Monday, January 25, 2016

HSBC Golf Championship week

I think Bobby and I were more eager about this rather than the boys.  It's always so cool to watch the European Tour players come out and play our home course.  The boys were perhaps eager to be up on the grandstands. Thankfully no one yet during practice rounds!
And what a lucky opportunity for us to catch Ernie Els by the 18th green after his practice. Super nice guy!
And always interesting to see what sort of gadgets are used to catch all the action during the tournament:
All the flags are up by the driving range leading into the Championship Village.  The American flag was next to the UAE one.   And it's always fun trying to name the other flags.  Too bad there are no Malaysia representatives. One day, perhaps!
There was even a chopper on site during the pro-am day! It was parked in between #9 and #18.
And even more exciting was to watch it take off!  It was quite loud as you can tell with the boys covering their ears and thankfully, we were mostly done with our dinner.  Dust flying everywhere!
When the boys were at school, Bobby and I were able to watch a few players practicing on the golf course.  Selfie time!
On Friday, we took the boys and spent almost all afternoon in the Championship Village.  There was so much for them to do! There was soccer (or football as they call it here):
Putt-putt for the adults and kids:
Rugby - Charlie could have stayed here for hours just doing this!
Sand play!  There's actually water where the blue is, but I made sure the boys stayed out of.  The sand was messy enough!
Pitching and bunker play:
Video games - although it was soccer rather than golf.  Not like it mattered!
We did try to watch some golf.  Obviously the boys were not too interested:
Yes, I brought my little umbrella out.  I only noticed a handful of them.  I told Bobby that I could get away with using one because I'm Asian. Ha ha! :-)
Nope... they are still not interested in watching ANY golf!
We were suppose to go home by 3:30pm on Friday but the Trick Shot boys were about to have a show. Needless to say, we stayed to watch that and by then, it was dinner time and so 6 1/2 hours later, we are finally on our way home!

I'll have to try this one someday ;-)
Maybe the boys can attempt this one when they are older.  Quite impressive!
Out of the entire week, I think this was my favorite photo - me and the boys with the trophy!
Maybe someday Graham or Charlie will be able to put their name on that trophy.  Might be a long shot, but you just never know!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Playground is finally open!

The playground by our apartment complex is finally open.  Although, Bobby noticed a sign that says "For Villa Residents Only".  Well, there 's hardly anyone living in the villas yet, so I suppose it's still ok... for now!

But first, a trip to the supermarket to get our breakfast/snacks.  The boys love hiding by the elevators:
The boys aren't quite tall enough yet for the sensor to let them into the plaza where the supermarket is:
Always eager to pick something out!
Here's the new playground. It's nice although the height for the swings are pretty high. Even I have a tough time getting on it!
Nonetheless, the boys still have a good time:
And they do love the see-saw.  Thankfully Graham has been very good about letting Charlie off first and not just dropping him to the ground!
There's no shade at this playground. Hopefully one will get put up before it starts to get warm! In the meantime, Bobby and I just hang out by this water fountain that's work in progress, but shaded at least :-)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Another medal at soccer

Graham got his medal for soccer on the very first week so Charlie was obviously determined to show his coaches what he was made out of this week.  And he proved it!  He had the biggest smile ever when he got up to receive his medal:

Happy Charlie!
It starts to get dark on our way to dinner after soccer and I thought this was a good photo to share - a typical sight here in and around Abu Dhabi.  I'm always amazed at how many cranes they need at one job site!
Unfortunately, we got our first parking ticket when we parked along a street by one of the hotels where we decided to have dinner.  How could it be wrong if everyone else was doing it! Ha ha! Well, if anything else, we did enjoy our dinner and the boys definitely loved their Belgian waffle with strawberries and ice-cream for dessert! It's too bad we couldn't get a company discount with the Dhs200 (approx.USD$50) ticket like we did with our dinner bill.  Lesson learnt!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fun at a birthday party

This past Friday, one of our little friends turned 6 and they hosted a birthday party at an art studio.  What a great idea!  The boys had so much fun.  They started out with decoupage.  Graham's is red as that is his favorite color and with Charlie, blue of course!  Technically, they weren't suppose to paint over the dinosaurs but what does that matter when it comes to these boys. Ha ha!
After that, the kids moved on to painting on canvas.  It was so neat to see how different kids interpreted the same model-painting! As you can tell, the theme of the birthday party was dinosaurs.  ROAR!!!  Guess who painted which one?
I suppose you can already tell that Graham painted the one to the right as it already has his name on it! He actually did all of that by himself, including drawing the dinosaurs, the mountains, the trees, and the clouds.  I'm impressed!  And Charlie had a little bit of help with the drawing and painting.  Funny how he wanted red mountains, a night sky, and sand vs. brown mountains and green grass like the model-painting.  Interesting, I thought!  And Charlie didn't want his name on the painting, so we put it on the bottom side of the canvas.  

