Family travel tips to share and how to master hotel stays is one of the most important.

Apologies for the Long Absence!

Apologies to all my Loyal Followers! I have been most negligent (lazy, perhaps) in posting to my blog over the last several months. Part of the reason for this lapse in posting was caused by the fact that I did NOT haul my laptop with me during this circumnavigation of the globe. (Just too much baggage to carry along for so far a distance.) For the record, I departed Houston on Monday, March 28, flew to Los Angeles and then boarded Singapore Airlines bound for Singapore where I arrived – exhausted – after a 16 hour-50 minute flight early in the morning (5:20 am) of March 30. I checked in to the Four Seasons Hotel and proceeded to spend a blessed 5 days in Singapore, allowing myself three extra days over and above what the company normally permits as a reasonable layover. I find that the older I get, the more time I need to readjust my internal body clock to accommodate the 13 hour time shift (midnight Houston = 1 pm Singapore).

I had a wonderful time in Singapore – I took in the Singapore Flyer (see picture below) and stopped by the new Marina Bay casino. Also visited (again) the National Orchid Garden (excellent) and several local museums.

After Singapore, I flew (Sunday, April 3) to Jakarta, INDONESIA and then immediately connected to a Garuda flight to Pekanbaru, Sumatra for what turned out to be a one-week visit to our company’s steamflood facility in Duri (Central Sumatra). On Friday (April 8) the smoke levels in the Sumatran rain forest proved so intense that my early morning chopper flight to turned into a three-hour bus ride to Rumbai. No problem – the ride was pleasant enough and afforded me a few picture taking opportunities. I boarded a Garuda flight that afternoon and returned to Jakarta and checked in to the Mulia Hotel in central Jakarta. This is an excellent 5-star hotel with great security. I thoroughly recommend the Mulia Hotel.

Next: On Saturday evening (April 9) I boarded my Emirates flight to Dubai and we departed on time and arrived into Dubai at about 10:45 pm Dubai time. I checked in to the Intercontinental Hotel (Festival City) and rested for two days.

Next: On Monday (April 11) I flew on Saudi Arabian Airlines to Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The flight lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes; then came the wait at Saudi Immigration!! That took one hour and 15 minutes!! Ten desks but only two Saudi immigration officers on duty! C’est le vie. I spent the next four days in Steineke Hall in Dhahran, courtesy of Saudi Aramco.

My brief stay in Saudi Arabia ended on Thursday, April 14 when I flew (via Doha, Qatar) on Qatar Airways to Kuwait for three weeks of work in Wafra Field (inside the Kuwaiti portion of the Partitioned Zone). I departed Kuwait on Thursday, May 5. After an overnight rest stop in Dubai, I flew home to Houston aboard Emirates 211 on Friday, May 6th.

PS: I managed a short (9-day) vacation in the New York City area from May 19 to May 27. I visited a long-time friend in Long Island; met up with another long-time friend that Saturday and the three of us took in Billy Elliot ($135 per person!!) at a theater on 45th St. This was an excellent play by the way! Then a few days in upstate New York followed by a return home from LaGuardia Airport that following Friday (May 27).

And there you have it!

I will endeavor to post some memorable pictures of my journeys as soon as possible. Frankly, my life has become quite hectic recently and I find precious little time to manage this blog. I hope my followers will please be patient during these seemingly long absences of mine!