A week with our family truly flew by – by the time their Saturday departure rolled around, it felt as if the Blantons had just arrived! I planned for their time here for so long, and it all went past in a blink of an eye (always a good thing, I think!) 🙂
So in the states, we don’t really celebrate/recognize Boxing Day; however, it was a holiday on the calendar growing up in Canada (although after learning the origins of the day, it would be dishonest to say that we Simpsons actually “celebrated” this holiday!) Back to THIS Boxing Day: it definitely was far superior to most if I do say so myself. While the Blanton men hit the Atlantis water park in the morning, we Blanton ladies had a nice breakfast al fresco at one of my favorite spots: Baker & Spice. It was my first time trying the Marina Walk location, and while smaller than the Souk Al Bahar location, it was just as fresh and delicious!
Following our respective mornings, we all regrouped for our desert safari trip. The itinerary included ATV rides amongst the dunes, dune-bashing, a sunset in the desert, with the evening ending at a camp with a traditional dinner, belly dancing, henna, and the like. A bit touristy? Sure. But still always worth the visit, I’d say! This time around, I booked with Desert Safari Tours, and was uber impressed with the company. The shots below are worth a thousand words! (Prepare for photo overload, folks…)
Friday, we decided to show the family a Dubai favorite: brunch! I wouldnt say that this is a “traditional” Emirati gathering, but tourism is slowly making it so 🙂 All the better for us expats and tourists! Barr and I havent indulged in many Friday brunches here, but let me tell ya, the Al Qasr brunch was 100% worth it! Gut busting, but worth it 😉 All you can eat and drink (more champagne please!) for five hours…it was just as glorious as it sounds.
And then to cap off a great week, we Blantons headed to Abu Dhabi! In my view, no trip to Abu Dhabi (for first timers, anyway) is complete without seeing the Grand Mosque – it was awe inspiring as usual:
And for a festive ending to the Abu Dhabi trip, we headed to the carpet market – and yes, it was well worth it: each couple left with a new rug (all thanks to Barr’s exceptional bargaining skills!)
Truly, it was such a memorable week, made all the better when my mother in law left us with the question: “where should we go next year?” 🙂 Oh the possibilities! Until next time…