Monday, 12 November 2018

Well that was different

Louvre Abu Dhabi has been celebrating their 1st anniversary this weekend with a string of musical performances and exhibitions. The epic close of the celebrations was going to be a concert with pop star Dua Lipa last night, to which I had managed to grab a couple of tickets for the kids and I.

We arrived just ten minutes before the gates were supposed to open to the concert area, and lined up with everyone else.

We had talked about on the way there, that it was really windy and the skies looked a bit gloomy. But never did I expect what happened next... a massive thunderstorm came over us, seemingly out of nowhere! There was thunder and lightning, and heavy winds, the trees around us started to bend over. I asked the kids to make sure they paid attention as I was worried things were going to start flying about..!

Soon the rain hit as well, and down here when it rains, it hurts as every raindrop is heavily filled with sand. You feel like you are getting completely sandblasted!

At this point there was no way I could take any more photos or film. Our main concern was to try and cover our faces and move towards the museum. The organizers were great and evacuated everybody inside, but by now were all completely soaked, through and through... and cold.

We waited for a short while for further information, but when the "send-to-all" text from Abu Dhabi police came through with an official weather warning, urging everybody to stay inside, I figured the concert wouldn't be happening and we decided to head back to the car before the crowds. And yes, while on our way home a few moments later the concert was indeed cancelled.

What an experience! I have never been that cold in this country! We were so wet, like we had been in the shower with our clothes on! Brrr! Another very unique Abu Dhabi experience to the books!
And now I need to get the car washed, again!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

A blast from the past

This week I had an extra nice work day with some private guests from Denmark. I got booked by an old colleague of mine from my flying days, who was here with her son, daughter and son-in-law. They were actually holidaying in Dubai, but as she has been there many, many times, she wanted to see something else and chose to come down to Abu Dhabi for a day. Good choice!

I showed them around my Abu Dhabi, and they were truly amazed by what Abu Dhabi has to offer.

Kirsten's son Jakob took these photos above. I particularly love the right one, that mirroring on the tiles of the Grand Mosque is amazing!

We had such a fantastic day, visiting the Grand Mosque, doing some drive-by sightseeing, enjoying lunch together and chit-chatting about life here in the UAE, but of course also about old times! Oh, those were the days, good memories, ha ha..!

Saturday, 10 November 2018

How is it to live here?

People often ask me "How is it to live in the UAE?", a very wide and near to impossible question which I find quite hard to answer.
When it's the tourists asking, I tend to find the answers they want to hear: "I love the fact my kids get to grow up in a multicultural environment", "I love that people are very friendly and that I always feel safe", "I love the easy access to so many amazing things to do" etc.

If it's friends asking, I am usually a bit more honest and blunt - and the answers certainly depend on what time of the year it is. May, June, August and September, be prepared for the full-blown depressed and gloomy: "It's too hot for too long", "I miss the greenery and ability to be outside", "It's boring" and the "It's really lonely" to name a few. Nothing new there, I've written about those feelings many times. That's just how I experience those months, and unfortunately no matter how prepared I am or how much I try, I can't seem to change things those times of the year. I just accept the blues.

October to April is a completely different story! It's like the fog has lifted, and I'm (well mostly, I'm human after all) in such a good mood! It's a bit of a crazy Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde-life here, ha ha!
November is probably my very favourite month all together. I might say that every month for a while now, but there you go, it's the elation of wintertime!
The weather is absolutely perfect right now. I make that statement every day, but it really is. Feels like we had been waiting forever for the nice weather this year, but now it's here and it's gorgeous.
I guess what I love so much about November is that we have it all mostly ahead of us still. Months and months of fantastic weather, lots of visitors and a bunch of fun work and other happenings. I really, really, really enjoy life here this time of the year! If only time could pass a little slower...

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Last day with the Hybholts

As the Hybholts were going back to temperatures well in the single digits, and sunsets just after 4pm at the moment, we spent their last day at Yas Beach. Sun, sun, sun!

Kids had decided the menu for the evening, tacos and kladdkaka; with the addition of my special Spicy Orange Margaritas for the adults..! (The Dads had been at a friends house, so they had to have their dinner on their own once they were back.)

Thanks for coming Hybholts! Been a blast! ♥︎

It is November after all

I know nobody else who drinks as much glögg as Pia does, so obviously she was the right person to bring down a few bottles of this seasonal drink for me. She had already started her glögg season before they came out last month, ha ha.

