Alexis M Spencer


Alexis M Spencer

I am an engineer on my first international field assignment. I started out in incredible Dubai, but the geology and projects in Qatar turned out to be more interesting.

Middle East » Qatar March 28th 2015

For this past weekend, my friend Samantha and I booked a getaway at the new fancy resort just of the coast of Qatar - 20 minute boat ride from Doha. Anantara Banana Island Resort. Let's just say, it was an amazing retreat! However, one thing that we both agreed on: you definitely never forget that you are in Qatar. So, while we both had a great time and intend to return, it was definitely a roller coaster. I apologize in advance if this reads like a hotel review; in a way it is because we were constantly going through the pros and cons all weekend. Since it is a new resort, it has real potential, but they need to fix quite a few things. We made a full list of items that will be posted on ... read more
on our "luxury" yacht
Sam in the tub
Our room

Middle East » Qatar » Doha March 23rd 2015

Well, it looks like I actually some semblance of a social life here in Qatar at the moment. I am midway through a busy month with lots of plans. Brazilian Steakhouse One of my favorite restaurants is Rodrizio at the Crowne Plaza. They are so friendly, and while it is quite expensive, the food is fantastic and the atmosphere is great. Flanery loves steak so he has been wanting to go back for a while and I wanted to take my new geologist to dinner one night, so we went Thursday. They have an excellent Malbec that I have with my dinner, but the various types of meat are the star. I think they just season the meat with salt and it is so delicious! They have everything: chicken, lamb, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, etc. Yum ... read more
Beautiful sunset
Horse rides on the beach
After the freezing ocean plunge

Middle East » Qatar » Doha March 18th 2015

One of the best ways to meet people here in Qatar is to get to know the people you work. Sure, you can find community groups of people from your own country, but work is the best way to expand your horizons. I am happy to say that I have friends found at work from the US, England, Australia, Netherlands, South Africa, Egypt, Croatia, Wales, New Zealand, Lebanon, Jordan, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Nepal, etc... Desert Camping This past weekend, a group of us work friends decided to do one of those desert camping adventures. It was 360 riyals per person (around $100) where they would take us to a desert camp and provide us with dinner and breakfast, a pool, and a tent. Thirteen of us opted to go for Friday the 13th. We met at ... read more
Love the potty signs
Group photo!
Melinda's baby shower

Middle East » Qatar » Doha March 4th 2015

I have not been able to travel much in the last few months, which has been a bummer. But to keep you up to date with my life, here are some anecdotes of life in Qatar… Octoberfest For this ritual, I went to Abu Dhabi with Jamie, meeting up with Addi at a hotel on Yas Island. Our room was pretty awesome - a one bedroom suite with a view of our party location for the next day. Both nights, the hotel next to us had a raging party with disco balls, bright lights and techno music. Not sure what was going on there! It was actually a good weekend to chill as we were just planning for the festival with no other plans - so we slept in, got a good breakfast, and slowly got ... read more
Thanksgiving at MIA

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai February 8th 2015

Jamie talked me into going to Dubai this weekend; it has been four months since I've been, so I "made the right decision" and hurriedly booked a ticket, packed my bags and left after a long day of work. I got in super later after the usual holding pattern at midnight - definitely every time now. Also, of course, our plane was parked at a stall, meaning a bus. Ugh. Customs took a while (I miss my e-gate!), and finally I got home about 1:30am. It was all worth it. I was able to sleep in until about 9 before we slowly woke up and caught up. I took a nice long shower and tried to find something decent to wear for brunch - we were going to a fancy place and usually the girls we ... read more
Brunch at The Address
Basement Jaxx - Atlantis at the Palm
Jamie at Brunch at Zeta

Europe » Germany » Bavaria December 27th 2014

My last day in Europe. Sigh. At least my flight did not leave until 9:40pm. I checked in online and was not able to get an aisle seat or window seat…. The only consolation is that I got a seat at the bulk head, so at least I wouldn't be squished in for more than 7 hours. I slowly took my time packing and enjoying my last day of freedom. At 11:59am, there was a knock on my door - housekeeping. By this time, I had my coat, gloves and boots on, my bag packed, I was just doing a final check of the room. I told the guy, "Just five minutes please" ….. and he totally flipped out!!! He started yelling at me!!! I got so upset - I told him, "See me standing here ... read more
Alte Pinakothek
Alte Pinakothek
Alte Pinakothek

Europe » Germany » Bavaria December 26th 2014

I was looking forward to today, especially since I saw that we were supposed to get snow. What better way to see King Ludwig II's fairy tale castle in Bavaria during Christmas time??? I knew today would be magical. Sure enough, I woke up and threw open my curtains to see a smattering of snow. I figured the hills would have more snow, but I was later surprised at just how much more they got! I took a quick shower and scurried to the train station to get there early enough that if they were running some scam or if there "weren't enough people" I could take the train myself; I learned my lesson from Prague. Fortunately, the office for Radius Tours was situated well and open right on time. I purchased my ticket and realized ... read more
Tourists coming off the train
Schloss Neuschwanstein
Buses closed due to snow

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich December 25th 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!! I hope you had a good one with lots of love. This will probably be the shortest post I've ever done - at least in recent memory! You know what I did for Christmas? I slept, I read, I worked on my personal projects. That's it. I never left the room - it was raining anyway. I ordered my Christmas lunch of Hungarian goulash and apple strudel, having some of my expensive Italian wine I brought from France. It was yummy. Later that evening (much later, actually), I got to video chat with my family! That was definitely the best part of the whole day. My parents, both sisters and their husbands and my niece and nephews! They were super adorable. My niece, who has never once been talkative on the chat, was ... read more
One of my favorite bottles of wine ever!

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich December 24th 2014

Christmas Eve in Munich…. aaah…. It was a lovely day, colder than I was led to believe though! I walked from my hotel back to the main square for the last day of the Christmas Market to find some more gifts and enjoy the atmosphere. I seriously love these things. Most of you know that I'm not really a huge fan of crowds. They make me cranky. And this place was crowded. I got there early enough though so that I was able to get my food and drink easily. I got a punsch from one of the first vendors, who put some cut up fruit in as well as the alcohol. By far the best I've had. I next bought two sandwiches of thinly sliced pancetta on rye bread for my meals later from a ... read more
My beer and christmas market souvenirs
Typical hot wine vendor
The daily "joust"

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich December 23rd 2014

I had debated about going to Cologne early so that I could check the city out before my 2:44pm train to Munich…. but I decided that I came to this area primarily to see Aachen, so I remained. I woke late and my breakfast was not included in my room rate. I was not about to pay 17 euro for breakfast so I decided to stroll around town and get some photos during the day of these beautiful buildings. I saw an early farmers market type set up on the main street, where people were selling meats, produce, bread, flowers, etc. One of my favorite things about Europe is seeing people buy this stuff daily - there is always a line outside the bakery in the morning with people buying their breads. My grand mom always ... read more
Munich train station
Rathaus and Christmas market - Munich
Aachen Cathedral

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