Well, it’s about halfway through January, so I think I can officially be recovered from the holiday season! Sorry for the lack of updates, I get in those modes where I’d rather just play Dragon Age all day on my days off (I know I’m about 5 years late on that train, but I do adore it to bits) so I figured with a long Dallas trip coming up and then leave to Sri Lanka, probably best to pump out some blogs! Sadly, I haven’t had the luck to be able to go home to the US for Christmas since I got here, which marks my 4th Christmas away from home. Fortunately, Alan helps make Dubai feel like home, even if my friends end up flying during the holidays. I scored a 5 day string off during Christmas, but because of weather issues and the long travel time, I opted to stay in Dubai. Alan and I planned a few holiday activities to help us get in the mood for Christmas!
My bestie Natalie and her boyfriend were scheduled to fly on Christmas day, so we organized a little get-together a few days before the have Christmas dinner. I love having my Irish cook me traditional meals, yum!
Alan and I had purchased an Entertainer coupon book (this is popular in Dubai as well as back home in the US, a giant book of buy one get one free coupons) and had many to use up before the end of the year when they expired, so we hit up the ice rink in Dubai Mall (the first time for me, but Alan plays hockey and has been recreationally and used to play with a team in Dubai).
For Christmas eve, we went out for drinks with friends which kind of made us sleep in on Christmas day! After opening presents (I got Alan an iPhone 5!) we chilled out for a relaxed Christmas day and headed out for dinner at a nearby pub.
After a nice and chilled out Christmas, the next day we set out to try a very popular tourist attraction that I have simply missed out for the past 3 years – SkiDubai. A man-made ski slope in the middle of the desert! I have seen it from the outside as I’ve visited the Mall of the Emirates before (it used to be the world’s largest mall until Dubai mall was built, of which i live very close to) and there’s loads of snow activities there, like tobogganing, playing with penguins, and continuous ski and snowboard school. I skiied once in Toronto back in high school, which was difficult but I somehow managed, and then tried snowboarding about 5 years ago in Reno, Nevada. While I had a very difficult time with the snowboarding, I changed feet, and felt a whole lot better once I did. So I opted to snowboard and Alan chose to ski. While I did fall quite a bit, I felt much better about the snowboarding. Since it’s man-made, it’s got fairly easy slopes and no tricky tree trunks suddenly appearing in your way.
After our short 2 hour trip to the “alps”, we headed for a much needed bite to eat at Apres, a restaurant modeled after a ski lodge with a great view of the slopes. The food was delicious, as was the kiwi margarita!