Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Free entry into Ferrari World

This past weekend was the last weekend of Ramadan, which meant Ferrari World's offer of "Free Entry" was going to end.  Needless to say, I wanted to take full advantage of it!
But first, we had to carefully wake the grumpy "bear" a.k.a. Charlie:
We thought we had parked close to the entrance but had to actually walk a bit through the mall to get there.  Bobby was obviously not so happy about this but we made it!
Nice!!! Yup - didn't take long for Charlie to wake up with all this excitement!
Impressive structure inside.  It actually looks very similar to the structure inside Kuala Lumpur International Airport:
These Ferraris are stunning! Somehow Charlie didn't share the same enthusiasm about this one:
So many of them!!!  Ooooohhhh....
There is also the fastest roller coaster here called Formula Rossa.  It is a "launched" roller-coaster that reaches a speed of up to 240km/h or 150mph. YIKES!!! And zero to 60mph in 2 seconds...!!!  There's a viewing area and when the ride was launched, you can really hear how fast it is going.  Quite amazing!
We found this soft-play area.  Graham and Charlie were thrilled of course!
Thumbs up!
Once that was done, we visited the one of many souvenir stores. Too bad these cars were not working on the track.  The boys love this stuff!
Did I already mention how massive this place is??!  Just found out that Ferrari World is the world's largest indoor theme park - sprawling at a massive 200,000 square meters or get this... 2.15 MILLION square feet!!!
And they managed to put a ride inside of that tornado-looking structure.  It's called the Turbo Track, which features a vertical climb and zero gravity fall:
No... neither Bobby or I got on the ride.  I get too nervous about hurting my neck!

I was THIS close (yes, visually me putting my two fingers really close together :-P) to getting into this Formula 1 race-car simulator.  But some dude got ahead of me and we really didn't feel like waiting. Maybe another time then, although I do have my Jaguar driving experience coming up tomorrow. Woohooo...!!!
There's a ride for the younger kids, where they sit in a car that goes around Little Italy.  The ride didn't seem all that exciting so we just walked along the route. I'm happy to say that the boys already saw the Coliseum in real-life! Yes, mom bragging moment here :-)
This was very similar to Mini Europe (in Belgium) where Graham and Charlie got to drive little cars:
And also drive little boats.  It was a good thing there weren't a lot of people so both boys got their turns:
Okay, onward to another section of the park.  Vrroommm vrooommm...!!!  Yes, it actually did make those sounds!
What a classic!
I am glad we came during an off-peak time/season:
We were just about to leave when there was an announcement about a show. Of course we had to stay and watch!
How is it these theme parks always make you walk through the souvenir shop before exiting??!
Anyone wants just the front end of a Ferrari????
It's only for USD 17,696!!!
After a very quick meal (*never going back to Buca di Beppo ever again!!), we are off to get some gelato.  They make such pretty gelato flowers here:
Somehow Charlie got the lucky draw of the straw here as his gelato flower was extra big!
All in all a good night! I guess we can't really complain as we only spent less than USD 20 today for almost 4 hours in the mall. What a late night though - it was already about 9:45pm and we were just back in the car to drive home!

I did make up for the spending the next day though at the same mall as there were lots of Eid holiday sales going on.  Can't beat those Buy 1 Free 1 offers and also was so determined to find a new swim outfit. Although note to self, never go swimsuit shopping with just Graham and Charlie! :-D

Monday, June 26, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day was actually over a week ago.  I think I am starting to get lazy with these blog postings.  There are so many photos to go through sometimes!  But such great memories though.

This Father's Day I decided to bake an apple pie (even a homemade crust!):
Bake chicken parm:
And even buy a bag of pistachios:
Pistachios are really expensive here. Gosh, makes me miss those big wholesalers like Sam's Club back in the US.  Charlie is obviously very excited about the pistachios too! :-D
You're welcome, Daddy/Bobby!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Missing my mom - 10 years later

It's been 10 years since my mom had passed away from colon cancer (June 19, 2007).  I think the biggest thing for me now is my mom not being around to watch Graham and Charlie grow up.  Makes me miss her even more. She would have been a great babysitter! :-P

This is my mom and her sisters - she is the one to the right.  My dad passed along this photo to me recently.  I am guessing this was before they all left for university so probably late teens.
I have still been growing out my hair for Pantene Beautiful Lengths - a charity that makes wigs for women with cancer.   Although I think I am accumulating more strands of white hair than the previous years!!! Anyhow, won't buzz it all off until next year. It's not quite the requirement of 8 inches yet.

