Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day in Dubai

We are home! We had a wonderful trip. So much to process in order to be able to sum it up in a concise manner. I am sure it is going to take a lot of blog posts to convey all that we saw and experienced.

I am starting with our day in Dubai because we were just tourist there. We were not supposed to have time in Dubai outside of a couple hours of layovers on our way to and from India. But on our way home, our plane from Hyderabad, India to Dubai was delayed several hours which made us miss our flight from Dubai to LA. Since that flight is a 16 hour flight, they only have it once a day; so when we missed that flight it delayed our return home a full 24 hours.

I was heartbroken when I heard that news. It had been hard enough for me to say yes to 10 days way from the girls and being away another day just sounded horrible. I think I cried for an hour straight.

Once I accepted that we were stuck, without any options, and was reminded that the girls were being well loved on, I tried to embrace the time and accept it as a gift because let's face it, I will probably not be in Dubai for 24 hours ever again.

The airline gave us a hotel to stay in for the night and even though we were going on 2 hours of sleep from the night before, we checked in and headed straight for a bus tour of the city. It was a great way to see and learn about the city.

I watched something on TV about Dubai a few years ago so I was familiar with a few things there including the man-made island that is in the shape of a palm tree (go to google maps and look at it if you haven't seen it before). We drove up the main stem of the palm tree (which is huge), all the way to the end where they have the Atlantis hotel. Some people in our group went to the water park here and said it was unbelievable.

This is one section of skyscrapers. Dubai has a crazy amount of skyscrapers and most were built in the last 25 years including...

... the worlds tallest building.

Dubai is all about the biggest and best. We spent a little time in the worlds largest mall which had...

... a huge aquarium in it (the world's largest single acrylic panel)...

... an ice rink...

... and over 1,200 stores including Chicago's fantastic Garrett's popcorn. Here Andrew is with MJ and his carmel corn. Sometimes it was easy to forget that we were half way around the world - especially because everyone speaks English.

On our bus tour, we also got to stop at the beach and go stick our feet in the Arabian Sea - the water was so warm and crystal clear.

The second half of our day was spent on a Desert Dinner Safari. Afterall, when in Rome (or Dubai). We were picked up at our hotel by Rachman and taken 45 minutes out of town where there is nothing but sand dunes.

Our driver.

We stopped and learned about some of the customs of the desert people before we headed out to go dune bashing. Dune bashing is what is sounds like, driving around in the sand dunes in a wild manner - I might have said a few prayers during the ride for safety!

We stopped half way to our destination to catch the sun setting and to play in the sand.

In case you can't tell, the guys are running up the dune.

Our destination was dinner out in the middle of the dessert. Before dinner we got to....

... ride a camel...

... and get some henna done. Despite attempts to communicate personal art requests to the henna lady, who did not speak much English, we had to settle for her two specialties - flowers and scorpions (or lobsters). These are two of our new friends, John and Paul.

And those were our adventures in Dubai.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The faces I love

Andrew and I are about to embark on a trip to India. I am so excited for the chance to travel half way around the world with Andrew and a group from California on what is termed a vision trip (we got connected to this group through one of Andrew's clients). I am also heartbroken to say goodbye to our girls for 10 days. I have been on the verge of tears all weekend. I have never been away from Davey for more than a few hours and not away from Malia for more than a night or two.

I have so much to say about the upcoming trip and about how the last few days of preparing to leave have actually made my time with the girls so sweet but we are getting to crunch time and I am definitely stressed and a little overwhelmed with packing everything up so I am just going to post pictures of these sweet faces that I love and then I will try and write more after the trip (run on sentence?).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Aunt Beth's Visit

We did manage to get a picture of Beth while she was here - we have to remember the days of the sling! Hopefully it will be the last time we see it.

Beth - Just in case you got all of those Sesame Street songs out of your head - "Hace calor. Mucho calor. Could fry an egg on this cement it's so caliente!" Love you!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fans on the Field

Well I did it. I ran my first 5k. To some, that may not be much of an accomplishment but to me it was huge. I started running a month ago - after Andrew ran his first 10k I was inspired. But my first run did not go so great - I barely made it out of our cul-de-sac (about 75 feet) before I had to stop and catch my breath. Flash forward a month and I had built enough endurance to run 3.1 miles without stopping. That is the longest I have ever run... by a longshot.

