Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Home from Dubai

It was hard to say good-bye to Dubai. But we got to come home to our gaggle of girls so that helped easy the pain of a vacation ending.
Some of the things that I found interesting or really liked about Dubai:
  • The milk jugs -Seriously, I can't believe I didn't take a picture of them. I think my sister and brother-in-law thought it was weird how much I liked them. I just couldn't get over it. They are more rectangle and slim than ours. They would make organizing a fridge so much better.
  • A lot of the groceries are shrink wrapped even if they are already in some sort of container - cereal boxes, yogurt, etc.
  • The car beeps when you hit a certain speed on the speedometer and continues to beep until you drop below it. On Matt and Yvonne's car it beeps when you hit 120 km per hour.
  • Call to prayer --5 times a day. I loved hearing it whether we were walking around a mall, hanging out somewhere, being tourists or laying in bed early in the morning. There is something very soothing and peaceful about it. 
  • There is construction -everywhere
  • At the airport in Jordan it was 34 degrees when we landed. They had snow. (We had a layover there for a few hours.)  While there I saw the Arab version of Nicolas Cage. I felt bad because I couldn't stop staring at the poor man. Not kidding they could have been twins other then the difference in ethnicity.
  • Jet-lag - On the way over it really didn't affect us much. Coming back it took me a good 2 1/2 weeks to feel like I was back on track. (There were several nights when I went to bed when I put the girls down 7:30 or fell asleep on the couch before it was even bedtime for them.)

Of course, we had to bring the girls some presents. Here's just one of the items we picked for them. You know me, I love to force them to match. (Wish I could have found a green dress for me too but a coordinating one was the best I could do.)

I had to come home and start doing chores. Like taking down all the Christmas stuff. (ugh) Natalie is a good helper though. When we were doing the ornaments she says to me, "Hand me that Liahona Mom. I'll put that one away."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Last day in Dubai

Thursday Jan 10th - Last day but a full day. In the morning we went to the store, Carrafour, I wanted to get some candy to bring home to the people that helped watch the girls. Then we go to attend an assembly at Abi and Saylor's school. It's fun to see the differences and similarities in their kindergarten vs. Camille's.  After school we all (minus Matt) went to Mushrif Park.

The kids always wanted to sit by cool Uncle Brad. (Even with his long legs he obliged and folded himself into the back.)
    In this park there are all sorts of miniature houses to explore. Seriously heaven for kids!

 Abs enjoying the second story of the Swiss house.

Having a tall Uncle comes in handy when you want to explore high places.

 Like I said ALL sorts of houses...including Smurf houses.
We even ran into a pretty friendly ghost.

When we got back to Matt and Yvonne's soaked our feet in pool. We actually never got in their pool because with all the kids being sick letting them in the pool wasn't on the list of good ideas. Then we had to pack...blah...that meant we really were going home.
We had some great accommodations

 After getting all packed we got to spend one last night of playing games. We big fans of Monopoly Deal. Yvonne took us to the airport about 8:00 pm. I think the hardest part was getting there being told our flight was delayed an hour and just thinking how we could have gotten one more round of games in!

Our flight left Dubai at 11:00 pm we had a layover in Jordan, another one in Rome (neither was long enough to go out exploring, darn!) then after a really long flight we finally made it to Boston on Friday Jan 11th at 2:30 pm. By 4:30 pm we made it to our hotel. We checked in with Ryan and Tara (who were coming to fetch us the next day), ordered a pizza and were both out cold by 6:30 pm.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Wed Jan 9th - 80 degree weather, no kids = All day at a water park. (It was a little slice of heaven.) We went to Atlantis (big hotel out on the Palm, man-made island)
 On the way there we saw what we call the twin Chrysler buildings

 Driving on the palm

 Fancy cars

We had a great day. Such a fun place. We rode water slides to our hearts content. The lazy river there is awesome! There is one that has rapids and you never really have to get out of the water. The lazy rivers connect and even send you up a conveyer belt thing to the water slides if you wanted to.

