Thursday, April 9, 2015

Abu Dhabi

I've arrived!
The architecture is so artistic and innovative!
We arrived on International Day of Happiness. Why not?!
aka Stik
Those are some pretty significant buildings. I'll share more in a later post!
We called this the "Tetris" building

The story of my recent vacation began on the morning of Christmas 2014. I was extremely ill, resting at home, and debating on whether or not I could muster up enough strength to go spend the holy day with my family. It was when I hopped onto Twitter looking to see if I had received a response tweet from a particular company that I saw I was mentioned in a tweet from my sister-friend, Rahma, or as I refer to her as Stik.

Either I was still sleepy, had brain fog from illness, or in denial, because that tweet only registered to me as a call to action: look at this. Cheap flights? Sure; no harm in taking a look.

It wasn't until I opened my email to see a flight confirmation and email communication with an Etihad Airways rep that it finally registered...I'M GOING TO THE UAE!!! And the crazy part was it all happened while I was sleeping.

Did you notice the time-stamp on the tweet? Stik, who lives in Qatar, later told me that she couldn't wait til I woke up! This was huge!

There are two things you're probably wondering right now: "What did din do to deserve such a blessing?" and "Can I be friends with Stik?". Well, I turned thirty and 'No', she's mine! That's right, the trip was a birthday gift; gifted on the celebration of Jesus' birth; and planned for Stik's bday.

So amazing. So extremely blessed.

The shots above were taken at the Corniche (coast). We were headed for brunch at Le Boulanger Marina Cafe. As it was a beautifully bright day, we sat on their patio overlooking the man-made beach and sailboats bobbing in the distance.

While we could've stayed there enjoying the sun, we had other places to see!

Formerly a women's park, Mushrif Central Park is now open to all.
Mushrif Park was having a grand re-opening with a community day. Ripe Food & Craft Market was present which meant lots of great vendors were there.

The Wisdom Garden
This wood ring (r.) was my first purchase in UAE.

I love local vendors because this is where I find my most unique, personal jewelry. The wooden ring pictured above immediately caught my eye. I learned from the vendor that it was Sudanese made. I chuckled a little as I thought: "I came all the way from the US to the UAE to buy a piece of jewelry made by my people."

At this point, I'm sure there is no need for explanation as to why the silver ring was purchased, right?

Indeed I tell you, this is what true friendship looks like: Having friendships that span the globe and sharing experiences with them! And, I was extremely blessed to spend 10 days with one of my favorites. Follow my posts as I share my travel looks and experiences across the UAE and Qatar's capital. Don't forget to continue reading past the outfit credits for my travel tips!

shades | LOFT
headband | The Market NYC vendor
necklace | H&M
tank | Mossimo
cardigan | H&M
skirt | Soprano
sandals | Mix No. 6
manicure | Rex Day Spa
crossbody handbag | Mossimo *Don't carry heavy items; it weakens material around strap/bag connection 

din's Travel Notes
Apparently you can fly internationally in a box.

The moment the man seated in front of me lowered his seat back (before take off, mind you), I knew I had to capture the shot. As I mentioned, I flew Etihad Airways, an Abu Dhabi airline. And from the picture above, you can come to the conclusion that "no" I did not fly first-class. Whatever airline you fly, 14 hours is a long time in the air. Here are some travel tips to help you manage your view from the top:

– If you're uncomfortable because you're cold or need an extra pillow ask the flight attendants!
– Be sure to peek through the packages of blankets and pillows they have resting on your seat because they often supply you with earplugs (to drown out those shameless snorers), eye masks (14 hours of sun while trying to rest isn't preferable), and a toothbrush (feel free to remind your seat-neighbor)
– Pack gum (so that your seat-neighbor doesn't have to remind you there's a toothbrush)
– If you're storing your carrying on in overhead compartment, be sure to get out of there what you need. A window seat will decrease your mobility; especially if your neighbors are sleeping!

xo | din

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