Friday, 23 October 2020

Refreshed

As part of her birthday gifts, Linnea also got a visit to my hairdresser. We did the same thing last year and she enjoyed it so much, she had wished for it again. This time she wanted to go even darker with her colour.

Here is before:

During:

And the finished result!

She was extremely pleased, she bounced out of the hairdresser! So pretty!

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Our baby is 15

Yesterday was Linnea's birthday - FIFTEEN! Can't believe it, where has our baby gone?!


Corona or not, it can't disturb our birthday morning routine - getting woken up by singing, balloons and birthday gifts!



Linnea had prepared a wish list, but she hadn't wished for much. The older the kids get, the smaller the amount of presents. She got some baking accessories, LED-lights to put on her bedhead, books, and some money for her gaming. She also got some little earrings to put in the extra hole she had made in the summer, a gift from Mormor and Morfar; and more cash from the family in NZ.



Since it is school holidays, we had time to set a nice birthday table and all enjoy a big breakfast together in the morning.

We had cake, of course:


In the evening we went out for dinner at one of the restaurants at the Marriott Al Forsan which we hadn't been to before, The Grill. We sat outside which was beautiful, and the meal was really lovely too.





Although I decided against steak and instead I had a beautiful tuna steak, oh my, so good!


And of course we had to share a dessert even though we had already had cake - just so Linnea could blow out another candle! That's what birthdays are for after all!


Happy Birthday dear Linnea! What a great birthday dinner!

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Saadyiat staycation

The kids are off school this week for midterm holidays. Normally we actually don't travel these holidays really but still this year they come with a new feeling of "stuck". There is no point traveling overseas because the 14 days quarantine rules are still in place; and there is no point even going to Dubai because then we will all have to take TWO Covid-tests to come back. It's a strange feeling of being "trapped".

We haven't had a family time together at all this year. The two weeks we should've been to NZ in March obviously didn't happen and Nathan's leave was spent here, at home, in lockdown. The time we should've had in Sweden and Denmark together in the summer didn't happen either, even though Nathan had the perfect leave. He had to spend it here, at home, by himself...

Also since school started we have had trouble finding time together as a family, as Nathans schedule hasn't really given him any time off during the weekends lately. So it was really about time now during the school holidays to plan something for Nathans off-days - a staycation!
We opted to go just 20 minutes up the road to Saadyiat Island, and the luxurious Park Hyatt hotel. Checked in early and got two beautiful rooms with sea view, just look at this, no more 50 shades of beige!

 
 
We spent the afternoon by the pool, taking an occasional walk down the beach to feel the sea and swim in the waves.
 
 
 
 
Yeah, it wasn't too much hard work...
 
 
 
Due to the COVID-restrictions and tourists not allowed in the emirate, it wasn't crowded. Also the whole hotel was marked up for social distancing, and there was sanitizing booths everywhere, so you felt really safe and comfortable.

 
 
 
Sundowners on the balcony:


 
 
Then we got ready to get out for dinner down at the Beach House restaurant. Took no pictures there believe it or not, so all I got is the pre-dinner mirror selfie!


Next day, we did it all again! Beach, pool, yummy food, swim, relax... aaahhh! It's amazing how just a few days of change of scenery can be so refreshing.



My family! Thank you for a lovely staycation!

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Contrasts

So whereas last week was full of friends, fun and flavours, this week has been pretty much all about the "same-same" every day. It's been the last week before school break, and as we now break up for a week off, we are all very much hoping that ALL school children will be allowed to go back to school at campus when it's time to go back.
We haven't officially heard anything yet of course. The only information we have about this situation is "until further notice", which could be any amount of time - until the end of term or until the end of the academic year even!
It has now been 32 weeks since Linnea was last at school. That's two-hundred-and-twenty-four days without having a social context, without spending time together with her friends and peers; just sitting at home. She's doing really well, but I'm very, very worried about what this isolation is doing longterm to our children.


At least she's got me for company most of the time. Especially this week as I have had exam week this week. I have hardly left the house for anything else than the school run twice a day (for Lucas). My first assignments for my Art History course (Konstvetenskap B) are due tomorrow so I have been diving deep into my books every day. I think I have it under control though, even though this particular syllabus has been rather heavy.


Creative chaos - and coffee!

Monday, 12 October 2020

Sun, sand and vitamin sea

This weekend I had planned an excursion with the kids that I had heard about so many times, to the resort at Al Maya Island. I was so excited to finally have convinced everyone to come out..! Nathan was going to fly all through Friday night, so he wasn't going to come; but we were going with another family so we were going to have company.
Al Maya Island is situated less than 15 minutes with boat from the little marina at Al Ras Al Akhdar, with the boat trip included in your Day Pass fee. It really feels like you are somewhere completely different, even if you can see the skyline of the Corniche from the beach, it's that holiday feeling!

Unfortunately, our friends ended up not joining us as they just found out that morning someone in one of their workplaces had tested positive for Covid. So instead they had to head to one of the test centers early morning and then quaratine at home awaiting their results. Booo!
BUT - as it turns out, Nathan didn't have to do his check flight scheduled for Friday night, so on the bright side he could actually join us! Family time on a weekend! What a rarity!

Arriving at the dock at Al Maya Island:

 
It felt very safe, with all sunbeds and tables sanitized placed at proper distance and markers everywhere (even IN the pool!). You didn't need to wear the face masks while at your sunbed or in the pool, only while walking around.

 
We opted to lie by the pool this time but next time I want to be down on the beach, just look at this!

You can walk around the small island if you wish, and I did go for a few walks purely because I was curious about the resort and the hotel part and wanted to check it out. It is a lovely atmosphere on the island, especially since these beautiful oryx roam free around the area. Obviously they must be rather used to being close to people, they were not afraid at all.


We had a lovely day, just relaxing and enjoying being out of the house, and actually doing something that felt quite normal. It wasn't too busy either, even though the temperature right now is absolutely perfect. It's actually a fine balance here with weather for beach days, between it being way, way too hot for months and months which leads into this short period of perfect weather before it all of a sudden will become too cold to swim. At least for us!


The afternoon was enjoyed in different ways, Lucas had a nap, Nathan had a few beers and our fish Linnea hardly came out of the pool at all.

I enjoyed some people watching, one of my favourite hobbies and something I haven't been able to do for what feels like forever! It was an interesting mix of families with mostly young children and a crowd of young party people, but none of those groups luckily were too rowdy; it was actually just the perfect buzz and mood.

So so pretty!




I was so glad we got to have a family day out! It was well needed!

On the boat on the way back - back on with the face masks!