Okay, for anyone who is wondering why we've been M.I.A. for a few weeks... I'm happy to report that we have made it safely to and from the fascinating city of Dubai. We went with my company - Omniture, and had a most interesting adventure.
For those of you unfamiliar with Dubai it is a little (or rather HUGE) city in the United Arab Emirates. And yes, the United Arab Emirates is a comfortable (OR NOT) 19 hour plane ride (one way) conveniently bordered by Saudi Arabia... and it's beach front property is just stones throw across the Persian Gulf from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan...and all the others.... :) Suffice it to say, we were really in a foreign land. We of course took tons of pics, and I just really am not able to summarize the trip without posting several... so here we go.
Day 1 - Omniture surprised us and drove us far away from the city, and into the Arabian Desert. We eventually arrived at resort called "Emirates Al Maha - Resort and Spa" It was unforgettable!! It was night time when we finally got there, and each couple was handed a key to their private (very secluded) bungalow. Here's a few pics of ours.
It even had it's own pool, and overlooked an oasis that they had built in the desert so that animals would come drink there. Quite a spectacle!
The oasis view from the bungalow the next morning. Wow!
Day 2: First (at 6am - to beat the 100 degree heat + 100% humidity) horseback riding in the Arabian Desert on ex-Arabian race horses.
(above) Our fun little horse riding crew. Our buddies Doug and Catherine Jensen on the far left, and Wolf and his wife from the UK next to Zack and I.
My freakin' sweet borrowed horse riding boots. These were a men's size 9 - TOO big!
and a glimpse of a ride in the hills. Our tour guide in front, her name was Chris, from South Africa - she loved us crazy American's - then Zack, and Dougy following behind.
Then there's me - I wish I could remember the name of my horse! She was a meanie!! She was biting and kicking the other horses the entire ride.
Then later that morning (below) we went for a safari ride in the sand dunes. Doug and Catherine again + Zack and Lacey... it was really starting to get hot now..
(below) Zack and I on top of the highest sand dune around. Such an incredible view!!
Toyota needs to pay us for these pics, and our stories, because it's UNREAL what those landcruisers will do!
Then there was our hilarious - notorious friend Stevo... (below)
Then there was the camel... wandering around the desert...
Pretty amazing ride!
Next adventure - that night, we had a special, authentic dinner gathering under the stars - in the desert. We actually all had to dress up in the Arabic robes.. not my first wardrobe choice. ;) but it was funny to see everyone dressed like this.
Stevo, Derek (my boss), Dougy & Zack (above)
Zack and Lacey below - just in case you couldn't recognize us... :)
Biggest mistake of the night (below)! The local ladies were painting all our hands with tatoo's. They didn't speak English, so... of course couldn't explain to us that these will last for 5 weeks... and would be the color of baby poo (yes, I'm very familiar with that color:) ... for 5 weeks....
Zack with the spitting camel below
And we actually got to ride the camel...
Day 3: we departed from the Desert, and took the long bus ride into the city. We checked into a new hotel, and hunkered down for a couple days of city life in Dubai.
First stop was the Hotel Burj - the famous 7 start Resort with the tennis court/helicopter landing pad on top. Of course we didn't stay here, rooms are something like $4,000/night minimum! But we had the most amazing brunch here. The French Toast was mine and Zack's fav!
Below - Zack in front Hotel Burj - next to one of the three Rolls Royce parked out front...
And, here (below) was a shot from our hotel's beach.. the "city beach" as we called it. The Persian Gulf was as warm as a hot tub, and extra salty.
(below) on our last day - we went to the "City of Gold" A.K.A. the "souk" where you can buy sparkly things.
Just about to enter the souk - Dan and Brooke Wells, Doug Jensen, Zack - and some dude... picking his nose in the background. Classic!
The Gold was beautiful here!!!
(below) Our last night - I chose this picture, because by now, Zack was getting sick and tired of my "photography hobby"... this is why he is choking me ... hahaha such a patient guy. . ;) But a beautiful view of the city of Dubai at night. What an amazing vacation this was!