Our five year adventure in Doha, Qatar ended June 1, 2012, but the memories will always remain. It's back to Texas where I have decided...Qatar isn't cornering the market on "quirky", as I once believed. Thanks for opening my eyes to the world, Doha!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Celebrating America in Doha

Wednesday, June 4th, Happenings:

We had no big plans today, so we just headed to Villagio Mall for some sight seeing. As I've reported before, it's a beautiful mall with a Venice feel about it...canals running through it with ceilings painted with clouds and blue sky. American food was the request for the day, specifically TGI Fridays. We fulfilled that need and headed back to the villa for what else than our daily afternoon siesta. Well, actually, Sherry and I dropped the rest of the clan and we headed to Landmark Mall to treat ourselves to pedicures and manicures. We had to act quickly because we had places to go and people to see. David and I snagged tickets to a Fourth of July gala that was being held at The Ritz and put on by The U.S. Embassy. June 4th was selected for the celebration, since Doha is a ghost town by the time July 4th rolls around. We quickly got dressed for that with Bob, Sherry, Bill and Joan in tow. They decided to take in dinner at The Lagoon which is also at The Ritz, while we hobnobbed. We arrived to a huge lobby of pastries, desserts, and dignitaries galore. There was a very long winding receiving line leading up to the Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, Michael Ratney , with the handshaking moments being frozen in time by my Pixel Chick buddy, Sherry Patrizi. Forget the long line, let's move on to the main event inside the ballroom...Texas Rib-eye and what other than cornbread and blackeyed peas labeled as Texas Caviar. The steak was the best beef I've tasted since arriving in Doha. The official kick off the event was the Color Guard Presentation by the United States Marine Corps, and then the "official" presentation of the July 4th birthday cake. The Star Spangled Banner was then sung while we proudly placed our hands over our hearts. It was music to our ears eight thousand miles from home. We ran across the Marines leaving the ballroom and they obliged us with a picture. I'm such a sucker for military in uniform. We thanked them for their dedication and service and let them go and enjoy the party. Oh, and remember the Charge d’Affaires that was in the receiving line...I just did the simple thing and asked if he'd take a picture with me and David. I handed my camera to his friend and voila, there's the hobnobbing I was referring to. I wanted to run down some of the Qatari dignitaries and take a pic with them, but I couldn't find a partner in crime. I had to settle for a pic of them as they were leaving. Where are my friends' sense of adventure? Maybe next time. Until then, as Shea would say, "au revoir".

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