One of the slides sends you through a tunnel that goes through the shake tank.
View from the side
View from above

 For video from inside the tank click here and for video from outside click here.

Brad did the Leap of Faith slide a 27.5m tall and 61m long,that catapults riders into a transparent tunnel and through a shark-filled lagoon. (I errored on the side of caution and decided not to ride this one while pregnant. Although it looked like a lot of fun!)
 Hi Brad (see him standing out on the right.)
Down he goes!
You can click here to see the video. 

You could also leave the pool/ water slide area and walk out and enjoy the actual beach too.
 Little fishies by my feet.

 Such a good way to spend a day!
Here is one final video from the day. I turned the camera on while going down a ride not a great video but makes me smile to remember how much fun water slides are. :) Click here.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kickin' around Dubai

Tuesday Jan 8th -  Brad and I ventured out on our own with the use of the Anderson's car. We got to experience some crazy traffic in one section of Dubai and I was glad Brad was the one driving. We thought we'd hit the Heritage village in Dubai but it turned out to be a bit of a bust (It was "open" but nothing started until 4:00 pm and it was only 10:30 am) So we drove to Sunset Beach took a nice walk and had a great view of the Burj Al Arab (the world's only 7 star hotel). We wanted to go in but you have to have a reservation just to get in to see the lobby and such.

 Shopping center next to the Burj Al Arab --Looks like little piece of paradise.

One the way home we stopped at an Outlet Mall which was fun because there were a lot more locals there and we saw a greater variety of woman in their abayas. It's interesting to watch them eat with their veils on (some even were wearing gloves.) I think the biggest kick we got was seeing the big majestic front gate for Universal Studios Dubai but that was it. All that has been built is entrance, behind it nothing but desert.
Some fun road signs:
I love this one--Mosque and gas.

Playing this the kiddos in the back "yard".

In the evening Matt and Yvonne's friends the Johnson's came over to watch the kids so we could go on a double date to Global village. Many countries there have their own sections with shops and vendors. It was fun because you get to bargain for things. We ended up getting some nativities to add to our collection as well as gifts for the girls. 

 Monday is family night here too :)

Back in the US Camille loses her first tooth (at school, during math.) AND gets an award at the BEST assembly at school for being caring.
 The tooth fairy did a great job finding her even though we were out of town.
(Seriously, Ryan and Tara did such a great job with our kids.)
Camille: front row far left

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Desert Safari

Monday Jan 7th -  Brad and I took a walk around the neighborhood. We ended up walking to the Uptown Mirdif Center and doing a little shopping. I ended up getting a great deal on a swimming suit. (Less than $11 for an Adidas suit.)

 Karen sitting inside an air-conditioned bus stop.
 Matt and Yvonne's neighborhood Mosque plus a school bus.

 That afternoon we got to leave on our  Desert Safari. I would highly recommend this to anyone going there to visit.  I thought it was worth every penny. First they take you out into the desert (think St. Anthony sand dunes but bigger and redder!) and you go dune bashing, we stopped and watched the sunset on the desert, then they take you into camp where there are camel rides, henna tattoos, Shisha pipes to smoke (which we didn't), appetizers. We watched a belly dancer, had dinner and got to see a whirling dervish man and held a falcon. Really a fun night.

 Our guide letting some air out of the tires for our trek across the desert.
Caravan through the desert. All those white cars are with our group.
Sunset on the desert.

Feeling like a local.
We make a pretty cute couple!
Getting some Henna

Let's take this Camel out for a spin.
 This camel did not like me.  He tried to bite me and if he didn't have his muzzle thing on he would have.
For video action of the camel ride click here.

We also enjoyed dinner, a belly dancer, and whirling dervish.
The pictures of the belly dancer and whirling dervish all turned out fuzzy. (They were just moving around too much.) I did take some video that I need to post.
Holding a Falcon.
All in all a super fun night!