Reflections on this year~

Dec 25, 2012 ~ We moved from the US to the UAE!  Emily came w/us, as she was on Winter Break & Tara was studying in France. Adventure 2013 begins.

Jan. ~ We went to the camel races, Ferrari World w/Emily, Dubai, dune bashing, toured Emirates Palace, our Tara joined us here.

Feb. ~ Tara started at the American Community School, I volunteered for every event at the school, we went to Qsar al Sarab.

Mar.~ signed papers for our apt., went on Dhow cruise w/moms from school, enjoyed fun times w/new friends, moved in and decorated in a week.

Apr. ~Ferrari World w/Tara; house guests Annette & Paul; couple of trips to Dubai; lots of fun at Tara’s school.

May ~ lots of beach days, lunches and dinners w/new friends; exploring and learning.

June ~ end of school year! Emily joins us in Abu Dhabi, all three of us girls to Honolulu, HI for summer.

July ~ Honolulu ~~ great times w/friends, surf, beach, clean out storage units, sold my surf board 🙁 .

Aug. ~ Return from Honolulu to Abu Dhabi on Aug 7, WADI adventures w/my girlfriends, Emily back to US, prepare for Tara’s new school year.

Sept. ~ Horse & Falcon show; spa day at Burj al Arab in Dubai; played tennis (for the first time in 20 yrs); hosted lunches for girlfriends at my place, accepted new AWN position: Coffee Chair

Oct. ~ had clothes made for me by a dressmaker; celebrated my birthday w/massages at Emirates Palace w/ Mark; we (Tara, Mark & me) went to Jordan for a week; toured the award winning Falcon Hospital

Nov. ~ Mark & I went to Israel; celebrated Thanksgiving three times: here w/ Aussie & British friends; w/ our school friends; w/ our next-door neighbors

December 2013 ~ we celebrated National Day at our home with our friends; we welcomed my mom for a week-long visit; we are enjoying our eldest daughter, Emily, here for her winter break; and we are planning our Adventure 2014.

I am SO grateful, blessed and inspired! This adventure has taught me so much about life, love, friendships, connections, culture and myself.

How was your year? Did you accomplish your goals? Are you setting new plans for next year?

From my heart to yours, Happy, Healthy and FUN New Year!

Aloha,

Denise

reflections

Dinner anyone?

We’ve shared many dinners with wonderful friends over the past twelve months. What stands out is the conversations ~ always lively and interesting. I’m getting much better about hosting dinner parties…way better than in 1985!

What is your favorite memory of a fun dinner with friends? Remember, savor all the moments and enjoy the enrichment of new friends.

Aloha,

Denise

Sunny winter season

Around here there is sun, sand and smiles. We have winter in December but no snow. In the UAE, the days are warm and the nights are getting cool. Still, there are no snowmen to be found.

So I thought I’d show you how I my Hawaiian friends recognize winter, in honor of my friends in snowy places:

This is what snowmen in Hawaii look like…
This is what snowmen in Hawaii look like…

 

Stay warm!

Aloha,

Denise

 

Resources that offer guidance

When moving to a new area, there are a few things to take into consideration:

Where to live, where to shop, where to eat and where to make the most friends.

I’ve found that Abu Dhabi Week magazine (a free weekly publication distributed all over the city, especially in big malls) and Time Out Abu Dhabi (purchasable at grocery stores and book stores) are great resources for entertainment, dining, real estate and interesting articles.

Look into groups and meet-ups for like-minded people as well as people who will stretch your mind.

Welcome to Abu Dhabi!

Aloha,

Denise

Flora and Fauna

As I walk, I am delighted by the beautiful flowers I see and smell. Moving here from Honolulu, I was greeted every day by fragrant plumeria trees. Well, those trees are here too! So are the palm trees!

AND, we had chickens in our yard when we lived in California. Well, there are chickens here too!

I HAD to share! Remember to take time to enjoy your surroundings. They may delight and surprise you.

Aloha,

Denise

Plumeria tree
Plumeria tree

photo 1

photo-51

 

Belly dancing in the Gulf

My friend Babs is a delightful, beautiful and very generous woman. She is from the Netherlands and is in my circle of expat friends. She also has a circle of friends ~ including the lovely woman, also from the Netherlands, who teaches and performs Arabic belly dancing.

Babs enrolled twenty lovely ladies to share the morning, donate to a local charity and learn to belly dance. The event took place in our living room.

We all learned the basic moves, saw a short video of practical experience and then danced for an hour! It was wonderful, melodious and inspiring.

The local charity will benefit from the jiggling of the coin belts to the tune of 1100 Dhms ~ enough to provide a lovely Christmas dinner for the workers. It feels so great to help while making friends and shaking and shimmying!

Aloha,

Denise