Thursday, January 31, 2013

I, I Am A Dancer

A girl in my ward has started a cooking group this year.  We meet once a week to learn about the intricacies of various cooking techniques.  The kids can come too, and since she has four girls, they are stocked with costumes, which Leoni loves.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Burj Khalifa

While in Dubai, we couldn't miss a visit to the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.  (If you want all the stats, you can find them here and here.)  It also happens to have the world's fastest elevators and the longest single trip elevators.  Your ears definitely feel it on the quick trip, but they have videos playing inside to help distract you.  You must have a ticket, and they are significantly (like 4 times) more expensive if purchased same day.  Luckily, a friend let us know this, and we purchased them online before we left.  You also receive an appointment time, and they can sell out, so if you decide to go, make sure to book ahead of time.

Following the line
The glow behind Travis & the kids is a glowing model of the building

Before our appointment, we realized that morning fog was going to hamper our view a bit, but it made for fun pictures of buildings sticking up through it.

It did start to clear up a bit, but you just couldn't see a long distance

Leoni enjoyed taking pictures, but didn't want many taken.  Many tourists wanted to take pictures with the little blonde haired girl, but she would have none of it.

Burke, on the other hand, didn't mind posing

Look closely, you can see the tip of the building above

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mall of the Emirates

The Mall of the Emirates

Besides all the shopping, there were chess piece performers.

But, the real reason we went was for Leoni to build a snowman.

She was pretty positive that it would snow for Christmas, even after we tried to explain that it wouldn't happen in Qatar.  Luckily, it does "snow" in Dubai at the SkiDubai snowpark.

Throwing a snowball

Riding in a tube

Watching the resident penguins

Afterward, we enjoyed an American meal at the newly opened Cheesecake Factory.

Leoni enjoyed Mom's shake (a REAL shake made with ice cream is hard to come by).

Even after a long day, everyone was all smiles.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Enjoying the company

We definitely enjoyed the company of the Innis'.  The kids had a wonderful time together whatever they were doing.

Riding the "choo-choo"

Or watching a video together on the iPhone

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Snoopy Island

The Innis family were superb hosts, suggesting places in the United Arab Emirates to visit that we hadn't even known about much less considered.  We wanted to visit the beach, since this time of year is perfect weather for it, but we didn't know how great of a trip we had in store.  

Fujairah is one of the 7 emirates of the U.A.E. and located on the eastern coast.  It lies on the Gulf of Oman.  The emirate is very mountainous, and looks a lot like areas of southern Utah's more mountainous desert landscape.  We went specifically to the beach by Snoopy Island, named because it looks like Snoopy lying on his back (as he does on top of his dog house).

Although I have been scuba certified since 2001, I have never had a really open water dive let alone snorkelled anywhere with real flora & fauna to look at.  This was my opportunity.  The Innis' have a sea kayak, which we paddled out to the island, not far from the shore.  The tide was low, and the water was clear, so every thing was very close in sight.  I couldn't have imagined that I would see anenomes & clown fish, parrot fish,  angel fish, tangs, a reef shark (though I only caught sight of the tail) and a sea turtle.  It was amazing, especially for a first snorkel.  I may never be able to snorkel anywhere again because it was so great.  I realized I didn't take very many pictures, and those I did are of the kids.

Outside of snorkelling, it was nice to relax on the beach.  The kids loved the sand.

Leoni got to try drinking from a coconut
(so did Burke, but he must not have liked it as much)

Burying each other in the sand

Being entertained by those "smart" enough to drive in VERY soft deep sand
(This is after the SUV tried to help a friend get out and got stuck itself.  They finally recruited a bulldozer.)

Kicking our feet up

Eating S'mores

Being silly in the gas station window

It was well worth the drive and a wonderful memory.