Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birthday parties and tall buildings

Thursday Jan 3rd - Rigdon's 1st birthday. In the morning Matt, Brad, and I took the older kids to the Mall by their house to pick up some groceries and gifts for Riggie-Roo. Later Yvonne took Abigail to the doctor so Brad and I got to play at the park with Saylor and Talon.

Saylor was a great photographer

Showing Talon how to play

They planted trees in the middle of this nice grassy field to deter soccer games and such. Because grass is for looking at not running on.


If you look closely there is a young mother in her abaya in front of the toys.

 The rest of the day we took it easy at home and got to eat birthday cake.
 Birthday Boy

We know how to party

Friday Jan 4th -One of the big things on our to-do list in Dubai was to go up the Burj Kalifa. Yvonne was able to get us tickets for 5:30 am Friday morning (aka the sabbath in Dubai). It was a great time because we got to go up and see the city and the lights and then the sun rose and we got to experience in the light. While getting into the building proved to not be as smooth as we had hoped, everything worked out and we made it just fine.

 It was fun to be up the Burj as the sun rose.
I was loving the look of the fog.

Looking Up


Looking Down

Definitely worth waking up early for.
Yvonne, Karen, and Brad
On top of the world

It's official we were in the tallest building!

By the time we got back home it was time to get ready for church. The kids weren't feeling well enough for going to church so just Brad, Matt, and I went. It's always interesting to go to church in different places. Comforting to know that the gospel is the same everywhere and how each ward has their own quirks and dynamics.  On the way home Matt drove us through University City where he works. I wish I would have had the camera with me. University City is impressive. Several different campus all in one area. Some very beautiful buildings.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Tuesday Jan 1st - HAPPY NEW YEAR waiting in line for passport control. We did see a few fireworks in the distance from the window. Watching the firework show later on youtube showed us what we really missed.

Yvonne retrieved us from the airport and thankfully the drive to their house isn't very long.  I think we were in bed before 2:00 am. After some sleep we woke up ready for the day. We decided to spend the day at the beach in Fajarah. It was a little bit of a drive but we got to see desert, mountains, and camels. We met up with 2 different families and enjoyed a day in the sun and the sand.(Seriously, such a good way to start the new year.)

 Rigdon having fun in the sand

 Abigail and Saylor were proud of the buried Uncle Brad.

 We collected (mostly Abi) lots of shells and coral.

 Don't go too far out there are jellyfish out there. :)

 Technically, we were swimming in the Gulf of Oman. Brad and I were going to go out snorkeling but Matt and Yvonne's friends had just been out and warned us of jellyfish. I was content with just venturing out to my waist. Matt talked Brad into swimming out to an island to explore. They did get to see some fun things on their adventure; a sting-ray, a turtle, and Matt saw a shark. I don't know if it was worth all the jellyfish stings Brad got. He said they didn't hurt too but over the next 3 days the spots raised up and became very itchy. We rubbed a lot of anti-itch cream on. Poor guy.

Wednesday Jan 2nd - The UAE sure loves their Malls. There are some pretty impressive malls there. The Dubai Mall is by the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), in the mall there is a fantastic aquarium, waterfall with divers (statues). Poor Abi wasn't feeling great and really started going down hill. Brad and I opted to stay downtown and get familiar with the Metro system so Matt and Yvonne could get Abi home.

 This aquarium is seriously big and impressive.

 The divers

Saylor showing us how to dive

Burj Khalifa: The world's tallest building

 Dubai's Metro system is easy to use (only 2 lines), clean, and relatively young. I loved how the stations looked, like something out of a Sci-Fi movie.
Metro Station
 A lot of the metro is above ground and the front of the train had a big window and a great view of things.
We hit the Mall of the Emirates and got to see SkiDubai. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Amsterdam? Wait, I thought you went to Dubai? 

We had a short layover in Amsterdam and made the most of it.

Arrive in Amsterdam 7:40 am (local time) of course, to us it seemed to be the middle of the night but we decided to take advantaged of our 7 hour layover.  We stored our carry-ons in an airport locker and then took a train from airport and went to explore downtown Amsterdam. I think this is what did wonders for our jet-lag on the way over. We got up and moving and stayed awake until it was "time for bed" on the next flight. Amsterdam, what a fun place.

The Train Station

As always in Europe I just love looking at the old building and streets and thinking about all the lives and people who have past through, and how the place has evolved into what it now is.  We stopped into a tourist information place and asked what they would recommend doing if they only had  3 hours to explore.  They suggested a 1 hour canal tour. We figured that was the best way to see and hear a lot about the city in a short time. I think even if we were staying in Amsterdam for a few days the canal tour would have been worth it. We also walked around and looked in shops. I was surprised how small some of the places were. There were a lot of cafes and restaurants that had outdoor seating and people were eating outside. (It wasn't freezing cold but it was cold and it is winter!)  When you have limited space you do what you have to do.

 Walking past an alley you look down are realize there are shops and all kinds of things down there.

 Found the bull....just like New York :)

Dam square:

 Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace) is quite literally the jewel in the crown. Although no longer home to the Dutch Royal family, this grand 17th century Royal Palace is still used to hold official receptions

Nationaal Monument op de Dam
erected in memory of Dutch soldiers and members of the resistance who died in World War 2. Unveiled in 1956, the monument stores soil from all of Holland’s provinces as well as from the Dutch East Indies. 

De Bijenkorf (The Beehive) --upscale and luxury shopping

We saw some fun building on our canal tour

Nemo -Science Center

 Boats and house boats line the canals. (Some look like they've been there for a VERY long time.)

Bridge after bridge after bridge

Just walking the streets...

We walked into a shopping area to find a HUGE Christmas tree that was suspended in the air. 
Totally cool!

Back to the Airport. There was so much more to see. So much more that caught my attention but we had our actual destination to get to.
Our flight for Dubai left at 2:30 pm.