Category Archives: UAE

The Hidden, Hidden Bar

In general, the Abu Dhabi eating scene can be a bit…generic? Due to most restaurants having to be in hotels, one would say that there is a lack of… “je ne sais quoi…” pizzazz, character…something like that.

Some friends of ours told us about the Hidden Bar. Don’t be fooled, the Hidden Bar is in the Rosewood Hotel, but there is another Hidden…hidden bar there too. Here are the instructions:

Go to Dai Pai Dong. Find the wall piece that has a teapot. Go in, turn left, go through another door…and tah dah! You are in a speak easy of sorts. I tiny cocktail bar with suspendered drink makers.

They say, here is the menu, or just tell us what you like, and we can make something to suit you! Isn’t that fun! Some of our drinks included “peaty whisky,” lemon grass infusions, rhubarb bitters and one even involved a smoke gun! It is the coolest place. It is dark and secluded, and is one of the few places that makes you forget where you are.

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Quiz Champions!

Think back to over two years ago when we accepted our jobs at AISA. Some things we researched: Ultimate, beer selection, dragon boating and…pub quiz!

Fast forward to now, we are leaving Abu Dhabi as quiz champions.

Last year we used to do a Monday night quiz at a nearby bar. Our team, Two Smart, had the sole goal of not coming in last. This year, we started going to a new pub called Sportsman’s Arms. The first draw…non-smoking. Also, they serve IPAs on tap! Third, they have a great patio and fourth, their Sunday quiz night starts at 8:00pm, so we can be in bed on time!

What started out as team “here for the IPA” consisting of Matt and I, turned into “IPA” with a core group of geniuses that rocketed our team to the top! Alison, Lee, Stephany, Derek, Abi, Neil and us were the nuclear IPA family, with occasional additions of Lori, Robin and a few others! Lee and Abi’s UK knowledge, and general trivia brains helped in all categories, but as long as we each get one unique question, we were all winners!

In the last few months of the school year we were placing every Sunday night!

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Our Last Trip to Dubai +skiing!

Since we are almost off, it’s time to squeeze in the last of the tourist fads. On a long weekend in May, we headed to Dubai to hit some new, and favorite places one last time. We did Ski Dubai, Dubai Mall, and Korean Hotpot.

  1. SKi Dubai: No joke…AMAZING! It was well worth the trip, and I would venture to do it again. We made the right choice and went in the morning right when it opened so for our 2 hours of slopes there was nearly no line. We also learned that the chair lift is REALLY slow, but there is a “button tow” that zips up the side which helps you to get as many runs in as possible.

It’s all well and good, except I had forgotten how to ski:( We got to the top of the hill on our first run and started going down, and I was like…oh gosh what was I thinking…I’m a terrible skier! After making it down the run…barely…we went up the tow to see how fast it was. Readers, there is something scarier than skiing…taking a turn on the tow! It was steep and fast and I’ve never been so afraid! Literally hating my life.

After these two runs, I left Matt, a competent snowboarder, to go on his own while I took some runs on the baby hill. After about two of these I have found my footing and was ready to go. P.s. the magic carpet to is only for age 5 and under! How an I supposed to learn to ski?

Then…I had a great time!!!! By taking the tow…not so scary after all…we could go up and down in 5 minutes! I even went on the “experts only” run as the last run of the day!

All in all, it was a great day!

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This is more a picture of the snow park. We opted for just skiing, but you can see the hill in the background. It curves around left and up some more.

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Tried to take a selfie of our “rosie cheeks.” I’m a better skier than selfie taker.

While in Dubai, we went to Dubai mall one last time. They always have somethings fancy on the go. Check this out:

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Just a little piece of the mall

Also, no trip to Dubai is complete without a trip to the Korean hotpot restaurant. We stumbled upon this hotel restaurant when we first came to the job fair in Dubai over two years ago. This particular hotpot is a spicy soup with octopus and pork belly. It has delicious Asian accompaniments. Honestly…I could eat it everyday! We’ve even taken to staying in that particular hotel so we can eat and go straight to our room afterwards.

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Sunset Cruise

Do you remember the post where I recounted the lavish steakhouse experience that I won at Canadian Thanksgiving?

Well last Thanksgiving (many months ago) I won a sunset catamaran trip! We went on the trip in January (so it wasn’t boiling outside) and it was lovely. There were only about 12 people on the giant catamaran.

For me, there were two highlights of the trip:

  1. We got to see the Royal Palace. From the land you can really only see the gate.DSC04445DSC04441

 

2. We saw dolphins! In the wild! They came up right close…I mean inches…from the back of our boat and were playing with the bubbles in the wake. We were too busy being excited to take a picture, so you will have to imagine.

Though we don’t have any dolphin pics, here is one of the view:

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It’s funny, because this is the Corniche, the busiest part of Abu Dhabi. But, from far away it just looks like big building in sand. I promise there are more tiny building hiding somewhere.

Jollibee is Sweeping the Nation!

Have you heard about Jollibee? Since I’ve seen my first one a few months ago, it seems that they are popping up everywhere! The first one I saw went up in the Mushrif Mall food court. Here was a new restaurant front with a LONG roped line of people.

