Monday, April 4, 2011

Jet Skiing

Yeah, we definitely want one! Last Saturday, we rented jet skiis (Waverunners) and spent the afternoon on the water. Before getting on the jet skiis, we stopped off at Jones the Grocer for sandwiches, water and grapes and had a little picnic on LuLu Island, off the northern coast of Abu Dhabi Island. The temperature was 86F/30C degrees and the water was warm enough to take a swim. It's been decided, we can't live around all this water without some "toys."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Landscaping the Front Courtyard

Jessica has been busy landscaping our front courtyard and claims to finally have it finished. In Abu Dhabi, tenants are responsible for landscaping their own yards and outdoor spaces. In our case, the previous tenant didn't plant any landscaping, so we had a blank slate. Here are a couple of before and after photos.





Friday, April 1, 2011

Yacht Show and GT1 Race

Last weekend was the annual Abu Dhabi Yacht Show and the FIA GT1 World Championship. Super yachts and fast cars! After brunch at Origins, we took a boat across the Yas Marina and "played" around on boats that are just a bit out of our budget. While we're not exactly huge fans of GT1 racing, it was exciting to see the races, especially in the beautiful Yas Island setting and with the mega yachts as a back drop.

An Afternoon Snack

Istanbul, Turkey

Never in a million years did either of us imagine that we would have the opportunity to travel the world and see such exotic cities like Istanbul in Turkey. It's a 4 hour direct flight from Abu Dhabi and a unique blend of European Culture, Asian influences, and Middle East religion. We spent 6 days at the Sultania (Hotel Sultania) in the Sultanahmet, the heart of old Istanbul. The hotel was located on a narrow, pedestrian street filled with restaurants and cafes, and located within walking distance of many of the sites.

We took a boat up and around the Bosphorous, which is the waterway that divides the Black and Marmara Seas from Europe and Asia. We toured the underground Basilica Cistern, Aya Sofya Museum, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazzar, Spice Bazzar, Topkapi Palace, and aimlessly wandered the winding streets. We traversed the Golden Horn via the Galata Bridge using the city's light rail and spent one evening walking up and down Istikalal Caddesi, the Grand Boulevard. Istikalal Caddesi is a shopping district on a pedestrian street with Istanbul's hottest bars and clubs located on the narrow side streets.

The weather was cool, rainy, and reminiscent of Seattle. It was a great escape from the desert and would have been a perfect vacation, but unfortunately, Jessica got food poisoning from the in-flight meal and spent the first two days in bed. As quickly as her illness came on, it passed and she was ready to make up for lost time. All in all, a great trip.

Istanbul Photo Album