Monday, September 12, 2011

Picking dates on campus

In August - September one can find dates all over camp as most of the palm trees here are date palms. The gardening staff tend to remove some of dates, but there is still plenty left for the adventurous-date-loving-dude who knows how to climb palm trees. 

Amilie tells Pappa which ones she wants.
And he is getting some good ones.
Amilie got her date. Then off to the Indian Tandoori.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sebastian loves himself some ice cream

Sebastian just loves ice cream and he likes to eat it all by himself.
He used a spoon at first, but as the icecream melted it was easier just to use the hands...
Oh, and then he got a phone call that he just had to answer. Holding his hand to his ear is just as good as any phone. Never mind chocolate ice cream all over...
Now lets sing the "more ice cream please" song.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Our Eid-vacation to Dubai

In Saudi-Arabia we follow the Islamic Calendar so we get to have some days off whenever there is a religious celebration coming up. The end of Ramadan is celebrated with the holiday Eid-al-Fitr. John had 3 days off and a weekend in the middle of this, so we decided to go see our friends in Dubai for the holiday. We had a wonderful time visiting different sights and and hanging out with Melinda and Brian, by their pool and around town. They were excellent hosts driving us around showing us everything worth seeing. We liked Dubai - everything was new, nice and clean - made to a high standard and very pleasant to the eye. There was no restriction on clothing or socialising either, so it felt much more relaxed than back in Saudi. 
Here are some of our highlights.

Mamma and Amilie on the plane. Only a one-hour flight. Amilie wished for me to take a photo of us and she willingly poses. :)
This was the hottub by the pool in the apartment building where we stayed with John's friend Brian and Melinda, even on the same floor (27th) as their flat. Luxury! :) Gorgeous view over Dubai also. :)
From a sightseeing day, Dubai skyline captured from south of The Palm. Very hazy this time of year...
John in front of The Atlantis, on The Palm. 5-star hotel and Marine and Water Park.
In Dubai Mall. Check the art work in the background! Amilie is obviously more interested in that than posing for the photographer. :)
Fascinating aquarium on the ground floor of the mall. Glad I am not swimming with that shark.

Amilie thought this was amazing too and absolutely worth posing for. 

Off to the Rainforest Café as we thought it would be adventurous for the kids. Apparently too adventurous! They were terrified for the first 20 minutes by the lights(or lack of), the moving animals and the noise.

After a while Sebastian found it quite fascinating when the elephants wiggled their ears.
Still a bit frightened by the gorillas ...
John felt at home though - with his long time, since high school, buddy, Brian.
Amilie would not take her hands off of her ears untill she got this drink with lights in the bottom... All the things you do when you have kids...
She realized nothing was normal here when she all of a sudden saw MEN swimming around with the fish.      The Rainforest Café had one wall facing the mall aquarium.
Finally Sebastian relaxes too and enjoys the fun.
"Look how big I am!"
Sugar heaven in Dubai Mall.
Amilie got her self a lollipop and having spilled half her juice on her clothes in the cafe, had to get a new outfit, a ballet dress, of course.
Probably smart to invest in some Gold - wonder if I should get a 2 kg or a 5 kg bar?
Burj Khalifa - 828 meters - tallest building in the world. Look how small the skyskrapers beside it look!
We felt like tiny beside the real Burj Khalifa, so we decided to have a pic beside this shining mini-model inside the mall instead. :)
Burj Al Arab - the only 7 star hotel in the world. The one reason we didn't spend $ 28000 per night to stay here was that our friends lives just around the corner. The dish to the left, close to the top, is a tennis court.
Mall of the Emirates
Amilie wanted to go sledding at the ski resort inside the mall. I told her we would rather go skiiing and sledding in Norway where the snow actually is white and there is no entrance fee.
Happy Birthday, Melinda! Amilie always volunteers to open presents. :)
Sebastian and Amilie get to check out that the Birthday cake is all right.
They approved of it, so we all enjoyed it next.
Sebastian loves himself some ice cream cake!
Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina. Check our drinks on the side of pool. The pool bar is on the opposite side. The kids felt a bit uncomfortable with too many floaters...They enjoyed the swimming once they got used to it though.
Fascinating with the city almost on the beach. Notice the twisting skyscraper to the right. A lot of creative architecture in Dubai.
Amilie collecting sea shells at the beach.
Walking back to the pools.
Someone still enjoying the pool side. You can see the pool bar in the back there.
Amilie decided to get some swimming done by the kids pool. Poor Sebastian missed the fun as he was napping...
I added some colors to this(or my camera did), pretty picturesque place anyhow.
We could see the Atlantis Hotel (the Palm) from the beach.
Amilie found a sea shell even in the grass. The pool canals continued another 100 meters or so from here.   Pretty cool.
Sun is setting, time to go home. Sebastian still in the stroller... It sure is exhausting to be a tourist! :)
Off to the Mexican restaurant cause that's where Texans like to eat.
Sebastian eating his tortillas. Maybe not the best utensils for this kind of food...
Amilie - again at the Mexican restaurant.
By the pool again. :)
- and again!

Amilie resting after some dancing.
Out for a meal at The Irish Village.
Our wonderful hosts Melinda and Brian! :)
Amilie enjoyed jumping on the rocks and feeding the ducks in the pond.
Always enjoyable to hang out with the band!
Relaxing before we head off to the airport after a lovely vacation.
Amilie is pleased with her holiday.
Sebastian will not be confined to his stroller, but rather enjoy the spacious airport running around as fast as he can. Life was easier before (for mom and dad)...
He gets mad at me when I try to stop him from escaping.
Good travellers and good friends! Still happy even though it is quite late.
We truely had a nice vacation and are looking forward to going to see our friends in Dubai next time. Will let them recuperate a bit first. :)