Our good friend from high school, Jim, came to visit us in Dubai over the weekend and we went on several new adventures, checking even more off of our bucket list! Jim got in quite early on Friday morning, so we let him sleep in and made a brunch at the apartment before setting off. Our first destination was Madinat Jumeriah, which is a collection of (I believe) five different resorts, over 40 restaurants/bars and modern souks. The souks are a recreation of the traditional souks that we have previously visited in Deira, however these are much, much more quieter and seem to be for the tourists who are a little nervous to go to the real thing. I did not find it as interesting, because I was not encouraged to look at what each store had to offer. Instead, we just walked through the quaint hallways, looking for the next coffee joint. We did however, find ourselves another abra, to give Jim his first abra ride! This one was a little more expensive, 85 dhs ($22.95), but it did take us on a longer trip, past the Burj Al Arab– the worlds only 7 star resort! We got the chance to take some great photos of the resort, because the Good Lord knows that we will never be paying to spend the night! I looked it up and it only costs, $1,618 USD…HA, we will pass!
After our trip to Madinat, we decided to take Jim over to one of our favorite places, JBR. We walked the JBR Walk and let Jim be a tourist and snap a couple of photos :). We then headed back to the room to recharge before we headed down to the Marina Family Night and to dinner at Reem Al Bawadi for traditional Lebanese food. The family night activities happen every night along the Marina Promenade from 5-10pm. There were several small umbrellas set up with vendors, animated characters (that scared the you know what out of Caden), clowns and balloons! It is so nice that this is close by for us! It was mighty crowded, but will be a nice Friday evening activity, if we don’t have anything else to do.
Dinner was as to be expected- delicious! We shared humus with lamb, mixed kabab, cheese triangles, mixed meat falafel & chicken schwarma. We all left extremely full and quite sweaty, thanks to my suggestion of eating outside! But the view was beautiful, so I was thinking it was worth it, right? We decompressed on our walk home, just in time for Caden and I to hit the hay, so the guys could go out for a night on the town!
After a late night, I was surprised to see the guys make it up early! We left at 8:30am to head to my first Aqua Spin class, another bucket list check! The class was held at The (beautiful) Fairmont Resort out on the Palm and runs several times throughout the week. I figured Saturday mornings would be easy for me, so Layne could drive me and walk around with Caden and Jim. I honestly felt like the aqua spin class was way different from anything I have ever done. It is much easier on your joints, which is good because my knee has been bothering me. It was however, much harder to pedal. The bikes didn’t have normal gear changes, so it was difficult to get into a rhythm. We did a few new things like squats, push ups, crunches and triceps dips all on the bike, all which I have never done on a bike. The abs were fun, because you had to sit on the seat and wrap your toes around the handle bars to hang on. Then we leaned back, so our backs were hover just above the water. It was challenging to balance yourself and the bike at the same time, while crunching! My Groupon has two more visits, so I will be back next Saturday as well. Now that I know what to expect, I can be a little more confident!
After spinning we washed up and got around to head to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. We had a Groupon for this as well and got to take the fast pass line to the front, then shot up 124 floors in one minute! It was crazy! I didn’t even feel like we were moving! The sites at the 124 and 125 floors were amazing! I loved how you could see the big water fountain below and the bright teal water. We even brought Flat Jesus up with us for a couple of photos! #MidNazkids
The building itself is 2,716.5 feet tall and has 160 stories that include: corporate suites, residences, a hotel and much more. The entire design and history of the building is laid out in detail through several different mediums as you enter, visit each floor and exit the building. I thought it was interesting how the “Burj Khalifa is an unprecedented example of international cooperation, symbolic beacon of progress, and an emblem of the new, dynamic and prosperous Middle East” and is all designed after a Hymenocallis flower. It was designed by the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) with Adrian Smith FAIA, RIBA, consulting design Partner. After excavation started in January 2004, the Burj was not officially opened until January 2010. Six years, holy cow!
We got back to the apartment and all three boys passed out on me. I guess we had been a little busy and Jim just came from Italy where he walked miles on miles on cobble stone roads, before making his way to Dubai.
Once they were all rested up, we laced up our shoes again and headed out to the Nakheel metro stop, where we entered the Emirates Golf Club for the Truck Jam. Now when we USA people hear “truck jam”, what do you think of? Monster trucks piled up, loud motors running and maybe some fair food? This was nothing like that! This was a chilled out evening of FOOD trucks, local bands playing live music and people just hanging out enjoying each others company! Granted, it was a little hot for the first one, but it was a lot of fun and we will definitely be back! There were so many food trucks that we wanted to eat at and the variety was amazing! I couldn’t believe the different styles of the trucks either. Some of them were so fancy and gourmet looking. There was even a double-decker wood oven pizza truck! The best part was, it is only one metro stop from our apartment, so it was a quick easy trip with the little guy!
Unfortunately, we had to say bye to Jim and he went back on his way to the US. We had a wonderful weekend checking more off our list and these past couple days, have continued that streak with the Bunkers in town! More to come!