Sunday, August 26, 2012

Welcome to Abu Dhabi!

I took the Big Bus City Tour of Abu Dhabi a few days ago.  It was awesome!  I was able to see the major landmarks of the city and also learned my new city a little better.  I have seen pictures of these places online, but nothing beats seeing it for yourself.  Check out some of the places I was able to finally see with my own eyes.  Enjoy!

Seaside view of the Arabian Gulf by the pool.

Big Bus Tours...great deal too!

Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi

The entrance to the Emirates Palace Hotel.

Chillin on the Big Bus!
Yes that is a real building!  The architecture around Abu Dhabi is off the charts.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

I saw a picture of this park before I went to Abu Dhabi and got to see it with my own eyes! How cool!

Tallest flagpole in the world.  400 feet tall!

Me and the crew...

Walking the streets of Abu Dhabi

On the bus striking yet another pose...

Heading to the Central Souk! again!

In the hotel lobby...
Why do I hear the music to "Brick House" in my head every time I see this picture of me?... Lawd!  I am so losing 20 lbs by December.  LOL! *Kanye shrug*

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What in the world?

Abu Dhabi has been quite the city so far and I am learning new things everyday about this new culture I have encountered.  For example, if you look at the picture of my hotel bathroom, you will see some things you don't normally see in a bathroom in the United States.  No, I'm not talking about the chrome flush button above the toilet.  Look on the right side of the picture.  No I'm not talking about the phone on the wall either.  That's another blog entry on the whole phone in the bathroom thing.  LOL!  I am referring to the "other toilet" on the right.  Yeah I know!  I said the same thing when I saw it too.  What in the world?  For those of you who aren't familiar, this is called a bidet.  It is used to rinse your bottom after you have used the toilet.  I know.  What the world?  Yes, there is tissue here so don't get alarmed.  However, it is not the preferred method of getting yourself together after you have handled your business on the toilet.  This would be after numbers one and two.  Yes, I did try it!  LOL!  Actually it's a neat little contraption that you basically just sit on after toilet usage and turn the water on to the temperature of your liking and get to rinsing!  Hey don't knock it til you try it! :)  

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Week in Abu Dhabi

 I have been in Abu Dhabi for over one week now!  Here are some pictures to show you what I've been up to.  Enjoy! 

In the hotel lobby just capturing the moment.  Behind me in a statue of a deer.
Did you know that Abu Dhabi means  "Father of  Deer?" 

 According to Ask Ali, ,  a man who used to chase Dhabi [deer] was named the "father" of the animal and the name caught on.  
And that was your free history lesson...thank your teacher! LOL!

At the Abu Dhabi mall...stuffed camel in the background.
I will find a real camel later and post pics! :)

Coach is in the building!! - Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi

St. Regis Hotel Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi...Nice...Real Nice!!!

Balcony view at the St. Regis Hotel...This is the Good Life up in here!!
This was our Spa tour at the St. Regis Hotel. This is the "Boo Room" (name credits to Arr Pii...LOL)...where you and your "Boo" can go to get a couple's massage.  :)

Balcony of St. Regis Hotel suite

Entrance to the Women's Locker room at the Spa at St. Regis Hotel, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
Ooo Oop!! :)

I'm thinking..."Daaannnng!! It's hot out here! Turn the heater off somebody!"  And yes, I'm about to melt...smh

Yummy lentil soup, but not like the lentil soup you buy out of the can in the U.S.  This was authentic Lebanese grub!  Check out the spread below!

Pickles and olives


The Main Course...Shwarma Chicken...quite delicious!!
The menu at the Lebanese Flower Restaurant, Abu I did NOT partake in the "Grill or Fired Pigeon"...LOL!  Maybe next time!

The Emirati people LOVE to shop!!

Window shopping at the Mercedes Benz dealership inside Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi!  
What?! No bootleg around here!

Yep!  Rolex is here too!

Taxis are everywhere in Abu Dhabi and are usually silver Toyota Camrys , Toyota Corollas, or Nissan Altimas...not sure why.  Get in one and experience the roller coaster ride of a lifetime complete with neck jerks and fast driving, with arrival to your destination in record time!  The driving around here is CRAZY!  o_O

The Beach Rotana Hotel - Abu Dhabi: This is where I live right now in the center of downtown Abu Dhabi City.  I am going to be sooo spoiled when I leave here and have to make my own bed, clean my own room, and fluff my own pillows, I am going to be pouting.  Everytime leave and come back, my room has been cleaned and I have fresh bottles of water waiting!! What the world?!  This place is FABULOUS!!

View from my balcony at Beach Rotana.

This is what I wake up to every morning in Abu Dhabi at the Beach Rotana Hotel!  
I'm loving this place!

