Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be moving to a foreign country to live, let alone a country in the Middle East. Over the 2009 Christmas and New Year’s holidays, my husband Roger and I discussed what we wanted the next part of our life to be like. He thought that before retiring, he would like to do one more airport project but only if he could find something very interesting. I half-jokingly agreed that would be fine but could he try for an exotic location? As usual, Roger came through and soon we were headed to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This blog is a recap of our "leap-of- faith" wanderings around the Middle East and beyond. We joyfully share these expat experiences.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


The music is “Tomorrow-Bokra,” an Arabic re-adaptation of Quincy Jones’ Grammy-award winning song entitled ‘Tomorrow (A Better You, A Better Me). Collaborating with Emirati social entrepreneur Badr Jafar,  Quincy produced this Arabic charity single involving 24 leading Arab Artists from 16 nations across the Middle East and North Africa singing with one voice for a better tomorrow.

Funds raised from the sale of “Tomorrow/Bokra" finance educational arts and culture scholarships and projects for children throughout the Middle East and North Africa. All proceeds generated will be placed in a dedicated Tomorrow/Bokra account under the Quincy Jones Foundation (

“Tomorrow/Bokra” can be downloaded from ITunes.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

NEVER A DULL MOMENT IN DUBAI . . . An Amazing Race at the Meydan Race Track

Dubai is one amazing place.

There is so much happening here and so many celebrities visiting that it is hard to keep up.

Tom Cruise is filmed climbing the Burj Khalifa for his new film Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Kim Karadashian opens a milkshake store in Dubai  and garners one full week of nauseating never ending media coverage - go figure - Sex in the City takes place in Dubai - ooops - no it was really filmed in Morocco. Oh well, a pleasant afternoon at the races yields an unexpected surprise.

The day was to be a pleasant Friday-after-Thanksgiving afternoon at the races with our friends Perry and Angela Martin. But thanks to “eagle eye” Angela it turns into an exciting introduction to one of my favorite shows – The Amazing Race.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blogging Boomer Carnival #238

One week before Christmas and all through the house . . . . boomers are musing on the ultimate gift for their favorite foodie . . . what makes a good retirement community for your parents . . . kids and Christmases past . . . can there truly be a random act of kindness in Kmart . . . frustrating secret surcharges . . . can raising federal taxes help our economy?  . . was Santa a Shaman? . .  Oh my, adults indulging in kids’ foods . . . and one Amazing Race in Dubai.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blogging Boomer Christmas Carnival #239

Christmas Tree

Baby Boomers continue to personally evolve; setting new trends along their wake.  This Holiday Season carnival, the 239th of the BBC series, is just a small piece of the microcosm series that was developed to record the boomer generation's evolution.  Come to the fair,pick up your free ebook holiday gift for career women and observe interesting segments of trend-setting happenings that seek life's meaning through passionate living.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

@home in Dubai . . .Don’t leave home without it.

If you have been reading my blog you know of the trials and tribulations (anyone remember the film The Perils of Pauline) I faced settling into Dubai.  Couldn't have done it without my friend, Anne O'Connell's advice. She is so smart she has written a book @home in Dubai . . .Getting Connected Online and on the Ground. It is must read for anyone actually moving or contemplating moving to this wonderful city. I promise it will make your settling in a whole lot easier.

@home in Dubai is a powerful tool for anyone re-locating to Dubai, UAE. Packed full of reliable and useful information, the author’s lighthearted approach to relocating to this uniquely vibrant city helps relieve some of the angst of a daunting task. 

Anne’s experience of living and working in Dubai and her wealth of contacts in the expat community give the book its heart and soul. It is rather like having conversation with your best friend.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Boomer Chronicles is hosting the carnival this week. Here is the cornucopia of offerings:

From Arabian Tales and Other Amazing Adventures, surviving the seemingly endless tasks of setting up a new home in a foreign country can be enough to send some people back home on the next plane. No need for that if you check out a new series @home . . . Getting Connected Online and On the Ground. The first of the series, @home in Dubai written by Anne O’Connell, offers practical tips, checklists and quality resources for getting settled in the unique city of Dubai.