Andrew completed his second 10k too and had the chance to run on Coors Field (Rockies), Invesco Mile High Stadium (Broncos) and through the Pepsi Center (Nuggets). He finished in great time at about 140 of 2,100 runners! Pretty good for his second race if you ask me.

I have to thank my friend Ali who ran the race with me. She could have easily run much faster but she stayed by my side and talked to me while I huffed and puffed (and she was not even out of breath).

I should also thank our cheerleader, Beth, and babysitters, Alli and Chris, who all made the morning really fun.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


We had a great weekend here. Friday night after the girls went to bed, I picked up Beth from the airport and she has spent the last four days with us. (She is currently on short-term disability because of her shoulder injury from the accident - she is unable to drive, so therefore stuck in her house all day. We thought a change of scenery might do her good so we asked her to come for a a visit and were thrilled that she felt well enough to travel out!)

On Saturday, we went to our local pumpkin festival called the Jack-o-launch. This is our second year going and it did not disappoint. It has all sorts of fun activities for kids, a pumpkin patch and the main attraction...
... about 8 teams with custom built sling shots contraptions that launch pumpkins hundreds of feet out into an open area. Very entertaining.

Here are some pictures of the girls enjoying the pumpkin patch. Malia had a very interesting "smile" going on that day!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Castlewood Canyon

Over the weekend, we ventured out to Castlewood Canyon for a family hike. We hiked there two years ago with Malia (see post here), and then last summer with the Beligano Crew. It is a fun place with growing memories.

Both girls loved the ice cold water and getting dirty in all of the rocks. The only reason we had to leave was because Davey kept eating the small rocks!
We recently got this Boba carrier for free so we used it to carry the girls along with the classic hiking backpack that we already had. Davey rode down on my back in the Boba and was not that big of a fan but Malia did much better in it on the way up and conveniently asked to get down and walk after we had ascended the 100 plus stairs out of the canyon!

Monday, October 04, 2010

September's Gone, Part 2

Malia has been really into building towers and thinks of them as great gifts - these were my birthday towers and she just told me today that I am getting a pink tower for Christmas - perfect!

This is how Davey gets around most of the time - crawling with a distinct hand formation - her right hand in a fist and her left one has her thumb and two fingers out - random but consistent. She is getting more and more bold with her walking though so I would not be surprised if she walked more than she crawled in the near future.
I wish this picture had noise because Davey loves blowing raspberries.

Speaking of walking, here she goes (with a little help from Graham's toy).

The four amigos/cousins.

Davey getting a massage from Pops (and loving it!)

September's Gone

I took over 400 pictures in the great month of September. Some of them were random and some just never got the blog post they warranted. So here are some random photos (and a bit of commentary) from September.

Malia's hair had never been cut until September. I finally broke down and cut off some of her gorgeous locks because despite having the potential to be really cute, most of the time she hardly lets me brush her hair which leaves it unruly. I love that she always has hair in her face and does not mind but I also thought it was time to relieve what was a bit of a mullet. I regretted my decision for a few days afterwards but I have come to terms with it!
Before the cut.

We have been playing in the backyard more these days...
... and are amazed that a 2 foot slide can provide so much entertainment!

Malia woke up a few times with bloody noses in September - I am in denial that it is already time to get humidifier out.

One day I put Davey on these pillows with her bottle so I could get something done. I look over a minute later and Malia is right there with her, loving on her - it might have melted my heart (and been a bit convicting).

Malia's hair post-haircut - hair is still in her face!

We celebrated my 29th birthday in style with a Chick-fil-A nugget platter - yummy!

Here is our attempt at getting a picture of me with my girls - sure my head it cut off but everyone is looking and smiling so that is good enough for me!

This is Malia and her friend Asher on their way to play at the park.

Ok I have a lot more pictures so I think there will have to be a part 2 to this post. Stay tuned...