Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gold Dispensing Machine at Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi


Al Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

Wow. Truly spectacular. Each chandelier weighs 9 tons and has over 1
million Swarovski crystals.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thoughts on Dubai so far

What I like:
- great infrastructure
- modern conveniences
- very multi cultural
- watching men in their white robes and women in burkhas amongst westerner
style dress
- dates and nuts and kabobs oh my!
- the clear sky at night set across the creek and the Arabian style Park
Hyatt, right out of the movies
- Modern architecture, especially the Burj Khalifa
- sunshine makes me smile and gives me a quick tan

What I don't like:
- other than the Park Hyatt there is very little traditional Arab buildings
- lots of strip malls and mega malls with endless stores like in the US
- you have to drive everywhere, no urban cultural center
- not a lot of Islamic culture so far
- lamb, so mainstream here it is overwhelming
- sunshine is so so damn hot

Look forward to getting out later today to a bazaar and hang amongst the

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rhett @ Burj Khalifa

The tallest building in the world! I also got a tour of the new Armani
hotel. Very nice but monochromatic. Now having dinner at a restaurant in
a souk which is essentially a mall.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beautiful morning in Dubai

Obligatory Photo

Dubai Skyline

Behind the boat. Look closely you'll see a tall needle on the left.
That's the Burj Khalifa... Compare to the other buildings and you can see
just how tall it is!

Extremely hot here, probabaly 100 degrees and it isn't even 12pm. The Park Hyatt is built in traditional Arabian style, very understated and pretty. It sits on a creek - across you can see the Dubai skyline and very impressive is the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. Everything is dwarfed compared to it - I'm sure I'll be there one day this week.

Today after my meeting I think I am just going to the pool and relaxing, maybe downtown tonight with my boss for dinner if we feel like it.

I've got several days here so there should be enough time for me to relax as well as to do some sight seeing. Here are some pictures from the hotel; more later.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Seat to Dubai

2 1/2 hours to Hong Kong, 2 hour layover, 7 1/2 hours to Dubai.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bangkok live

All over news they have live broadcasts of the final standoff in Bangkok.
You can hear gunshots all over as reporters are talking. Scary. They
just reported someone shot near them.

We moved our meeting from Bangkok to saigon because of the insurrection.
Imagine if we were there now. Thank god we are not!

Of course CNN isn't showing anything. No surprise that Americans have no

I hope that there aren't too many injured...

Ho Chi Minh City

Posters in celebration of Ho Chi Minh's 120th birthday tomorrow.

Dining outside in a traditional Vietnamese restaurant drinking beer like
mad because it must be 85 and 99% humid at 9pm...


Monday, May 17, 2010

Ho Chi Minh City

My second trip. Maybe 92 degrees outside and very, very humid.

Just like last time, more scooters than you can imagine on the streets, 20
for every 1 car. Power lines tangled like string and sagging telephone
poles with their weight. Old buildings torn down with new ones going up
all over. And interspersed is communist propaganda and red flags with a
hammer and sickle.

Many of the shops I visited five years ago are gone. But still plenty

Saturday, May 15, 2010

North Melbourne vs. Adelaide

Wow what fun was that! My colleague Nick's dad is a *booster* for Adelaide. I was invited to club seats, free beer and even to visit the locker room post game and then the post game rally. Amazing! Thank you Nick!!

The game was fun to watch even if Adelaide totally sucked until the 4th quarter. Very easy to follow and it can definitely be addictive. I hope to find some games when I'm back in the States!

My team has to be Nick's team... Go Adelaide! Go Crows!

Ps North Melbourne won 82-73vs Adelaide for the first time in 5 years... For more on the results, click on

Friday, May 14, 2010

Same Sex Marriage Rally at the Melbourne Public Library

This is the part of travel that I love, just running into events like this.
Happy people, a good folk band and the sun is coming out! Yay!!

Tonight I go to an Oz footie game.. But there is a cool exhibit at the
library here about Melbourne so I think I'm going in... Why not, its free!

Then off to queen victoria markets to shop...

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Beautiful Melbourne!

A beautiful crisp fall day in Melbourne. Sadly I caught a stomach virus
on the flight here from Bali so the best I can do is get some rest and
watch from my room... Seems mild so I am hopeful I will be ok by tomorrow,
I've lots of work to do!

Andrew is in Bali but on his way to the airport. Should be in Los Angeles
sunday night, but I already miss him!!

Last day in Bali

Took a bike ride down the beach several kilometers... Lovely breeze off the
water and sun sun sun. Leave for Oz at 5.30 and Andrew goes home

Talika Masih Bali!

-Rhett and Andrew

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Balinese dance

Interesting, very different from a luau! Story about fighting over a woman
-surprise - in a royal family.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A day of rain in Ubud

Such a shame! Ubud was pouring all day. Still a fabulous place but we
had to stop get a beer or two and people watch to stay out.

Oh well. Saw some great paintings and carvings and statues, not to
mention a great temple before the rain started.

Earlier went to a bird sanctuary with over 1000 species of birds. It was
really amazing and included a whole section on rare species from Papua New

Bali is never boring!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Bali beer... Its hot as hell here!!

Not even noon yet but probably 90 degrees and 90% humidity. Andrew must
have lost 10 pounds already from sweat!

Walking around Sanur just a short walk from the hotel, getting some basic
necessities... Too hot to do much else.

Love that people smile all the time, they live a hard but happy life and
appreciate the small things...

Tomorrow a day by the pool then a 5 hour spa treatment in our own private
villa at the hotel. Oh my God this is paradise.

Love it!!

Bali Hyatt

Beautiful view from our room!

Bali Hyatt... Finally!

Finally got to the hotel nearly 3 hours after landing. The new
immigration policy is terrible... Long lines hot and sweaty. Needs to be
more efficient, apparently the hotel association is complaining...

Hotel is so beautiful, grounds are just amazing... So glad to be here with
Andrew. He's already at the spa...

Such is the life!

Welcome to Bali?!

New immigration procedures as of 2 wks ago. 90 degree temps and no air
conditioning waiting to get through. 45 minutes and only half way to the

What a way to be welcomed... But great to be here with Andrew! After a
grueling 23 1/2 hour flight he made it here!!