SoBabyBoomer asks, “Is the bank really the safest place to keep your money?

Though the holiday time is a great time to connect with friends and family, it can be a challenge for some. Lucie from Midlife Musingsexplains her thoughts on the subject.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY UAE . . . A Proud Nation on the Move

Forty years ago, on December 2, 1971, six tribal leaders gathered in Dubai. Surrounded by throngs of their people they pledged their allegiance to a new country. A seventh leader would join the allegiance a short time later.

Faced with the prospect of the loss of British protection, these brave men banded together and set a new course for their small bit of ancestral land on the southeaster side of the Arabian peninsula. Reaching from the Arabian Gulf coast encompassing parts of the vast Empty Quarter desert, over the rugged Hajar Mountains and ending on the Oman Gulf coast, this small seemingly insignificant piece of land became the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  At that time, their only resources were sand, dates, camels and a proud heritage.

I wonder if they guessed what an amazing future they were going to have.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Boomer Blogger Carnival -- BBC # 236

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Who are the most interesting bloggers on the Web? THE BABY BOOMER BLOGGERS of course. Join this week's Carnival Celebraton & visit their sites:
 Do you think hanging chorizo in the wine cave to dry is grounds for divorce or eternal love? The Accidental Locavorewasn’t sure what her husband would think. See if they all lived happily ever after.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES AND BE GRATEFUL … as seen through the lens of Louise Schwartzberg’s amazing time lapse photography.

It is the day after the American Thanksgiving.

For many people in the USA and around the world it means the start of a frantic period that traditionally gathers friends and family together to share special meals and exchange gifts.

Sometimes the activities become so hectic that we risk losing sight of the true meaning of “the season.”

So I have a gift for you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

PAUL MCCARTNEY. . .ROCK STAR – A Knight On the Run Rocks the Boomers

Sometimes you get lucky! 

Roger’s love of fast cars has us headed to the Third Annual Etihad Airways Formula 1 Race in Abu Dhabi.

Yas Marina Formula1 circuit under the Abu Dhabi moon.
While I will do anything for my darling, three days of ear-splitting revving and screaming of F1 engines speeding endlessly around the track is the ultimate sacrifice of self.

That is, unless you get lucky.

And boy did I!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blogging Boomers Carnival #234

MasksIt's Contemporary Retirement's turn (and pleasure), once again, to host the Blogging Boomers this week...
First up, John at SoBabyBoomer tells us that for some, Thanksgiving is pretty lonely when your own flesh and blood can't make it home for even a brief visit.  On the other hand, you might delight in your freedom from turkey tyranny.  Either way, if you're a Baby Boomer lacking nestlings for the first time, you'll likely need to adjust holiday plans to better suit your new lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.~ Aristole
Midlife Musings by Lucie is hosting  this week's Boomers Carnival.  Here our band of boomers share their words of wisdom, wit and advice on everything from finances and fun to midlife and great food.
Reading about the trials and tribulations of everyday life from other boomers can give us a better perspective of where we are in our own lives and what we can do to laugh richly and live deeply.  Enjoy.
Tom Sightings explores the subject of nostalgia. He wonders why it has the pull on us that it does, and considers whether that pull grows stronger as we get older.
Over at Contemporary Retirement, Ann has a video about how getting happy can improve your health – and even your genes!
From The Boomer Chronicles Dan the Early Retired Mangoes for his first senior discount.

Friday, November 4, 2011


1950 Dodge Power Wagon . .
 64 times bigger than original model
What rises above the dunes of the Arabian Desert outside of Abu Dubai, UAE and contains a vehicle listed in Guinness Book of Records, a 16-foot high Dodge pickup truck and 200+ cars and trucks of various vintages, hues, customizations, and sizes?

