old home week

A couple weeks ago, I traveled to FL for a work conference. First of all, as a corporate girl turned stay-at-home mommy, this was a wonderful escape. My awesome job put us up at the Hard Rock resort, a lovely establishment, and fed us like queens (and one lone king…until last week, we only had one male coworker). I had a ball. We got lots of work done, but we also did quite a bit of drinking, eating, and we saw Blue Man Group! In our conference room, there was this huge coffee bar set up – coffee, flavored syrups, hot tea, ice water, soda…I drank fresh coffee all day. I loved it.
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As for the work part, I’ve worked for this company – which is strictly virtual – for almost a year, and this was the first time I had met my bosses and coworkers. It was so nice to put faces with names and acutally have a conversation with people without emoticons. I learned a ton of ways to work more efficiently, we came up with great ideas…it was invigorating.

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Funny what a little adult conversation does for stay-at-home-moms.

I structured the trip so I could see some friends and family also, since I went to college in Orlando, and High School close by in Cocoa Beach. I got to see my grandfather in the nursing home, which was kind of awful because he didn’t recognize me. I got to see my best friend from high school, my best friend from college, I took a tour of my unrecognizable campus, and went up to Jacksonville to see my sister and nephews real fast. It was a whirlwind, but it was awesome. Here are a few photos:

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Well, that’s probably enough for now. I’ve got some crafty pictures to post, so I better get to it :)

60 Minutes

So my favorite new podcast these days is 60 Minutes. The TV show. You can subscribe to get the audio version of the show on iTunes. It’s great. Except, I used to love Andy Rooney. Now I find him a little crochety, always saying mean and pessimistic things. I used to think he was funny – and I guess he still is, but more and more, he’s just sounding like a grouchy old Oscar the Grouch.

But I digress. Today’s topic is about Dubai. Specifically, I listened to a whole story about Dubai on a 60 Minutes episode. So interesting.

I mean, everyone has seen the pictures of “The World”. If you haven’t, you should definitely go to the website. Better yet, take a Dubai Holiday and check it out! Just kidding. I mean, unless you are able to do a Package Holiday Dubai.

Anyway, Dubai intrigues me. In case you didn’t know, Dubai is a city, one of the seven emirates and most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Prime Minister and VP of the UAE and the Emir of Dubai is Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. I find Sheikh Mohammed to be very interesting. First, he has two wives. One is his first cousin, and the other is the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan.

Basically, I can’t even begin to comprehend his life of royalty, immense wealth and power, vision for his city, etc. I am troubled by the seemingly total lack of regard for the environment in the creating of The World, and for what seems to be a pretty serious human rights crisis with the foreign workers doing all the building in the city. In spite of those things, Sheikh Mohammed seems to be accomplishing things one would think impossible in that region. His hope for good education, good healthcare, good LIFE for his people is certainly something I can get behind.

I would love to visit there. Maybe I can find Package holidays Dubai. Dubai is one of a long long list of places of the world I want to see.

I want to know more.

speaking of airlines…

tsa locksUm, what’s the deal with tsa locks anyway? Our luggage came with them but they seem kind of strange to me. I guess I don’t really understand the concept. Are they locks that keep the airline employees and other strangers out but allow the TSA in? Does that mean that all TSA agents have something like a skeleton key and they can open them?

Well, I’ve worked for a few government agencies in my day, and I think it’s pretty safe to assume that not just the TSA can open those locks.

Hang on, I’m going to look this up on wiki just to see if I’m on the right track.

Even better, this is from the TSA website:

TSA screens every passenger’s baggage before it is placed on an airplane. While our technology allows us to electronically screen bags, there are times when we need to physically inspect a piece of luggage. TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal “master” keys so that the locks may not have to be cut. These locks are available at airports and travel stores nationwide. The packaging on the locks indicates whether they can be opened by TSA.

So – they’re exactly what I thought they were. Too bad I’ll never get to use them since I plan to only take a carry on from now on to avoid fees. I can’t wait to see my 2 year old carrying his own diapers.

vive la France

My mother-in-law will be leaving Paris this summer. She’s taking an early retirement, and will be moving back to the states. She’ll be renting out her apartment through a rental agency. This got me thinking…how does one find treasures like these? Reasonable places to stay in the middle of the city?

Is it better to stay in a hotel? I don’t think so. I think it sounds so nice to travel to a distant land, but live like you’re a native while you’re there. I found all kinds of treasure on the internet. Tuscany villa rentals, apartments in Paris, Rome, New York City…you name it.

What am I doing here? Oh yeah, I need reliable luggage!