Sunday, December 28, 2014

Volvo Ocean Race

Last weekend we decided to check out the Volvo Ocean Racing.  Unfortunately, the sail boats had already docked from their 6,125 miles journey/second leg from Cape Town, South Africa.  I can't imagine how these people spend 9 months "on the road" covering a total of 38,739 nautical miles in 6 continents, 4 oceans, and 11 cities.
There were still some interesting to see though, like this guy "flying" in the air using water-propelled jets.  Pretty cool!
And quite the view of the other boats with the backdrop of Abu Dhabi/Corniche:
These big rigs were really BIG - and looked like those Transformer trucks in the movies!
The boys loved this section of the Destination Village:
And then, there was a little golf section promoting the upcoming HSBC Golf tournament:
Pretty tricky!
View of the water:
We went to visit the gear shop.  Wow... talk about expensive! USD788 for a jacket and USD 570 for the pants.  It did look like an awesome, sturdy jacket.  I suppose you would need one if you were out in the ocean for 9 months!  We just settled for a belt, cap, and key chain :-)
Digger!  The boys love their diggers.  Too bad there was a wait to try it out:
We checked out a booth of one of the teams - coincidentally an all-female race crew. Very impressive! And just as impressive, a model of their sail boat made out of 100,00 lego bricks!
Time for a tattoo.  I guess we know who we are supporting now for the rest of the race!
There was a model sail boat that we could get on. And it was even tilted at an angle.  The boys enjoyed testing out the equipment:
There were also camel photo-taking and a display of falcons.  All in all, a good day at the Corniche!
By the way, here's a view of the building that I call the "tornado" building on our way out to the Corniche.
Amazing how it's tilted like that!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Merry Christmas!

The boys got to open presents in multiple locations this year.  "Santa" brought presents to Phoenix and then New Jersey and finally, back in Abu Dhabi.
In New Jersey, we spent time at Bob's brother's place. By the way, we found out that Graham is allergic to dogs.  So thankfully the dog didn't complain too much when it had to be put behind a kiddie gate by the kitchen.  By the way, how many adults does it take to fix up a Hot Wheels track?  And why is it that men do not read instruction manuals?
Photo op with Grandma and Pop-pop:
The Pridgen boys:
All smiles until Charlie dropped his lemon. What a pout!
Hmm... and we're thinking... thinking...
Off to see Santa. It was a long time, but thankfully lots to do while waiting. Photo op with Auntie Myla:
Big rocking horse!
Charlie's turn:
Bobby and I with his nephews - all grown up!
Playing chase:
Man down! Man down!
There was an ice sculpture on hand and Graham got to hold a block of ice:
Thank you Uncle Doug for bringing the big blankie for the walk back to the car. Brrr...!
We decided to drive out to JFK airport the night before our flight. Poor Graham was stuck in the back with all the luggage.  Thankfully he slept through most of the drive as it was a long one too!
The boys are so busy with their electronics these days:
Travel day and it's time to wake the boys up. Not sure how Graham ended up the wrong way in bed but it's tough to fit everyone comfortably in a King size bed now!
Glad we got to an airport hotel yesterday.  The traffic on the beltway looked the same all day yesterday and this morning - bumper to bumper!
Back in Abu Dhabi and the boys are back with the Hot Wheels track.  They love it!
Christmas morning and the boys are greeted with the crane right outside our apartment. The love the crane!
Time to open presents!
Only one little present back in Abu Dhabi - a seat belt buddy. Charlie will have to wait until he converts his car seat into a booster seat. Although Graham tried his one the other day and it didn't seem very comfortable. Bummer!
So needless to say, Graham was upset that Santa did not bring him a new grader truck toy this year. I told him he needs to write to Santa about it.
With everyone jetlagged, it was dinner at the golf club.  Bobby was exhausted as he had to work on Christmas day (not an official holiday here in Abu Dhabi!).  And he had to go back after dinner for extra hours.  Poor daddy!
Day 3 of jetlag... we've been taking 7-hour naps in the afternoon. Not helping with trying to fight the jetlag!
The boys are off from school until early January.  So far they have been busy writing and drawing. Thank goodness for write-and-wipe books!
Graham needs to practice writing if he wants to write to Santa!
By the way, this year the boys learned a new version of Jingle bells:
Charlie loves to sing!
Merry Christmas everyone!!!  

Friday, December 26, 2014

Boys' visit to the doctor and first dental visit

While in Phoenix, we decided to get the boys' vaccinations updated.  Charlie and Graham did so well!  Graham had 4 shots -- 2 in each arm and didn't even cry! Guess he really prepped himself mentally when he kept telling Bobby "I'm not afraid". I could probably learn from that!
Once Graham was done, Charlie said "Now it's my turn!"  He didn't even bat an eye on the first shot into the thigh but after a slight delay on his second shot, he did say "Ouch! That hurt!" but still did not shed a single tear. Amazing!
Sticker and lollies for being good boys.  Say "ahhh...".
It was quite a challenge just trying to have Charlie show me the color of his tongue so we were really amazed and impressed at how well their first dental appointment went. The dental hygienist was so good in explaining all the different cleaning gadgets to the boys. Graham was so relaxed:
And so was Charlie:
They both loved "Mr. Thristy!"
Like a pro, although Charlie did have both hands on the arms of the chair. He does that at times when he's nervous.
Like in the airplane on take-off:
Although, he's still relaxed enough to fall asleep right after take-off!
Again, thank goodness for the upgrade.  Our kids are going to be so spoiled (or already spoiled!):
And I could get used to this too :-)
A successful trip! Speaking of successful, I picked up some new wedges on this trip back to Phoenix as well.  Hopefully these will help. I suppose practicing will help too :-)
Had to make an extra trip to the airport to pick the wedges up. It ended up on the next trip out of JFK instead. When I arrived at the arrival hall, the box (now wrapped with TSA tape all over!) was just laying on the floor in between the luggage belts. So glad no one else decided to claim it!
I did get some of these other stuff back too. Can't wait to bake an actual pumpkin cheesecake pie since the last one was not very successful without the pumpkin puree.
Thank goodness the boys' clubs are short/small enough to fit in our large suitcase. Looks like we'll be hitting the range a lot more this Spring!