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Smokey Mountain National Park, Newfound Gap

Number of Visitors

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A tour of Dubai - Part I (Dubai, UAE)


My thoughts:

Dubai is a manufactured city.  43 years ago there was nothing but desert and a small village.  From that they built a modern city with all of the amenities of any western city.  They dredged out the harbor to create one of the largest seaports in. the world.  Dubai is one of the major centers for aircraft overhaul.  It has a state of the art airport and maintenance facility.  Planes from all over the world are flown in for a complete overhaul.

It is a city of ultra rich and upper middle class.  There are very few actual permanent Dubai residences.  A majority of the population are people who work for corporations.  They work in Dubai for about 5 years and then go home.  The rest are service workers, in low paying jobs from third world countries.  There is no middle class.  The economy is very fragile.  In 2008  when the economy fell. people lost their jobs.  They walked away from apartment leases. drove there leased cars to the airport, left the keys in the car and flew home.  Construction projects just stopped.  The constriction cranes were left and the  building(s) stood like skeletons.  Most of the building were eventually finished and more are being built.  More high end shopping malls are being built or expanded. 

There is construction everywhere,  I mean everywhere. 

Construction (1 of 2)Construction (2 of 2)

The number of big boats, and I mean BIG, are astounding.

Dubai Blog (16 of 18)

Some are are even bigger.

Bigger Boat (1 of 1)

This is the largest yacht in the world, The Azzam. It is owned by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nayan, president of Dubai.  Docked at the Sheikh’s private Island.

Biggest Yahat  (1 of 1)

Some boats have outboard motors.  Most have two outboards. 

Some have three. 

3 outboards (1 of 1)

Some even have four.  I guess you never can have enough outboard motors.

4 motor (1 of 1)

There are more Lamborghinis' and Ferraris' then anywhere else.   We were stopped at a hotel on the bus tour, 3 Lamborghinis pulled up. 

To many cars (1 of 1) 

There are speed bumps on many major streets. It is amazing to watch these high end cars speed along the street, then come to a complete stop because they are so low to the ground they have to go very slow over each speed bump.

Everything is expensive.  Everything has to be imported.  Domestic water is super expensive.  A gallon of water is more expensive than a gallon of gasoline.  There are some local wells, but most of the water is gotten from desalination. Bottled water is imported. 

If you look carefully at the construction pictures above.  All of the buildings in Dubai contain no wood or steel super structure during the construction.  All building are constructed using concrete and rebar.  Rebars are thin steel rods, inside the concrete form to give it extra strength.    All interior wall are concrete or cinderblock. 

We toured the city on a “hop on, hop off” tour bus call the Big Bus. One of the many stops was the Dubai Museum (if you click on this link and use Chrome. It will automatically translate the text).  It was a recreation of the way things were from 1930 to the present.  

This is the Dubai Marina Canal.  The entire canal was dug out of the desert.  It is completely man made.

More to follow.


Life is great all over the world on the Roan Road…

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Evelyn Rules the Roost (Dubai, UAE)


Evelyn Portrait (1 of 1)


We left South Bend, IN on time for the two hour trip to Atlanta arriving around 7:30 PM.   Two hours later we left Atlanta for the 13 hour trip to Dubai. The trip, long.  The food, lousy.   The plane, a new Boeing 777, packed.  But we made it!   Andrew had made arrangements with Marhaba, an agency that meets you at the gate.  Takes you through passport control on a special line, and helps you with your baggage.  It was worth it.   At passport control the lines for the common people were at least 50 deep.  We then met Andrew who was waiting for us. 

Dubai is a modern city.   The same as New York, Chicago or Paris.  Except for the street signs, which are in Arabic and English, you cannot tell that you are in the Middle East.  Everyone here speaks English. 

Evelyn and, of course, Caroline and Andrew live on Palm Jumeirah.  That’s the island that was created in the shape of a palm tree that juts out into the Arabian Gulf.

Scenes of Dubai.


             Before Evelyn                                      After Evelyn Arrived

living Roon (1 of 2)living Roon (2 of 2)


And now for the star of the show. The one everyone has been waiting for.

Life is Great, anywhere we are, on the Roan Road….

Thursday, April 16, 2015

And Away We Go (Elkhart, IN)


Tomorrow we bring in our coach and leave for Dubai. 

On our way from Chattanooga to Elkhart we passed by Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.  Since we can’t pass up stopping at a National Park and we haven’t stayed in Kentucky we decided to make a stop. 

The park has many cave tours.  We decided to take two tours.  The first is “The History Tour”.  and a second tour “ Domes and Dripstones Tour”  the next day.

The History Tour is 2 miles and 2 hours.  We talked it over and said, “we can handle that”.  Big mistake.  First we are not as young as we used to be.  Second it is dark, with uneven walk ways and squeezing through tight spots.  Not to mention all of the steps, mostly UP.  Add to that, Ann does not see well in the dark.   The Rangers on the tour were great.  Well informed and waited for everyone to catch up before explaining something new.   

