THREE.SOLTESWEB.NET                                                 JANUARY 2014     Page 1    

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Jan 01 - Fireworks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

By now, most of you know about the record breaking fireworks in Dubai and also Abu Dhabi this year.  Here are some pics taken from the  newspaper (The National) this morning.

400,000 fireworks set up.  Check out Dubai Fireworks on YouTube.  Some of are of the fireworks on the Burj Khalifa, others on the Palm Jumeirah,  More being added every hour now.





Jan 01 - Destroying Syrian "Chemical Weapons" at Sea

More in the paper today.  I don't know if this information has been given in the US in this form, but I found it fascinating that they were to dispose of 220 freight containers of mustard gas and other chemical weapons found in Syria by shipping to the port Latakia and loaded on ships supplied by Norway and Denmark.  There would be take to a US vessel MV Cape Ray outside of Syria's territorial waters, and there processed to produce  4000 containers of non-toxic effluent.  Click to enlarge and see better.

Now, weren't these called "weapons of mass destruction" before?  And could these be some of the weapons that Saddam Hussein shifted to Syria during the Iraqi war so that he wouldn't be caught with them?


Jan 02 - to Dubai

Left fairly early this morning for Dubai.  Mike hasn't had a chance to go up the Burj Khalifa tower, and he is leaving on Saturday.  While Gary and Mike were at the Burj, we went shopping and we were able to buy a few things for ourselves and a few gifts for those at home. I took the camera but didn't take any pictures.  I guess we have posted enough pictures of Abu Dhabi and Dubai buildings to create a travel brochure, so, unless I see something unusual, I won't take any more of those.

We were originally planning to return to Texas on January 11, but it now looks like we will be staying another month. Need to exchange tickets, get new visas, and arrange for some prescriptions to be filled and sent to us. Also to direct our post office to hold mail for another month.  I'm sure we'll think of additional things to do if we are staying.

Jan 03 - Building Progress

See better what is on the roof on the left, and the siding (?)  for the building on the right.



Jan 03 - off to Chamas

Tonight was Mike's last night in Abu Dhabi - he leaves tomorrow to go back to Oklahoma. We decided to go for supper at Chamas, the Brazillian restaurant downtown.  Here, on top of a great salad bar and dessert bar, you have the opportunity to eat as many as 14 different meats! You are given a circular coaster which is green on one side ad red on the other.  The wait staff will keep on bringing more and different meat as long as they see green.  Flip the card and it says: stop, I'm stuffed!

Outside the restaurant we were surprised to see so may winter/Christmas ornaments and trees.




Here's the buffet table


We were stuffed!

Jan 05 - downtown

Drove downtown for a couple of errands. Great idea putting several colors of bougainvillea in one pot.


Finally, got good pictures of these two buildings, the Millennium Hotel with Al Wahda mall on the bottom floors, and the leaning building.


Interesting Happy Friend Saloon - Here a saloon is a barber/hair parlor, not a place to get drinks..


Jan 07 - Running around Town

Spent the last two days going back to downtown a few times. Aimee needed a new passport, so we got a picture made, then went to the US Embassy only to find out that they were unsatisfied with the picture. Went across town to get the picture corrected only to find out that the imaging center was closed.  Today, got the picture, and got the password paperwork finalized. 

US Embassy in Abu Dhabi. One of the strangest buildings here.


Also, Gary and Aimee convinced us to stay another month so we needed to change our departure date and to extend our 30-day visa for another month. Got that take care of as well.  We now leave on February 10. We then bought enough groceries and planned to stay home for a day or two.

Today, IT RAINED!   Not a little wetting of the streets, but a few downpours. What's a little rain, you say? Well, around here, kids get off for school for "rain days".





They really don't like the rain.  This was in the paper.

We met with Gary for lunch at the Brioche, a French style restaurant on the ground floor of the building where he works. Much to see here:

Our coffees

Apple juice, with a bird fashioned from a green apple!  Also, some of the fancy breads they have made.


and then the pastry counter....We resisted, but it was hard.

Across the way, in the Waitrose grocery store, look at all of the fresh produce you see when you come in the front door


Jan 08 - "Our" Exercise room

There is an underused (no one hardly comes) exercise room as part of Sahara Villa Complex where Gary and Aimee (and we) live. It is well equipped, and Patty has been going there daily while Ed has joined her recently.



In each of the men's and women's bathroom and showers, there are hot tubs and saunas.



Just a few feet away is the heated swimming pool are. Just like a resort.  And, since few people ever come to use these facilities, it feels like it's ours alone.



Jan 11 - Abu Dhabi Mall and Trader Vic's

Got to go to a mall we haven't visited before - Abu Dhabi Mall. Malls here are not what they are at home. Each has a major hotel attached, a large grocery store, 5-6 screen movies, etc,  so that people here can do one-stop shopping for all of their needs/wants.

Did you ever see flowers arranged this way? They were real.


The last picture is of the suspended canoe in Trader Vic's.


Jan 12 - Bowling and another new mall - World Trade Center Mall

Got dressed up to go to a new mall, and stopped for a few rounds of bowling first.  Today was a holiday - the Sheikh's birthday,

Sometimes, the ball doesn't go where you want it to go...


Happy bowlers

This mall is very new and was very different inside.  Lots of wood walls, Arabian style, and industrial-looking open spaces for elevators and escalators.






and we found our way to the Cantina Mariachi, a Mexican cafe.  Many more stores coming, including a Chico's.

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