new wheel/tire assembly and then flew the plane to Dubai to be repaired. We should now be here in Dubai for a few days which is cool because a large Airshow has come to town and will be performing. On another note, Costco has told me that they really liked me but I need a little more time before I can work with them, therefore I have accepted a great offer from my old company and will be heading back down to the bay area at the beginning of the new year.



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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Stonehenge



We rented a car and drove out to see Stonehenge today. It is a pretty amazing site and the weather was perfect for it. London is overcast quite a bit like back home in Washington, but we've had a couple nice sunny days while here. Tomorrow we head back down to Saudi and from there, it's anyone's guess.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hanging out in London





We have arrived here in London. Jim and I walked around the city all day and had a great time. Our plan is to depart on Friday back to Saudi, but for now we are just going to be relaxing here. Tomorrow I'm hoping to go to Stone Henge, a friend of mine went there and it looks awesome.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sitting in Riyadh



We arrived here in Riyadh a few days ago and haven't moved. Jim and I have gone to the mall a few times but other than that we have just been sitting here at the Marriott. A BBQ in a compound that Chanel invited us to tonight was a great change from the norm. You would think a compound would be similar to some sort of military bunker but compounds here in Saudi are Oasis's that westerner's can live in and enjoy their own cultures. Chanel's friends invited us share their homemade wines and BBQ which were great. I just received a text telling that we will be flying to Dubai and then on to London, on Sunday and Monday.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Back to the other side


After a phone call at about 8:30 Thursday morning informing me that I had a flight sending me back to Germany, and a crazy morning of running around to make it, I'm back on the other side. I first flew to Washington D.C. to pick up my passport which was having a visa put in it, then headed to Berlin. The flight from Seattle to D.C. seemed very short since I slept from takeoff to landing. The next day I caught a flight to Frankfurt which was also pleasant. I sat next to a girl that had practically the same blue North Face backpack and identical blue neck pillow as me. I was blown away when I found out that she was from Seattle and had bought her pillow at the same shop that I did the day before. Anyway, I am now here in Berlin, then on to London and Riyadh later this morning. The journey continues, it will be fun finding out where I may be going this time around.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Berlin, Germany then back to Seattle






We flew the plane to Berlin, Germany for maintenance and had a chance to do a little touring around. Steve had a flight out the first morning, so Lina and I ventured out. Berlin is a nice city that reminded me a little of Geneva. The climate is much the same as Seattle. There is a destroyed church in the center of what used to be West Berlin. The damaged tower is a symbol of Berlin's resolve to rebuild the city after the war and a constant reminder of the destruction of war. We also came across pieces of the Berlin Wall which are placed around the city for historical and remembrance purposes. We caught our flights home the next day, my flight was first to JFK in NY then on to Seattle, a total of 14 hours of flying. I am so glad that my company airlines me on business class otherwise the flight would have been a little torturous.

Friday, September 28, 2007

One night in Bahrain




We made a stop in Bahrain. This is a very small island country outside of Saudi Arabia. There is a bridge that connects the two countries and on the weekends, Saudi's flood in to enjoy freedoms like drinking and dancing. I took a couple pics on our way back to the airport. One thing that I haven't found for a long time is a place to get my hair cut. Our attendant has started to tell me that she won't talk to me anymore until I get my afro trimmed down.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ramadan in the Middle East

We've been flying around the Middle East for the last week. Most flights are in the middle of the night due to the fasting and sleeping during the day. I've been told that during Ramadan, you cannot eat or drink in public during the day or you will be sent to jail until it ends, and caned 40 times. Lately I've been sleeping through the day and staying awake at night which is good because my body is changing its clock back to our time. I'll be back in the US on the third and in Washington around the tenth. When I return at the end of Oct. there is talk of a trip to Kuala Lumpur and some other destinations that will be a lot of fun. I wish I had some pics to post but there really hasn't been much to take pictures of these days.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The plane is fixed and we're in Geneva




After trying to get the brake assembly out of customs for 5 hours, I found a couple mechanics to get the plane back up and flying. We are now in Geneva, unfortunately we will have to leave tomorrow afternoon. I've snapped a pic of us with the new pilot Steve.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The wallet has been found!

Someone has returned my wallet to the hotel in Spain. How great is that! We are in Riyadh now with a flat tire and a broken brake assembly. It is difficult to find anyone qualified to work on our airplane in Saudi Arabia so we are waiting for a mechanic to get his visa and come here from Dubai. When the plane broke, we were only flying a day trip and returning to Jeddah, therefore we left our bags at the hotel. Needless to say, I've had to do a little shopping. We have met up with our new pilot Steve, he is a great guy from Florida.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Lots of dancing in Vienna




We arrived here in Vienna on Thursday and will be leaving tomorrow. Unfortunately it has been raining the whole time so we didn't do much sight seeing. We did however explore the night life and had a great time. Here are a couple of pictures from the night clubs we found. I haven't gotten to do a whole lot of dancing for a while, so it was fun to get out for a couple nights. I had to do a little Karaoke as well. I just received my training itinerary and it looks like I will be flying into Dallas for training from the 5th to the 9th.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

All is well in London


Well I did not find the wallet but I have a replacement of everything on the way. We are leaving London for Vienna tomorrow. The pilot with me now will be leaving and another sent near the middle of the month. The owner of this plane enjoys me as his Lead Captain so I'll continue to do this until I can get a great job in the Northwest, hopefully with Nordstrom, Costco, or something similar.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

An unfortunate day in Malaga

After a great night touring around Malaga, my wallet must have dropped out of my pocket in the taxi. Tonight I will have the hotel call the taxi dispatcher to tell the drivers that there is a handsome reward to anyone who comes up with the wallet. I went to the police station and not one of them spoke English which was surprising to me. The officer opened a drawer and showed me a few wallets that looked about 20 years old and covered in dust. We told them "Gracias" and continued our search.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Flying around













The last few days we have been flying a lot. For example, we had a few legs a couple days back from Malaga, Spain - Milan, Italy - Amman, Jordan - Malaga, Spain. That was 10.5 hours of flying in a long duty day. The next day was much the same. This is the first time I've really had to work hard. Our schedule for September is a piece of cake with a 5 day stay in Vienna, Austria. Here are a couple pics from the last few days. The guy in the cockpit with me is Qadri, the clients trainer.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

More touring around Paris







We went to see a few more sites in Paris. Our first stop was back at the Eiffel Tower. We climbed the stairs to the second level then took an elevator to the top. It was perfect timing for us on this day because there was a lot of fog and not many people were in line yet. Once we made it to the top, the weather had cleared up and we had great views of the city. We then went to the area that Moulin Rouge is, which was pretty crazy, I imagine that it is a little like the red light district in Amsterdam. Very close to this area is an unbelievable church called Sacred Heart Basilica. Check out the photo's, it was a great day.

Friday, August 24, 2007

From London to Paris






London started to get a little boring for me so we all spent alot of time in my room because I had free internet from the building across the way. The day before our departure from London, we decided to see Buckingham Palace. I really wanted to see the gaurd that doesn't change his expression when you do things to him, but I think this wasn't the place. Our schedule is ever changing and we have made a stop here in Paris again. Today we went to the Louvre museum which is very large. I really wanted to see some Michelangelo sculptures and the Mona Lisa. It is so great to be able to do these things that I've always wanted to do. We are now with our new pilot Bart, a pilot from Pheonix. In the evening we met up with Lina's aunt for dinner, it was nice that she could see family while we were in town.