Sunday, August 19, 2007

Our Plant Hunting Expedition

Attempting to make the new apartment more homey we set out on an adventure to get some plants. We could have just gone down the street to the huge plant store here in Dubai but, what fun would that be? We were told of some great deals at the Friday Market in Fujairah. So, with some sort of shifty directions we set out into the desert....

The view changes dramatically when you get into the next emirate. Mountains and date plantations for miles and miles.

Before getting the new plants for Burtie to chew up we drove out to the sea. This is the Gulf of Oman.

As always the self portrait... why is there never anyone around to take our picture when we need someone?

On to get the plants now.
Here's some shots of the Friday Market. It's in the middle of no where and is just a strip of stalls on each side of the road filled with plants, fruit stands, rugs, ceramic pots, plastic blow up toys and of course the men that sell them. You have to be prepared to barter for what you want which can be a good time.

Kenny... see any that you like?

Fruit stand

Kenny's newest friends. They thought that us taking their picture was great fun. Plus, I think that we spent way too much on the sweet melon and the mangos that we bought from them so they were all smiles. Probably thinking SUCKERS!

Heading home with our new plants we stopped to take a shot of the date plantation.

We got some good plants, some good deals and had a great day. Now, how are we going to keep the fat man from chewing them?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fun Fridays with the Barnes

The Barnes Family have been kind enough to take us under their wing and show us some of the sights. We use our Fridays off to have some fun in the middle eastern sun.
We took off for the Dreamland Aqua Park. It's in Umm Al Quwain. 3 Emirates over from Dubai for a day of relaxing by the pool.
Kenny's ready to take on whatever the park can throw at him!

Caroline and baby Bella are keeping cool under the mushroom fountains.

Dave and Kenny enjoying the day off from The Coast.

See Kenny, she's not going to break if you hold her.

Cameron and I had a great time playing in the giant water fountain. You can tell that I am a bit water logged though... nice hair do!

The usual Friday involves a swim at the Barnes' pool, followed by a fantastic dinner that chef Dave whips up. Here are some of my favorite shots from those days.

Hey Cam! What's wrong?

Kenny! That's Cameron's Spiderman ball... let him have a turn!

You too Dave!

Forget Spiderman, it looks like he's all about Superman! I'm sure that the Man of Steel practiced his flying in the pool too while he was learning.

Bella, what do you think of all the fun and frolic in the pool? You seem quite happy to be chillin' in your floatie.

Kenny please give that back or she may cry too! Pink does look quite nice on you though. The Pooh Bear looks very manly on the front.

Inside The Barnes' house hold we have a good friend in Mabel. Although she isn't supposed to be on the couch she abandons that rule when we're there for our visits.

She obviously isn't fussy about who's showing her some love.

We love our Fridays in the Barnes' pool.

My Keratonics training movie

Neways has launched a new hair care line of products and I wanted to take the power point and make it into something easier to use so.... here is what I've created.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Day at The Races

Dubai is a land of surprises... we travelled past this race course pretty much everyday and never saw anyone on it then, one day coming home from the beach we saw a bunch of cars, SUV's, people and Camels! We turned around (with some great effort and many cuss words) and raced up the side of the track with the other cars. Luckily we had the video camera with us and got this great experience captured.
We were invited (in Arabic and some sort of charade type gestures) on to the course, on to the camels and then after the race in the "back Stretch" or camel pens to see a young camel being purchased, to feed them and have tea with the owners of a team of racers.
Saeed was very generous and we've been told that we were very lucky to get the chance to do what we did that day. Kenny was a bit worried for his head (and keeping it attached to his shoulders) while we were being whisked away from the safety our car and witnesses to an empty stretch of sand that looked to lead nowhere with a stranger that spoke no english but, was a big Michael Jackson fan but, what we were getting to see was how proud he was of his camels and his family business.
We learned later that each of the camels that he has in the pens are worth at least $30,000 USD. More than that probably. It is an elitist sport here and only those with some big money are able to participate. Some camels are worth over $1 Million USD.
There are laws here that state how much money you would have to pay the family of the deceased if you had a car accident and killed someone based on nationality. Most of the time you would pay between 80,000 - 100, 000 Dirham ($22,000- $27,000 USD) but, if you hit a camel not only will you have to hope that you lived but, your car will be a total write off and you will pay 250,000 Dhr. ($68,000 USD)!
These camels racing along have little robots attached to their backs. These replaced the children that they used to put on them. The Sheikh passed a law about 18 months ago banning the Pakistani children from being the jockeys. I think that he was catching some flack from some childrens rights groups... wonder why?
The cars that you see racing down the track do that because there is no club house to watch the track from. That is how you watch the races... in an SUV cruising at about 35- 40 mph.
Just another part of our Middle Eastern Adventure. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Wrath of Khor Fakkan!

I should have added these in earlier... sorry all! I forgot that I had taken them. Not sure how seeing that I got in trouble from the "port nazi" for taking them. I was told in a very stern voice that I needed to put the camera away while we were on the gas dock. Still not sure why but, hey when in Rome or Khor Fakkan.... Maybe I looked like a person that would try to bring the dock down later with some sinister plan! Move over 007!

Here is the link to see our video of the first dive we did in the UAE. Khor Kakkan the name of the small village that is part of another emirate, Fujayrah. It's on the other side of the peninsula. Dubai is on the Persian Gulf side and the dives that we did were on the Gulf of Oman side.
The rough seas were a bit of an issue and we chummed the waters for the next set of divers. Note to self "set up gear on the stable dock and not in the rocking boat!" Kenny's 15 year streak of no puking finally came to an end but, he had a good run while it lasted.
It was a great dive and we saw some things that were very different than the Cayman Islands. Apart from the crew we were all alone on the boat and on the sites. We unfortunately missed the whale shark that they saw the week previously but, we'll be back to try again soon. With some Gravol though!
Look for Nemo's family! Enjoy!

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