Monday, December 19, 2016

November 6th: A Very Scenic Flight

We were up a bit earlier the next morning, and Mark, Marcus, and I started by heading over to Shakespeare And Co. for breakfast.

My coffee and my food was really good, but that didn't stop me from drooling over the case of cakes and pastries in the background.  :)

We went back to the villa, then got an Uber over to the golf course near Dubai Creek for our next adventure:

a seaplane ride with Seawings!

When we checked in, there was an option to pay extra and sit in the copilot seat. I jumped all over that, and it was totally worth the money. The pilot had a spare headset, so I got to listen in to Dubai's ATC and chat with the pilot as we flew.

We had a full flight, so the pilot taxied waaaay far out before he started his takeoff run. He said that as long as he didn't lift off before we cleared the bridge, it was fine since we were still a boat until we got airborne.   :)

I think this was the area near the souks we visited earlier in the week. It was really cool to see the older boats from the air.

The flight took us all around Dubai, and we got an awesome view of the different parts of the city, The Burj Khalifa still towered way above us.

We flew past Downtown and headed toward the Palm and Dubai Marina.

We got a great view of the Burj Al Arab as we flew past.

Looking toward the Marina. This itself could be a major city back in the US, and here it was just one small section of Dubai.

We did a big loop around the Palm, and flew right past Atlantis (the big hotel in the middle). You can just make out the Burj Al Arab in the upper left part of the picture.

Mark was taking lots of pictures from his side of the plane, too.

Like this one. You could even see the helipad on top.

After flying past the Burj Al Arab, we turned back out over the water and flew over the World Islands. Most of them were empty; only a few had anything on them yet.

We flew inland again, past downtown...

 ...and over the racetrack. The pilot pointed out to me that the parking lot is shaped like a falcon, and that a lot of the local people don't even realize it's designed that way.

The flight was just about over, so it was time to head back to Dubai Creek. It's pretty hazy in Dubai, and I never got tired of this hazy view of the Burj Khalifa towering in the distance.

Turning final; we touched down a bit past the bridge and taxied back to the dock. I thanked the pilot for the fun ride...if you ever find yourself in Dubai, the tour is definitely worth the time and money!

Mark and I grabbed some fresh juice from the golf shop cafe, and Marcus eventually finished up with the car dealership (he had to drop his car off to be serviced and getting rental car sounded like it was a big ball of fun) and picked us up. We made a short stop at a VERY fancy classic car dealership, Tomini Classics, where we somehow talked our way into the showroom by explaining that we all had classic cars, too. The guard let us in ("Just don't touch anything!"), and we spent a little while wandering around the insane cars they had on display. Insane like vintage Ferraris, Jaguars, and Lamborghinis, among others. I can't imagine how many millions of dollars of cars were sitting in the showroom. We didn't want to push our luck by taking pictures, though we did each pick out which one we'd take home with us if we suddenly hit the lottery. (My pick? This one.)

We were pretty hungry after wandering around all the fancy cars, and since we had to drive kind of past it on the way back to the villa anyway, Marcus suggested we go to a fancy hotel on the Palm for lunch. Sounded good to me!

We drove along the outer road for a little while first and stopped to check out the view. This is looking back toward Dubai Marina.

You could see the Burj Al Arab from the other side.

We wound up going to the Waldorf Astoria for lunch, and just like everywhere else we'd been, the food was fantastic. I meant to only eat a little bit of my giant plate of risotto and wound up almost completely finishing it. Oops. We spent a few minutes wandering around the hotel, checking out their beach and outdoor area, before grabbing the car and heading out.

We drove past the Atlantis on the way back off the Palm. (This was the giant hotel we flew past earlier in the day.)

We made our way back to the villa, got cleaned up, then grabbed an Uber to Barasti, an outdoor bar and restaurant down by the beach. We met a few of Marcus's controller buddies for dinner and drinks. It was really fun to meet them and pick their brains a bit, and it was kind of funny to see that ATC has the same kinds of people and problems no matter where you are. It was a really fun night and we hung out there for a while before heading back to the villa. It was our last night staying with Megan and Marcus, so we stayed up a bit later and hung out for a while before eventually heading upstairs to pack a bit and head to bed.

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