Monday, June 17, 2013

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi

On June 7th, Ben, Sharon and I traveled to Abu Dhabi to check out the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.  In case you were wondering, it is pretty friggin' grand. . . 

82 domes. Marble columns, flooring and exterior. A hand-knotted carpet that took 1,200 artisans two years to complete. Multiple chandeliers made from gilded stainless steel and gilded brass (approximately 40 kg of 24 carat galvanized gold was used), with each chandelier weighing between 2-12 tons each.
The Menbar (pulpit) 'features floral and shell designs which are made of carved cedar wood inlaid with mother of pearl, glass mosaic and white gold.  It has a small dome shaped 'roof' and crescent finial at the top of the stairs.' (You can read more here.)

Love Sharon :)

We really enjoyed getting to see a bit of Abu Dhabi and to see the exquisite mosque.  Construction on the mosque began in the late nineties and was finished and open to worshippers in 2007.  It can fit up to 40,000 worshippers - 10,000 inside and 30,000 outside. 

Proper dress is necessary.  As you can see from the photo below, I was provided an abaya to wear and Sharon was given the ok.  Skinny jeans and short sleeves are a no-no.
Sharon - good.  Lyndsey - not good.

Once we were given the ok to go inside, we had to separate from Ben to go down the ladies side during prayer.  We were able to get some pretty awesome pictures in!

No shoe-zys allowed.

Pretty sweet photo I captured.

I love this picture of Sharon!

AMAZING photo of the hallway leading to the ladies prayer room.  This is an outdoor hallway with marble pillars, marble floor, and I wouldn't doubt that there is some gold in there.  Absolutely stunning!

Purdy marble flower and purdy lady feet.
The Menbar (pulpit) I mentioned earlier. 
One of the huge chandeliers.
This one weighs about 8 tons, I believe.
An excellent shot of the chandeliers by Ben

This is where/how we found Ben.

He was so pleased to have his picture taken.
Quote while typing caption, 'I actually was enjoying myself there.  It was very pretty and fun to people watch.  Except the effin' kids running around playing tag.' 

Leaving the mosque.

If you're ever in the area, this is a must see! Completely lovely.  The pictures do not do it justice!

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Our Lives in Photographs: Ben, Grover & Me

I discovered this picture of my handsome hubs on my camera and thought it was excellent!  This was right after we went Skydiving.  O how I wish we could go again!

The precious poopy!

My first ever knit project!!!  It is a baby blanket for one of my bff's.  Now I just need to add a border to bring it all together.  I'm quite proud of it!  AND it is soooo comfy and soft.  Cotton, not wool.

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Why I Suck at Posting {for meow}

Grover's idea of helping me pack.
Due to high stress and exhaustion, I have really been slipping on pumping out mind blowing posts.  I apologize.  I am SO ready to just be on the plane to the States and know that things are settled in Dubai.  The stress preparing to move has caused a mountainous zit to appear on my forehead.  Seriously, you can probably see trees growing if you got close enough. . . 

Ben and I have been doing a solid job of getting everything packed/sold/donated.  We have 3 suitcases done and ready to go, one we are working on filling and our carry-ons are nearly done. Grover is taken care of and will be flying out on the 25th equipped with his very own puppy passport.  Cute, huh?

We will be stepping onto American soil on the 26th at 9:30 p.m.  We will be picking up phones on the 27th, so if we like you, please message us your number via Facebook or email.  I have lost my phone and with it all of my contact numbers in the States.  I'm so pleased.

We'll be seeing you.

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

'Tis the Season

Date season, that is. The fruit - not the activity. 
Many, many date palms!
I don't recall ever having a date prior to moving to Dubai.  My first taste of the sweet, delicious fruit was when I went to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding not long after our arrival to Dubai.  They are so tasty!! Ben isn't too keen on them, but I can eat a bajillion in one sitting. I prefer the ones that are soft and covered in a sweet syrup. I have had ones that are dry and were pitted, but I was not a fan.  You can also get dates that are pitted and have other yummies shoved in the center such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, candied orange, marzipan, cream cheese, etc. 
Anyway, what led me to write this post was the date palms!!  They are currently overflowing with their delicious fruit and are everywhere you look! The pictures I have captured were taken at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, but they are everywhere in Dubai, too.  As you can see, under the palm branches are green blobbies. Those blobbies are the dates covered with mesh that will catch the dates when they fall. The mesh will then be collected and TA DA! You have got your self a butt-ton of dates!
You can see where some of the dates have fallen in this picture.
Call me immature, but I find the bunches of dates to be kinda funny. . . They are like tree boobies. Some even have bras (aka green mesh coverings).  Whatever. I don't care. They make me giggle. :)
Fact: Dates are a good source of potassium.
Fact:  I will be bringing some of these delicious fruits home with me as gifts! So cross your fingers that you are going to be one of the lucky recipients!
Also, I lied.  I have had dates prior to coming to Dubai.  They were wrapped in bacon and UH-MAY-ZING.
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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dance Playlist!

Want to get back to this size/healthiness/fitness level!
 I have found it difficult to get into a workout routine in Dubai. With the high cost of gyms and the heat, it is difficult to find indoor or outdoor exercises that are fun and keep me motivated. The lack of exercise has left me feeling squishy and gross, exhausted all the time and has lowered my self-image a bit. Not good things. . . Happily, I have found something FUN to do that works cardio and also will help to get some muscle tone back!  Woo hoo!!
What is it you ask? Awesomeness, I say.  :)
We went to a brunch hosted by one of the teachers at school and they had a Kinect set up. I was skeptical at first because I have played the Wii and was less than impressed.  The boys started out playing ping pong and then someone suggested putting on Dance Central. Where you dance. And get points for being a rock star. I played once and was addicted!!  A Kinect has been added to our  'must purchase upon arrival to States' list.
And this size/healthiness/fitness level.
I didn't want to wait that long to play, so I started Googling and low and behold, people have uploaded the game to YouTube!  Yay!  I have put together a playlist of some of my faves so far (I am still looking for fun ones to add! The more the merrier!) and LOVE exercising!  I was telling Ben last night that normally I get to the point in my exercising where I'm just like, 'UGH - is this EVER going to END!'.  I don't have that feeling with the dance playlist!  I get really into it and have a good time with it. I constantly am saying, 'Okay, I'll just do ONE more and then will [insert task that needs to be done].' 
Link to playlist:

So, with my excitement and motivation, I hope I have inspired you to try my dance playlist! I warn you - it is fun and addicting and you'll want to do it again.  And again.  And again. :)
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