You know that feeling when you look forward to something for so long and then, all of a sudden, it is over in the blink of an eye? That is how our experience in Dubai has been going and especially how this last week felt! We were looking forward to my brother, Ryan, and my sister, Haley, coming to Dubai for so long and this morning we already sent them off, back to Ohio. We had a blast and it went to quickly! Per Haley, “Dubai was lit”!
We started off our week picking up Ryan and Haley at the airport on Monday night, after getting through loads and loads of standing traffic. Once we got back to the apartment, we all dug into the sugar cookies mom sent, because we Schroeders were definitely missing out on them!
Tuesday was full of recharging, stocking up at the grocery store, heading to Ryan’s work expo and then ladies night for Haley and I. It worked out really well that Ryan was able to attend a work expo while he was here. Haley, Caden and I took him to the World Trade Center metro stop and we all enjoyed some yummy pizza at Pizza Express, before Ry went inside. Then the three of us waited and explored the area a bit, until he was finished.
That night Haley and I attended Ladies Night “Lost Angles” at Zero Gravity. For 100 dhs ($27 USD) we had free drinks and food all night long. We were also give two 50 dhs vouchers for manicures and coconuts on the way in! We had a great time catching up and dancing the night away together, plus my friend Lindsay came with us, so it was fun to introduce Haley to her too!
Wednesday Layne joined us, with a day off work, and we headed to Deirah and Old Town Dubai…granted this and all the week activities were done after Caden & Ryan took their daily morning naps together. Ry couldn’t quite get past that jet lag. Once we got there we explored the old buildings, snapped some photos for mom and dad and Ryan snagged a couple of great deals on a watch and some leather belts. For dinner we decided to explore some and tried a new Lebanese place along the creek at Bait Al Wakeel. I would definitely recommend it to Dubai visitors, because the prices were great, the food was delicious (I had the shrimp) and the atmosphere was beautiful! Just remember to renew your parking meter, because once again, we got ourselves a 130 dhs ($40 USD) ticket! BOOOO!
Thursday started off with a trip to the Dubai Mall where we showed off the huge aquarium, the view of the water fountains in front of the Burj and of course made a stop at the gigantic candy shop. I had never seen the water fountains, so that was a new experience for me and I can honestly say that it is beautiful out there! The water is bright teal and the landscape is extensive! We didn’t make it in time to watch the actual water show, because we had a tired little toddler on our hands, but Layne and I will definitely be back! It was a great spot for some pictures too!
After the mall we waited until 3pm for our driver to pick us up for the Desert Safari and BBQ dinner tour. Despite getting a little lost along the way, we arrived at our desert side rest where Haley, Ry and Layne got into another 4×4 and went for some dune bashing. Caden and I stayed back, as I didn’t think the bashing was appropriate for an infant….boring mom, I know. We waited separately and were then taken to the dinner site shortly after (in a car with 5 Emiratie men), where we were rejoined for our first camel experience. Haley got awesome pictures (no shocker there) of all of us on the camels! It was so fun having that experience with them and although it was short- probably 5 minutes- we all enjoyed the ride…minus Caden. The poor kid was beyond terrified of the camels and was not happy that any of his family members were partaking in the rides. We snapped a quick photo with him and called it good, running back into the tent and as far away from the camels as possible. The dinner included a belly dancing show, a fire show, free henna and the BBQ dinner meal. The whole evening was a lot of fun and it was definitely a new experience eating on the floor together! Caden loved having it all at hands reach and did really well at trying all of the new foods too! Heck, the kid even got on the stage with the belly dancer for a second, until he realized who was holding him! HA!
Friday we decided we would attend Yogafest at Internet City, as they were offering free classes all weekend for Yoggies in the area. Haley and I attended the Yin&Yang session, where we were pushed to the limits, holding poses for 3-5 minutes at a time. It was much different from any yoga style I have previously tried. But, I do have to say, Layne and I have recently developed a new yoga obsession and I will be using my new RUMI mat (that I got there), for all its worth! After yoga we had a brunch scheduled. We went to Al Maeda brunch at the Double Tree on JBR at 12:30 and had all you can eat and drink until 3:30 pm. After the delicious food and socializing, we headed out to the beach and hit the water, followed by the infinity pool. It was an amazing deal for only $59 USD, per person! I was a little skeptical about the Moroccan style food, and my picky eaters, but it ended up being the best brunch food we have experienced thus far! Delicious!
Saturday was family picture day with Haley Elizabeth Studios. We went back to Internet City and got some great photos of Layne, Caden and I around the palm trees, with the city scapes in the background. Caden did so well during the first half of the session, but definitely hit a turning point that made it a little hard to press on. Regardless, Haley captured some amazing pictures of my family that I will treasure for the rest of my life….like seriously, I want to get one of Caden and Layne blown up for a wall, it’s so cute!! I’ll be posting an album to Facebook once I get all of the edited files from Haley, so stay tuned! A sneak peak is below…) A big thanks also goes out to Ryan for getting Caden to smile by throwing water bottles in the air, dancing around like a monkey and who knows what else, behind the camera. After a chilled afternoon, we then went to the Ripe Market at Al Barsha Pond Park and did some exploring. We didn’t stay to long, as the boys were pressing to get back for the OSU game of course! #GOBUCKS
Sunday was the hubby’s 27th birthday! My old man! We started the celebration devouring some cronuts from Dum Dum Donutterie, before heading to Aquaventure at Atlantis on the Palm. We had such a fun day at the water park! Caden was such a good little boy and we all took turns with him, so we could ride the “big kid” slides. Caden was able to enjoy the lazy river with us and the kiddie water park, which was equally as fun! We walked away from the day with a couple of bumps and bruises, but had a blast together at the park! Definitely visit Aquaventure if you are in Dubai!
On Monday, their last day, we decided to keep it low-key and headed to IBN Battuta Mall. Ry had some fun with Caden in the soft play area at Fun City, while Haley and I did a little shopping damage. In the afternoon, while the boys enjoyed yet another nap, Haley and I headed out for some extra groceries and of course a mini sister photo sesh. Once Layne got home from work, we all needed to fill our bellies and headed to Pier 7 where we capped off an amazing week with dinner at another Lebanese restaurant, Abd El Wahab. This was yet another delicious dinner, with an great view of the marina. We may have filled up on Arabic bread, hummus and oil, but the main courses were delicious too and I am pumped to have some leftovers! Due to the beautiful city scapes in the background, we had to take advantage of more family photos before heading back. We stayed up as long as we could, hoping the week wouldn’t end, but eventually all passed out, only to be awoken, to early, by the alarm for the airport. Yesterday morning at 6:30 we said our goodbyes and “I’ll see you in a month”, as they headed on their way. I agree with Haley….the past week in Dubai was lit! HA!