So as it's November we opened a bottle to have a few glasses, aaahhh - Christmas is near!

She brought me both the normal Blossa glögg, but also the Limited Edition glögg; this year a white one with tastes of lemon, thyme and basil. We had a quick taste, and while it tasted ok, it wasn't so Christmassy, tasted more like cough medicine.
But the bottle was pretty!

A relaxing weekend

We were actually all a bit drained after our late night at the Warner Bros park on Thursday. Nathan had to go to work early Friday morning, and the rest of us enjoyed a day at home, doing not much at all.
Come the afternoon all the girls decided to take one last quick browse of Yas Mall, which included a Starbucks stop as well:

We got ourselves some incredibly marked-down face masks and decided to have a bit of a home spa after dinner. Ha ha look at us! No after pictures though, but I can guarantee we all looked five years younger, at least!

On the Saturday we all took to Yas Waterworld for the day. Nathan joined in after lunch once he was done at work. The kids went on rides and Pia and I mostly rested by the wave pool. So relaxing.

We did try their new 'Water Cinema' though, a new experience for me. All in 5D, full of wind and water effects, the whole theater even flooded up to our waist at one stage!

My favourite time of day this time of the year is the late afternoons, when you almost feel a bit cold. The girls had disappeared when it was time for us to go home, so while waiting for them I had to put my dress back on, aaahhh, love it!

Monday, 5 November 2018

Warner Bros Fun

We managed to squeeze in a visit to the new Warner Bros theme park on Thursday evening, as it was especially open hosting an event to celebrate Etihad 15 years.

Etihad employees had been able to get free tickets for their family, and reduced priced tickets for their friends so we went along - and had a blast!

We met a lot of the characters, like Joker and Harley Quinn:

Tweety Bird:


Fun for all, and a late night - we didn't leave the park until just before midnight!

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Happy Halloween 2018

I thought that the kids would eventually grow out of wanting to go Trick-or-Treating, but not this year... Unfortunately it's not a big thing where we live, but luckily there is always the bigger compounds, where they are pretty organised with their Halloween celebrations. Once again this year the kids made plans with their friends to have a scary night out, and Nathan and I were on driving duty.

This year they went out to Trick-or-Treat with another couple of siblings, in Al Reef:

The Hybholts had gone to Dubai for the night, so we took the opportunity to go see one of Nathans colleagues while we waited for the kids to finish their rounds. Since it was a school night, it had been decided that it was going on from 5.30pm-7.30pm, so we didn't have to stay too too late.

I guess traditions is fun, and at least nowadays I don't need to dress up to walk with them.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

The Fossil Dunes

On Monday it was beach day for some (catching-up-with-laundry-and-admin day at home for others...), and in the afternoon Sofie, Pia, Linnea and I took a drive to a place I've been wanting to explore for a while - the Fossil Dunes.
It is an easy excursion to do as they are situated not far from Abu Dhabi, it only took us about 30 minutes to drive there. Plus once we found them I was happy to see that even though I had to go off-road for a bit, the sand was packed flat, hard and was easy to drive on, phew.

So the dunes were not exactly of Tel Moreeb proportions, but quite fun to experience. We parked and got out and walked around them to explore, being careful trying not to disrupt anything. I was fascinated to see that even though they just looked like wind-swept sand dunes, they were absolutely rock hard, totally fossilized.

 Thanks to the afternoon light, we got some nice photos!

We stayed until just before the sun had set (as I didn't want to drive across the sand in the dark), and it was really quite beautiful out there. Definitely a place to go visit if you haven't already.

Ut på tur aldrig sur

On Sunday I was doing my Scandinavian City tour as per usual and Pia and Martin decided to come along. Even though they have lived here, they have never really been tourists, so why not!

The Louvre wasn't open last year either when they came to visit, so that was a new experience for them. I never get tired of visiting there.

The last wing unfortunately was still closed (because of re-hanging and adding of new artwork), so they missed out on the last few galleries, but some of the newest acquisitions were already on display.

Like this beautiful Ottoman (15-16th century) horse armour. One of only about 20 known in the world. This photo doesn't make it justice, it's massive, and stunning!

It was also the first time they ever did a guided visit to the Grand Mosque, so at the end of the day they came away with loads of new information thanks to their knowledgeable guide..!