Last day and coming home

I got all packed up and made pizza dough/pizza for din­ner while Mohamed and Erica went to a back-to-school night for Abdu. I had brought Abdu home after going to the Island Rec Club my last day, and Erica took Mauski for the sec­ond day of try­ing to get her fin­ger­printed. The kids and Erica helped when Mauski and Erica got home. Din­ner turned out great. Erica and Mohamed ate after they got home while the kids and I were upstairs watch­ing a movie.

Later, I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. The last cou­ple hours before my cab came to take me to the air­port (at 2:30 am), I spent just lying in bed and rest­ing beside Mauski. My flight was at 5:15 am and I arrived back at LAX at 10:45 am the same day. Wow.

For any of you who have trav­eled a lot, this photo jour­nal will prob­a­bly be bor­ing. But there are a few things that even you may not have seen. I flew on Saudia Air­lines, the offi­cial air­line of Saudi Ara­bia. They had the only non­stop flight to and from Jed­dah from LAX.

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Abdu… the mas­ter of dress­ing in layers

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In the back of the cab on the way to Jed­dah. The cab dri­ver was nice and asked if I would like to live in Saudi Ara­bia. I said no, that I liked where I live. But I like to visit. He was quite talkative.

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This is the gate for my flight. These guys were just loung­ing there until about half an hour before our flight was sup­posed to leave. The mens’ line is on the left with the tra­di­tional metal detec­tor like we have in the US. I’m in front of the women’s entrance. I had to put my carry-on and my purse on the x-ray con­veyor belt, then go into the enclosed area where there were sev­eral women wait­ing. One had a metal detect­ing wand and asked that I put my arms out to the sides while she went over every inch of me with that thing. When it beeped, she would check to make sure it was jew­elry under my scarf, or what­ever. Same thing turned away from her. This was the sec­ond booth I had to go through like this. They had me start up my lap­top com­puter when I got out of the booth and they checked my Nikon as well. Any secu­rity check in the air­port didn’t have the ‘no liq­uids’ sym­bols and the like… they had sym­bols for ‘no hand­guns’… ‘no bombs’… that type of thing. It was pretty strange.

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This was the glass enclosed area we were to wait in until they were ready to trans­port us to the plane. At that point, we were all herded down the esca­la­tor and ONE guy was there to check to make sure we all had a cer­tain stamp in our pass­ports that we were to have received at an ear­lier stop in the air­port cus­toms area. We then got on to a tram and were dri­ven out to our plane.

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Out the win­dow of the plane before takeoff

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Awhile after they served break­fast, they brought around these hot ‘cheese sand­wiches’ and wee muffins. Of course there was no alco­hol served on the plane.

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Some of the rotat­ing views on my monitor

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Some of the cen­sor­ing shown here in a movie I watched. Any time there was cleav­age or short skirts/shorts, that area on a woman would be pix­e­lated. Pro­fan­ity was also censored.

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The cabin inte­rior. The flight was maybe one quar­ter capacity.

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Yes, it was a VERY long flight… over 16 1/2 hours long via the polar route, but thank­fully a non-stop. No point in mak­ing it even longer!

Get­ting closer…

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For din­ner, I had the mas­soud… a type of fish served with spicy bas­mati rice. There was also a ‘seafood salad’ that looked like I might get food poi­son­ing (the mayo looked old), but I did fine. I didn’t eat the let­tuce in the salad. It was awful. Or the tomato. That is some kind of white bun, a date and wal­nut cake for dessert, and tea.

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It looked bet­ter on the menu, but then gen­er­ally air­line food is uni­ver­sally bad. I couldn’t wait to get home to fresh produce!

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Snow on the Rock­ies… feels good to be in the US again.

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A suc­cess­ful land­ing at LAX. Cus­toms was a breeze (elec­tronic dec­la­ra­tion machines) and a ‘wel­come home’ from the cus­toms offi­cer. Happy to be home. And although it was hot when I landed, it has since cooled down. Glad I didn’t miss all the cool weather!

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