Miss you, mom! May you continue to watch over us here from up above XOXOX

Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy birthday to Me!

Oh no! One more over 40!!!  Breathe... breathe... ok, only 41. Don't panic - not quite yet at least.

Nothing like starting out my day with a nice card from hubby and boys though. I think Bobby scored some brownie points here:
I love how the boys are able to write their names and little notes now.  And I was actually quite impressed with Bobby's drawing of a jaguar.  If you are wondering, it's a hint for a Jaguar Driving Experience. Vrrroooom vrroooommm!!!  10 more days to driving a speedy sports car on a Formula 1 race track. Woohoooo...!!!
And hmmm... what's this? 
It's Branch from the Troll cartoon/movie.  Perfect for my handbag! It actually comes with a little brush too, just in case if I ever get bored while waiting somewhere. Of if perhaps I need to calm down and meditate, I can comb Branch's blue hair. Ha ha!
After picking up the boys from school, we headed off to a bakery in a nearby mall and picked up a variety of cake slices.  We then headed over to a friend's home and Judy's little Abby clearly enjoyed the cakes too. How cute is that face!
By the way, did you know I am her favorite person? She actually called me by name the other day! :-) And can't thank Judy enough for the Gemini charm for my bracelet. Thank you so much! You are such a dear friend. Judy actually bought me the Pandora bracelet on my 40th birthday. How time has flown by so quickly!
Then, it's off to dinner with Bobby and the boys. And yes, more cake!!! Graham and Charlie are so cheeky:
Family we-fie!
A lovely birthday, I would have to say!

And oh, a few days later I also went out for a nice steak birthday dinner with my J-friends.  If you are also wondering about this, it's Judy, Jackie, and Jenny. I think it's such a weird/funny coincidence that these group of gals all have names starting with J!

What a yummy dinner and dessert was excellent too. I think the plate says it all :-)
Grateful for great friends!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Recent happenings

I finally convinced Bobby to take us to this place called DragonMart in Dubai. It's basically a HUUUUGE building that houses both retail and wholesale businesses. Actually, there's now DragonMart2 as well, so it is even bigger!  We saw some very cool looking light fixtures. So pretty!
Graham and Charlie finally got a new scooter:
You literally could find anything and everything here. We also found some cute little backpacks for the boys - for cheap too!
Although not at the expense of our car being scratched though. That's twice now while being in Dubai. Grrrr...!!!

Anyhow, back in Abu Dhabi... we are working on some new life lessons at home - mostly with Graham.  I figured it was finally time for him to help a little in the kitchen.  Plus, he is the one that is eating most of the mushrooms!
He seemed purely interested and actually requested to cook mushrooms again a couple days later.  This time I even let him cut the mushroom all by himself:
Thankfully no injuries! We are also working on his confidence - we sent him to pick up some groceries all by himself :-)
I told Graham to pick up a baguette and some apples. He came back with Arabic bread. Close enough :-)  Charlie was fast asleep in the car so I parked close to the entrance of the supermarket and sent him in. He was so proud of himself when he got back to the car. And I was so proud of him too!

Happy Graham! He loves making bubbles while washing his hands:
Charlie, on the other hand, loves to crumble up his paper when he gets frustrated!  He was trying to make a paper airline and obviously things didn't go his way. HA HA!
Thankfully we have other things to keep the boys busy - lots of jigsaw puzzles!
If only they would use another part of the apartment and not the main thorough-way for it. Oh well, anything to keep them out of trouble. I guess pillows will work too. Look closely enough and you can see Charlie tucked away in there somewhere.  Too funny!
There is only one week of school left. I will need to come up with more ideas for the summer! It's too bad our trampoline park membership is expiring after Ramadan.  I thought it was so cute when I spotted both the boys together just hanging out during Dodge ball:
And the tightrope was set up by the front cashier, so I got to try it out too. It was so difficult!
So happy that the boys play together so well, most of the time at least!