Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jumping G

I'm proud to announce I was able to teach Gilbert how to jump. How did I do it?

On a lazy Saturday morning, I put a chair on our bed (much to Kristen's dismay) so he could get a solid surface to launch from yet have the luxury of a soft landing (e.g. the bed). In no less than 15 minutes he was jumping without assistance! I moved the chair to the floor, no problem.

Little Man is know a jumping fool! I took him to the pool over the weekend and I had to be vigilant in being by his side as he did not hesitate to jump into the water.

A few minutes to kill this morning before work and school, we had some jumping fun in his room.


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gilbert's Music Machine

Gilbert LOVES listening to music and dancing (as you've seen his sweet moves).

He now knows how to work his CD player. Quite fun to watch.

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Dancing With The Stars

I don't see an appearing for Gilbert in the near future with these moves!

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And yes, those are Santa jammies. If they fit, he is wearing it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The End of the Blog?

Is the end near? I'm giving serious thought to ending the blog. I'm a bit burned out and frankly, wonder who is reading this running notepad?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On the Street

Walking to work today, I was ambushed by interns at the local ABC affiliate. Apparantly there were quizzing people on their knowledge of basic facts. I was up to the challenge.

  • How many stars on the flag?
  • How many stripes on the flag?
  • How old do you have to be to run for US President?
  • How many continents are there?
  • What is the closest star to Earth?
  • What is an omnivore?
How did you do. I screwed up omnivore. I said an animal that eats plants only. Omnivores eat both plants and animals. I should have responded with "the only 'vore that matters are carnivores!"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just A Day In the Park

Finally catching up on the blog posts. Settled back in, we headed to a nearby park for some fun and sun!






















Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Most Amazing Fireworks

Fireworks do not impress me. Seen one seem them all right? Not so! Check this out. This was one of THREE firework shows at the Dubai World Cup!


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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dubai Videos

Here are some fun videos from our trip. I don't know why, but it feels like I always get picked out of the crowd. And of all the things to get picked to do...


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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dune Bashing

This was a blast. A planned tourist excursion out in the desert! Kristen was really looking forward to this outing; riding a camel, a henna tattoo and just getting an authentic'ish experience.






















I was all about the dune bashing! I caught the front seat which was the equivalent of being in the front car of a roller coaster. Awesome! Our driver seemed irritated by having to conform with the other cars...he just wanted to let loose. So I felt we got the best driver of the bunch!

The camel riding was a bit of a let down. I don't know if Kristen thought she would have free reign and get to be Lawrence from Arabia, but her experience was quite memorable. Another family had just come off the camel ride, but one of the kids had to wait for the second go around. The short pudgy and likely youngest of the bunch, he was being teased by his siblings for having to ride with Kristen. It was quite comical!

A Day in Abu Dhabi

Less than an hour's drive from Dubai is Abu Dhabi, the neighboring emirate. The two could not be more different. Abu Dhabi is old school to Dubai's modern approach. Palm Springs vs. Phoenix.

The emirate is more lush, green, and definitely has an older 'feel', but that is quickly changing as its growth is deliberate, yet less frenetic. Palm Springs of the Middle East!





The day trip was to go to the beach and to see the Grand Mosque. What a magnificent structure! Unfortunately it was closed to non-believers, er, non-muslims. Nonetheless we were able to get close enough for pictures. Amazing!


Progress is taking place, though. Sitting back and learning from Dubai's mistakes, new, creative buildings and projects are taking place. The Ferrari Theme Park with F1 track is expansive and impressive in its scale. Then on the drive in we noticed this interesting building we dubbed 'the quarter' as it looks like a coin. Currently on hold, Abu Dhabi has an ambitious plan to create - from scratch - the first zero carbon city...Masdar.
Regardless, the visit was fantastic. The beach was nice, the sun warm, and in the distance we could see the Emirates Palace. A breathtaking complex that has seen its share on the big screen (The Kingdom and the upcoming Sex and the City 2, to name a few).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter

First weekend back from Dubai and it was off again, this time to MI for a nice family Easter.

For us, we got to see Gilbert's new cousin, Iara. For Gilbert, it was the opportunity to run around a yardplaying with cuz Jasper, chase outdoor life and collect eggs. Heaven!














The Dubai World Cup

In part, we planned the timing of our trip to coincide with the Dubai World Cup. Think Kentucky Derby...on STEROIDS!



What made the Cup extra special is years ago Jon and I (along with a few other buddies) did go to the Kentucky Derby as a guest to my uncle that by good fortune owned a piece of a horse in the Derby! So attending the Cup with him was kind of a full circle event!

Well, Dubai had just completed its new track, Meydan, and this was the coming out party! Like the Derby, everyone was dressed to the nines! Looking to pack light, that approach was hampered by having to bring the full suit ensemble! No worries as it was completely worth it! Not to mention, we looked good (at least I think so)!

The Cup is a ten race event with the actual race a $10m purse! A full day, there was plenty of drinking (libations and water!), sights to see and not to mention entertainment; a multimedia presentation, three fireworks shows, and Elton John and Santana as the closing "entertainment". Only in Dubai!

However, being in an Islamic country, parimutuel betting is not allowed so there was no betting on the horses...at least officially! We all pitched in a five spot for each race, picked our horse and hoped for the best. I won a race so one round of beverages was paid for!

For the ladies, the Dubai equivalent of InStyle was taking photos and having best dressed contests. Kristen made the magazine along with the others in our party! For Suzanne, this was two years in a row, and I'm convinced is the only reason she goes to the Cup!










Monday, April 12, 2010

Dubai...The Architecture

Spend only a few minutes in Dubai and the stark contrasts in the architecture will immediately stike you. At the center and perhaps the pinnacle of Dubai's rise is the Burj Khalifa (formerly the Burj Dubai), the world tallest building. Standing at 828 meters, the Burj (literal translation is "tower") represents so much...literally and figuratively.

On the world stage, many believe the tower represents the worst of Dubai - grandiose at all costs and is a symbol of the what is now the current state of the emirate's financial crisis. For many others, the the tower is the crowning achievement of an emirate, a country, that still in its infancy (the UAE is only 38 years old as a governed state) is an equal among financial centers. Whatever your stance, there is no denying the beauty and audacity of the building.

From my perspective, the building is beautiful. Designed by US architectural firm SOM, it is sleek and majestic. Truly pointing and -sometimes seemingly - touching the sky.

Dubai is two worlds. The emirate is approximately 4 million people with (depending on the timing) 70%- 80% expatriates making up the population. To cater to the expat community, Dubai has created an oasis that presents a feel of luxury. For us, it seemed as if we were at a resort the entire trip. Venture to the old town and the feeling is entirely different. And the architecture reflects both viewpoints.

Below are just a few pictures of the many styles of architecture
































Saturday, April 10, 2010

We're Back!

We are back! For our holiday, Kristen and me went to Dubai to visit friends while Gilbert spent quality time with all of his grandparents. More posts to come over the next few days, but here are a few from our trip!