I am always looking for a travel deal. I have found that usually means visiting places not during the high season. Examples are Maine in June, Puerto Rico in July and San Diego in November. I once suggested we visit Iceland in February and Rhett said no. When I reiterated what a great deal it was- $149 r/t from Atlanta he reminded me that it was FEBRUARY. IN ICELAND. We went to Florida instead. But this time I suggested we go to Dubai in August which is kind of the opposite of Iceland in February. Rhett actually agreed this time and we set out for our Middle Eastern adventure. We found out why we got such a good deal - It is HOT. Like the high was 120 and low was 99 each night. And no, it is not a dry heat. It is extremely humid because it is on the Arabian Gulf. But as we learned winter is the time to be outside in the UAE and during the summer everyone moves inside the "malls" which are really indoor cities. It goes against most of what Rhett believes in to vacation inside a mall but he was a good sport since it was a great place for kids and we had a great time.
The Dubai Aquarium inside the Dubai Mall.
The largest aquarium viewing panel in the world.
The Burj Khalifa (I have no idea how to take pictures in the dark soory). It is the tallest building and the tallest freestanding structure in the world - by a long shot. The second tallest building is about 2/3 as tall.
We went to the indoor ski slopes at Ski Dubai. We played at the snow park and Rhett went skiing.
The kids went tubing.
Funny that this is Ford's first time in the snow. Does it count?
The best place in the world for kids is Kidzania. I can not understand why this place isn't in the US. It is a big children's museum set up like a city. You (kid) get a check when you arrive and you take the check to the bank where you get Kidzania money. Then you get to go spend your money. When you need more money you go to work. Simple idea but SO much fun!
Here is Claire spending some money getting her nails done!
Ford went to the barber shop and got some facial hair (too bad Daddy had just shaved his beard off!)
Then it was time to make some money by working at the milk factory making boxes of milk.
And making more money by working as a dentist, nurse, painter and many others.
Here she is working as a chef.
And as a model on the runway! So much fun! They announced them as they came out and everyone wanted to be a model or a rockstar - except Claire who wanted to be a teacher :)
Now our trip up the Burj!
View from the top of the world!
You start to loose perspective that those are 40-60 story skyscrapers down there!
Gus on the Burj at sunset.
The architecture was simply amazing. It seemed like an architect's dream. The most modern buildings I've ever seen. We took a tour through the old part of town and enjoyed some more traditional architecture too.
Somehow I always seem to end up on a water taxi. It is so hot in this picture I can not begin to describe it to you. We also spent a day at a great water park. We started a new family tradition of filming our vacations "Amazing Race" style. It was fun to send to our family at home and will be a fun way to relive our holidays one day.
Dubai offered lots of comforts of the US - mostly comfortable beds, soft towels and good food. We ate at McDonald's, Subway and Macaroni Grill! The breakfast at our hotel was out of this world -but we definitely have expanded our breakfast horizons since living overseas. We love roasted tomatoes, smoked salmon, cheese, croissants, olives, hummus and tea for breakfast these days. I still can't get into baked beans for breakfast but, hey, I'm not ruling it out. There were wonderful American options like waffles and scrambled eggs too :) We still talk about how great that breakfast was! A lot of what we really enjoyed about Dubai were the comforts that we haven't
had in Kenya (the joys of fast food). I was excited about the shopping but quickly found out there wouldn't be much of that going on. I picked out a pair of Nike running shoes and did the math 3 times before concluding they they did indeed cost $285 dollars. Needless to say I didn't buy them or anything else. Our kids had a blast though and we were able to show Ford real, live, working traffic lights. However, when we arrived at our hotel he picked up the remote control and said "What's this?".
We had a great vacation and it was a nice step away for a week of family fun. Dubai was great for kids and we would recommend it for a get away from East Africa. It was fun for Claire and Ford to pick up their 4th continent too!