Sunday, April 27, 2008

Boys (and 1 girl) in Doha

While Sam and I were in Dubai, the boys (and Catrina) were at home. On Friday, Shane and Adam went over to jump on the trampoline and throw some balls around. It got pretty hot out on the trampoline, so Rob and Shane started squirting them all with water guns. Shane brought the video camera, so we have a lot of video of their 'playdate'. I will edit it and post it in a later post, or at least provide the link to my Google Video account. Meanwhile, I was able to get some stills of the video for this post.

Playing on the trampoline
They had to put socks on them because it was so hot!

Shane armed with the water gun

Rob's turn

Catrina is saying "spray me"!

Playing ball

Shane and Adam working on his catching skills

Girls in Dubai

This past weekend I went to Dubai with my friend Samantha and her 4-month-old daughter Emma. We left the rest of the children with their Dads and headed off for a girl's weekend. We chose Dubai because of its proximity to Doha (1 hr flight) and because of the shopping. We stayed at the hotel attached to the Mall of the Emirates, which made it real easy to get some shopping done! We also went to the new Festival City Mall to visit the local Toys R Us, since the one here is pretty pathetic in terms of their stock.
To me, Dubai seems to be a bad cross between Houston and Doha. It is a very large city, with freeways and skyscrapers and tons of people, but it is still in the desert and there is still a strong Muslim influence. The driving is just as crazy as Doha, but with more people. Things are bigger and more extravagent in Dubai, but I think that's the point. It is worth a visit for those of you that have the opportunity, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go there. Don't get me wrong, we had a great time, but were both ready to get back to Doha and our families!

Attention Doha Toys R Us: THIS is how your stock should look!

This Toys R Us was huge: 45,000 sqft, 2 levels and full of toys for all ages

Inside the elevator at Toys R Us - these video screens covered 3 walls!

Dubai Festival City Mall

Dubai Festival City Mall - Chili's and the 'riverwalk'. This part is still under construction, but will be really nice when it is finished.

I managed to find the only Arabic-themed shop in Festival City!

Miss Emma, being cute!

Ski Dubai at the Mall of the Emirates

Mall of the Emirates

This warning is on the map for the Mall of the Emirates - notice the first 2 items

This is the Burj Dubai - it will be the tallest tower in the world upon completion at 800 meters!

A picture of the skyline - you can see how crazy big the Burj Dubai is compared to the other skyscrapers!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mommy's socks

When I called Adam into the kitchen for dinner tonight, he showed up to the table wearing my socks.  I normally wear these when it gets a little chilly in the house because of our crazy air conditioners (there is no happy medium with the temperature controls).  When I saw him, of course I laughed, but he just said, "I'm cold, so I put on Mommy's socks".  After that, I turned off the air conditioner for a while... 

Day at Souq Waqif

Today I went to Souq Waqif, the traditional-styled open market in Doha.  My friend Gill and I decided to go down there since it was a nice day to be outdoors (for a change).  Although I have been many times, I always either forget to bring my camera or forget to take pictures when I bring it.  This time, I remembered both!  The souq is a maze of shops, selling items like bulk spices, fabric, kitchenware, art, toys, carpets, antiques, and souvenirs.  We wandered around and checked out the shops, while I acted like a tourist and took a bunch of pictures.

This is the front of the woodcarver's shop, where they hand-carve little boats and other items

Sheesha pipes for sale!


Bedouin carpets

A look down the main drag

One of the many souvenir shops

This little shop specializes in kitchenware

 A sweet-tooth's dream!

The guys with the wheelbarrows will follow you around in hopes that you will hire them to lug all of your purchases

 I didn't buy anything, but my friend Gill found some toys for her children.  

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fireworks over Al Jazi

We were watching American Idol (gotta love it!) tonight, and all of a sudden heard a bunch of racket outside. Our first thought was bombs going off, but then we started thinking rationally and realized that it must be fireworks. I grabbed my camera to try and get a few shots, since I haven't had the opportunity to take many night shots with my new one. By the time it was over, most of our neighbors had joined me. We are not sure what they were for, but we enjoyed it nonetheless!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I guess they can do almost anything in those robes!!!

I saw this video on one of the forum sites and thought it was hysterical! It was taken at the ice rink at Doha's newest mall, Villagio. The guy isn't too bad...though I really wanted to see him do a triple axle!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just me and the boys

Samantha dropped Robert at my house today while she took Catrina to her ballet class. Last week he stayed home and wasn't happy about it, so I told her just to let him come here so he and Adam can play. They had a few incidents, but for the most part they play really well together.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Shane!!

Wednesday was Shane's 33rd birthday! Adam picked out a Mickey Mouse card to give to Daddy, and even signed his name! Of course he wanted to sign it in yellow crayon so it's kind of hard to see. Anyone who knows Adam knows that we have to have cake for a birthday, so Shane decided he wanted an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. The only one they had was bright yellow with roses on top, but hey - in Doha you can't be too picky!

Adam sang "Happy Birthday" and then helped Daddy blow out his candle - which, if you notice, is a "3". I couldn't find any regular candles and they didn't have any more 3's, so that's what we used! I guess we should have just lit it twice!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Power Ranger

Adam has been wearing this basket since he woke up from his nap. I asked him what he was doing and he told me he was a Power Ranger. I am not sure where he picked that up, unless it was from school. They don't watch TV there, but they do have show-and-tell, so another child must have brought one in today. I wasn't aware that Power Rangers wore baskets on their heads and carried around tools, but hey....that's the "power" of a child's imagination!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Only in Qatar, NEVER in the USA!

Only in Qatar would this have happened. Shane lost his iPod last week. He thought that he left it on a shuttle bus. We figured it was a goner. I mean, we are from Houston. It doesn't matter what you lay down there, it's gone if you turn your head! Anyway, for his birthday he decided to replace it with an iTouch. We went this weekend and picked it out. Well, guess what was returned to him today at work? We couldn't believe it! I always knew this was a more "honest" country than America, but this still amazed me. As little as some of these people have, they still don't see the need or want to take what's not theirs. Now, what? Well, Shane loves the iTouch and doesn't want to part with it, so now we have an extra iPod...anyone interested?

It should come with the apartment...

This is our friend George. He lives in an apartment building on the 6th floor. After a few trips to the liquor store and to the grocery store, he found it necessary to keep the shopping cart! I can't really blame him, but I really would have loved to see him wheel this thing to his building all the way from City Center!

Qatar makes the World News...

We found out about this from someone watching news in the United States. Apparently, an American B-1 bomber plane caught fire as it landed at al-Udeid Air base. The base is located just south of the airport, so that makes it only about a 20 minute drive from where we live. We were on the balcony at a friend's apartment right on the Corniche at the time it happened and didn't hear or see anything. Thankfully, all is okay and no one was hurt. To read the CNN story, click here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dinos in Doha!

We went to City Center mall over the weekend and they had a exhibit of Dinosaurs on the first floor. Adam, of course, was very excited.