Friday, December 20, 2013

Sri Lanka...Paradise Found

Sri lanka feels untouched by time and technology. It's beautiful, tropical, warm, peaceful, and affordable. This is our third trip to Sri Lanka and we've now explored Kandy, Colombo, Galle, and Tangalle. Our favorite area by far is Tangalle, located on the very southern tip of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is a 4 1/2 plane ride from Abu Dhabi and the flights generally depart around 11 PM and arrive at 5 AM (there's an hour and half time difference). From Colombo, we hired a driver for the 5 hour drive south to Tangallle. There are a lot of unwritten rules for driving in Sri Lanka and it's not something we would recommend for novice tourists like ourselves. There's no way to describe it other than an organized chaos of overtaking and honking.

We spent the next 5 days at the Eva Lanka Hotel just outside of Tangalle. It's a small hotel of 23 cottages built on the hillside overlooking the beach and Indian Ocean. The reception area, restaurant, bar, and lounge are all open air with foot paths radiating out to the cottages and swimming pools below. The rooms are very basic, but at $90 per night for the Sea View cottage, who can complain. There's no Internet or TV in the rooms and after the initial shock, we realized it was a blessing and the key to truly unwinding in our new found paradise. We highly recommend Cottages #6 or #7 for the amazing views.

We literally spent the entire trip sitting in a thatched hut shack down on the beach eating lobster and shrimp and drinking Lion Beer. The only respite from the beach was a trip up to the "spa" for a massage. We literally had the best massages of our lives for the equivalent of $25 per hour.

On our way back to the airport we stopped into Galle Fort for lunch and a little shopping. Nothing too strenuous or taxing, just a leisurely stroll. And then back on a plane to AD and the real world.

Sri Lanka has become one of our favorite places and we've already started looking ahead to our next trip back in 2014.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Altoids Robot

Brian's not one to sit idle for very long and as busy as we've been lately, he still managed to find time to build a robot out of 46 old Altoids tins. Each tin is held together with a series of bolts hidden inside and under the lid. How many people would agree that he has to much time on his hands?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pool Parties and Polo Matches

It's not all pool parties and polo matches in Abu Dhabi, but today it was. Emirates Palace played host to two polo matches between Abu Dhabi's Coutts Team and London's Faberge Team and between Milan's Maserati Team and Buenos Aires' Argentina Team. The day was capped off with a party around the Palace's pool. Such a civilized way to spend a day.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Race Day

It's race day!

A very special thank you to Jules, Hatch Engineering, and the Williams Team for the free tickets and apparel!!!

Too Many Beers

Seeing as how we weren't using our Saturday tickets to the F1 qualifying race, we gave them to a couple of friends. One, who shall remain nameless, spent a little too much time hanging out in the Oasis beer garden at the race. Many many hours (and beers) later, he stopped back by our house and then this happened:

It's mostly funny because Zoe has no idea why the drunk Australian is on her pillow. 

David "The Hoff" Hasselhoff

Yeah, that's him and yeah, we met him. At the Beach Club's Le Deck restaurant on Saturday. 

Jay Z Concert

Jessica had to work the Aldar Hospitality Suite and entertain clients on Friday. Sounds like a drag, right? Wrong. The hospitality suite was a restaurant at the Yas Viceroy Hotel that her company rented out and the champagne was flowing freely all night. She was able to get Brian in and together, we watched the practice session from the best seats on the track.

The concert line up for this year's race ticket holders was Jay Z on Friday night, Muse on Saturday night, and Depeche Mode on Sunday night. Jessica was just a wee bit excited to see Jay Z and once she was done "working," we hitched a ride on a shuttle from the hotel to the arena. 

And just for the record all you British out there, his name is Jay Z (zeee) NOT, I repeat NOT, Jay Z (zed).

Formula 1 Weekend

It was a big weekend filled with parties, concerts, and race cars. What more could you ask for?

The festivities kicked off on Thursday night, October 31, 2013 with a Yelloween Halloween party at the Monte Carlo Beach Club. Our friends and temporary house guests, Jane and Greg joined us, as did their friend Connie from Germany, who is also staying with us. We've got a full house and we're loving all the activity!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Monte Carlo SBM's 150th Anniversary Party

We were invited to attend the Monte Carlo SBM's 150th anniversary party on October 25 at the Saadiyat Island beach club. SBM is the Monaco royal family's holding company for all the hotels, casinos, and beach clubs in Monaco, which also owns the Monte Carlo Beach Club on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.

We were treated to ridiculous amounts of champagne and caviar, canapes, live entertainment, and thoughtful gift bags at the end of the night. Our hats off to the event coordinators. Job well done. Very impressed.