Arabian Adventure - Day One

Gosh I wish I was better at making time to update this here blog! After announcing I was "back to it" in January and doing a few measly posts since then -- and absolutely no posts in March. I'm proud to say I'm back with a blog update! While I can't seem to make time to blog about the minor events in our lives -- I can cover the major, especially if they involve a lot of pictures (writing = time).

Anyways -- our major event in February involved a trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman! It was a fantastic trip and I can't wait to share the details and pictures. When we told people we were going, we almost always heard the same two questions: 1. Why? and 2. Is it safe?

Why? To be honest, a lot of our vacationing depends on price and places we have yet to see. We found a great deal on a cruise and was definitely a place we had dreamed of visiting. Vinny's from Lebanon so the middle east feels like home and I love Aladdin and the Kardashians so Arabia has always intrigued me (yes I know the Kardashians are Armenian which is not part of Arabia).

Is it safe? Absolutely. I will admit, I was a little apprehensive but as I will describe in the following posts, I have never been to a place where I felt more safe. New York City, Boston, Paris, Rome -- all felt much more dangerous (and probably were).

Yes, it is a stones throw 21 miles away from Iran. Yes, we went through the Strait of Hormuz. But just like the United States, there is much peace and happiness even though there are areas of turmoil in our own states and bordering countries. I'll touch on this more but do not let 'safety' stop you from planning a trip to these beautiful countries!

Day 1 Independent stay in Dubai
Day 2 Independent stay in Dubai, boarded the ship
Day 3 Fujairah, UAE
Day 4 Muscat, Oman
Day 5 Muscat, Oman
Day 6 Sea Day
Day 7 Abu Dhabi, UAE
Day 8 Dubai (shipped docked overnight)

Below are the pictures and details for Day 1, lets hope I can post highlights through Day 8 before September rolls around :)

Vinny and I in front of the Burj Khalifa -- tallest building in the world! It's not surrounded by other buildings so from the ground it doesn't seem THAT tall. Only when you see the skyline is it clearly obvious.

We decided not to go to the top, we've been to the top of so many buildings, it's expensive and the sand makes the view a little hazy. No regrets!

This is a famous restaurant from LA, coming to Dubai. However, I just ♥ Ketchup.

Dubai Mall (the world's largest!). Check out the valeted cars! Wow, you don't see that at the Mall of America!

Walking back to the train after visiting the mall....seriously the cleanest city I have ever been to! No dirt, even on the sidewalks or streets! The money earned by tourism and oil is really put back into the infrastructure and appearance. It shows!

Definitely made me wonder how amazing the US could be if we weren't in a perma-"war"

Burj Khalifa

We stayed at the hotel Ibis -- definitely recommended! Inexpensive and great location to the metro and other hot spots. Of course, this is the land of "7-star" resorts but if you aren't living that good, hotel ibis is clean, modern and good location. You can see the Emirate towers here and the Burj Khalifa between in the background!

Free wi-fi in the lobby :)

We used the metro and taxis for transportation -- not a very walking friendly city (spread out, hot). Gas is cheap, taxis are cheap! And safe, all government regulated  -- no negotiating or monkey business, just the way I like it! The metro was great -- easy to navigate, inexpensive and clean. One tip, there are special cars at the front of the train for "gold travelers", followed by a "women only" car, followed by the rest of the train. Women can ride anywhere on the train but men are not allowed in the "women only" car. Vinny and I rushed into the women only car on accident -- when I realized why the car was so much more empty I shoved Vinny into the stuffed car and enjoyed the elbow room in the women car!

This is the Metro station right next to our hotel -- we were off to check out the Mall of the Emirates. It's a long story but we simultaneously fainted, on the train, about 15 minutes after this picture was taken.

PSA: Eat and drink properly when traveling :)

After that excitement we made it to the Mall of the Emirates, home of Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort! Unfortunately we were still shocked and recovering from our fainting spell and this is the only picture I snapped the rest of the day.

More to come.....

2 Comment on this post:

Alison April 12, 2012 at 9:27 AM  

Yay, I'm glad you're back blogging. You never disappoint...this post has made me want to go to the UAE. Glad the two of you had a great trip, can't wait to see more.

Kathleen January 4, 2013 at 5:24 AM  

Dubai Desert Safari very nice. so nice pictures. Dubai is an amazing place to travel.

Menu Planning

I no longer share my weekly menu because it is rather boring since changing our eating habits. However, you can see the historical list in these places!

VAMH in the Kitchen
Half of VAMH Menu Planning

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