Traditions and Tours

As I write, I hear the “call to worship” outside. This “call” happens five times a day and can be heard all over the city. It’s a soothing, male voice, chanting the welcome of prayer time.

Today, Emily and I toured the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. We arrived as busses were unloading and people were scurrying to find the entrance. We waited in a quick line for the attendant to issue our abaya then we put our shoes in the cubby and entered the Mosque. Emily enjoyed the majesty of it all and snapped lots of photos. Since we had missed the guided tour, I told her what I learned. It’s an impressive, opulent place rich in history, pride and reverence.

Next stop was the Central Souk (large market). We went right up to the second floor and sat down for our consultation with our henna artist at Heritage for Henna.  Henna was one of the first beauty products ever developed, with its rich coloured dyes used in body painting across the Middle East and Asia for thousands of years. This ancient art form has been perfected by Heritage for Henna and developed into a skilled craft, preserving designs and decorations passed down through the generations.

Emily went first and had a lovely, improvised design on her left hand and wrist. The woman held a small pastry bag filled with a henna paste like a pencil. She “painted/drew” the design as she thought of it. She skillfully completed the design in about two minutes! Then she painted my hand. The paste came out very dark and in fifteen minutes started flaking off to leave an orange tint on our skin. We wiped it all off and kept it dry for three hours. As the day went on, the color started darkening.

More to explore…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Aloha,

Denise2039_577458058947987_1950065483_n 737669_10200277037952331_1055688874_o

 

From one island paradise to another one!

Today was a “day off” for Mark; Fridays and Saturdays are a non-work days here. So we explored (on foot) from our hotel to the public beach, 4.6 miles. We even managed to look at one apartment for rent. We saw the Central Market, or Souk, and had a lovely snack. Emily had a lemon & honey crepe with a chocolate-coffee drink; I had a Turkish coffee and Mark had Moroccan tea.

We walked to the public beach along the Cornishe, as observers, not swimmers. It was breezy and chilly, so we sat along the boardwalk and looked out onto the water. It’s very lovely and on warmer days we’ll be there playing in and out of the water.

Hawaii was our most recent island paradise and now Abu Dhabi promises to be a close second.

Aloha,

Denise

photos: public beach on Cornishe and us at the Shakespeare & Co. Tea House471740_10200265748750108_995181367_o 483337_576365405723919_240577751_n

It’s a wonderful life!

This is a beautiful place! The streets are clean and well-maintained; the grass is bright green; the date palm trees are hearty and lush and the buildings stretch up to touch the blue sky. This is our new home!

For the first half of the morning, the Cornishe “reconnoitering.”  We  walked from the business side of this area down thru the ocean-themed tiled walls of the under street tunnels to the beach side of the street. There is clear blue water as far as we could see. This is the boat, jet ski and water craft area, no swimming. Farther along the walkway is the soon to open public swimming areas.

A friendly cab driver then took us to the Marina Mall, yes, it’s along the water, one of the biggest, fanciest malls in the area. This was a great life lesson event: we learned about the  grocery store (Carrefour), the electronics store (Plug-Ins) and the infamous Aziz Saloon (men’s barber shop). Mark had a luxury hair cut (ask him for details).

As we headed out of the mall, we noticed a big yellow umbrella and chose to take the 2.5 hour Big Bus Tour of A.D. It was a wonderful way to see the city and note the highlights to revisit.

Here’s the funny part of the day: We bought a converter for our electronics to convert from 110V to 220V. Without naming names, one of us plugged in a device that blew a fuse in our hotel room and we were completely without power! An emergency light went on at 4am. The efficient hotel electrician fixed the problem as Mark and I had breakfast. Now we’re back in business. More life lessons.

This is a wonderful experience and truly educational.

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Aloha,

Denise

Merry Everything from Abu Dhabi

It’s 4pm local time in our new home, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

After a fabulous, comfortable and entertaining 14.5 hr plane trip, we arrived safely in Dubai. I watched six movies, ate two meals, slept in a comfy bed for two hours and laughed with Mark and Emily.