Before the tour was over, Ann informed me she was done with cave tours and she was going to return her ticket for the next day, and if I wanted to go, she would wait for me.   Back at the Visitor Center, I checked out the tour.  It is a shorter tour, but much more strenuous, so I returned my ticket too.

We still did enjoy the tour.  But it will be our last Cave Tour.  Period.

Next day, on to Elkhart.


  Visitor Center

Mommoth Cave NP (1 of 13)Mommoth Cave NP (2 of 13)Mommoth Cave NP (3 of 13)

Cave opening

Mommoth Cave NP (4 of 13)Mommoth Cave NP (5 of 13)

Cave Tour

This is the way it looks when you are in the Cave

Mommoth Cave NP (7 of 13)

These pictures were taken with a very high ISO (sensitivity) so it look very bright.

Mommoth Cave NP (6 of 13)Mommoth Cave NP (8 of 13)Mommoth Cave NP (9 of 13)Mommoth Cave NP (10 of 13)Mommoth Cave NP (11 of 13)

This is Graffiti  from before the Cave was taken over by the National Park Service.

Mommoth Cave NP (12 of 13)Mommoth Cave NP (13 of 13)

Life is Great on the Roan Road…

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Getting Out of Town (Elkhart, IN)


We are here in Elkhart Campground in the final stages of leaving the country.  We had some repairs done to the coach before we will bring it in to Mike’s Custom Painting to have a new look!   After we drop off the coach, we are leaving the truck at Mike’s and they will drive us to the South Bend Airport.  We then fly to Atlanta where we will get the plane to Dubai.  I will try to make some blog entries from Dubai.

After our stay in Kissimmee we spent two weeks at Cedar Key RV Resort.  We liked the RV park so much we made reservations to go back next winter.  For how long is still being debated.  Right  Ann?

Here is an overview of Cedar Key.

CEDAR KEY from Roy Brody on Vimeo.

We bought fresh clams from a local distributer that were harvested that day, and made Manhattan Clam Chowder.  We have not been able to find any anywhere.  So we made it ourselves.  It was the best!

 From Cedar Key, we left for Chattanooga to check out an RV park to see if it is suitable for a rally.  We are Rally Masters for the New Horizons Owners Group.  It turns out the RV park and Chattanooga are great places.  So in May of 2016 we are going back.

Chattanooga is a great town.  Lots to see and great restaurants.  We did not get to see everything we wanted because of some repairs.  We will be back next year for the New Horizons rally and we will spend some more time in Chattanooga.

Life is great on the Roan Road…

Sunday, April 5, 2015

There is Another and Ann Found It !! (Chattanooga, TN)


After Ann overheard a mother asking her child if he wanted to go to the Carousel, it was a done deal.

So here are the results.

Ann Goes Around (2 of 2)

CHATTANOOGA CAROUCEL from Roy Brody on Vimeo.

More to follow on Chattanooga.

We are about to head north and back in time.  We are headed to Indiana.

Happy, Happy Birthday to Caroline.

Happy Birthday to Arlene and Carl

Live is Great on the Roan Road…

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy, Happy (Chattanooga, TN)


We would like to say Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all of our family and friends.

After spending two months in Kissimmee and going to Disney World 8 more times, we spent two weeks at Cedar Key RV Resort in Cedar Key, FL.  We really liked Cedar Key RV Resort so much that we signed up to spend much of next winter there.

So far the month of March has turned out to very expensive.  First the automatic satellite dish stopped working.  Luckily, I purchased a manual dish for times that the automatic dish was blocked by trees.  I learned from years in the computer business, always have a backup.  Finding a qualified tech is very difficult, I had to take the dish off the roof and ship it back to Winegard, the manufacture, for repair.  When we received the unit back, it had to go back on the roof.  Ann and I just couldn’t lift is back up.  We had to call a mobile RV repair service to help get the antenna back on to the roof.  I then reinstalled the antenna. 

In the middle of all this Monday morning while making breakfast we heard a loud bang and lost all AC power.  After doing some trouble shooting, I narrowed it down to the Inverter/Charger.  I asked the Mobile RV tech to look at the problem,  but is was too complicated and high tech for him.  Thank God for Amazon Prime.  In two days and $2000 later the new Magnum 2800 watt inverter/charger showed up.  It took me a full day to remove the old unit, modify all of the wiring to fit the new unit and set it up.  I do not bend like I used to.  Working in the confined basement is not as easy as it used to be. 

But the automatic satellite dish is working and the power is flowing, so we are happy campers again.

Now time to explore Chattanooga.  That is for another blog. 

Tonight is the First Seder.  We are going to a Seder at a local Temple here in Chattanooga.


After we leave Chattanooga we are heading to Indiana to have the coach painted.  As many of you already know, while they are painting the coach we will be going to Dubai to visit Evelyn and also see Caroline and Andrew.

Life is still Great on the Roan Road.