A little more Qatar

Just a few days after I posted something on Qatar, Tracy Burnett from the Houston Chronicle posted something about Qatar on her blog...

Going Back to the Beach? But Where oh Where...

So we're thinking of taking another beach trip later in the year and, to save some money, I'd like to use miles. Given our last experience with hurricane season, we're going to stay away from the Caribbean, Mexico and the like. Places in the South Pacific are probably off, too. So, that has us thinking about going back to Europe. The question is, where? There are so many options...

How does one choose? When your options are pretty much wide open, it's a lot harder than you might think.

Would a return trip to Greece make sense? Quite possibly...

Maybe Greece is the way to go. We were so impressed by Milos that a similar island would be right up our alley. Folegandros just keeps jumping out. Conde' Nast called it Greece's best kept secret back in 2004. Honestly, Folegandros is awfully high on my list right now.

BUT... what about beaches in Italy. Puglia has so much to offer... I haven't seen the land of the trulli since I was 5 or 6 years old. Yes, I can still remember them. Then there's Ponza. My cousin clued us in to Ponza and it apparently is a fantastic little island. Of course, the Emerald Coast of Sardegna is high on our list. As is Calabria. Ugh!?

We've pretty much ruled out the French Riviera - yes, Monaco, Cannes and St. Tropez are all glitz and glamour but, the beaches? Well... not what we have in mind. Grand Canary was great last year and we've thought about checking out other islands in the Canaries like Fuerteventura but we think we want to try another spot. Spain does offer other islands worth visiting like Menorca and Formentera. Besides, we could add a trip to Madrid to visit my cousins. Just can't pick...

Stunning mountaintop scenery high above Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

So... that's a lot to choose from (haven't even brought up Malta or the Dalmatian Islands). Stay tuned... when we pick, you'll know. I'm thinking Folegandros may win but it's too early to pick favorites.


So long, for now, Rainbow Room... and discovering Muscat, Oman

Back in 1996, I had a chance to return to New York City on behalf of my boss at BMC Software. At the time, I hadn't been back to Manhattan since I was a small boy and the city always held a great fascination for me. I've been back about a dozen times since then but the city still fascinates me. One of the highlights of that trip was a visit to the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center. Our business meeting was held there and the experience was fantastic. I still remember taking in the view of the city from the 65th floor - amazing.

Well, it looks like part of the Rainbow Room, the Rainbow Grill, will be closing temporarily due to the economic downturn. A staple of the Manhattan nightlife for 75 years may be no more. Sad. Let's hope things pick up and the restaurant is fully open once again.

On to a complete unrelated item, I was reading something about Muscat, Oman today and it made me want to do some digging on Muscat. Apparently, it is a rarely visited but amazing destination in the Middle East.

Not much is available online so here are a couple of brief pieces on Muscat:

Muscat, Oman: An Undiscovered Middle Eastern Treasure

Driving to Muscat from Dubai