Gorgeous view of the Arabian Sea (aka Persian Gulf)...Wow!
Another view of the Arabian Sea
This is at the Monte Carlo Beach Club on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.  We actually felt the wind blow as we stood on the boardwalk on the beach, which was something new.  And yes it was a HOT wind because it was over 100 degrees outside.  But who cares?  The view here of the Arabian see was absolutely mesmerizing!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

I Landed in Abu Dhabi

Since I think I have jet lag or something lag and I can't take a nap, I will update you on the haps.  Well, my sister took me to the airport and I did what I said I wasn't going to do.  I ended up taking clothes (workout pants) out of my bag so it wouldn't be overweight.  Plus I did the unthinkable!  I actually removed two pairs of shoes!! Lawd help me!  It wasn't too hard, but I did it and just told myself I'll get them back in December.  I also told myself..."Girl you can buy some new fly shoes in Abu Dhabi!"  So I was satisfied.

I tried to keep the mood light so that my family wouldn't be sad because truly this is a happy experience for me.  I didn't cry when I left my parents' house.  I hugged them and said my see you laters and I love yous.  I hope they didn't cry either.  The thought of it makes that lump come up in my throat and the tears well up in my eyes, even right now.  :(  When my sister and I said our see you laters, we hugged and said our I love yous and we didn't cry.  I know she cried in the car on her way home though. Ha Ha!  Love you Sissy!  :(  I had to contain myself because I was slightly discombobulated after having to rearrange my luggage.  God sent help though because the man at the curbside check-in stepped right in to assist me.  He took my checked luggage and basically Debo-ed his way to the front of the long line of people waiting to check in and took me to the front.  I know they were wondering who in the crap I was that he just brought me on up ahead of all of them.  That's called Favor!  God's Favor!  And Favor ain't fair!  Plus I paid zero dollars for my second checked bag that I was supposed to pay for so I gave the man a nice tip for his help.  I was also supposed to pay an overweight fee because my other bag was 3 lbs over (oopsie).  Ain't God good?  Yes he is!

I prayed for window seats and just to let you know, not only did I get a window seat on my first leg of the flight to New York with no one sitting next to me, but also on my connecting flight to Abu Dhabi...Boom!  I got another window seat with no one sitting next to me either so I could stretch out and that's exactly what I wanted! Hey now! Favor! God is real yall, no joke because now how else did that happen?  I'm just saying.

After approximately 13 hours, last night I landed in Abu Dhabi.  A representative was waiting with my name (my whole name too) on an ipad along with two other ladies that are teaching here also.  There were only three of us teachers on the flight.  Yes, I was country and took a picture of the sign.  Hey, I never had anyone to hold up a sign at the airport with my name on it ever before in my entire life, so I captured the moment.  Call it country, or whatever, I sure did take my picture of it and I will always remember that.  We were whisked away on a golf cart thingee and boy was he driving that cart fast, blowing the horn at people too.  I was holding on to my bags and couldn't help but smile showing all teeth as the three of us looked at each other with the wild eye wondering why this man was driving so fast.

Now moving on, we got our luggage, well a bag man got my luggage and followed us as we were escorted to the moment I had been told about, but there aren't really words to explain.  The heat!  Lawd yall!  It is a heat your tail has never experience before I won't lie!  I thought it was hot in South Carolina and Georgia!  Man please!  I had on my glasses when those doors opened and it was so hot my glasses fogged up!!  What the world?!  Then I had to take some deep breaths because the heat literally will take your breath away when you first start to try to breath in it and I'm used to hot weather, but not like this!  The humidity is greater than the south in the states also.  Just to let you know how humid, we were standing waiting on the hotel van and about three minutes of being outside, I literally felt sweat dripping down my back!  I had on a light jacket that matched my workout pants so it wasn't heavy but yes immediately sweating!  I only sweat like that when I'm running!  That's the best I can do to explain this.  Otherwise, you will just have to see for yourself.

On the way to the hotel I couldn't see much of the landscape but I could see the bright lights, the waterfront park area also.  What I saw was beautiful, the architecture, amazing!  And guess what?  I did not see any homeless people sleeping under the bridges!  Plus in this heat, I don't think that would really work out.  I'm just saying.

I am in awe with this island!  It is more than I could ever dream of seeing with my own eyes and to think...I live here now! Wow!  So as I sat in the van as we drove through the city, I finally had my moment and I started to cry, not sad tears, happy tears, tears of joy, grateful tears.  This is actually happening to me kind of tears.  God is making my dreams come true I thought.  Thank you God I whispered and quickly wiped the tears away.

Finally, I landed in Abu Dhabi.  I am now comfortable and well taken care of in a gorgeous Five Star Hotel with a view of the deep blue green sea from my balcony and it is wonderful!  Now if I could just lay down and go to sleep.