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Joel and Amy’s Blog

Bringing In The New Year

January 5th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Val and Annette just left last night, Val to Chicago and Annette back to France. Val is Tony’s girlfriend and Annette is her sister. They’ve been in town for the past week visiting. The three of us ladies kept each other company while the guys, Joel, Tony and Mike, were at work.

The run down of the past week:

We went to mall at least once a day everyday, which is an easy thing to do when the grocery store is in the mall. Val arrived last Monday and graciously came with me back to the villa flat to make sure the plumber was there fixing our lack of water pressure. Monday finished off, I’m sure, with a chicken dinner out. Annette arrived Monday night and Tuesday took us to the Asian spa, just off the island. It was wonderful!

The relaxation room, post massage.

The relaxation room, post massage.

Val, Annette and I headed for the beach on Wednesday. Our goal was the family beach, as the men tend to harass the women at the men’s beach. The cabby dropped us off at the curb and we made our way up to the ticket counter. It costs 10dhs to gain access to the beach. We told the ticket officer that we wanted the women’s beach. Of course he didn’t really speak English but did communicate to us that we owed him 30dhs. Val handed him 100dh bill, which he can’t make change for and consequently ended up letting us in for the 20dh bill she had. It’s when we walked onto the beach that we realized we were just admitted to the men’s beach. In order to get from one beach to the other you have to pass by three other ticket officers just sitting around doing nothing. They asked for our tickets and of course we only had two… one of the officers started asking for 10 more Durham’s as I’m explaining that his buddy down the beach let me in for free… thankfully the officer that was standing just waived us on through. People can be nice around here when they don’t want to do any work. It was to cool to go swimming but we did lay out for an hour or so. It took us twenty minutes to catch a cab back to Tony’s apartment. We decided to deviate from the norm and instead of eating yet another chicken dinner out the girls and I picked up ingredients to make Hot Italian Sausage bake for our last dinner of the old year. New Years Eve was spent flying paper airplanes off the 16th story balcony at Tony and Mikes apartment.

If you squint hard enough you may be able to see the airplanes abandoned on the road.

If you squint hard enough you may be able to see the airplanes abandoned on the road.

The guys had fun with that one.

Our Christmas present to each other arrived on Wednesday as well. These pieces were hand crafted in India and are made of solid wood. They are family pieces that will be with us forever.

Christmas Gift

Christmas Gift

Our plan on Thursday was to hop in the car and go visit Dubai. Joel was sick with a sinus infection so we opted out and took him to the doctor instead.

Friday was our scheduled Safari in the desert. What fun this was for the price! They picked us up in downtown Abu Dhabi and drove us to a little camel farm in the desert. We visited with camels for a bit before hopping back in the suv for a little bit of dune bashing.

Tony's favorite camel.

Tony's favorite camel.

The camels seemed to be a little disgruntled and one actually tried to bite Tony’s head off which is why I decided not to get on one for a walk in a circle. I’ve been on a camel before. I don’t need to be on a disgruntled one. Half of the large group we were with was standing in front of the camels for pictures. There were about twenty people milling about, posing and petting the camels when out of nowhere one of them (the camels) sneezes on the whole crowd. All of sudden… no one. Those of us not in the crowd laughed really hard.

Dune Bashing

Dune Bashing

The car slide.

The car slide.

SUV's having fun in the desert.

SUV's having fun in the desert.

After the dune bashing we were taken to a little compound where they fed us an awesome meal, let us dress up like Emiratis and ended the evening by putting on a belly dancing show for us. Annette and I even got a henna tattoo for free.

Having tea around the fire.

Having coffee around the fire.

Kathleen, Nick, Val, Tony, Amy, Joel, Mike, Victor and in front, Irene, Justin and Annette

Kathleen, Nick, Val, Tony, Amy, Joel, Mike, Victor and in front, Irene, Justin and Annette

Saturday was a quiet one at Emirates Palace, walking around taking in all of the gold. We ended up ordering take out from the Lebanese Flower, the best Lebanese restaurant in Abu Dhabi.

The Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque was a must for Annette on this trip. She is an architecture major and thoroughly enjoyed seeing many of the buildings here in Abu Dhabi. Val, Annette and I decided to spend Sunday at the Mosque checking it out. It is very impressive! The dress code for women is long skirts, arms covered and a head scarf worn. We made sure we were dressed appropriately but they still insisted that we put on a black dress and matching headscarf. It’s better to let the pictures of the Mosque speak for themselves. For those, you’ll need to get onto my facebook albums.

Yesterday afternoon had the girls packing and getting ready to head back to home/France and then back to school. It was great meeting and getting to hang out with Val and Annette for the week and sad for me to see them go.

Today I slept in and let Joel take the rental car to work. I will catch a cab up into town this late afternoon so that Joel and I can go see a guy about some curtains. Enjoy the pictures! There are plenty more on my facebook…

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