Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello, 2012: Happy New Year!

Last night, Rob and I dropped Belle off for a sleepover at her friend Alanna's home, and headed to the Volvo Ocean Race Destination Village (the Abu Dhabi stopover for the race), to ring in the New Year with Coldplay.  It was a great concert...  and the first time we've been out to celebrate New Year's in a few years.   The concert started at 10pm, but the line to get into the venue was pretty long when we arrived at 8pm.  Coldplay led the countdown to 2012 and then finished their concert with Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. Then we watched the fireworks and fought the traffic to get home. I was so glad Rob was driving on the way home because it was hard to recognize where the parking lot began and the exit lanes started... No one queues up well over here - even in cars.

Last week we went to the Dubai Aquarium at the Dubai Mall.  It was incredible. You can see the aquarium's big window long before you actually get there and in their huge tank, they have everything from eels to sharks.  The main window holds the world record for the largest single sheet of acrylic in the world, but to us, the coolest part was the clear tunnel you walk through UNDER the aquarium, and the glass bottom boat ride you take OVER the aquarium.  We spent a lot of time looking at all the fish and marveling at the experience of being under sharks and rays.  We also were able to watch scuba divers cleaning the tank and feeding the fish.  Afterwards, we climbed into the glass bottom boat, and could see the tunnel with people in it, below us. We also watched the rays come up to the surface and hang out on the coral.  With our tickets, we were also able to tour the underwater zoo, and see king crabs, a Finding Nemo tank (holding all the fish from the films), water rats, and penguins.  We timed our visit just right because we saw the water rats eating corn on the cob and carrots while being pet by a zoo worker, and then watched the penguins getting fed fish.

Afterwards, we went to see the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, the Dubai Fountain, which is choreographed to music, and the waterfall in the mall.  We did do a little shopping (it is an enormous mall), and ate dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. The food wasn't spectacular, but the "animals" came to life periodically, and there were fun lighting effects. Plus, you could still see the aquarium from our table.  We're going to have to go back before school starts back up because the Dubai Shopping Festival starts on January 5th.

We are all planning on enjoying our last week of vacation.


Mary Esther said...

May the rest of the vacation be as much fun as the first part. I'm so glad you are able to go out and enjoy yourselves and your new home. In some way it is Disney world for adults, isn't it?

Mrs.Smith said...

love,love, your blog....My family is looking to this adventure for the next school year. Your story and worlds help to ease the apprehension that I was beginning to feel. May God continue to bless your family

Jasmine said...

ME: It has been a truly nice vacation - long enough to unwind, but still do lots. There is a lot to be said for a stay-cation, although I am looking forward to our travel vacation in March. :)

Mrs. Smith: Thank you! It really is helping us remember everything while savoring our adventure. It is truly one of the most interesting opportunities we've ever experienced. God bless you on your plans.

Mrs. Beaudin's classroom said...

Jasmine, these adventures sound fantastic. Writing them down is truly a way to "savor the adventure" in days and months to come. I hope Rob is coming to like all these experiences.