Truth be told, I haven't bought our plane tickets yet. I'm waiting on flight money to be deposited on the 25th. That does not mean I haven't been busy making lists: a list of things I need to bring, things I have to bring back, things we will need in the states, etc.
There are many things available in the UAE, after all it is a worldwide shopping destination, but there are also things you can only get at home. On that list, prescription strength antiperspirant (why isn't that available in a country that regularly sees 110+ degree weather?); saline solution for contact lenses (and for some reason my contact solution brand isn't sold here either), and Benadryl. That is just the pharmacy aisle. Then there are the snacks from home you didn't realize you'd miss: Triscuits, Cheez-its, Pirate Booty White Cheddar. Can you see a visit to Wal-mart in my future? Yes, you end up missing those big box stores and the convenience of one stop shopping...
While clothing is available here, sometimes the quality is not as good, and there are never the types of sales you'd find at home. We'll be stocking up on some of those items as well. Luckily it really is mostly one season (unlike my beautiful home state), so summer clothing with a couple cardigans & one or two pairs of pants is more than adequate.
Then there are the experiences I've been missing: the beach at Echo Lake, BBQs at our friends, church on Sunday mornings, the views of the White Mountains, and all the friends & family we haven't seen in two years.
So, after flights are finalized, I'll start finishing up the details of all we'll need on our visit: rental car, car seat, stroller, crib - oh my....it never ends - guess we'll visit some yard sales too!