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USS Blog Boy's Deployment Diary--Chapter Four

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For our new readers, Francisco is a great Southwest Customer who is on active duty with the USS Nimitz.  (Click on the photos to enlarge.) the-nimitz-in-the-desert.JPGLIBERTY CALL, LIBERTY CALL!!!!!! After two LONG months out to sea, our ship, the USS NIMITZ, pulled into Dubai, mosque.JPGwhich is part of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai, which is located at the "foot" of the Persian Gulf, is referred to as the Las Vegas of the Middle East. In fact, they are growing so much that 20 percent of the world's construction cranes are being used in Dubai.   As soon as they called liberty call, I ran off the ship and kissed the ground. It was so good to step on land again, and you do not know how much you take for granted until all you see is ocean for two months straight. A group of friends and I headed out into town to the Emirates Mall. This mall is popular because, well, it has an indoor ski resort. That's right--you can snow ski in the mall. They built a huge mountain within the mall with man made snow, and it's big enough to hold a ski lift! The first order of business: eat lots of food, and boy did we eat. We headed to TGI Fridays, and we each ordered the biggest steak with all of the sides. Then, we headed to the city of gold were you can buy real gold at discounted prices. After that, we visited the Hard Rock Café, were we ordered some dessert. All of us in the group were tired because we work nights so we were up all day without sleep. francisco-waking-up.JPGWe headed back to the ship and slept. The next day, I had to work on the ship, but on day three, a friend and I went on the sunset Safari Tour. But before we left, we had a surprise visit from uso.JPGAEROSMITH. They were in town for a show and decided to visit our ship. I took a picture steven-tyler.JPGwith Steven Tyler. After they left, we began the tour. We went off-roading for two hours in the middle of the desert, the-desert.JPGand after that, we pulled over and saw the sunset. sunset-in-the-desert.JPGAfter the sunset, we headed to a desert oasis. in-the-middle-of-nowhere.JPGIt was a camp in the middle of nowhere, camel-snoot.JPGand we were treated to camel rides, four wheeling, sand boarding, lots of food, and belly dancers. While sitting down for dinner, I met a family from India. They thanked us for our service to our country and for helping stablize the region. They spoke highly of our country, and I was humbled by their kindness. After the belly dancers, we headed back to the ship. On the way back, my friend got car sick, and well, let's just say I had to change clothes. Everyone in the car was sick from all the off-roading, but it was worth it. Next to our ship was the Sandbox. The Sandbox was filled with a bunch of shops, Internet access, laundry service,  and food vendors including Burger King and Baskin Robbins. There was even a stage for a live band. The average temperature in the Sandbox was 110 degrees, and I loaded up on tons of ice cream. On the last day of our visit, we headed back to the mall to get some last minute items. The mall is connected to a four-star hotel, which contained a spa. I headed to the spa to see if I could get a massage. They told me that they were booked for the day but that there could be some cancellations. I came back at 4:45 p.m. to see if anyone cancelled. They told me that I would have to wait until 5:00. While I was waiting, they took me into a relaxation room. This room was filled with five different beds, low lighting, sounds of water falling, candles, and low lighting. They brought me green tea and told me to relax. Someone did cancel their appointment...I was excited. My massage lasted an hour and a half, and it was worth every penny. After the massage, I met up with my friends, and we went snow boarding. After that, we ate our last meal ashore chilis-in-dubai.JPGand headed back to the ship. Our ship pulled out the next day for another long out-to-sea period.