After landing in Dubai, the kids and I felt like zombies walking in a daze. We had not slept at all on the flight, and then Connor went through 8 or 9 of the throw-up bags (poor guy, we think it was a bad reaction to his Tamiflu medication), so we were completely out of it upon arriving in Dubai. Jeff was so excited to see us and be reunited, but we just couldn't summon up the energy to return his excitement.
It's difficult to remember our first hours in Dubai. But I do remember walking up to Jeff's vehicle, fondly named "RJ" which stands for Red Jeep. The kids were so excited to see it in person after hearing about it for a while. It perked them up to ride in RJ and they begin taking in all the sights of the city. (Photo below was taken on an earlier visit.)
As cool as it was to drive through Dubai (I couldn't keep my eyes open!), we all just wanted showers and naps! Jeff had checked out of his long-term apartment in the Pullman Hotel, but he still had access for a few more hours. We thought it was best to shower and clean up at the hotel since it was better furnished and stocked than our villa. We felt a little better but still super exhausted. Jeff took us for an early dinner to his favorite restaurant called Mezza, a Lebanese place that he eats nearly everyday and that I had enjoyed as well during my last visit. We all stumbled into the restaurant, and the kids and I nearly fell asleep waiting for our food. We were a sad-looking sight! As yummy as the dinner was, we were just too wiped out to enjoy it. We took most of our food to go and headed to our new home. For those interested, our home is located in one of the new districts (neighborhoods) of Jumeirah Park.
Jeff had been working for weeks to get our newly leased villa ready to move in. But as hard as he worked, there were still so many things undone in the home.
We arrived to a mostly-empty house with no appliances, minimal rented furnishings, no curtains for privacy (not good for a house with tall windows everywhere), no internet/tv, and no food. We tried to remedy that right away by going to the Carrefour hypermarket (like a Super Walmart) to buy groceries and appliances, but it quickly became clear that we were in no shape for big or time-consuming purchases.
Back home in our villa, the kids and I just wanted to sleep. I can't recall what time it was, maybe 6 or so in the evening, but my head hit the pillow and I was OUT. The next thing I remember, it was 2 in the morning and I was UP! Soon to follow was Connor and then Kaitlynn around 3. I didn't even make them try to go back to sleep because I knew the time change would be a killer. We took a selfie at 4:00 am, all of us wide awake without being adjusted to the new time zone -- 10 hours ahead from our home in Texas.
It was when I woke up at 2:00 am that morning that I looked around in the villa with no privacy and no appliances, and I thought to myself, "This is NO GOOD!" We were in this huge home covered in tile with only a few pieces of furniture. The furnishings had been provided by Jeff's company, which was a huge blessing, but it felt a bit cold and sparse with just a few small pieces in the large rooms. Any time you spoke it would echo loudly across the house. And without appliances, it felt a bit like we were camping. Anyone who knows me will know that camping is NOT my thing, ha!
Armed with a full (half?) night's rest, we headed out again to purchase appliances and necessities. We had an extremely productive day, buying all of our major appliances -- fridge, oven (called a "cooker" here), dishwasher, washer/dryer, and water dispenser. We talked the Carrefour guy into giving us 1-day delivery instead of their standard 2. Score! More on the appliances in a later post.
We also visited the mobile phone provider and purchased a local phone number (SIM card) for me to use with my existing iPhone. Getting internet access on my phone was a major boost for me. You don't realize how much you use it for so many different things until you no longer have it!
By the time we were done with those errands, we were POOPED! We went out with the kids for lunch and Jeff and I were casually surfing the used car listings on the local site called dubizzle, which is similar to the US site craigslist. We knew we would need a car for me eventually so we've been browsing the cars every now and then. As luck would have it, we found an ad for a Ford Expedition similar to the car I had back home, and we called and agreed to meet the seller across town to take a look. We drove to see the car, agreed that we liked it, and began making arrangements to buy the car! This was not on our to-do list for the day, but it looked like an opportunity we should take since buying used cars can be difficult to find what you want. During that process, Connor and Kaitlynn went from play-fighting in the backseat to sudden silence. I looked back and this is what I saw.
They were OUT! I'm thinking this pic might be blackmail one day! I sure didn't blame them though. Up well before daylight and then going nonstop all day. We had such a whirlwind first day in Dubai -- super productive but entirely exhausting!
DPNs and Reindeer Fun!
2 days ago