Monday, June 27, 2016

Trip to the Waterpark

After 2 years of living in Abu Dhabi, we are finally making our first trip to Yas Waterworld!  Here we are getting close to the entrance:
Graham and Charlie are obviously super-excited!
All ready!  I'm glad we had these bright flower swim shorts - a recent hand-me-down.  It was just a little bit easier to spot them at the big water-play area. You'll see what I mean in a bit!
We decided to rent a cabana.  Best decision ever! I think we got our money's worth as we were at the Waterpark from 10am to almost 5pm!
Here's our view from the cabana.  We have the view of 1 of the 3 water splash areas.  This was the big one!
Charlie was a bit tentative at first:
Oh, and if you ever need to dry off.  This automated dryer can fit 2 people for Dhs10 (just under USD$3).  I don't know if I saw anyone in it.  It was 40C (104F) that day so you probably would have dried pretty quickly just by standing in the sun!
Despite how loud the water was splashing everywhere, you can still hear the airplanes on their approach to the airport:
And... they're in!
There's a snake/spout at the very top that fills up this HUGE bucket. It would probably tip over every 5 minutes (Bob thinks it's more like 3 min).  Anyhow, the boys love it!  You can sort of see Graham towards the right side trying to escape the big splash. Ha!
For whatever reason, Charlie was being grumpy about taking this photo. He's got such a pout!
And the consensus is... thumbs up!!!
Did I mention the cabana came with butler service?  It sure beats having to be in line.  I know... we're spoiled! ;-P
Time to relax after lunch.  I know... REALLY spoiled!!!
After a few more hours, we are finally finishing up.  The boys can't get enough of the water.  I do love these showers by the cabana where you can rinse off:
By the way, renting the cabana also meant the inclusion of a Pearl Diving experience.  So... couldn't really say no to pearls, could you?  I really struggled though getting to the bottom of the diving tank.  We (me and 2 other men) were provided with these goggles with a nose cover. It really threw me off!  I couldn't get accustomed to just breathing through my mouth.  Well, thankfully the diving instructor in the tank with us, had placed some oysters in a few buckets down along a rope. I managed to grab 2 oysters from the very top bucket and one more from the middle bucket.  That was it for me!  The boys were getting a little bored by then too, waiting on Mommy, who wasn't really doing too much. Ha ha!

In any case, I was told by my mother-in-law that I am not allowed to ask Bobby for any pearls because it represents tears.  So I suppose this one I can keep since I actually dove for it!  Too bad I could only keep one. Pretty no less and I also bought a pendant for it :-)
It would have been another Dhs49 for another pearl (almost USD14) and I did already spend money on a pendant + necklace.   This whole experience actually made us spend even more money after already spending a whole bunch on the cabana!  And the diving experience will also remind me of how much I dislike those goggles with nose covers. Someday though, I'm going to get to the bottom of that tank!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Recent happenings

Oh no!!! Running out of pineapple tarts.  I bought these from Singapore.  Perhaps I need to ask Bobby if we can head back to Singapore again on standby :-)
Here's Graham's "boat" that he had created, as that's what he wrote on the piece of paper. Seems like it would work!
The boys have been busy painting some clay robots for their teachers.  Sort of a end-of-school gift/fridge magnet:
Charlie seems to be so much more precise:
Yes, he is still calling himself an artist.  Here's more clay modeling and painting:
Graham on the other hand, has been working really hard with his final Home Learning paper.  Yes, you read that right - "My time machine to Rome".  As you can see, writing for Graham also means lots of erasing! I wished he would try and write more legibly. Work in progress for sure!
Last but not least, some dancing from Charlie. Graham has been doing lots of it too but somehow I didn't manage to get those on video.  Okay, here's Charlie!
video
He's such a character!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

Somehow I thought Father's Day was this Sunday rather than the last, so thankfully the boys had purchased their gifts for Daddy while in Rome.

Surprise! More ties!!! :-)
In the meantime, I had made Chicken Parmesan for dinner and was also baking a blueberry pie.  Who is the luckiest dad ever!
Did I mention the homemade crust as well???!
It's amazing how expensive blueberries are here. The pie cost almost as much as our chicken parm dinner! 

But our Daddy/Bobby is worth every penny ;-)  We love you!

Rome - Last day

Our final day in Rome.  Daddy is finally able to join us on the outing today.  Yay!  We set off on the 10am bus again into the city.  But first, brush teeth!
Charlie is able to, for the most part, brush his own teeth. He can also floss (most of) his teeth!

As usual, nap time on the bus!
Graham was happy looking out the window with his little wooden Pinocchio in his hand.
What a cute little car:
Once we got off our bus stop, we start walking along the river towards the Vatican.  There's a bridge that crosses over to a little island in the city, Isola Tiberina:
I just noticed something after looking at this photo below more carefully. During our walk through this little island town, I spotted a nice blue handbag. You can almost see it to the bottom left where Bob and Graham is walking.  Thankfully we had a few minutes to spare on our way back to bargain with the street vendor.  Happy Mommy! :-D
Here's the river. It's too bad we didn't figure out where to hop on and off the boat rides. That would have been a lot easier than walking! And somehow the boys complained more about walking while their daddy was around. Go figure!
We spotted a vending machine selling beer!
More of those little Smart cars. I love how this one is parked!!!
"My legs are getting tired...!"
Looks like the tourist started something here with the padlocks by the bridge:
A quick view of Castel Sant' Angelo:
The Vatican!  Ahhhh.... so tired!  Barely an hour into our journey:
I guess that means lunch time!
What can I say... I love tomato & mozzarella! And the boys had penne with meat sauce. Funny but somehow the spaghetti almost always comes with clams or clam sauce. I don't think the boys would eat that!
And gelato after, of course!
Tiramisu for me, of course. What else!
Back on track!  We're getting closer to St. Peter's Basilica:
The boys are obviously having more fun with Daddy out and about with us!
Of course, Charlie had to do the same:
The Vatican's post office.  After the fact, I knew I should have gone inside to see it!
Looks like Bobby is "tied down" a little:
Graham and Charlie are finally back on their feet and we finally figure out where the entrance is.  Wow... spectacular!!!  I seem to be saying a lot of that during this trip! The gold trimming on the ceiling really does shine throughout the entire place:
A look at the alter:
Family we-fie!  This seems to be a new thing now with us, where we place the camera on the floor. And I can see that we are all holding hands too.  Love it!
I'm glad the boys are just as intrigued as us with these massive and amazing structures:
One last look as we exit the Basilica:
One last chance for Bobby to practice his imaginary speech to "the people":
That's it for the day!
Time to walk back to the bus.  What is it with boys and sticks??!
We request for a late check-out at the hotel.  In order to kill some more time, the boys convinced Daddy in getting them some Legos.  They probably didn't even need to try very hard!
Instead of Legos, Mommy got chocolates (I sort of wanted the metal tin more than the chocolate :-) and biscotti:
Good bye, Rome!  Hope to see you again!