The answer: The “most expensive   garage in the world” and site of The Emirates National Car Museum.

Throughout history, and indeed today, a man is judged by the quality of his “steed.”  Arab sheikhs are known for their fondness of exotic and lavish cars and I think this is symbiotic with their ancestors’ attachment to their gloriously sure-footed graceful camels.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BLOGGING BOOMERS CARNIVAL #232 . . . Disappearances, Shootings,True Confessions and Prune Juice???

Today, the Accidental Lacavorehas her guest appearance on Emeril's Table as well as the pleasure of hosting the 232nd Blogging Boomers Carnival. If you’re not familiar with the Carnival (or BBC as we affectionately call it), it’s a diverse group of Baby Boomer bloggers, having fun writing about all kinds of things. So come, join the fun! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Travel to Turkey . . . TŰRKIYE ODYSSEY – PART 2 – Ìstanbul, the Alpha City

Our Türkiye odyssey continues as we travel from the tranquil rustic landscape of the mountains along the Aegean coast to the majestic but jarring urban bustle that is the alpha city of Ìstanbul.

Ìstanbul welcomes us with an overload of sensory experiences; glorious cool weather, obscene traffic jams, lots of hills, more obscene traffic jams, old men sitting at sidewalk cafes, still more obscene traffic jams, lots of bright young people, still more obscene traffic jams and the national drink of Turkey, “lion’s milk” also known as Raki, which relieves all the pain of the traffic jams.

A Raki toast to traffic jams!
We still find Ìstanbul bedazzling with its kinetic, frenzied atmosphere that is contagious from the moment you reach the city.

As the third largest metropolitan city in Europe, after London and Moscow, it is immense. It is the only city in the world that occupies two continents – Europe and Asia.  

Straddling the Bosphorus, a strait that divides Europe and Asia, this alpha city climbs up the hills that ring the city for as far as you can see. We are enthralled by it all. Well, except for the traffic!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blogging Boomer Carnival #230

SoBabyBoomer is hosting this week's Blogging Boomer Carnival #230 and provides an excellent definition of what exactly it is. 

"There is so much stuff in the blog-o-sphere, just finding what interests you can be difficult.If there is a topic you are interested in, like what's happening with Baby Boomers today, following a blog carnival is a great way to learn what people are saying about that topic. . . 
. . . A blog carnival is like a special interest magazine.  It has a title, a topic that flows through its postings, editors, contributors, and an focused audience. Editions of the carnival typically come out on a regular basis, like every Monday. 

The Blogging Boomers Carnival is a collection of like-minded blogs cooperating to expose their best stories of interest to the Baby Boomer Generation To our knowledge, the Blogging Boomers Carnival is the only, the oldest and the best boomer-centric carnival. Read on and enjoy!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Travel to Turkey - TÜRKIYE ODYSSEY . . . A Glimpse of the Land of Emperors, Sultans and one idyllic mountain-top inn

It was a dark and stormy night ... Just kidding!!!! It was a sun-shiny day in Dubai as we boarded our flydubai flight to Istanbul. We are holding true to our promise to travel the surrounding region while living in Dubai. Roger's long standing appreciation of The Crusades and the rise of the Ottoman Empire sends us on a 10-day trek through Tűrkiye.  
Katie & Roger with the Blue Mosque at sunset
Our trip begins in a charming, actually drop dead, breath-taking, boutique inn located above a small village in the mountains along the Aegean coast. 

For four days we explore the ancient sites in and around Ephesus. And while the sites are astounding, we often wish we booked a day to just stay and enjoy this little jewel of a hotel perched on the side of a hill.

