From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dubai 2012 Long Weekend Day 4

We woke early this morning and took a quick taxi to the Dubai airport.  Nice airport and quite large.  It seems to take forever to go from one place to the next.  One thing I hate more than anything is taking a bus to your plane from the gate.  I half way understand if it is a low cost carrier at a larger carrier's hub, but this was Emirates, the flagship of Dubai.  Why they couldn't taxi their planes and board from the gate is beyond me.  Nonetheless, the flight was a breeze despite the delays.

After arriving in Bahrain, we decided to go to our favorite restaurant there and eat, Ric's Country Kitchen.  I may have discussed it before, but in short, Ric's has some good American fix ins, particularly for breakfast.  I ate up some biscuits and sausage gravy with a side of bacon.  Jamie had what appeared to be potato skins along with (you guessed it) a side of bacon.

The drive across the causeway was a piece of cake and Jamie and I spent the rest of the day catching up on our shows.

Again, a wonderful trip to Dubai.  We highly recommend the city for a 4 day weekend.  There is probably enough to do if you wanted to stay for a week, but it might get costly.  They have some fabulous resorts there too, but again, more costly.  I know we'll be back down there for a similar long weekend in the future.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dubai 2012 Long Weekend Day 3

Beautiful weather today in Dubai.  James had a great night's sleep, so we also slept in and hung out in our room.  We left about 1:00 to go to the "Creek."  After discovering that the Metro station there was closed, we decided to get off on the Metro early.  When we asked the taxi driver to take us the the Creek, he took us to the Creek Children's Park instead.  It was then that we also discovered that I forgot to put the memory card back into the camera.  So... no pictures today.

We spent the entire afternoon in the Dubai Creek Children's Park.  It is a very nice area with a ton of stuff to do with kids.  James is too young obviously, but we have decided that we'll go back there one day.  Having a park like that would be amazing in Saudi.  It is times like that that I wish Saudi had their act together.  They certainly have the money Dubai has, just weird in the way they spend it.

After roaming around the park for a few hours, we took another taxi to Festival City, where we decided to eat at Hard Rock Cafe.  The food as always was great, and we bought James his first HRC onesie.

We leave very early in the morning to fly back to Bahrain where we'll hop over into Saudi.  We should be home by 11:00 am, so we'll have the day to rest before going back to work on Monday.

James' first on this trip (14.5 weeks old)...

1st time out of the country (Bahrain and United Arab Emirates)
1st time across Saudi/Bahrain Causeway
1st airplane ride (Bahrain to Dubai) and (Dubai back to Saudi)
1st monorail ride (Dubai)
1st hotel stay (Rose Garden Hotel Apartments Dubai)
1st Hard Rock Cafe (Dubai)
1st time rolling on one side
1st time rolling in the grass (this may seem weird, but remember where we live)
1st time held by complete strangers (everyone seems to have an opinion on how to calm a baby)
1st tear rolling down the cheek

He's also really starting to "jabber" and may be teething.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dubai 2012 Long Weekend Day 2

Jamie had a rough night with James, so we slept in (kinda) and didn't head out until after noon.  We took the Metro straight to the Dubai Mall.  On exiting the Metro, you can see the  Burj Khalifa measuring in at 829.84 m (2723 ft) tall. You can actually see it pretty much from anywhere in the city.  It is actually a beautiful building.  I read where it took 5 years to building using 13,000 workers where they sometimes built a level in only 3 days.  

The Dubai Mall is equally impressive.  We entered and found a nice little "Mexican" restaurant in the food court.  The rest of the day was spent trying to feed James and keep him happy and walk around the mall.  There is a large aquarium at the bottom.  We decided not to go in, but you can see the 10 million liter aquarium from the outside quite easily.  It houses over 33,000 marine animals.  

A quick dinner at Uno's deep dish pizza and a dessert once again at Cold Stone and we were off to see the Dubai Fountains, the largest dancing water fountains in the world.  If you have been to see the dancing water fountains at the Bellagio hotel and casino in Vegas, the Dubai fountains won't seem all that.  There are more fountains, but the show is pretty much the same.  The back drop, however, is quite incredible as you view the Burj Khalifa to your left of the fountains and the Burj Al Arab to your right.  The Burj Al Arab is the only "self proclaimed" 7 star hotel in the world.  It is impossible to go in to see it unless you have either a) a room for the night which starts at $1800 per night for a "standard" room OR b) you can get a reservation (up to a month early) to eat at the restaurant where the meal will probably cost you around $250 per couple.  While it would be nice to actually say we've seen it, we'll wait for that large bonus check to arrive in the mail first.  

It had been a long afternoon, so we headed back for the night.  Tomorrow, we'll see what else Dubai has to offer.  Check out the few pictures we have on our Picasa Photo Albums.   

Dubai 2012 Long Weekend Day 1

James' visa finally came in on Tuesday, February 7, so I quickly booked a flight and room to Dubai for our 4 day weekend. We had been wanting to take him on a trip, so we thought we'd celebrate his 14 weeks of life in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai.  On Thursday morning, we headed out by 7:00 am to the Bahrain airport.  After thinking we wouldn't make it in time due to the Bahrain morning traffic, we safely boarded our plane and we off on the 1 hour flight to Dubai.  James was a little fussy only while waiting in line to board.  That was only because he was hungry.  Once we were on board, Jamie fed him and he was good to go.  Didn't fuss the entire trip.  We counted that he'll have 10 more take off and landings in the next 6 months, so he better get used to it.  Our goal is for him to be a champion traveler at an early age.

Dubai airport is beautiful and easy, and after a quick stop at the Duty Free (thank you Jack D.), we took the monorail toward our hotel.  James became quite fussy then, so we decided to stop 1 stop early at the Mall of Emirates.  After feeding him at Cold Stone and treating ourselves, we took a quick taxi to our hotel, The Rose Garden Hotel Apartments.  The room is nice and it has a full kitchen in it.  We rested a while before heading back out, taking the Metro (which was only 1 block from our hotel) back to the Mall of Emirates.  After walking the mall for a while shopping around, we ate at a place called Sezzam which was at the bottom of the Ski Dubai.  Ski Dubai is a large indoor skiing course.  Please remember that Dubai is in a desert.  When you get board, look up Dubai and notice all of the insane things that oil money can buy a country, including a fully operational ski slope inside of a mall.  If you've been to Colorado or any other ski town, it is not that big of a deal, but it is touristy and something to see.  We ate Indian food at Sezzam and it was wonderful.  They even served my favorite beer.  Alcohol is legal in Dubai but only sold at hotel restaurants and licensed bars.

After dinner, we walked around the Mall of Emirates a little longer before heading in for the night.  James was great for the night but has begun to get fussy.  We believe he might be teething.  Tomorrow, we'll head to the Dubai Mall to see some of the sites around there.  

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