Saturday, December 31, 2011

Coldplay in Abu Dhabi on NYE

Here it is, the final day of 2011 and we are in Abu Dhabi.

We decided to attend the Coldplay concert with some friends.  They were playing at a venue up on the beach.  They were planning to take their son and so we decided to bring Alexander along too.  The concert was late and we decided to take a cab from our friend’s place.  We had to be dropped off and walk about a 1/2 mile because of traffic.

The concert was awesome!!  They put on a fantastic show.  They play their own instruments and actually sing themselves!  Fantastic performers.

When the concert finished we walked back towards where we came to try and catch a cab.  No luck.  We walked a little further to a grocery store and got snacks and waited a bit for a cab.  No luck.  We walked another 1/2 mile or so looking for a cab the whole time.  No luck.  It was incredibly insane.  My feet were killing me and I was walking with my boots in my hand by this point.  It was so ridiculous that it was funny if you weren’t so overtired and annoyed.  People were walking everywhere trying to get a cab and NOT A SINGLE one was out and available.  It was RIDICULOUS!

Finally……one stopped.  We knew that the 7 of us couldn’t fit into one cab so we sent some in one cab with the idea that Brian would get our car and come back for the rest of us.

They took off  (I think it had been about 2.5 hours since the concert) and we waited around in the hopes of maybe even catching another cab.  It was now my friend Yvonne, me and our two boys.  A cab stopped ahead and picked up a couple and then pulled over for us (the really nice couple asked them to stop for us).  The cab driver didn’t want to pick us up because they have a rule of only 4 people in the car but the woman spoke the same language and kept reassuring him that we didn’t’ care and it was ok and to just drive.  He let us all in and I tried hard to make the seatbelts fit us, but they didn’t.  I rode with Alexander on my lap and held on tight and hoped/prayed for the best.

We finally arrived back at the compound – exhausted but happy.  We all had a fantastic time ringing in 2012!


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It might say Happy New Year, I’m not sure….

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ski Dubai

We decided to take the kids to go skiing today.  There is a ski slope in a mall out in Dubai.  We grabbed some hat and mittens and drove 1.5 hours to a mall to ski!

Alexander really wanted to try snowboarding and Bella wanted to try skiing.  We signed them up for classes and then I took Cameron to play in the snow while my mom watched from a cafĂ© with a warm drink in hand.

You are able to rent all your equipment, including your clothing there.  EVERYONE is dressed in matching red/blue/black ski clothes wherever you look!

I couldn’t get to where Isabella was during her lessons, but I did get some pics of Alexander.


This is one of the dorkiest pictures of Alexander (sorry kiddo) but Bella looks great :)



Alexander is in the middle snowboarding down in the blurry black/white picture and then in the middle on top of the other blurry pic!


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He looks a little grumpy getting dressed, but had a blast once he was in.  He loved trying to make snowballs.


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He liked throwing snowballs at everyone whether they were ready or not!  He enjoyed exploring the little caves and doing what he could.

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This is the best overviews I could get of the place.


He liked trying to climb and enjoyed the tube ride where you hold on and the bars spin around and drag you.


There’s my little daredevil flying down the hills on his inner tube.


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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Desert Safari, Wow!

You can’t live or visit Abu Dhabi without going on a Desert Safari.  There is a range on what is available on the safari and what the cost is.  My friend Yvonne asked around and found the BEST deal for our money and it was FANTASTIC!

Our family of 5 plus my mom, met with my friend and her family of 4.  We were picked up from her compound in two separate SUV’s by a couple of locals.  We didn’t have to worry about bringing anything but ourselves (and a camera).  Everything else was provided.

We drove about 40 minutes or so before stopping off at a Camel Farm for a few quick photos and close-up looks at a Camel. 


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After a visit to the Camel Farm, we were taken “dune bashing” for what felt like an ETERNITY but I think was around 30 minutes.  This was to get us from the Camel Farm to where the final set-up was.  The dune bashing was freakin’ INSANE.  People do this regularly here and I don’t know how.  There are 4x4 clubs and I have one friend who goes on a weekly basis.  I was pretty sure I was going to die.  Seriously.  I am a little bit of a control-freak and in fact prefer to do all of the driving.  I get a little car sick when I don’t drive and not to mention, don’t like NOT being in control.  So….needless to say, dune-bashing was SO not for me. 

Before you start, they have to take a little air out of each of the tires.  This allow the tires more area to “grip” the sand.  When you drive, you go fast up and OVER the sand dunes or sometimes just sideways ACROSS the sand dunes.  At any moment, I was pretty sure we would go up, over and roll on down the sand dunes and probably sink deeply into an unknown vortex of sand and die.  I know it’s sand and you think it’s soft but I’m pretty sure you can still roll over down a dune and then have sand seep in through all the crevices and drown of sand.  Yep, pretty sure that was a possibility at any moment.



Cameron – “enjoying” the ride


Here’s the skeletal remains of a camel that didn’t make it.  Yeah, that’s reassuring.

Here are a few lovely videos that Brian couldn’t help but take.  You will notice Isabella’s wild laughter as I try and prevent a panic attack or at least prevent it from getting any worse.

After the craziest, wildest, scariest ride of MY ENTIRE LIFE – we FINALLY got to where we were going.


Thankfully we were some of the first people there and had everything to ourselves!  The kids could go in the back on the bouncy slide or we could get a drink or we could……..


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Connie sandboarding in Abu Dhabi


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