Saturday, July 12, 2008

since we couldn't take ourselves to the U.S.

... the Navy brought a piece of the U.S. to us!  I felt so much happier about celebrating our nations birthday when I heard that a U.S. navy ship would be pulling into port in Dubai for the holiday weekend.  I was hoping it would be the USS Pearl Harbor because my friend Bec's husband is a dentist on that ship, but we got the USS Abraham Lincoln.  Still cool!  Because of my sweet connections, a friend of a friend contacted me a couple days before the ship pulled into dock with questions about what she should bring, try to see, wear etc. on her short trip to Dubai to see her Navy husband of FIVE months, who had been on the ship for FOUR of those months!  Of course I was excited to give her the scoop and try to help her and her man out with transportation and such.  My pleasure- I was just happy to play hostess to someone since none of YOU have come to visit me yet! 

Plus, it's fun to help newlyweds, and friends of friends, and military families, and fellow Mormons, and get to tour the ship and make new friends in return.
Lucky us -John was especially thrilled!  The Navy husband offered to take us on a tour of the ship the next day (July 5th).  John found friends to watch the kids so that I could come too (he didn't want me to miss this "once in a lifetime" opportunity).  It was great.  This wasn't just any Navy ship, this was an aircraft carrier.  So cool.  Just like in the movies, Top Gun, Behind Enemy Lines!  I of course wanted to know if they ever used the airplane catapult to shoot footballs off the ship like I saw Owen Wilson do.  I was fascinated by all the planes and helos* that fit on the flight deck and in the hanger. I can't believe these Navy pilots can land their plane on such a short runway- a short moving runway!

some other tid-bits  
  • there are 5,000 sailors that live on the ship
  • they've just been hanging out in the gulf "keeping an eye on things"
  • some of the sailors looked really young
  • they use lots of acronyms and nicknames (sometimes they don't even know what the acronym is for)
  • *helicopters= helos.  Being old school, I thought they called them choppers or copters and maybe they do, but a 'helo' was the more prominent reference on my tour.
  • lots of ladders and tiny doorways- no elevators for people but a HUGE one that they use to move the jets and helos up onto the deck and out of the hanger below
  • President Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln for his famous Mission Accomplished speech.  
  • according to wikipedia, the ship also made a cameo in the movie Transformers.
  • I love the US military and the people that sacrifice their lives and their time and probably lots of other things to serve their country; my country!
I wish I had better pictures, but had to be sensitive only take pictures when given the "okay".


  1. Sweet post, Toria. Also don't worry, we've got the girls posted on their lemonade stands in order to earn the $1,500 for each of us to fly round-trip to see you. Only $11,986 left to go!

  2. we're here in ashland wishing that you would've stayed around long enough so that we could see you. oh well. we hung out with dusty and emily tonight. lots of fun. great to always catch up. we've mostly been hanging out on the farm doing chores. tell john he missed hay season yet again!

    that cool about the air craft carrier. my uncle is actually an engineer that builds those down in new orleans. they go to all the commissions of them. they say it's quite a bit of hoopla. i would totally think of top gun too....and hot shots!

  3. I love getting comments from you, and I loved reading up on you and your family. You guys are so adventurous living half way around the world. Looks like you had a fabulous 4th of July, and the cake you made looks so tasty...sadly I didn't get one like that this year. Asher and Ivy are cute as always. I liked your supermom story and I think you handled the whole situation very well.

  4. What a great experience. The Navy ships are crazy. Dusty and I visited one, and I don't know how they land those planes. Looks like you guys are making the most of your days. Missed you the other day while we were with the Clarks.

  5. I ran into a girl you watched a movie with - 15 years old, Elizabeth, her family is moving to Abudhabi (sp?). Small world! She was in my Sunday School class on Sunday - she loves you!!! I felt sooo cool I knew you!!!

  6. Hi Toria, Susie here (Taylor's wife) and I'd be happy to come visit you and exchange a weekend's worth of accomodations in NYC for one's in Dubai. Looks like a lot of fun. I think our little boys would get along!

  7. Thanks for thinking what I've been up to sounds even remotely interesting (and thanks for saving your pennies- you get here and the rest is on us!) most of the time I read your blogs and find myself wishing we were in the US enjoying good times with you (the grass is always greener right?)
    Molly- hilarious you met Elizabeth. Her family was the ones babysitting so I could check out the aircraft carrier.
    Susie- I'm happy to set up a swap anytime. Also, my dad wants me to find him a job over here- I could always look for 2! (my dad is a dentist too) You up for it?

  8. I can't believe how much John is looking like his dad!

  9. Hi,
    My sister Corene told me that you and your family live in Dubai. She found your blog linked to Molly's blog. Anyway my husband and I are thinking of maybe moving there. He is looking into a job out there and I have some questions. Can you help me out? My email is, this might be a better way to communicate. If you have time I'd love to hear from you. -Mariah

  10. how awesome was this post!! it sounds/looks like you had an incredible 4th-5th of july! miss you!

  11. Toria-
    So glad to hear you had fun with my friend and her husband. I only wish I could have been there too!