Thursday, September 29, 2016

Boys back into soccer

Graham and Charlie were back into soccer last week. Thankfully both of them were in good spirit to do so, despite having to send me to the airport that same morning for my golfing trip to Malaysia.
Charlie threw his arm around Graham for the photo op and after the photo was taken, they boys kissed each other.  So sweet!
Based on the report from Bobby, both boys did great!  And with Charlie's enthusiasm, he ended up being Pass Master for the day!  Hopefully that will keep him going until December!
By the way, Charlie drew Daddy.  Too funny!  The red square are Bobby's ears and Charlie made a sun with blue thread.  Very nice! :-D

Golf qualifier in Malaysia

I have just returned home from Kuala Lumpur yesterday.  I was there for a 2-day qualifier for the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, which will be held later this October. Unfortunately, it did not go as well as I would have liked.  Scores like 85 and 76 is not going to get you anywhere!  There were some improvements but I think I was lacking a bit with my Driver, especially for that golf course. Some golf holes require you to carry the ball over water on the 2nd shot on the Par 4s. Needless to say I "donated" quite a few in just those 2 days! On the first day, I put 2 balls in the water on an island Par 3 and then proceeded to put a ball out of bounds on the following Par 5.  Oops!!!

I just have to wait until next year, assuming the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia will continue to be hosted.  In the meantime, I'll let these youngens enjoy the moment next month! :-P

I was able to catch up on some food during the time in Malaysia, which helps ease the pain and disappointment in my golf just a little. Fresh noodles, bah kut teh (a meat dish cooked in herbal broth), and more noodles. This was my supper when I checked into the airport hotel after midnight, when I arrived into Kuala Lumpur: Stir fried flat noodles in an egg broth. YUM!
I'm an easy person to please when it comes to eating noodles! :-)
I have just asked for a sponsor's exemption to a Ladies European Tour (LET) event that's coming to a local golf club here.  It will be the first ever LET event in the UAE, so it would be quite exciting if I do get in.  We'll see what happens.  It will be hosted the first week of November.  In the meantime, back to the drawing board with my Driver, lots of practice, and back to the gym and working out!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Progress in school: Charlie

Charlie is settling so well in school now.  I'm so happy!  And he seems really happy too.  During the first week when I asked him how school was, it almost seemed like he was trying to find an excuse for not having a good time.  Looks like he ran out of ideas!

Sneaking in a quick photo of Lego time at home. He's been building some really neat things!
And both boys are back with built-in swim sessions in school.  How did Graham's swim cap get so small after 1 summer!?
Charlie's new one of course was a bit big so now both of them can just share the cap and the googles.  Haiiiiya!!!
Charlie has quite the moves.  Maybe we'll have to patent them :-)
video

Charlie did some drawing this past week.  These are too funny!  The first one is of  me and Charlie.  To my right, we are holding a water bottle together.  And to my left, I'm holding a smoothie - the big one for me and the little one (which you can barely see in the corner) is for Graham and himself.
And this pictures is my new favorite!  Family portrait by Charlie Pridgen:
 LOL!!! I look like an alien! This will be an exciting year at school for sure!!!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Beach time

Charlie's little friend from nursery invited us over to the beach on Thursday.  We have never been to this one before.  It looked really nice for sure!
The sand was really soft so it was tough to walk on!  Graham was already collecting rocks on the way to the loungers:
Charlie loved making little rock piles. I thought he did such a great job!
The water was so nice and cool!  But by around 12pm, the temperature probably got around 40C/104F and even the sand got really hot to walk on!  That was probably a cue to start packing up.  Well, we had a quick lunch, let the kids play for another 15 minutes, and started to pack for home after that.

I would say it was a successful morning.  I haven't seen Graham so tired in a long time!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Aquarium in Dubai

The boys are out of school for the whole week for Eid holiday.  We actually wanted to stay a night or two in Dubai but the hotel rates were outrageous!  At least for the nice ones that we were looking at. So it was an easy decision to just make it a quick day trip to Dubai.  We decided to visit the aquarium at Atlantis The Palm. It's called The Palm because it's located on the Palm Jumeirah islands - the world's largest artificial island (at least back in 2007 when it first opened).
Pretty impressive, eh?!  There's actually a monorail that runs from one end to the other.  We will most likely opt for that next time as there's still a lot of construction going on along the streets.  Here's the view of the hotel driving in, with the elevated monorail to the left:
See what I mean by construction? Look at all those cranes!
And look at the shape of this new construction nearby - Whoa!!!
The hotel would not let us valet so we parked along the side of the street.  The weather was already so muggy at 11am!
The ceilings in the hotel were very fancy:
It was so busy by the entrance to the "The Lost Chambers" aquarium, but funny enough most of them were just standing around there!  So we were able to get in with no issues.  Graham and Charlie were so excited to see so many fishes!
There were many interesting artifacts!
The upside-down jelly fish were one of my favorites:
And the eel tank was really cool too!  A little eerie but very neat how the eels had these holes to go in and around:
See what I mean about eerie???!
The lobster tank was also very cool.  The lobsters had these bone-like structures where they could climb on sideways and even up to the ceiling!
Very creative!
And then, we came to the LARGE tank! This was the smaller section:
Charlie couldn't get enough of it:
Some interesting looking sharks!
And this was quite hilarious. It's like the stingray is smiling when it's moving up along the glass :-)
There was also a couple of touch tanks across from the main central tank.
There were horse-shoe crabs, sea urchins, and this interesting looking crab on one side.
And on the other tank, some starfish, sand dollars, sea worms, and sea cucumbers.  We spent such a long time in this location that by the end of it, Graham was touching and holding everything!
There was a very nice young guide that was very friendly and very patient with the boys. Graham especially, couldn't get enough of this touch tank!
I'm just glad no one fell in as both Graham and Charlie had to tippy toe a little bit.  Well, Charlie's feet were practically off the ground!
Okay, a little break for a photo op!
I didn't realize what this "thing" we were laying in was actually the underneath of a horseshoe crab.  I only noticed it last night when I was looking through the photos. Ha!
It's amazing how intricate some of these light fixtures are too:
20 minutes later the boys are still at it:
Graham is even brave enough now to turn a horseshoe crab over!
I think Graham was actually trying to explain the animal to a couple of young women.  And by time I was about to check up on him, the two women had scurried away in fright - and laughing along the way too!  I'm not exactly sure what had happened but I think when Graham turned the horseshoe crab over, it must have scared them away! Hehe :-)

Charlie eventually walked away to join me in front of the big central tank. If you sit there long enough, you can actually see different types of fish swimming by.  And also people swimming by! Prior to the touch tank, we spotted one of the staff swimming around in the tank.
video
Guests also get to snorkel in the tank, for a fee of course.  I'm not sure if I want to be in the same tank with over 65 sharks in it!
Charlie was busy taking lots of photos while waiting on Graham:
Time for a selfie!
Okay Daddy... are we ready to go yet???  Give them both the 5 minute warning!
After about 45 minutes hanging around the touch tanks, we are finally leaving the area. One final touch of the starfish!!!
We drive over to a mall nearby to meet up with some friends.  Charlie was asleep all throughout!  When we finally get back to the car 3 hours later after all the "chitty chitty chat chat", we find out that our minivan has been side swiped!  How rude!!!
Oh well, nothing we can really do about it.  At least it was a nice sunset for the drive home.