BEWARE – of the lazy river! Picture this - Lauren & I are on a double raft. John & Amber are on a double raft (in front of us). We are lazily drifting down the river, every once in a while there will be a small rapid. We are having fun, enjoying the sun –when we hit a rapid, no problem except at the bottom of the slide, right smack in the middle is a man, COMPLETELY stopped! Nothing I could do – we hit him (BAM!), he went flying. I went under his raft – and all I could think about was “oh my word, where is Lauren”. I come up from under the raft like a roaring maniac – the raft goes flying, my sunglasses go flying. The only thing I care about it finding my daughter. I locate her – thankfully, a lady saw what happened & helped her get to John. I hear the life guard yelling – I think he’s telling me where my sunglasses are (he keeps motioning down). NOPE – he’s telling me I’ve fallen out of my top! With as much dignity as a can muster (not much at this point) – I fix my top, grab my raft & swim over to my family. Where John is laughing so hard he can barely talk. His words between gasps were “only you honey, only you”.The weather was only bad for 1 day – when we had a sandstorm. It was interesting – it looked like fog. We decided to go to the mall that day – they claim the largest in the world. There is a skating rink, an aquarium, a movie theatre; sega is there with rides, tons of shops & restaurants. We didn’t get to see it all – there were lots of American shops, we found Justice for girls & were in there for over 3 hours.
I had just watched Mission Impossible a couple months earlier - where Tom Cruise scales the outside of Burj Khalifa. So we had to stop & see that – it’s currently the tallest building in the world. The outside was impressive – we didn’t go to the top (we wouldn’t see much with the sandstorm).
The other big excursion we did was called Arabian nights. We met up with 3 other couples we knew, they had kids the same age – so it was very fun for the girls! We are driven out to the desert in big 4 X 4 vehicles. We stop & take pictures with the camels & we see a falcon show. We get back into the vehicle & do a little dune bashing – by dune bashing I mean racing up one side of a dune – pretty much jumping the top (you have to go pretty fast or you’ll get stuck on top – which happened to friends) & then fly down the other side – fish tailing & sliding. Oh my word – I was screaming! The more I yelled, the more the driver laughed & the faster he went. We are now in the middle of the desert, surrounded by sand dunes. We stop & take pictures – it is like nothing I’ve ever seen. I can’t even describe it – it’s so beautiful. The kids are running up the dunes & sliding/tumbling down. We watch the sunset – it’s magical! From there we head out to a Bedouin camp – where the kids & John ride camels, hold falcons & climb more dunes. The girls & I get henna tattoos - (which I think are like the ones in Hawaii that wash off after a week, when in reality – I will be sporting it at the formal event I’m attending in 3 weeks). The food is amazing – tapa’s 1st, then the main meal. The kids loved the food too! Following dinner there is a belly dancing show – I was not impressed (I like the hula dancers in Hawaii way more). Then they turned out all the lights in camp – we could see all the stars & constellations (again – amazing!) It’s 10:00 pm & time to go back to the hotel – as we are walking to the vehicle, the driver looks concerned – we have a flat tire. As everyone else leaves & we are standing in the middle of the desert, all alone – I get a tad nervous but our driver patches it up & we make it back.The rest of the time we lay by the pool, went to the water park, played at the beach & just relaxed! It was an amazing family vacation. The girls have already requested to go back next year.
I can’t end this without telling you about our return home. We were scheduled to leave at 2:00 pm Sunday afternoon. On Saturday night, about 11:00 pm – John & the girls are planning out their last morning at the waterpark. John is sitting at the computer (checking email) – the girls & I are snuggling in for the night WHEN……….John says “Honey- I think our flight leaves in a couple hours”. WHAT – our flight is at 2pm Sunday – NOPE, it’s 2:00 am not 2:00 pm (evidently, they use military time – 2:00 is 2am, 2:00pm would be 14:00 - opps!) We called the airline, all other flights are full – okay, don’t panic…..we can still make it. We have 2 ½ hours before our international flight leaves – all we have to do is change out of our jammies, pack, check out & drive to the airport. Of course we are late & they don’t want to let us check in BUT thankful John is a fabulous sales person & gold with British Airways and they finally let us board. We didn’t get our last morning at the waterpark & we didn’t get much sleep that night but John & the girls were good sports and we ended up with a free Sunday to catch up with everything.