Have you ever had that feeling that you should just get in the line…because it must be something great if that many people are waiting for it!

I held off to give time for some research. Jollibee is a popular Filipino chicken place. I did a fair amount of research about what I should order when the time came.

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After a couple weeks, the line died down.

I decided on the fried chicken (a must) and the sweet spaghetti. Did I think the spaghetti was going to be ground breaking? No. But apparently it’s a must try. I would equate it to macaroni and cheese with hot dogs and ketchup. Did you ever have that as a kid? I did. I love it. Do I still love it? Mmmm maybe I still “like” it. I may not order the spaghetti again, but I would order the chicken again. It was so crispy! And comes with gravy!

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Though I’m not a fast food connoisseur, I give Jollibee two thumbs up! I just has such a fun vibe that I’m glad I didn’t miss out on the party!

She’s Gone:(

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Sold this lovely lady. After taxing in Congo for two years, we really looked forward to buying a car in the UAE. We made a great pick. I’m a bit sad to see the Ford Fiesta go, but alas…our time here is ending.

Time to trade it in for a scooter and some Tuk Tuks.

 

Update: June 9th: We are renting a car for the last month…look familiar:)

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Just a little upgrade to the 2016 model. Why change a good thing?

 

A Big Bike!

This one has been sitting in the archives waiting for attention for a while. Today’s post features a big bike. At this point in time, it seems silly to post it, since I don’t really remember the details, but I want to make sure I’m getting some Abu Dhabi content on here, not just travel.

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This is the world’s largest ride-able bike. Though I read that is needs some modifications to be ride-able. So really…It’s a big bike.

This photo captures one of many events that go on at the malls here. Two of our favorites were an arm wrestling competition (anyone could sign up), and watching a woman break the record for the most pull-ups in 1, 12 and 24 hours. She did it. For that one, we tuned in at about hour 5 I think.

I Lied!

Remember yesterday when I said I was swamped with school so I have just been working so hard? Yeah…that’s only half true. Monday to Friday have been rigorous, but the weekends…well did you know the weather is nice? Ya! Time for fun outside. Treat yourself to this little collage of physical activity!

We have played in 4 Ultimate tournaments this winter (Frisbee). It has been incredibly fun. In fact, I’m sitting on the couch right now resting from the our latest, and last tournament (big time sad face). P.S. It even rained (spitted really) at the tournament last weekend.

I also squeezed in one dragon boat weekend. (Sometimes the tournaments and festivals landed on the same weekend.) The dragon boat tournament turned into a super weekend getaway in Dubai. We stayed at a swanky-ish hotel and went to our favorite restaurant, The Cocktail Kitchen! If you are visiting Dubai, we highly recommend it! It has great character.

Hello Again!

Yet again I’ve been caught in a neglecting blog phase.

I want to say it is because I have been swamped. At school the Christmas to Spring Break run is coined THE DEATH MARCH. I know..teachers have it great! It’s not that bad. But it is a solid 12ish 5-day weeks. No long weekends. No holidays. No nothing. March on! And don’t give me that Alberta! I see you shaking your head! You have Family Day long weekend!

Not only is it a solid run, but it is busy. It is some of the best learning time, but thanks to this winter weather, it is also some of the best play time.

  • Sports Day
    • For the record, the Kidergarten Sports Day got cancelled…due to rain! haha
  • Terry Fox Run (I out ran almost all of my students!)
  • Spirit Week (That means 5 dress up days in a row)
  • Field Trip
  • Report Cards
  • Matt coached Basketball
  • Parent Teacher Conferences
  • 100th day (aka the best day of the year)
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    Since I am not a fan of posting pictures of the students, you will have to settle with this:) Thursday was the 100th day of school!! Woop Woop! In celebration, I had a bundle of things planned. My favorite: Will 100 popcorn kernels make a snack for the class? In grade 1, students think 100 is a giant number…until we count out the kernels! The students are so shocked. Don’t worry, after all of the graphing and counting, we do pop enough for a great snack! (This is also a chance to show off my mad popcorn popping skillz!)

    In the coming posts I have an array of goodies for you. In no particular order you will see:

  • A forgot snippet of our summer (It’s too good to let it past)
  • a big bike
  • A sunset cruise
  • Two trips to Amsterdam

Stay tuned!

Taste of Abu Dhabi Take 2

Remember this post from last year? The Taste of Abu Dhabi where we oggled over celebrity chefs! Well we bought tickets WAY in advance for the big event again this year.

There were less celebrities this year, but we were so excited for the venue and feel of the event.

wp-1480768195161.jpgPicnic tables and REAL grass! Ahh! so great.

We hit up some of our favorite activities from last year like watching cooking demonstrations and participating in a cooking class. We also tried something new this year: A Cheese Tasting!

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Note the nose plug and blindfold on the left. Cool hey? Truthful with a nose plug, cheese tastes like nothing. Maybe we will take up jobs as cheese mongers in our next life.

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This last one is just for fun. Apparently people dressed as fuzzy mascot characters just isn’t good enough. This is a moving, talking, water squirting robot. It took Matt and I a beat before we decided, yes, there is someone inside…right? It was very impressive.