by Rev. Stephen R. Parelli. KATHMANDU, NEPAL. What an amazing first day "on holiday" (oh, yes, this is a business trip, too, but we've decided we are going to take time to relax and see things along the way). Actually, this first day of travel, which turned into a total sight-seeing event, was a total surprise. We were assuming we'd get a room right at the airport. We had an evening and half-day lay-over between connecting flights! But upon arrival, Etihad - our airlines - told us all rooms were taken and that we'd have to go into the city. At first we thought,"Oh no!" But then we realized it was a plus! Not a problem! Etihad set us up with discount prices in a luxury hotel. We loved it, of course -- Le Meridien. We did a little shopping. Walked the beautiful grounds. Dined in our room. Arose early the next morning to swim in the hotel pool and the Persian Gulf (so we were told). And then by taxi we saw two city landmarks - the Emirates Palace (from the outside only) and the Grand Mosque which we toured. We were at the airport by noon for our 2:10pm connecting flight to Nepal.