29 July 2012

An Evening Swim

A few days ago we went for an evening swim in our community pool. We started in the kids' pool, which felt as warm as a pot of soup. Then we migrated to the big pool, which was more like a bathtub.

46 °C / 115 °F
35 °C / 95 °F

28 July 2012

Our Home

In Abu Dhabi expats either live in a modern tower apartment building or a villa. Villas can be built individually or on compounds with shared recreation facilities. We chose to live on a compound so that we could have easy access to a swimming pool, and hopefully meet other families.
This is our compound. There are about 150 villas in our compound. 
They all look basically identical from the outside with date palms and big front courtyards. (The biggest villas have subterranean parking and elevators!) The place could seriously use the help of a landscape architect - there is almost no shade on the streets!
This is our neighborhood. 
Toss a coin in any direction and you'll hit a mosque. Or a palace.
We hear the call to prayer 5 times a day. When Pau hears it he says, "Mosque!"
Here is our villa - the second from the left.
That's our giant vehicle. . . . the beloved Mitsubishi Pajero parked in front.
(We are the lucky ones on the block because we inherited the shade structure from the previous tenants. )
On the ground floor our villa has a giant playroom/living room (shown here), dining room, half bathroom and kitchen. There is a large front courtyard with a tiny "driver's room" with bathroom. And, the awesome backyard. The stairwell is like an atrium so the house is filled with natural light. Upstairs there are 4 bedrooms (!) and 2 bathrooms. Up more stairs there is a laundry room, storage room, and a maid's room with bathroom. Most of the bedrooms have their own balconies. The house is enormous and beautiful! It is great for running around and for dancing. We are happy that we waited so long for this place!

Coloring at our art table in the play room.

First siesta in the dining room.

Stay posted for more views as the house evolves. . . 

22 July 2012

Date Trees

A favorite activity here is harvesting dates from the many date palms heavy with fruit. Pau has become slightly obsessed with them and wakes up saying, "Date t'ees. Pick date t'ees."

They are mostly really good and sweet like candy. But some, the not-yet-ripe ones, are not so good.
45 °C / 114 °F
32 °C / 90 °F


Yogurt and Honey

46 °C / 116 °F
35 °C / 96 °F

21 July 2012

Reading Room

July 20
46 °C / 116 °F
29 °C / 84 °F

July 21
47 °C / 117 °F
30 °C / 86 °F

20 July 2012

Friday Brunch in Our New Kitchen

Spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce, grilled chicken, and two kinds of salad. Yum!

18 July 2012

Ice Cream Cone

Last weekend we went to Ikea to do some home shopping. After many hours we were at the check-out line and Mama saw the sign for ice cream.
"Andrés, would you like an ice cream cone?"
"Yes, " I said with a big grin creeping across my face. "And I'd like the ice cream in it, too!"

12 July 2012

Home! Day 2

After a 4 am wake-up we had breakfast, played, and went to work washing windows.

43 °C / 110 °F
32 °C / 89 °F

11 July 2012

Home! Day 1

Here we are (straight from the airport) getting to know the playroom that Papa set up. Mama slept.

This is Blue, the parrot Papa brought me back from Rio. It looks just like Blue from my FAVORITE movie called Rio.

43 °C / 110 °F
31 °C / 89 °F
max humidity 84%

Los Angeles > Dubai > Abu Dhabi

Last week we said goodbye to all of our friends and family in Los Angeles and headed to our new home in Abu Dhabi.

We flew from LAX to Dubai, a 16 hour flight! We did amazingly well. I napped for about 2 hours and watched a lot of movies, played games, and read books. Pau napped also, and he played games, made things with playdoh and stuck stickers. He made lots of (pretend) telephone calls to Grandma Judy using the remote control.

When we needed to run around Mama would take us to the back of the plane. We did exercises, dances, and generally entertained the flight crew with our puppy-wrestling on the floor. Just like last time, we were complimented for being the best kids on the plane! Emirates airlines are very nice!

Landing and getting through passport security and baggage claim was not so easy. I was totally exhausted and upset and cried non-stop until we FINALLY found Papa. As soon as I saw him I felt revived! We played at the airport while Mama recuperated with a snack and drink. Then a drive home to our new house in AD.


Do These Ducks Swim?