From there we travel to the alpha city, Istanbul, whose grandeur and sheer size completely takes us by surprise. This is a city of never-ending grand palaces, eerie underground cisterns, luxurious harems, jaw-dropping churches and mosques and ancient history on every corner. Our only regret is we leave before even making a dent in visiting all its wonders. Just means we have a great excuse to return! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blogging Boomers Carnival #229

I am pleased to host the Blogging Boomer Carnival #229 this week which brings you an eclectic mix of  articles, advice and a sprinkling of adventure.

Praying for that empty nest? Be careful what you pray for. . . Why have so many Americans lost their cool? . . .   Do you know how much your cookbooks weight? A very weighty questions to ponder. . .  The most important things about mid-life weight loss. . .  A Turkiye Odyssey; Emperors, Sultans and one idyllic mountain-top inn . . Can you balance in your leisure activities? . . .Where to live in retirement? . . . Reminiscing about flying in the 60s.

The Empty Nest . . . I had it planned it all out. I had waited for it like a child waiting on Santa's gifts on Christmas Morning. The last one left the nest and I was finally alone and it wasn't all it was cracked up to beFinding Your Faith 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blogging Boomers Carnival #228

Enjoy the posts! Boomers rule! 

Blogging Boomers Carnival #228 - Aging does not suck you just need to think about it in a different way! So what is lighting you up!!! To renovate or not - big decision for boomers! Can you be fashionable and socially conscious at the same time? Answer is YES! Read on. Listening skills are essential as are great restaurants in Paris. 

Books-for-BoomersSo Baby Boomer knows that boomers are aware that they are experiencing different types of life issues than the previous generation. With the oldest boomers now reaching retirement age, a new book explores a wide range of today’s boomer life challenges.

DOING MORE . . . Beshtar High-Fashion from Afghanistan found in Dubai

Note: This article was originally published in (second part).

Can one be socially conscious and fashionable at the same time?

If you are shopping at Beshtar, Livia Firth, the unofficial spokeswoman for socially conscious fashion, says you can.

Images of Afghanistan include haunting visions of women covered head to toe in blue fabric with only a small screen to peek through; scenes of a war ravaged countryside where homes and farmland are destroyed; and pictures of women and children whose eyes silently speak of terror and lost hope.  

Can anything of beauty come from such a country?

Talented American fashion designer Carole Laugier Naim sorts through these images to find beauty and hope in her designs made from traditional crafts and fabrics of her adopted Afghanistan.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

RAMADAN . . . A SIMPLE ACT OF CHARITY – Adopt-a-Camp Care Packages

Ramadan is the Muslim holy month; a time of spiritual renewal, fasting, family gatherings and alms giving. As a Catholic living in a Muslim country during Ramadan, I see much emphasis placed on the restraints imposed on ones daily schedule. But rather than ruminate on the restraints, I decide this Ramadan to embrace alms giving and do simple act of charity as a gift to my adopted home town, Dubai.

Adopt-a-Camp (AAC), which provides “care packages” to the men who live in Dubai’s labor camps, is my choice.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Blogging Boomer Carnival #222

CarnivalsThis week, is hosting the two-hundred-twenty-second carnival of blogging boomers who write about what's happening in their world.   Baby Boomers are ever changing as the world turns.  Baby Boomers continue to personally evolve; setting new trends along their wake.   Come to the fair and observe interesting segments of trend-setting happenings that seek life's meaning through passionate living:
The Accidental Locavore conducted a crème fraiche taste test recently.  See whether homemade beat commercial and get the recipe.
EarthquakeAre you living in North America and feelinguneasy about the three earthquakes and hurricane we had this week?
If it feels like the rich are getting richer and the rest of us aren't, your perception is correct.  The Midlife Crisis Queen shares some interesting data on economic inequality in America here.
Boomer birthday's are a big deal and the Big ones even more so....but sometimes, a gift takes on a meaning of its own and provides the best of life's lessons.  Even without the fancy paper.

Monday, August 22, 2011


This is my “Welcome Wagon” gift to all my new friends who have just moved to Dubai.