We were whisked away by a lovely woman who held up a sign bearing our names. She ushered us through the customs/immigration line and gave Mark his work visa. After they scanned his eyes, we collected our six suitcases (all we have in the world 🙂  and were driven to Abu Dhabi by a private car.

Now we’re checked in to our lovely hotel (temporary housing until ours is ready) and ready to explore.

From sunny, blue skies, warm and perfect Abu Dhabi…

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Aloha,

Denise

Update Adventure 2012

excited_cartoon

  • Documents for Abu Dhabi, including International Drivers’ License, check.
  • Extra passport photos for AD drivers’ license, check.
  • All packed, check.
  • Saying “so long” to family and friends, check.
  • Airplane tickets secured, check.
  • Hotel arrangements upon arrival, pending.
  • Temporary housing prior to permanent housing, pending.
  • Excitement, check.
  • Countdown begins today; we depart 12-24-12!!!

Reminders: live big, love with all your heart <3, seize all opportunities and special moments!!

Aloha,

Denise

P.S. Today marks 35 years that Mark and I have been a couple.  He is a dream maker, a life jazzer and a source for universal excellence.

What a great day….

Hey … listen up … if you’ve been putting off the colonoscopy that your doctor recommended, get off it and schedule it !! I had mine today. Way easy and very, very important …All is well.

I drank the drink; it did its job.

The night passed by, sleep not robbed.

All the team in the hospital were great,

Especially the sleep concoction I ate  had in my IV.

The procedure was over lickity split,

Mark drove us home, made us lunch and we celebrated clean and healthy! PLEASE schedule your colonoscopy. It’s that important! Now the rhyme I’ll quit.

Aloha,

Denise

 

the doctor was greeted by a greeting and a smile…

HAPPY, AUTHENTIC DAY

I attended Weekend #4 of my Partnership Explorations course in Los Angeles. I reunited with my friends, awesome course leader, terrific course team and amazing friends Annette & Paul.

Authenticity is very important, empowering and liberating. I love that I can be true to my self, friends and anyone I meet. I had powerful conversations with several people over the weekend and look forward to continuing that trend. Don’t let anything stop you from being your true self and expressing your true heart. <3

Tomorrow I have my first colonoscopy ~ yes, I’m of age. The prep is interesting. My wonderful husband prepared my “drink” and my terrific mom-in-law has offered to drive me. These are examples of authentic love language! And, I’m authentically sharing this!

I’m happy, happy, happy to be back “home” with Mark, Emily and Mom. I love you!!

Aloha,

Denise

 

A Virgin to LA

As I buckled up in my aisle seat on board, I’m reminded of the many flights I’ve taken and how much I like to get up, walk around and say “hi” to fellow passengers and the flight crew.  I am always fascinated how the crew get the service trays organized, distributed and cleaned up within the short flying time. I also marvel how people wear a backpack, shoulder-hold a duffel, roll a suitcase and cradle a purse as they board. Didn’t they just announce one suitcase and one personal item?? 

How do they squeeze so many suitcases in the overhead compartments, especially when the belly of the plane is virtually empty? Haven’t you noticed there is less and less stuff at baggage claim?
 
The inside of this plane is illuminated with the soft glow of purple and red lighting. I’m sure there were studies done to ensure these are the most comforting and safe colors for an airplane. I’m über happy: I love purple. This is Virgin America!
Next time you fly, remember to enjoy your flight, take careful note of the ambience and have a safe and comfortable flight.
 
Aloha,
Denise

Blessed by friends

We had dinner with our dear friend Patrick. We met him and his princess wife, Susan, in 1988 in Baltimore. We’ve loved them ever since. For the past two times he’s in town, he’s shared dinners with us. What a blessing.

As we drove home, Mark and I realize how fortunate we are to have such wonderful people in our lives. We have terrific, wonderful friends! We are blessed by great friends; from Texas, Baltimore, California and Honolulu.

Thank you friends…I love you!

Aloha,

Denise