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The Udhailiyah Dining Hall Fire

27 May 2015 | comments (8) | Special Interest | by

The Udhailiyah Dining Hall Fire

On the 13th of this month a fire broke out in the dining hall building at the Udhailiyah camp. What started out as a small fire in a chimney quickly grew into a roaring blaze that consumed the dining hall, snack bar, library, game rooms, bowling alley, recreational offices and more. The fire department came, and they were able to stop the flames from spreading beyond the dining hall complex building, but they could not prevent the damage that was done. The building was gutted and the walls collapsed. It may take two years or longer for the facility to be rebuilt, leaving a gaping hole in the life of the people living in the small remote camp. Our sympathies go out to everyone there.

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The Redwood Forest

27 May 2015 | comments (0) | Travel & Leisure | by

The Redwood Forest

This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California, to the New York Island,
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf Stream Waters,
This land was made for you and me.

Folk music troubadour Woodie Guthrie penned those words in 1940, and ever since, generations of students have learned the words and sung the song. From time to time in these pages we shall be visiting some of the wonders that inspired Guthrie, beginning in this issue with those fabled Redwood Forests. When Guthrie sang of a land that “was made for you and me,” he was referencing Americans. In truth, the giant redwoods of California belong to the world. No matter what nation you call home, you will be awestruck and deeply moved the day you experience them yourself for the first time.

The giant or coastal redwood—genus sequoia, specie sempervirens—thrive in the moist, humid climate of coastal Northern California, where blankets of marine fog and moderate temperatures create ideal conditions for their growth and survival. A good place to start your redwood adventure is San Francisco. Driving north across the Golden Gate Bridge, it will take you an hour or so to reach Muir Woods National Monument on the outskirts of Mill Valley. If you saw, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” some of the scenes from that movie were filmed in Muir Woods. Don’t worry, though, chances are slim you’ll encounter any rampaging apes or their kin on your visit. What you will encounter will be a splendid stand of redwoods once described as “the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the World.”

The Redwood Forest

Heading north from Muir Woods in search of more redwoods to ogle, you have to make a difficult choice: either to hug the Pacific Coastline on California Highway 1 past Point Reyes Marine Preserve, Mendocino and Fort Bragg or travel inland on U.S. Highway 101 through Santa Rosa, Ukiah and Willits. Both offer memorable attractions. Perhaps your best approach would be to drive north on one and return south on the other. That way, you get the best of both worlds.

On your way north (or south), you will be passing through Sonoma and Mendocino counties, home to some of the finest wineries in California. There are simply too many to suggest even one or two here. Rest assured, if you’re a lover of good wine, your choices will be plentiful and varied.

The Redwood Forest

Of course, you will want to drive your car through the trunk of a living Redwood. Along U.S. Highway 101 on the way to Eureka—known as the Redwood Highway—you have a choice of three privately-owned options: the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree near the famous Avenue of the Giants; the Chandelier Tree further south near Leggett; and the Klamath Tree, 60 miles north of Eureka near the Klamath River.

Whichever tree you decide to drive through—if you can’t decide, you can always drive through all three—be sure to visit the Avenue of the Giants, where the largest and densest stands of Old Growth redwoods can be found.

The Redwood Forest

For a change of pace, take a detour off of 101 just south of Eureka and explore the delightful Victorian town of Ferndale. If you’re a film aficionado, you may remember the Jim Carrey movie “The Majestic” and the Dustin Hoffman thriller, “Outbreak.” Many of the scenes from both movies were shot in Ferndale.

Eureka itself is known for its beautifully-preserved Victorian architecture. The city offers a wide range of comfortable lodging choices and some choice dining spots.

Anthony George Kelamis Graduates with Juris Doctorate

26 May 2015 | comments (1) | Graduations & Retirements | by

Anthony George Kelamis

Anthony George Kelamis, son of Panos and Rea Kelamis of Dhahran, graduated on May 17 from the Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctorate (JD). He also received the Faculty Award for Academic Accomplishment.

Anthony was born in Dhahran in 1986. He graduated from the Dhahran Junior High in 2002 and he then attended Trinity College School in Canada.

He received his undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montreal; afterward, he then studied law at the University of London in the United Kingdom. The Kelamis’ family has been with Saudi Aramco for more than 30 years.

Garrison Thompson Graduates from St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School

20 May 2015 | comments (0) | Graduations & Retirements | by

Garrison Thompson

Sewanee, TN – May 19, 2015–

In Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 17, Garrison Thompson graduated from St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School, an Episcopal college preparatory boarding and day school in Sewanee, Tenn. The Class of 2015 will be enrolling in 32 different colleges and universities across the nation this fall. The 43 seniors received a total of $3.48 million in merit awards.

Garrison is the son of Jerry and Roger Thompson from Dhahran. He served as an SAS Ambassador, one of the highest leadership positions. He was a service coordinator in the House Leadership Program and an honors student. A talented actor, he was a cast member in numerous SAS theatre productions including Sweeney Todd.

He will attend Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

ABOUT ST. ANDREW’S-SEWANEE SCHOOL: St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School is an Episcopal college preparatory boarding and day school in Sewanee, Tenn.

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Finding a Home on the Road for Fido and Muffy

20 May 2015 | comments (0) | Travel & Leisure | by

Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant

Let’s face it. We all love our pets. They’re like children to us, our best friends, the beings in our lives that love us unquestioningly and unfailingly. Leaving them behind when we travel is heartbreaking. Just picture in your mind the sad look on your Golden Retriever, or German Shepherd, or Chihuahua’s face the last time you closed the door behind you and left him at home or, even worse, at a vet’s or a kennel. The solution to this problem is easier than you might think. Today, more and more hotels are welcoming pets as members of the family, some of them at no extra charge. An excellent example is the Kimpton Hotels chain.

If you’ve not yet stayed at a Kimpton property, you’re missing out. Their warm, atmospheric boutique hotels are a delight, and their staff is friendly and helpful to both you and your pet. They welcome pets—indeed, they encourage you to bring yours along. And there’s no extra charge.

They cater to dogs and cats, offering treats, water, and special baby-sitting services in case you need to sneak out on your own for some shopping or dining. With 67 boutique hotels in 31 cities across the U.S., there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself traveling sometime soon to a city that sports one or more of their properties. If that’s the case, and you’re thinking about bringing your dog or cat or bird or whatever along, consider giving Kimpton a try. Some of the major destinations they serve are Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, La Jolla, San Diego, Denver, Aspen, Washington, DC, Miami, Savannah, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Minneapolis, New York, Cleveland, Portland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Austin, Salt Lake City, Alexandria and Seattle.

Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant

In addition to stylish accommodations, every Kimpton hotel features a unique fine-dining restaurant offering a wide selection of wines to go with seasonally-inspired dishes. And speaking of wine, every Kimpton offers a free wine-tasting hour starting at 5:00 p.m., seven days a week, with a knowledgeable wine expert serving and answering questions.

Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant

Monaco hotels are a Kimpton brand, each of them boasting an eclectic, fun, inspired decor, the perfect antidote to those cookie-cutter hotels we all know all too well.

Kimpton is but one of a growing number of hotel chains welcoming pets. To learn more about Kimpton and other pet-friendly hotels, check out these websites:

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