Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Brian's a PADI Certified Diver

Brian has been working on his PADI Certification for an Open Water Diver at the Al Mahara Dive Centre. He received his certification in April and has been on four dives since. While we were in Phuket, he completed two dives, one at Shark Point and one at Anemone Reef (watch the video of him diving below). Last Friday, he spent the day diving off the coast of Abu Dhabi and completed another two dives. Eight open water dives down, many more to come.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan is the holiest of holy months for Muslims and begins on the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar following the sighting of the new moon. Last night, the astronomers saw the new moon and Ramadan officially began today. Holidays like Ramadan remind us of our family and friends and signify that another year has past. It's hard for us to believe that this is our third Ramadan and that we've been living in Abu Dhabi for 2 years, 3 months.

For the next 30 days, we'll have reduced work hours of 9 AM to 3 PM and will publicly observe the day long fast from food and water. Notice I said publicly. Non-Muslims are asked to not drink, eat, or smoke in public from sunrise to sunset. Imagine, no water for 13.5 hours in temperatures peaking at 111 degrees. The purpose of the abstinence from food and water during the day is for Muslim's to diminish their dependence on material goods, purify their hearts and to establish solidarity with the poor in hopes of encouraging charitable work during the year. While we won't be fasting, we will be respectful of the culture and avoid consuming water and food in the presence of Muslims.

Ramadan Mubarak to all our Muslim friends!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Yes, we went to London on another holiday. Don't judge us :>) Nine days in the Big Smoke. If it was old or historic or stylish, we saw it. Yes, we are exhausted. Special thanks to our friends Jules and Susan for being such great hosts.

Madonna's MDNA Tour - Abu Dhabi

On June 2, we went to the Madonna concert. It was just her second stop on her MDNA world tour. Great performance and such a great stage show. VOGUE.  

New Villa

Just as we had gotten settled and just as Brian was recovering from the move back in Kansas City, we decided to move to a new villa in Al Raha Gardens. We had just enough time between the Sri Lanka trip and the Phuket trip to get furniture out of the old place and into the new place. Not the best timing, but the vacations were previously booked and our lease was up at the end of April. As much as we hated the thought of moving again, it was time. We had outgrown our previous two bedroom split villa and were having issues with the landlord / management company. We opted for a three bedroom stand alone villa in Al Raha Gardens on the Abu Dhabi mainland. Luckily for us, Jessica works for the developer of Al Raha Gardens and was able to get us a deal that made financial sense. We are both happier in the new place and are busy decorating it to fit our style. More photos will be coming shortly.


About a week after returning home from Sri Lanka, we headed off to Phuket, Thailand for some much needed rest and relaxation. While we did go kayaking, boating, diving, and sightseeing to some of the nearby islands, the reality of this trip was that we didn't leave the hotel as much as we would normally do on a holiday. And if you saw the hotel in person, you'd understand why. The resort had it's own private beach and 3 restaurants / bars. We had a room with a private yard and private pool overlooking a lagoon filled with wildlife and all kinds of exotic tropical plants. Let me repeat, a private pool at a hotel. Well, needless to say, we had no reason or desire to leave.