Friday, July 25, 2008

Hello, I love you...

Last night Mike and I went out. For real. Babysitter and everything.
We went to a restaurant called The Meat Company nearby in Madinat Jumeirah, a shopping area designed as a tribute to old Arabia. Whimsically named restaurant, perfect steaks, gorgeous wine. The meal was 600 Dhs.

Outside the Burj Al Arab is stunning and iconic, there on the beach. I search for it in the skyline just as I would the Eiffel Tower or Space Needle.

Today we set out for the next emirate over, and the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. Mike's job site is just about halfway between there and Dubai, so we wanted to make sure that Dubai is where we want to live for the next 2 years.

Abu Dhabi is known for being family-friendly, though it is more conservative than Dubai. (Read: I would be much more likely to drape my hair and always wear long sleeves). We drove through the desert; white sands, mosques, men squatting alongside the road waiting for their ride, (and we wonder, from where do they come, miles out along the road where there is nothing but sand?), or dashing across the freeway, other groups of men harvesting dates from the trees.

Abu Dhabi is another beautiful city of striking skyscrapers, contrasts, lush greenery and the turquoise Gulf. Goats in the back of pickups and this man using a piece of cardboard to screen himself from the blazing sun.

We found a familiar sign, one that I was relieved to know they have here when I was back in the US. Any guesses? (This sign also comes in yellow, hint, hint).

One of the most luxurious hotels in the world is the Emirates Palace. As we approached, Bethy looked around and pronounced: "I want to be rich."


I told her to study hard. No one tell her otherwise, OK?

We'd told our daughter that princesses stayed there, and one of the beautiful women greeters immediately told her that she was a princess. You could see Bethy processing this information. She had that I'm a princess, I knew it all along look.

We looked online into getting a 2 room for us, but unfortunately the lowest price they had was 28,000 Dhs. for one night. Well, fine then. Be that way. :)

While Abu Dhabi is certainly a marvelous place, we both felt that we want to live near Mike's coworkers. They and their families will without doubt be our social circle while we're here. There was something else, though. We came to the UAE for an adventure, and Dubai has this vibe...

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