Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ferrari World

Following brunch at the Yas Hotel, we went next door to Ferrari World. It boasts being the largest indoor theme park in the world and having the fastest roller coaster ever built. The Formula Rossa rollercoaster begins inside and rockets out of the park using a hydraulic launch system similar to a catipult ram on an aircraft carrier. It pulls 1.7 Gs and travels 0-62 mph in just 2 seconds. The top speed is almost 150 mph.

Ferrari World

Brunch at the Yas Hotel

Two things you should know about living in Abu Dhabi. 1. Friday brunch is the thing to do and 2. brunch begins at 12 PM and lasts 3 to 6 hours. Our favorite brunch destination is Origins at the Yas Hotel on Yas Island. Brunch includes a full buffet and bottomless glasses of wine or beer. Since it was a nice cool morning, we sat outside overlooking the marina and F1 race track. The racetrack wraps around three sides of the hotel and goes under the hotel's bridge section that links the two buildings. It's a beautiful spot to spend a relaxing afternoon.

The Yas Hotel

Yas Island

Yas Island is one of the many islands that make up the City of Abu Dhabi. It's located about 10 minutes from Abu Dhabi Island and is being developed as the City's leisure and entertainment district. In the last year, seven hotels, a marina and yacht club, dozens of restaurants and bars, an arena, Ferrari World theme park, a golf course, and the Formula 1 race track have been developed on the island. A water park, a mega mall, and residential housing are still under construction. The total construction cost is $40 Billion.

Yas Island

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Qasr Al Sarab

We spent the Eid holiday weekend at a resort in the Liwa Desert, about 2 hours south of Abu Dhabi. Qasr Al Sarab is located in the middle of the desert without any buildings, towns or roads in sight. It's pure tranquility.

We hung out by the pool, had some drinks, ate a traditional Bedouin dinner under the stars, smoked the shisha pipe around a bonfire, and explored the sand dunes. On our next trip, we plan to take the Rovers out for some dune bashing. And of course, Jessica wants to go on a camel ride.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort


We finally saw camels and nearly wrecked the car in excitement. This was definitely the highlight of Jessica's Eid holiday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Perfect Mojito

I've mastered the Mojito! Our new favorite drink for lounging by the pool. Pair with a fine Cuban cigar and you've got the perfect afternoon. 

1 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
2-3 ounces of light rum
1 ½ limes
8 ounces of club soda
3-5 ice cubes
5 mint leaves

Add 2 tbls of sugar, juice from 1 ½ squeezed limes, and 2-3 ounces of rum in muddling pot. Stir contents until sugar is dissolved. Add approximately 1 cup (5-6 stalks) of fresh mint to the muddling pot. Muddle mint leaves for 30 seconds to release mint oils. Stir mint leaves and rum/lime mixture thoroughly.

Pour contents of muddling pot through fine strainer into 12 ounce glass. Force mixture and sugar through strainer with spoon. Pour 8 ounces of club soda through strainer and over mint leaves, stirring the mint leaves as you pour to ensure that all sugar is drained off mint leaves.

In second glass, put 3-5 small, crushed ice cubes. Pour drink from cup 1 into cup 2 through strainer and over mint leaves. Garnish the top with 5 mint leaves.


Lost in Translation

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our Abu Dhabi Villa

Cleaned, furnished, renovated, painted, decorated, and finally feeling like home. Our oasis in the desert.

Plant Souq

Our trip to the Abu Dhabi Plant Souq last weekend for another round of plants for the garden. We're growing our own tropical oasis in the backyard.