Thursday, February 28, 2013

Beach Days in the Arabian Gulf

Beautiful spring like temperatures combined with the fact that we live a block from what is here called the Arabian Gulf, have meant we've been able to enjoy a lot of beach days lately! This is the same gulf that we can see people para sailing while we eat supper sometimes.

Talia really loves the water.

Right now, Elias' favorite part is the sand.

These guys have the job of raking the beach. It's hard to be excited about a job that seems to be pretty futile.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Round and Round the Zabeel Park...

About once a month we visit the neighboring city of Dubai. It's about a 2 hour drive with lots of desert to look at, 120-140 kilometer per hour speed limits, on a 4 lane road with constantly weaving traffic. I do not envy Ben's preference to drive! Dubai, once we get there is in a tumultuous state of road construction, but will be very nice when finished.

Parks in the Emirates are a wonderful thing to experience this time of year, as the average temperatures have been in the  range of the beautiful early spring temperatures of the States. Parks are also ranging in size from small ungated swing sets to humongous landscaped areas with multiple entrances with a fee. We were invited to visit a park in Dubai that had at least 6 separate entrances. Another couple who lives in Dubai went with us, and we had a map, so we felt prepared. We were supposed to find the 5th gate and meet our friends close to the entrance. So we drove there with a map, and found the gate... but there was no obvious way to get the car to the gate! We looped around twice, and finally had to ask a park maintenance truck guy how to get there. He tried to explain in limited English, then gave up and told us to follow him. Then, the guy who works at the park, also went the obvious way and couldn't enter either... so we followed him around again and finally, finally found the entrance. Then we got a call: they had moved to gate 1.  Mercifully,  instead of looping around for another hour, our friend just drove over and guided us there.

Once inside, though, it was a huge place full of families picnicking, kids riding 4 wheeled bicycles and lots of other things. Supposedly this park has a ton of things, according to this website with information about it:

"The main features include a 45-metre high Panoramic Tower, Technology Zone that comprises technological interactive displays, Space Maze, which is an electronic maze, Sports Area including sports courts and clubhouse, Barcode Garden, which includes hi-tech displays and water features, and Alternative Energy Zone featuring interactive displays on alternative energy such as solar, wind, geo-thermal tidal, etc. The park also consists of a lake provided with water cascades, wave machine, geyser, boat hiring, laser projection on water screen in the lake, and a lakeside restaurant, and skate park." Other features include the Mega Bowl amphitheatre with a seating capacity of 2,000, for group wedding parties, and services required for different types of performances; Imax Theatre with a seating capacity of 450, associated with retail and food and beverages facilities; BMX trail, adventure play area, and adventure golf; function plaza for special occasions such as launching a new product, small special markets and parties; as well as road train, water gardens and water features, retail and food and beverages outlets, exhibition building, coffee shop and other amenity buildings."

I think my favorite part, though, was the time spent in the car with friends as we were trying to find the place and then with the friends we met at the park. Ben's quote from Spain was echoed several times through this trip as well: "At least we're all together!"

Friday, February 8, 2013

Kids Unscripted; Chapter 13

Talia: "Guess what, I learned how to clean my mouth with just a napkin! A dry one!"
Talia: "Mommy, I took a bite and it made my back hurt!"
Talia: "I'm going to throw the Kleenex in the fire... I wonder what color it will turn!?"
 Talia: (after getting licked by the puppy) "Now I'm just sitting here with a licked nose!"
Talia: "I picked up that rock and the ants growled at me so I ran away!"
Talia: "I'm like a line (shape) now, so I'm more like a grasshopper. Elias is like a ball, so he's more like a ladybug."
Talia: "You can't make a present for yourself, you have to make it for someone else!"
Talia: "Sometimes tangles are like two snakes fighting!"
Talia: "Does your brain hold your hairs in?"
Talia: "When you stop growing, it's like when an elevator gets to the top, you can't go up anymore."
Ben: (to Talia) "What are you digging in your nose for? Are you looking for gold?"
Talia: "No, I'm looking for raisins!"
Ben: *GAG*
Talia: (to me) "Are you concentrating the whole house?"
Me: "Do you mean 'cleaning?'"
Talia: "Yes!"
 Talia: (holding two sticks and pretending they are a violin/fiddle... and then giving one to Elias)
"Here Elias, you play a little music-tar"
Me: "What's a music-tar?"
Talia: "A type of gui-tar that hasn't been invented yet."
Talia: "Mommy... my spring roll is slowly turning into a salad on my plate. I think I need a fork...