Sunday, 20 May 2018

A big surprise

While the kids and I have seen in Ramadan this week, been to school, been running and just getting on with normal stuff; Nathan executed a big surprise that had been planned for a while. He is on leave this week, so he went on a flying visit down to NZ for Grandma's birthday.

Bruce & Yvonne sure were amazed when he all of a sudden turned up on their doorstep in Kinloch the other night, having arrived in Auckland and passed by his sister first, and then got a lift with a good family friend, Michael.


It's cold in NZ at the moment, but they've had a good time together. Gone shopping in Taupo town for some NZ necessities, enjoyed good food and each other's company. Today was the actual birthday, and I'm sure it must have felt extra special for Yvonne having Nathan there.


Happy Birthday Grandma!

Monday, 14 May 2018

Worklife

This weekend I did my, probably, last work days for the season. It was another huge incentive group, and our team of tour guides were hired to help out with the airport transfers, excursions and dinner transfers.
Here's a few of us doing airport arrivals the other day:


We also accompanied the guests on an evening excursion to a purpose built desert camp by the Al Maha Resort in Dubai. You can imagine it's quite a machinery shuttling 800 people around! Some guests had dressed up to get the full experience..:


Arriving in the desert they were met by a red carpet lined with lanterns, so pretty. As per usual the camp had a souk, some camels, falcons, henna ladies, BBQ food and entertainment in the shape of belly dancers and fire dancers. The guests all came back to the buses having had a great time.


This is a different type of work to my normal city tours. There is a lot more of managing with these big groups of people, and in general try to be on hand to be helpful. Also more socializing and answering questions, and less "guiding". I enjoy it every now and then for a change, at least when each work day passes without too many issues...

Sunday morning I took a group of guests to the Falcon Hospital, one of my favourite excursion spots. It was a great visit for the guests, they really got to be hands on with the falcons, and were all very pleased with their trip.



Even I got a photo with one of the falcons this time! New profile picture for my Instagram account!


Mostly I enjoy getting to see and spend some time with the other tour guides during these big events. It's a nice feeling to be part of a team, and it's a really fun bunch of girls. We've had such a good time this weekend!


Last night we did dinner transfers as the guests were all going to the Emirates Palace for their last evening, and a Gala Dinner in the Ramadan tent there. It felt like being at the Oscars when the guests  came out to the buses, so many slick looking suits and pretty dresses! A great night!
Although us guides didn't take part in the gala dinner itself, of course, we still got to enjoy the lovely atmosphere of the Emirates Palace for the evening.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Hey good lookin'!

I have been wanting to check out the new track at Masdar for a while, and mentioned to Nathan that I might take the bike over there one day. Lucas heard and wanted to tag along, so tonight we suited up and went for a little exploration ride.


He on his racer, and me on the mountain bike. And, might I add - me in a brand new kit (which has been hanging in my wardrobe for ages...)! All in blue and yellow Swedish colours, completely on purpose of course! Look how spiffy I looked!


I guess they are going to make the Masdar Track into a loop eventually. As it is now, it measures 4,2 km from start to end. We entered somewhere halfway coming from home, and went to the end one way before turning back and going to the start the other way.


The start is at the Masdar Park, not far from the airport. It's a really well maintained track, one side for bike riders and one for runners. We only saw a few other bikers, most people were running or walking, but quite a few were out, which made me happy.


You can follow your progress thanks to the markers on the track:


Along the track I saw four of these outdoor "gyms", with a few machines at each one. Great idea if you are running to do a few pit stops along the way for some strength training.


And the after-picture, 40 minutes later. A great way to spend some time with Lucas, although he thought I was way too slow for him...

Sunday, 6 May 2018

The day after the evening before

So we stayed over in Dubai on Thursday, after the Penélope-experience. Although staying with Kristen & Chad doesn't really mean sleep-in, as there are both two dogs and a little person in the house. We were all up before 7 am...

At a more humane time we went for breakfast at a paleo café close to their house:



Then we went back to the sofa and chilled for the rest of the afternoon... Even though the night before hadn't been wild at all, we were both so tired. But if you ask me, this was the perfect way of spending a few hours - with the pooches!


And of course, when in Dubai - I always have an errand to the Gold & Diamond Park. This time not so much for shopping, as for dropping in a few things that needed fixing, and some that needed polishing. 

An evening with Penélope Cruz

Thursday we all packed up and went up to Dubai straight after school. Our ex-neighbour Kristen had been invited to this event celebrating the opening of a new shop in Dubai by bag brand Carpisa, and needed a +1. So while Linnea and I went to stay with her, Aiden and the pups; Lucas and Nathan went to see the Dehli boys who were home alone.


There was six of us girls going, and we were all very excited as the brand ambassador Penélope Cruz was going to be at the event, which was held at the lush night club Armani Privé.



As we arrived fashionably late, we also arrived in the middle of the fashion show:


Then it was time for Penélope Cruz to say a few words:



But disappointingly, she didn't do any meet & greet, so no selfies with Penélope. Such a shame, as there wasn't really that many people at the event, but I guess she had somewhere else to be!
This is as close as we got, what a pretty lady she is!


Anyway, Penélope or no Penélope, we enjoyed our evening, the champagne and the dancing. It's not every day you get to party at the Burj Khalifa!


Saturday, 5 May 2018

A walked guided tour

There are not many areas in Abu Dhabi where you can actually go walking about, especially not in this heat. But on Thursday morning I did a walked guided tour in Masdar City, for a group of Swedish ladies who wanted to learn more about this futuristic green city and all the sustainability solutions applied here.



Here's some pictures of me "in action", ha ha:





The PRTs were up and running on their little loop this day, so the ladies all got to try them out!



After the walk we all went for a late breakfast at Jim's Kitchen, a really nice morning! 



All glammed up

Every night of the week here in the UAE, there is a Ladies Night going on somewhere; which means that girls get special offers on drinks, actually - in most places they drink for free! As you might understand, these Ladies Nights are really popular, especially in the expat community. But I must admit I haven't been to many, it's quite rare that I glam up and go out on a school night.

This Wednesday I made an effort though as some of my Tour Guide colleagues were going to meet up, and it's so rare that we manage to get together.


I was happy to find an occasion to wear my new Swedish clogs, from Hollie Woods!


It also made it easy that we had agreed to meet at a place only 10 minutes away from our house, the Tikki Lounge. It was a bit humid, but we still sat outside.


There was an event photographer there, and she had this amazing light ring with her. Ooohh, I need one of those - look how great the we turned out after that magic touch!



A great night out! Every time I actually do make it to Ladies Night I think, I should do this more often..! But then the sofa calls... ha ha.