After our camel ride (man, those guys are tall!), Derek, Owen, and I went dune bashing. The dune bashing was exhilarating. It was about as much excitement as I could handle. I swear the car nearly tipped over on more than one occasion--and one of the other drivers managed to get stuck going over a sand dune. I'm pretty sure I have have screamed once or twice. Owen loved when the driver made the back of the car slide and spray sand up past the windows, and he was thrilled the couple of time we caught air. Me? Not so much. Oliver wasn't old enough to go on the ride, and I think Oma was very glad she had an excuse to stay behind.
During the dune bashing trip, we stopped at a camel farm to meet some camels. A camel farm is just like a dairy farm--except with camels instead of cows. Most of the camels seemed very comfortable around humans and paid us little attention--except this guy...
That camel was super friendly. We were taking pictures, and he just moseyed on up, asked for pets, and started giving kisses. Such a sweet animal! Obviously, we took tons of pictures that I shall bore you with now...
Okay, enough of our friend. After the camel farm, we went sand boarding which is basically sledding down giant sand dunes. Very fun!
Our stay with Arabian Nights was very nice, and I am fairly certain we will visit again--though we will wait until their regular season begins and all of the entertainment returns. Since it is still "summer" and ridiculously hot out, not many people stay the night. In fact, we were the ONLY family at the resort the night we stayed. During the cooler months, they can host nearly 1,000 guests. They offer belly dancing, musical performances, and henna during that time. I think that gives us more than enough reasons to visit again.
And here's some more camels... Just in case you didn't get enough of them!
We were also impressed by all the inlaid stonework and plaster moulding. And the chandeliers! The Mosque has the third largest chandelier in the world, and it is made from Swarovski crystals and gold.
Everyone was clearly in awe! I am so glad we found tine to check out the masterpiece while Mom is here. I am sure will will visit again--though we will probably wait until it is a bit cooler out. We missed the tour this time, but I want to make sure to do that at one point during our time in the UAE.
We don't have anything fun planned for tomorrow because our shipment is due to be delivered!!! (This is very exciting for us, but I doubt my mom is as enthusiastic as we are.) Don't worry, I have something nice planned for next weekend!
Fun Fact: The weekend is Friday and Saturday in the UAE, so we work Sunday through Thursday. This has taken us more getting used to than I realized.
Summertime in Colorado. We do so much, yet I post so little. To help us remember the fun we had this summer, I made a list with a short summary of all our favorite Colorado Summer activities this year.
We have made it a tradition to do at least a little hiking every summer. At a minimum, we take the boys to the loop in Palmer Park where Derek proposed to me so many years ago.
No Colorado Summer is complete without at least one Rockies game. (I'm just glad we went before Tulo was traded...)
5. Santa's Workshop
This place is a must for our kids. They enjoy the amusement park rides, and they LOVE seeing Santa Claus. Owen did the candy cane slide about two dozen times and was thrilled that he was the first person to ride it that day. Ollie went on a few rides, but did not want to do the tilt-a-whirl or ferris wheel. We'll see if that changes next year...
6. Bike Riding
My parents bought the boys bikes this summer so that they can ride all summer long. They spent so much time on those bikes this summer!
7. The Royal Gorge Bridge
Derek took the boys to the Royal Gorge with my dad while I was in Atlanta for my IB training. It was a chilly day, but they had a great time. Oliver was thrilled to learn that dinosaur fossils have been found in the area and was even able to go see actual dinosaur tracks nearby. Not too bad for a kid in love with dinosaurs!
While Derek was in Pittsburg learning about robots, I took the boys to the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, CO to learn more about dinosaurs and see some real fossils. Oliver was very excited to meet a real paleontologist! He also got to see some teeth from his favorite dinosaur--the ankylosaurus.
10. Yard Work
Just a little. Enough to let them play with tools and get dirty. Planting flowers, digging up rocks, that sort of thing. Owen loved helping fix a wall at Steve's house and gardening with Oma. He worked hard and enjoyed seeing his work pay off.
I don't think it was the s'mores as much as it was the hanging out with family with a fire going in the fire pit, but the boys simply adored s'more nights this summer. They will surely look back on these nights fondly.
13. Library Time
No pictures for this one. It's something the boys do with just Oma. She takes them to the local library, they are gone for a few hours, and they come back with way too many books. Somehow, they all get read, and they get to go back and do it all over the next week. They love it, and I love that they love it. (Almost as much as my mom does I think...)
We spend a lot of time at parks in the summer. Parks are one of the things we miss most about living in the USA. It looks like Abu Dhabi may have a few (for use when it's not ridiculously hot outside), but we will see how they compare to good old neighborhood parks in Colorado.
15. White Water Rafting
My dad has a raft, so he took us (and the boys) down a gentle section of the Arkansas River. The dudes had so much fun and were screaming for bigger rapids! They both even jumped into the icy cold river in a little swimming area. It was frigid, but I am so glad they jumped in! (Oliver proceeded to take a nap on my lap for the last little bit of the trip.)
16. Family and Friends
This. This is the most important step. No matter how much we do with the boys each summer, it's who we do it with that make the memories so fond. We cherish our time with our friends and family, because we know we don't get a lot of it. It's the most challenging thing about this life we have chosen to live. Thank you to our family and friends for making this summer memorable! We'll see you for Christmas!