Love these paintings!  Thank you Omar for a great birthday party!

Back at soccer!

Or should I say football!  It's still tough for me to refer to it as "football" since football to me is still American football. Oh well!

New shin guards for Graham this time.  Yes, bright pink!  Those were the only ones that had at the store. And oh, we did find out later that they go inside the sock. Amateurs... Ha ha!
The boys, especially Charlie, was so excited all week about getting back into soccer.  Warming up before the session!
Daddy and his boys:
Here's Charlie - sitting on the ball and waiting patiently for his new coach to call out his name:
And they're off!
A little distracted with the planes flying overhead but the boys didn't seem to take too much notice:
And if you didn't notice yet, there's also the roller coaster ride close by.  The fastest in the world no less. A 1 minute 32 sec ride that reaches up to 240km/hr or almost 150mph!
Well, looks like the boys are naturals at soccer, according to one of their coaches.  I wonder where they get that talent from???!  Charlie impressed his coaches with his super kicks!  And probably also impressed his coaches with his hugs. He's such a hugger!
I was just happy that Charlie wasn't hugging my leg like he did last year!  As for Graham, he REALLY impressed his coach.  He got a medal for listening and playing hard right off the bat!  Hopefully that won't mean he will start fooling around the rest of the sessions.  

Happy Graham!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Graham's school work

We are back in school this week!  I am having a really tough week as I'm not enjoying the 6:30am wake-up calls.  Thankfully Bob has not complained about the snooze button - at least not yet!

For the first day back at school, Graham had to share about his vacation time.  So he drew the Deustches Museum with the clocks.  And he's trying to write "I saw a museum and I saw Da Vinci's machines."  I think he has Italy and Germany mixed up!  We still have to work on his hand-writing and finger/word spacing but definitely an 'A' for effort ;-)
The clocks were actually on a different building from the main entrance, but I think he nailed that pretty well in his picture!
And here's another picture of us on the mountain in Innsbruck, Austria.  After looking at the picture more carefully, I realized that he had himself at the very top, followed by the snowman, then Daddy, Charlie, and finally me.  Why am I last??!?
And the little green boxes are the cable cars.  I think he's spelling it as "caboncorss".  And for some reason he's been doubling up the S's at the end of his words.

By the way, speaking of the trip, I finally bought a little German trinket. When I was in Germany years ago (like 20 years ago!), they had these whatchamacallit made out of wood.  Sorry, I really don't know the name of it! Anyhow, you would light a candle or two (or more for the bigger ones) and the heat would turn the little fan on the top, which in turn, turns the little pieces on the bottom.  It's a very Christmas thing to get.  And 20 years later, who knew I would actually have to share one of these trinkets with my kids!
The boys were fascinated by it and we had to just help it turn a little as I think the tea-light is not producing as much heat as a regular candle would.  Only a matter of time before we get a cuckoo-clock! And we know how much Bobby looooooves those clocks :-)  (NOT!)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Nice lamps!

I really fell in love with a lot of the light fixtures during our recent trip to Qasr Al Sarab.  We've been looking at getting a few "local" lamps but after seeing these, I think we know what we want!  Okay, I don't think Bobby would let me install so many in one area on the ceiling, but these look awesome together!
This lamp was in the bedroom - nice but probably bad "feng shui" with the pointed tip at the very end. "Poison arrow" as they say!
The hotel had these set up along the stairwell.  Again, very pretty when grouped together.
I really liked this one. It was hanging in the bathroom. One on each side of the mirror.  I think the clear glass is definitely the way to go, compared to all the colored ones we have seen here.
Alright, I also have this thing for doors.  This one was in our bedroom leading into the bathroom. So pretty!
This was the front door to our room.  Very sturdy!
There were all sorts of knick knacks for the boys to look at and play with:
There were a lot of old locks and keys:
Probably the biggest lock I've ever seen and it actually works!
What an oasis in the desert!