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Meet Linda Murphy; You Will Be So Jealous!

By Christine Crosby, Editorial Director, GRAND Magazine

Meet Linda Murphy, one of the very lucky Red Hat Society members and GRANDmoms to visit Dubai, which in case you aren’t up on your mid-eastern geography, is in the United Arab Emirates.

Linda and two of her best gal-pals from the Red Hat Society along with Debra Granich, the president of the Red Hat Society were invited by Emirates airlines to come sample the exciting city of Dubai…and sample it they did.

Linda arriving in Dubai L-R Linda Murphy, Linda Bremer, Debra Granich & Marilyn Waltz

By now you’ve probably seen the commercial featuring Jennifer Aniston for Emirates airline, but if not, Emirates is a rapidly growing international airline, based in Dubai, known for its luxurious flights with private suites, shower spas, onboard lounges, etc. It is fast becoming the preferred airline for elite travelers across the world, but it also provides reasonable air fares and fabulous service for all guests.

L-R Marilyn Waltz, Linda Murphy, Debra Granich & Linda Bremer high above Dubai

Emirates provided these ladies with some pretty breath-taking experiences; starting at the top of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, sailing and dining on the Bateaux Dubai … a must do dinner cruise on the Dubai Creek, in glass enclosed elegance,’high tea’ at the seven (count them…7) star Burj Arab, historical walks through the spice, gold and textile souks (Arabic for market)  to a memorable evening with trained safari guides driving 4×4 vehicles over the sand dunes, and through the Dubai Desert Conservation

L-R Linda Bremer, Linda Murphy, Joe the Camel and Christine Crosby, GRAND Magazine

Reserve going deep into the heart of the desert. There they were were treated to a feast under the stars of Middle Eastern cuisine with belly dancers and camel rides at a traditional Bedouin-style camp.

What is a trip without a little shopping?

In front of the Dubai Mall

Linda and friends visited the The Dubai Mall which is recognized as having the largest collection of fashion brands under one roof anywhere in the world. But, that’s just the beginning: The Dubai Mall has a universe of family entertainment with mega attractions in epic proportions.

Dubai Mall aquarium

This mall has one of the largest aquarium tanks in the world featuring one of the world’s largest viewing panels. It has more than 33,000 living animals, representing more than 85 species including over 400 sharks and rays combined.There is a 270-degree acrylic walk through tunnel that makes for incredible close-encounter experiences with some of the most fascinating underwater animals on the planet.

Pictures don’t do it justice…check out this Youtube video of the Dubai Mall. There is a full sized ice skating rink with larger than Olympic-size proportions. In case you are hungry, dining forms an integral part of the overall shopping experience. With over 150 dining venues,the Dubai Mall has brought in the finest culinary sensations from the four corners of the globe. Believe it or not, there is much more…but you need to go there for yourself to discover them all.

Total papering at The Palace Downtown Dubai

In case you aren’t jealous enough yet, Emirates also treated these ladies to full body massages at The Palace Downtown Dubai Hotel & Spa, a guided stroll through museums and art center, a water taxie across the Dubai Creek and the kind of sight-seeing you only dream about.

In case you missed it, you can read more about the amazing travel adventures of The Red Hat Dubai trip here.


When you fly Emirates, you will experience one of the world’s best in-flight entertainment. It gives you the option of calling from your mobile phone on select aircraft, Wi-Fi facility on A380 flights, in-seat satellite telephone and on screen SMS/e-mail services. When it comes to dining, they provide an amazing range of food and beverages throughout the flight duration.

Send emails, write the next chapter of your book, or upload your latest blog post. There’s in-seat power for your laptop and a side table for space to work. Choose a drink from your personal mini-bar and sit back to enjoy award-winning entertainment. Recline your seat into a fully flat bed to arrive feeling refreshed.

How Did the Red Hat Society Begin and Just How Did Linda Get the Cool Title of Esteemed Vice-Mother of the Red Hat Society?

Linda Murphy with Sue Ellen Cooper, Founder of The Red Hat Society

While visiting a friend in Tucson several years ago, Sue Ellen impulsively bought a bright red fedora at a thrift shop, for no other reason than that it was cheap and, she thought, quite dashing. A year or two later she read the poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph, which depicts an older woman in purple clothing with a red hat. Sue Ellen felt an immediate kinship with Ms. Joseph. She decided that her birthday gift to her dear friend, Linda Murphy, would be a vintage red hat and a copy of the poem. She has always enjoyed whimsical decorating ideas, so she thought the hat would look nice hanging on a hook next to the framed poem. Linda got so much enjoyment out of the hat and the poem that Sue Ellen gave the same gift to another friend, then another, then another.

One day it occurred to these friends that they were becoming a sort of “Red Hat Society” and that perhaps they should go out to tea… in full regalia. They decided they would find purple dresses which didn’t go with their red hats to complete the poem’s image.And that is how Linda earned the status of Esteemed Vice-Mother of the Red Hat Society.

A Personal Note From Linda

I am the proud grandmother of two precious grandsons – Aidan, age 10 and Lachlan, age 7.   They live and California and we (my husband and I) live in Florida now.  Our visits are rare, yet VERY special.  In fact, they arrived in Florida for a week- long Thanksgiving visit even before I returned home from Dubai.  I received the best hugs ever when I walked through the door!  They had plenty of questions and wanted to see pictures, and I had a question for them.  I asked, “What do you think about Grandma going on such a long trip to Dubai?” 

Lachlan immediately replied, “Amazing!”

Aidan’s response was, “I was scared at first because I know there are some bad things happening in that part of the world.  Now I am happy that you had such a good time and are home safe.”

Aidan was the first one I told when I called his house to announce the “big news”.  I asked him if he knew where Dubai was located.  He had the right, general area, but wanted to check his globe.  He found it, sure enough, next to Saudi Arabia and Oman and the Persian Gulf.

I taught them two words that I learned for the Dubai trip – Shukraan (thank you) and afwaan ( you’re welcome) and we used them quite often.  Together we looked at lots of photos;  they especially enjoyed the pictures of food and the beach on The Palm – and Grandma on a camel!

We  had a busy week and ate out quite often.  At one restaurant the table was covered with white paper and Lachlan and I played ‘Hangman” while we waited for our orders.  Here is what he wanted me to guess:

_ _ _ _  _ _ _  _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _! I finally got it before a full hanging:  You’re the best grandma ever!

Now we get to see them again for Christmas – at their home!

As for me, this trip to Dubai was AMAZING and beyond my expectations.  I feel so very fortunate to have had this opportunity and I now have faces and names to remember when I hear of Dubai or the U.A.E.  To all those who welcomed us and showed us Dubai – Shukraan!

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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