Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Random pics of the week

When our friends were visiting from out-of-town, we obviously had a few late nights. Poor Graham fell asleep at the table after dinner! Funny how he was still holding his color pencil :-)
Charlie, on the other hand, was still going strong!
Never a dull moment when we go grocery shopping with Daddy:
After 2 days of sand and wind, there's so much sand accumulated on the roads!  It was cleared up after a couple of days.  Not sure how they cleaned it up but at a smaller roundabout yesterday, I saw a garbage man with a shovel (vs. his usual grabber) scooping up the sand into his big garbage bin.
And we finally invested in some Sidr honey. One of the moms here recommended it for the boys. I used the word "invested" because it's 400dhs per kilo!  That's equivalent to almost USD 50 per pound! Foie gras costs just as much. Ha! Anyhow, we only bought 1/2 kilo. Originating from Yemen, the honey from the Sidr tree has been reported to have several medical benefits. We just started feeding the boys a little teaspoon of it every day this past week. We'll see how they do - if they are less prone to coughs, etc.  Look how dark it is!
There was also a honey for sale at the same kiosk but with cinnamon and ginger. So yummy! But at 300dhs per kilo, I decided to wait on that purchase.  Although now reading up more on the benefits of honey and cinnamon, I probably won't wait too much longer. Suppose to help with arthritis, lowering cholesterol, colds, upset tummy, strengthen immune system, longevity, and the list just goes on and on!

By the way, it rained again - I mean drizzled - a couple of days ago (view from inside the minivan).  Needless to say, the car is just filthy now with the combination from the sand storm last weekend.
And finally, after almost 21 years of patching and sewing up, I've decided to retire my hand-knitted golf head cover.  It was a gift from my caddy when I played in the 1994 ASIAN Games in Hiroshima. She was a petite older lady, covered up from head to toe in a white uniform with a big hat like all the caddies do in Japan. She gave me a set of head covers when I was there and sent another set to my home in Malaysia back then. So sweet!
What's funny about this change was that I almost couldn't find my 5-wood yesterday as I didn't recognize my new head cover in my golf bag!

Water fun

It's never a dull moment at the water splash park.  A few new things have been added to the pattern of the water spouts. FUN!
The boys have the whole place to themselves:
Love seeing the boys laugh:
All the spouts going! And there's a new high water spout in the very middle:
All done! Check out that nice yatch in the background:
Thankfully Daddy had a clean blanket in his car. Mommy forgot the towels!
Always a fun place to play for the boys!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year started this past Thursday.  This year is the Year of the Ram.  Hmm... I wonder what the horoscope says about our life, money, and adventures for the year.  Guess we'll just have to find out one day at a time :-)
There were some Chinese New Year celebrations at a mall in Abu Dhabi this past Wednesday so we decided to check it out.  But first, to kill some time and get the best seat in the house for the show - some yummy chocolate covered strawberries:
The boys love their chocolate!
Our friends from out-of-town were still with us, so we were all anxiously waiting for something to happen:
Finally... some balancing tricks!
Then, some martial arts, although I was surprised by the fans. Most of the time the fans would be used by the women. The fans did make a pretty neat sound when it was quickly opened and closed:
Then some plate spinning. I thought I saw the sticks poking through those plates though. Cheat!
We decided to see what was outside after the show.  The lanterns were pretty:
The boys got their tattoos and balloons shaped like swords:
Graham having fun!
Of course, what else would they do with swords but fight!
I though the lion dance would have been outside but it was back inside the mall. And somehow I was expecting the big drums but I guess that might have been too loud for a fancy mall.  At least the boys were not afraid of the lions like they have been before:
Back outside, the stage lights finally came on and I thought there was going to be some Chinese Opera. Wrong! It was some very loud music and just some dancing on stage.
Needless to say, I was quite disappointed. Sure makes me miss home this time of the year!
At least the skyline of Abu Dhabi was pretty:
And the boys were excited about the laser show.  Thankfully this was a little bit better than the one we saw during the Kite Festival last month in Dubai:
Overall, it wasn't as exciting as I thought it would have been but at least the boys enjoyed it and our friends were able to experience some of the Chinese culture. They definitely needed to work on the timing of the food set up but thankfully Graham was happy with his hot dog and Charlie was very happy with his pop-corn.
We'll definitely have to search for something more for next Chinese New Year!  Speaking of search, still need to find some "ang pow" or red packets for the boys!  Thankfully the CNY lasts for 15 days!

Bobby's new mug

Finally had a chance to pick up Bobby's new Valentine's day mug today. It ended up a lot darker than I expected!
Although it almost has a Van Gogh sort of feel and color to it.
Good job Graham & Charlie!  :-)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Qasr Al Hosn Festival

I never knew that the Qasr Al Hosn was actually a building, although not just any building.  The "Old Fort" or "White Fort" was constructed in 1761 which makes it the oldest building in Abu Dhabi.  It was built to protect the only fresh water well in Abu Dhabi island and then it was later used as the residence of the ruling Sheikh.
The Festival is held every year for 11 days to celebrate the Emirati culture and heritage.  We had some friends visiting from out-of-town so we decided this would be a good chance for us to learn a few things too. There it is... smack in the middle of the city!
We had a little wait going into the festival.
Who knew there was water on the inside!
There were lots of exhibitions going on including building a boat or Dhow. There was a whole pile of strings on the side that they would put in the seam of the wood. Amazing how that keeps the boat afloat!
A little baby turtle as they talk about turtle conservation:
Learning the art of throwing a fishing net:
The market area - I'm surprised I didn't buy anything!
And here's the fort!
The boys rather played with sand of course and there were obviously lots of that around us!
The festival wouldn't be complete without the camels:
There was a whole bunch of other stuff to do at the Festival but it was getting late as it was almost dinner time.  It's too bad it only starts at 4pm although it does end at 11pm, but that is obviously way too late for the boys on a school night (or even on any night!). Quite funny with these timings. Anyhow, different place different culture!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day came and went.  Hmm... Bobby said he was going to get me a card. I guess it's still back at the store!  Kinda like those flowers too.  Ha ha!

We did get to go out and play some golf. Oh, what's that?? 1 up! He he... looks like I get bragging rights until our next match :-)  Bobby did win his match though. He is participating in the Club Matchplay Championship.  So excited for him! He's now in the Sweet 16 (his name is all the way at the bottom of the page):
We picked up the boys at the nursery after golf and just had a quick dinner in a restaurant that's located in a supermarket. Yes, very romantic indeed!  The boys were trying to make heart shapes with their hands:
Looks like Charlie still needs some work!
We actually have a little surprise for Daddy, but it wasn't ready by Valentine's.  The boys had a fun time painting it:
Once they were done, they were obviously more interested in playing with the toys on the side.  At least that gave me some time to put the finishing touches:
The boys always leave a mess everywhere we go!
I hope Daddy enjoys his new mug!

Air race at the Corniche

Last week the Red Bull air race came into town.  The planes were a lot smaller than I expected:
When we hit the sand, the boys got busy as usual!
After waiting for quite a bit (so it was a good thing we had brought some toy diggers along), something was finally happening in the sky.
At first I thought there were 2 planes making contrails in the sky and then, the planes disappeared and parachutes opened! It was actually 2 guys in squirrel flying suits flying around and then they were holding the UAE flag together. So neat!
And then, after waiting for a little bit longer, the planes started their practice runs:
And the boys got hungry as usual.  Cupcakes! It's too bad the cupcakes were not very fresh but I don't think it mattered to them very much:
At least everyone had a good time!
Looking forward to our next adventure in Abu Dhabi!