Monday, 30 November 2015

And so it is Christmas

As we are going away on holiday for a bit in December, we have even less time than normal to enjoy our Christmas decorations this year. So I actually thought to myself, waiting to decorate until 1st of Advent was a bit late this year, but as we've been busy - that's when it had to be.

After a 1st of Advent morning on the beach with our guests, coffee and saffron buns...

... I decorated the house...

One of my new additions for this year - a Santa camel! So cool!

... and mounted the Christmas tree. I added most of the decorations, but saved some for when the kids came home - and the star of course, this year added by Linnea:

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Another F1 weekend done and dusted

Formula One weekend is nearly over (nearly, I can actually hear the Blur concert all the way to our house if I go outside!) - earlier today I dropped our guests at the Yas Marina Circuit all kitted out, ready for the final race day.

I was out shopping for groceries this afternoon, and was lucky to manage to catch the famous Etihad flyby, as I parked the car. It was pretty spectacular, even from afar like this.
This year it was made up by the B787 Dreamliner and the A380, together with the UAE National Aerobatic team from Al Fursan.

My photo doesn't quite make it justice, check this little clip out from Etihad:

Only in Abu Dhabi

I would think it's only in Abu Dhabi you can get a helicopter on the Uber service!
Shame they all look booked at the moment!

I guess that's Formula One weekend for you!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Repaying the favour

On the - lately - few occasions that Nathan has made it to Skara in the summer, Johan has always been there to take him out for a few bike rides. Today it was time to repay the favour.
Nathan took Johan along to the Raha Cyclists ride setting off from Etihad Plaza early this morning. They rode about 80k, and now Johan can say that he has been biking in the desert! Quite different to his normal environment!

Friday, 27 November 2015

A Very Bourbon Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving weekend, and we were invited again to our ex-neighbours who are now in Dubai, and to their annual Thanksgiving party. They certainly outdid themselves this year, with a very special kind of theme - "A Very Bourbon Thanksgiving" - check out the menu!

And if that wasn't enough, the bar was very well stocked as well - with homemade mulled wine, homemade cider and other homemade concoctions.

We think their dogs were happy to see us!

We all got henna done by the daughter of their maid, who turned out to be a true artist. Look at these creations!

Yummy, yummy in my tummy!

Most of the Thanksgiving crew.

Linnea and Aiden:

Thanksgiving greetings/turkeys on the window:

Dessert time, sticking to the theme, of course:

What a lovely afternoon! I'm thankful for friends like these.

First sleepover

Pia has very kindly offered to look after Oakley for us when we are all off on a bit of a holiday in December. Being a puppy, he is still kind of high maintenance, so we thought it would be a good idea for everybody if we did a little bit of a trial run before.
Good for Oakley to be looked after by someone else, and know that even though we leave him there, we come and pick him up again.
Good for Pia to try and have him for a shorter time, before we plonk him there for a whole week.
Good for me, to let go a little bit...

Here he is watching the birds in her garden. So cute.
The sleepover went really well! He had been a model dog, with no accidents inside, and he had slept through all night. Both Pia and I were so happy it worked out beyond expectations! Go Oakley!

National Day Celebrations at RIS

Yesterday the kids celebrated the 44th UAE National Day at school. The theme was black-green-red-and-white, of course.

Parents were invited from 12 o'clock, and the whole campus was covered in UAE flags and other decorations. There was traditional dancing going on, henna painting and pony and camel riding. Many other local activities were demonstrated and displayed around the school grounds too.

Children lining up in the majlis for some henna:

Linnea and her class walking the campus:

Full program

We are visitors again this week, my cousin Johan and his wife Beatrice.
The main objective for their trip is to attend the F1 this weekend, but they are definitely making sure they are experiencing everything the UAE has to offer, they have had a full program ever since they arrived!

After having spent a few days in Dubai seeing the sights there, we started the Abu Dhabi week by visiting the Grand Mosque. 

I also took them to the latest exhibition at Manarat at Saadyiat, which very suitably is an exhibition with local Emirati artists.

It was fun, because quite a few of the installations were interactive:

Wearable art:

One day we had lunch at the Eastern Mangroves at one of my favourite Lebanese restaurants. Being able to sit outside is such a gift, the temperatures at the moment are just perfect.

They've also been on a desert safari one afternoon, to Ferrari World, to Yas Water World, to the Rogos rollercoaster restaurant, the Yas Mall and to Saadyiat Beach. They even took part in the National UAE Celebrations at school!

We introduced them to 'Burgerfuel', the best burger joint we have (from NZ!). Again, sitting outside, aaahhh! Makes the food taste even better!

Today they are going to experience a true UAE happening - the Friday Brunch - before it's time for their highlight of the week, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Girl. Dog. Beach.

Linnea got curious about the dog beach after Lucas and I had been the other day. So while Lucas was at CrossFit on Saturday morning, we took Oakley out to the beach. The sea stood very high though, so we didn't really get to splash around in the water, as it was quite deep straight away this morning.

But thanks to the wind, we got to see kite surfers! Pretty cool!

Anything goes

Since our Luciatåg had grown even more since last time, we decided to meet in a park for this week's practic. Although, we didn't count on the park being closed in preparation for F1! Panic!
So at the very last minute we had to quickly relocate, and ended up practicing our singing and "walking slowly" in a public car park!
Well, it worked just fine, and all the kids were all amazing -  and very cute! I can't wait until Lucia!