Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dubai for Dummies

No, no... I'm not saying YOU are dummies :)

You know those books "this and that for dummies" they sell everywhere? Computers for dummies, Spanish for dummies, etc... Well in this case, we feel slightly less than dummies here in Dubai because it's our second time visiting. The first time was earlier this year and we had absolutely no clue what we were doing. We stayed in the nicest of the cheapest hotels we could, and in return for our frugality were kept up most nights from the blasting bass "BOOM  BOOM" from the nightclub in the basement. Ya, that wasn't the most kid-friendly choice.

We would hop in a taxi and just go wherever, not really sure what was the best destination. We tried to go to one of the most famous beaches in Dubai one day, only to arrive and find out it was women and children day ONLY so Danny wouldn't be able to go in with us. So we drove down the coast farther to a crummier beach so we could swim as a family.

Or how about the time we drove to the moon and back (so it seemed) to reach a so-called family friendly amazing park. We wanted to take Sitora swimming and were excited to find the park had a pool. I entered through the women changing side and Danny went through the men's. Only to find out when we came out the other end that the two ends do not meet. They were separate pools for women and men. *sigh* We had to swim separately for a few hours, because we still wanted to get our money's worth! In the end we tried to make the best of it. Danny did laps forever and got some alone time (and in the meantime realized how out of shape he was), and Sitora and I made some friends with Arab ladies and their children in the kiddie pool.

But this time, we came prepared.

We did our research. We planned. We asked. We were ready for this trip.

And let me tell you, it has been the vacation of a lifetime! And it couldn't have come at a more critical time for us. We were seriously in need of refreshment and family time.

I could go on and on about all the amazing things we have done here this trip. Most Westerners would be surprised to hear that it was merely the simple things we were looking forward to. Bookstores. Subway. Clean streets. Set taxi prices. Walmart-ish stores. Starbucks. Malls. Movie theaters.

Sitora is taking a nap, Danny is out running errands, while I sit here at my computer wishing this week could last much longer. But I guess we all feel that way about vacation, right? I mean, who wouldn't want to soak up the sun forever on the beach, laughing and making sand castles with their children while the warm waves crash ashore? Bliss I tell you. Pure bliss.

Here are pictures of our trip. They don't even do it justice. It's all been just so magical and delightful. I love my family. We desperately needed this time away.

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