In Dubai, summer is the traditional time for new arrivals. This, my second summer, I met many women who  “just landed” and are a bit bewildered by the “settling in” process. I watch their frustration and enthusiasm ebb and flow as they tackle the complex and sometimes nonsensical procedures of re-establishing their homes in this amazing city. I feel their pain and know first-hand how exhausting it is to tackle tasks, which should be simple, but become enormous undertakings that can take days and multiple trips.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


It is my pleasure to host the Blogging Boomers Carnival this week. Such great information!!!

Jane Fonda's take on gutsiness and sex, a chicken caper, the perfect coyote, bigfoot hunting, financial advice from the preeminent economists of the last century, figure our your retirement style, an attitude adjustment for love and experience the drama of moving to a foreign city.

SoBabyBoomer tells us that Jane Fonda was asked, "One theme of your life is gutsiness, which I guess is why you devoted almost 50 pages of this book to sex advice? she replied, "I have never found a book that talks about everything from the psyche and spirit and wisdom to penile implants."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BloggingBoomers Carnival #220

Thanks to The Boomer Chronicles for hosting this week’s Blogging Boomers Carnival.

At SoBabyBoomer, The Love Doctor and America’s Marriage Doctor provide a couple of answers to the question, “Does an empty nest spell the end of your marriage?”

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekend Excursion from Dubai . . . BULL-BUTTING IN FUJAIRAH, UAE - This is a lot of bull!

On our third road trip to the Emirate of Fujairah, Roger and I  still marvel at the dramatic twists of landscape as we drive from the humid coastal areas of Dubai, through the unencumbered desert, climbing over the weathered red Hajar Mountains, and quickly descending to the beautiful blue Gulf of Oman shoreline. This time we join the Corvette Arabia club that is hosting a gathering at the Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa. (Be sure to watch the YouTube video of the rally in the postscripts)

As we motor, I am diligently flipping through my Lonely Planet UAE guide in search of something of interest we might have missed on our earlier trips. Eureka!! We are just in time for  . . . bull butting!!


It's that wonderful time again--the Boomer Blogger Carnival is in town!  Watch out for the elephants. But seriously, it's a collection of the best insights, news & humor for the Boomer generation. Enjoy!

Nasty anonymous comments on blogs are an online scourge, says The Boomer Chronicles.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Good news today.

I am the newest member of The Blogging Boomers Carnival, the longest running boomer blog carnival on the Internet.

As faithful readers know, I have been writing about our expat adventures since moving to Dubai 15 months ago. It started as a way to keep the brain cells working as I struggled, after 25 years of working,  to adjust to what I refused to accept – my retirement.

So I started writing. And I have enjoyed every moment of it.  This past January I made the conscious decision to make travel writing my new career. I think this my 9th career, if you count motherhood.  I have had just a really hard time deciding what to be when I grow up!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weekend Excursion from Dubai . . . FALCONS AND OTHER ARABIAN BIRDS OF PREY - The Banyan Tree Al Wadi Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

The sun has not yet peaked over the desert dune outside our villa.  A soft, cool breeze is the only thing interrupting the quiet, predawn calm. Roger is still asleep, but I am up determined to photograph the elusive animals that are said to roam the nature preserve that is our private villa’s “back yard.” 

After almost an hour, my only sightings are small birds that appear just as light begins to crest the ridge.  As the early morning sun lifts higher, the sounds of the desert softly rise and larger birds present themselves.  We have been promised sightings of gazelles and the arabian oryx. I wonder if they will appear.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I have been living in Dubai for a little over a year now and can say unequivocally, “I LOVE DUBAI!!!”

I have many reasons to love Dubai:  the rich history of this young country that I am privileged to explore; the interaction with different exotic cultures (well, they are exotic to me;) laughing about the absurdity of getting into a cab only to find out you have been in Dubai longer than the driver who hasn’t a clue where your destination is; celebrating little victories of surviving daily life as a first-time expat American living in an Arab country; and the melding of old and new traditions.  This could go on and on, but thanks to my collaboration with a few friends, I have come up with The Top 10 Reasons I Love Living in Dubai... 

