I gave up and moved a few books to the iPad before leaving on Wednesday... I helped Mom and Dad with the house and got some odds and ends done, however, it seemed like I was just in a hurry up and wait mode all morning. There is something to be said for working a half day just to keep your mind occupied. Ah, well, hind sight and all that jazz. so, Mom and Dad dropped me off at the shuttle at 12noon on Wednesday. And so the adventure began.
Day 2 (15th)
I had multiple flights, however for some reason when in ATL they only gave me the first leg of my trips boarding passes. I got to Washington and received the next leg, however not the third leg's boarding pass either. Weirdness. Amsterdam is an interesting place to fly through/out of as they screen you a second time when you go to the actual gate as well. Again, weirdness.
So - after about 20 hours and a 9 hour time difference I arrived at Abu Dhabi airport... went through customs, and walked the gauntlet of people... no Leslie. Hum... walked it again, dragging a very uncooperative suitcase behind me (crushed wheel was later discovered)... still no Leslie. I got to thinking we NEVER exchanged numbers, so this could be very interesting if something did come up while I was in transit :o\ ha! Nothing did... and she walked up to me when I was on my second loop and wandering to the doors outside - to see if they were at the curb instead :o) Yeah!! It was like NO time had passed and we picked right up where we left off some 12 years ago. Fun times, fun times. We sat up and chatted and caught up on life in general until the wee hours of the morning.
She and Sarah share a 2 bedroom flat there in Abu Dhabi. Sarah is a nanny for a number of families, however nanny is more of a transportation in some cases, pick kids up at nursery, transport them to the house with the house keeper you pick up as well type of situation - sounds great to me... although driving through some of the multi lane roundabouts would freak me out!
So, Day 2 (15th - Thursday) was arrive in country and go to bed late that night
Day 3 (16th - Friday) the first day of their weekend (Friday/Saturday) and we were off to Dubai!
We stopped at two malls on the way into town - mostly to look for Elizabeth's LG Lollipop phone that I never did find. We did give it a goo try, however, along the way, we saw Krispie Kream Donuts, so I had to take a picture for Linda and family! The first mall was the Ibn Battuta Mall
Mall of the Emirates to see Ski Dubai and for Leslie and Company to get a hamburger at the Shake Shack - apparently the one and only place to get a "authentic" burger in country. I would compare it to Five Guys Burger and Fries. It was good... but for me, doesn't compare to Mikes Hot Dogs here in town :o)
What Ski Dubai looks like from the outside, apparently it's quite the large slope considerably higher than we could see from the windows we were peering through.Burj Al Khalifa The Ramada Downtown The views were phenomenal - we could see the entire Burj Al Khalifa as well as the Dubai Mall and fountains. Very impressive!
The living room to the two bedroom suite was:
this window along with a small balcony off to the right of the picture overlooked the fountains and if you looked up and to the left, the tower as well!The kitchen with bar as well as a little dining nook off to the side (only two chairs as there was a full dining table in front of the bar:
This first evening we were schedule for a dinner cruise in the Marina area going through some of the bigger buildings of the area. Never tell these to "put your heads together" you never know what you'll get! ha!
The Atlantis hotel visible in the distance at the tip of the Palm Jumeirah
Yes, we even smoked the shisha - it was a grape flavor and wasn't horrible... I didn't inhale, it was hard enought to NOT smoke with multiple smokers around, however wanted to see what the fuss was about with the flavored smoke. yeah, I could leave it alone just fine :o)
Day 4 (17th Saturday) dawned with FOG and a lot of it. Something I just had not anticipated from this part of the world. Fog - desert? Doesn't seem to go hand in hand, nor does Desert and humidity, however this is the case in this particular desert, so something new learned on this trip as well. Also, some of what I see in the air may not necessarily be dust, it could just be normal haze that comes with humidity as well. Weirdness... however, after seeing the amount of dust on the patio's after a day of accumulation... I'm fairly convinced most of what we were seeing in the air was the last bit of the sand and yuck that had not settled out since the last big blow hard storm as well.
Burj Al Arab - the sail shaped hotel... and I do mean look CLOSELY as it's not very visible. We did use the telescopes to show all different scenes so we could confirm what it would look like on a clear day and we were, indeed, looking in the correct direction!
Regretfully we had more places to go and more things to see. Our night that night was another scheduled dinner cruise on the Dubai Creek. This seems a bit redundant, however they were two distinctively different areas of the city. The marina was/is all man made and the "new" area, where the Creek is the historic and older section of town. Very different in the perspectives of what you see.
HOLY crap! I just put in three more days of details and it's GONE...
Ok, starting this on a new post...