Sunday, August 31, 2014

Playing Tourist with Shawna: Day in Dubai

It only took 2 months but we finally got our first visitor to our new home: YAY for Shawna!!!! We were suppose excited to have her here, as she is one of our favorite people, and we know that we get along famously (since we have successfully traveled together in the past). We also saved ourselves from playing tourist in our new country since we knew that we would be doing it with visitors. We learned this from being in Hawaii....while I absolutely LOVE the Pearl Harbor Memorial, after the 12th visit it gets a little old (that being said, it has since been redone, and I can't wait to see the updates!). I am still waiting for my licensing stuff to work itself out, so I had plenty of time and enjoyed having the company while Adam was at work.
So our first jaunt was off to explore the renowned city of Dubai! It is only about a 75 minute drive from where we live through the desert.

Hello Dubai Skyline

Shawna is a HUGE animal lover, so I knew that she would be more than enthusiastic to hug a penguin, so Ski Dubai was our first stop. Two things that I will ALWAYS be up for doing while we live here:
1.) Hugging a penguin
2.) Going to the water park

Practicing hugging a penguin

More practicing

Practice was successful!

After penguin hugging, we metro-ed over to Dubai Mall  to see the Burj Khalifa: World tallest building. We were hoping to be able to catch the elevator to the top or have lunch at the restaurant, but this was unsuccessful. If you want to do this, either get there first thing to book a time or book ahead online, as they were completely booked for the rest of the day. Fortuately, we were able to just walk around and see the Burj. Also, the Dubai Mall is really awesome, not for the 1000+ stores they have but the inside waterfalls and the aquarium.

Burj Khalifa

Dim Sum for lunch = TASTY!

Ladies and the Burj

Love and the Burj

Indoor waterfall

LOVED the sculpted divers

The twinkling ceiling around the aquarium = I WANT THIS!

Dubai Mall Aquarium

Dubai Mall Aquarium

Dubai Mall Aquarium

Afterwards, we headed over the Atlantis Resort to check out their aquarium, and it did not disappoint. Adam and I are hopeful that our freediving course will be able to get us into the main tank at either Dubai Mall or Atlantis, so fingers-crossed!!!!

Aquarium at Atlantis

Aquarium at Atlantis

Aquarium at Atlantis: Jellyfish

Aquarium at Atlantis

Aquarium at Atlantis: Angry eel

Aquarium at Atlantis: The large tank

Aquarium at Atlantis: Starfish!

Aquarium at Atlantis: More starfish!

Aquarium at Atlantis: Large tank

Aquarium at Atlantis

Aquarium at Atlantis

Aquarium at Atlantis: Adam loves aquariums

Aquarium at Atlantis: Shawna and Adam silhouettes 

One of my favorites of Shawna, of her entire trip!

The next picture, in the distance because you cannot even get onto its island without a reservation, is the Burl Al Arab....the world's first and only 7-star hotel. I can't even begin to imagine the extravagance that must entrench this place!

Burj Al Arab: Only 7-star hotel in the world = $$$$$

So we had a really great time in Dubai. Some of the things that I wanted to accomplish on our list that we did not have time for: Gold souk and spice souk. Dubai is really known for its shopping, so if that is your thing, you will completely lose your mind here. Such a wonderful day and way to start her visit!