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I originally wrote this article for, an online fashion magazine, that has graciously allowed me to repost it here on my blog.  Dubai has many amazing shopping venues, but be a little adventurous, step back in time and explore the traditional Arab souqs. They are amazing.  Here is your roadmap!

Dubai is a unique city bursting with exotic and eclectic experiences.  The old world splendor of Dubai Creek with its mysterious souqs and traditional abra water taxis provide the backdrop to the amazing architecture of soaring skyscrapers.  The alluring azure waters of the Arabian Gulf and the graceful golden dunes of its desert are the natural boundaries of the city. Dubai offers a truly awe-inspiring Middle East experience in a modern and safe setting.

This is a city where shopping is a national pastime; a city that is fiercely challenging London’s ranking as the number one shopping Mecca in the world. Dazzlingly beautiful mega-malls offer an over abundance of high-end designer shops just waiting to dress a well-heeled clientele. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

JUMEIRAH MOSQUE - Guest post by Anne "The Writer" O'Connell

One of the great pleasures of living in Dubai is enjoying unique adventures with friends. Recently Anne O’Connell and I went on a tour of the Jumeirah Mosque. This is one of the programs of the Sheikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) that strives to remove barriers between people of different nationalities and raise awareness of the local culture, customs and religion of the United Arab Emirates. With Anne and I both being raised Catholic, we were amazed at some of the similiarities of the faiths. 
Please enjoy Anne’s account of our visit to which I have added photos.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


In this third and final segment of my blog about Anne O’Connell’s and my experiences at The Emirate Airlines Festival of Literature you get to meet one hysterically funny lady.

Our final session is with Marina Lewycka – say that three times with marbles in your mouth!  Marina is the author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Two Caravans and We are All Made of Glue. Anne and I prudently share the purchase of these three books with promises to share as soon as we have finished reading.  

Monday, April 11, 2011


Part 2  of Finding Peace, Brotherly Love and Laughter in Dubai is about Tariq Ramadan’s presentation, “Charting a Course Between Islamic Values and Western Cultures.”  This seems like an interesting choice since both Anne and I had decided independent of each other that we want to use some of our time in the Middle East to understanding this mysterious Muslim faith.
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature  proves to be one of the best experiences in my first year of living in Dubai.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Where can you find an American mountain climber aka philanthropist whose quest for peace turns stones into schools; a Swiss-born Muslim Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford who proposes a future where Islamic values and Western culture are in harmony;  and a zany Ukrainian lady whose writings are described as “mad” and “hilarious” and whose mere entrance into the room elicits warm bubbles of laughter?

Accompanied by my aspiring author friend Anne “The Writer” O’Connell, we embark on a two-day adventure into a multicultural literary scene.  While we are both veterans of The Broward County Library Literary Feast   in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, this is our first experience at this similar event in Dubai.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011


What a way to celebrate International Women’s Day meeting the most fascinating woman in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)!  – an Arab woman suffragette (a female advocate of the extension of equality to women)! This 90-year old dynamo is still the “Little Earthquake” she was nicknamed as a child.

Maryam Behnam, an Emirati Woman of the Year, was the keynote speaker at the American Women’s Association (AWA) of Dubai’s luncheon celebrating International Women’s Day. Held at the Dubai Ladies Club, the packed house marveled at the energy and spirit of this remarkable woman who has advocated for women’s empowerment in the Middle East  for more than 80 years . . . yes, this means she started when she was 10! Actually, it appears even her birth “rocked the world” as she was born in Iran the year of the terrible earthquake in Bandar Lingah a harbor in the Hormozgan province of Iran on the coast of the Arabian Gulf just across the “eastern tip” of the UAE.