The Boeing Everett Factory

The Boeing Everett Factory is the largest building in the world 🌎 by volume 13,385,378 m3 and covers 399,480 m2… equal in size to Disneyland with its parking. Forget the mammoth building, as an avid traveler, I’m interested in the behind the scenes of the mammoth wings that carried me from Abu Dhabi to the US during a 16-hour flight across continents, seas and oceans.

It is here in Everett, Washington, a few kilometers north of Seattle, that the Etihad Airways 777 conveyors – and “siblings” 747, 767 and 787 Dreamliner – are assembled.

It is in these premises that the 20th century flight evolution “took off” with the mighty 747 – AKA Jumbo Jet – and later with the bigger aircrafts that required constantly larger airports. This aviation revolution had a domino effect, triggering a boom in many other sectors …tourism, business…

The highlight of the tour was the unveiling of the newest kid on the block: the last version in the 777 series…this baby will have foldable wings and is expected to join the fleet early next year.

The Boeing 747 Dreamlifter transports Boeing parts from suppliers around the world to Boeing’s assembly plants. We were lucky to see one and were advised to take its picture from the terrace which is the only place allowed to take pictures .

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Future of Flight Center : a rainbow of flight attendants 🌈

Jules Verne and The Right Century

Here we go again, I can’t help myself but every time I’m at an airport I think of those thousands of people converging from all over the world and the different reasons behind their presence at that moment : business, leisure, family, medical or simply transit…

So I watch these bustling activities around me but…with the eyes of a 17th century man, yes a man not a woman. I suppose the reason behind this “gender swapping “ outlook is that unlike nowadays, women were a minority at the traveling stations. Seeing them now equal in number to men, moving freely and easily, is in fact :

-a way of recognizing these drastic changes and the updated demographic dynamics in the passengers’ hubs, and

-appreciating the advance in technology that reshaped the travel industry..

So airports have this scene-from-a-science-fiction-movie effect on me, something I’ve never felt when I watched mankind’s greatest leap in the transportation field : Apollo 11 landing on the moon! I know some would raise their eyebrows in disagreement but when this milestone was broadcasted live on television, I was too young and wasn’t among the 500 millions who followed – avidly or skeptically- Armstrong’s first steps on the moon..I missed the real deal, I missed the buzz…

Back to the airports, the millions of people are not watching the action, they are the action, we are part of the same scene that’s being replicated at the same time, at different airports around the world.

Jules Verne comes to my mind too…“Around the world in 80 days”?! We are way past that😉

Hence, for the person that I am, cursed or blessed with the wanderlust bug, I am definitely living in the right century: the easiness and speed in moving from place to place and the comfort we enjoy on board nowadays never fail to amaze me. It’s not the Titanic or Orient Express kind of luxury, but it’s definitely the one that appeals to me: massage before and during the flight, bespoke meals concocted by an inflight chef, a flat bed with crispy white linen, pyjamas and a pair of slippers for an unparalleled comfort, a bathroom bigger than my guest toilet in my birth country with the possibility to book a hot shower🚿(timed but 👌) a lounge bar and a praying area. Well, that’s Etihad Airways for you and I’m certainly a fan.

This Cup of Coffee

This cup of coffee, the morning ☕️ is the “jewel of all coffees “..it has absolutely no match. It simply tastes different…forget the brew, forget the blend, it’s the whole experience…an experience one fails to recreate later on throughout the day; I’ve endeavored to duplicate it though…for a certain period of time I’ve been wondering with each sip of the magic brew whether it tasted as good as the earliest one only to admit the evident: regardless of the place, whether outdoor or indoor, sipping my first ☕️ in silence seems the most enjoyable mission . This recurrent daily small pleasure is one of the simplest and cheapest life enjoyment, it’s the ritual I look forward to when at night I close my eyes in bed , and despite the build up I’m never disappointed. It’s a selfish pleasure…no company needed…

One home requirement though: the mug…it should fit one specific style and shouldn’t be heavy, absolutely not…who wants to do weight lifting 🏋️‍♀️ in the morning?!

However I have to admit, my morning coffee is not the crowned King of all beverages … I have another daily ritual: the afternoon tea …and that’s another love story 🍵 ❤️😉😃

Arabic coffee @ The beach tent

Palace cappuccino sprinkled in real 24 carat gold flakes @ Le Café

  Emirates Palace Hotel – Abu Dhabi, UAE 🇦🇪

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Café liégeois- Liège, Belgium 🇧🇪

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Café gourmand 😋 @ Champs-Élysées, and @ Butte aux Cailles-Paris, France 🇫🇷

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Latte @ historic Demel Konditorei (1786)-Vienna, Austria 🇦🇹

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Capuccino italiano @ Villa d’Este – Como, Italy 🇮🇹

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Mochachino @ Mzaar Intercontinental- Kferzebian, Lebanon 🇱🇧

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Coffee with a spectacular view @ Alila – Jabal Akhdar, Oman 🇴🇲

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Tent service “ morning coffee @ campsite between Paro and Thimphu- Bhutan 🇧🇹

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“On cloud nine” coffee – A 380’s lounge, Etihad Airways 🌍

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Kopi Luwak AKA civet coffee – Bali, Indonesia 🇮🇩

It includes partially digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian civet. Coffee producers claim that this process improves the coffee due to the following:

⁃ selection as the civet choose to eat certain cherries only

⁃ digestion affects the composition of the coffee cherry

Although kopi luwak is a form of processing rather than a variety of coffee, it has been called one of the most expensive coffees in the world, with retail prices reaching US$700 per k