What a jam-packed visit!

Bond’s mother came to visit this weekend and boy did Bond plan a full schedule for her. She arrived on Thursday morning and mother and son headed off on a bus tour all around Dubai while I was at work.  It seems that the big hit of their day was the Museum where they learned all about the great history of the U.A.E.  Much hilarity from Bond’s sisters who refused to believe there actually is any history at all here.   They were rapidly put in their place though, who can argue with a whole museum after all!  I would tell you more but I missed out and mostly I heard about the jokes…they said it was very interesting though!  I will have to check it out and report back.

I met up with them after work and we toasted my finally passing the driving and his mother arriving for her first ever trip to Dubai!  Then on to dinner at Frankie’s.  It was typically wonderful, the food was delicious and the music was terrific.  Plus we managed to hit the happy hour so saved money on lovely wine and cocktails.  Bond’s mother was very impressed and happy!  Plus we got her hooked on Margherita’s – clearly I am a very bad influence

The next day was our chance to show off Dubai at it’s blingiest!  Naturally this meant a taxi to Downtown to see the all important Dubai Mall.  Everyone is always amazed at how big it is.  Even though they know it’s the hugest mall in the whole world it’s still pretty awe inspiring when you see it in the flesh!  We tackled a few of the stores before showing off the ice rink and indoor fountain (obviously vital in all malls) and then we decided that we had to have a bite to eat.  The mall does tend to make you ravenous, I think it’s the sheer scale of it!

IMG_20150726_141306We had a quick bite at Markette, which is a lovely little bistro style place.  Bond and his mother decided to go for sweet crepes but as I don’t really love those I was all virtuous and had a quinoa salad with beetroot paste and aubergine.  It was really delicious! Once suitably nourished we went to the Aquarium to meet the new king croc that has recently been moved here from Australia.

Bond and I have never been to the Aquarium before so it was fun to have a new experience with his mother. The aquarium is HUGE and holds a large array of fish, including forty sharks and massive groupers!! The first thing we noticed is that you can quite easily identify whether a shark is a male or female, to be honest I really felt that we knew those sharks a tad more intimately than we would ever want to!  You are literally a foot below them in a tunnel, which is quite unnerving.  It looks like they are napping on top of you!    It’s quite amazing to see to be honest.  Upstairs is a zoo that shows all the animals native to the UAE.  There were even two barn owls who were beautiful and several iguanas and chameleons who were spectacular.  I also really enjoyed the otters who were having lots of fun, though they wouldn’t go on the slide which disappointed Bond somewhat.  There was a large array of tropical fish, my grandmother used to have a big aquarium of them so it made me happy to reminisce. I sadly take awful fish photos though…Feeding time was announced so we watched the King Croc eat a chicken – he had to leap up into the air to get it which was quite a sight to behold as he is 6m long.  I learned that Crocodiles are faithful for life to their partners, which made them a tad more endearing.

As well as seeing all the animals we were also able to go ‘backstage’ and learn how the aquarium operates which was really interesting.  They grow their own coral and breed sharks so we were able to see shark shells.  Each shark has a totally different shell depending on it’s breed.

While it was an incredible thing to see and there were penguins which you know I LOVE I do wonder how kind it is to these animals.  I am always a bit conflicted by animals in captivity, while I do love to see these animals up close and personal and get to learn about them I do worry if it’s cruel.  I am planning to do some research once I have written my blog – I would love to hear your opinions too!

Soon it was time to head to Atmosphere at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa.  This was something else we hadn’t done before so we were super excited too!  The Burj Khalifa is stunning from the outside and Atmosphere lives up to it.  We arrived at the hotel and were escorted to the special lift up to the bar where we were led to the table by the window that Bond had pre-booked.  It really is a stunning place, and I failed to take nearly enough photos of the inside because we were far too busy enjoying the view and of course the cocktails.  The bar has a minimum spend so we decided to grab a starter as well so we weren’t totally blitzed on the potent cocktails.  Bond’s mother decided it was the highlight of her trip and I can totally see why.  There is something seriously cool about having a drink at the highest bar in the world…and it helped that they were really delicious!

cake atmosphere

How cute is this? They gave it as a surprise!

After the drinks we moved on to Souk Al Bahar for dinner at Mango Tree so we could show off my beloved fountains!  We were actually quite full after our yummy Atmosphere starters so we decided to just get a few more appetisers and another cocktail.  Bond’s mother said we had converted her to cocktails!  We saw three rounds of the fountains, including the fantastic Thriller by Michael Jackson.  There is something most amusing about fountains dancing to Thriller.  Bond’s mother LOVED it – but then who doesn’t love those fountains!  I took a video but honestly it is so poor, you should youtube and see if anyone has done a better job…

On Saturday genetics won out and Bond and his mother proved they are both a tad odd and headed to the beach in the most mental temperatures!  Once they had their fill of the sea and sand Anne and I decided it was time for some pampering so we went to the salon (well not Bond of course…) I got a mani/pedi and Anne had a facial which sadly was a bit disappointing.  Mehr Mah luckily didn’t disappoint me and my talons look good – the girls even said how much my nails have improved so I am very happy.

Later it was decided that mother and son would go and meander around the walk and then meet back at mine for a home cooked meal.  Clearly they were very brave…because I am not a hugely gifted cook.  Thankfully a while ago when I was still living in London a really old school friend of mine came over to teach me how to make a tagine.  I pulled up the e-mail from her with all the details and followed it religiously and thankfully it turned out all right!  Both Bond and his mother said I did a great job and I had laid a nice table too.

All in all it was a lovely visit and we managed to sell Dubai!  Now Anne is on the way to Australia to meet Bond’s soon to be niece/nephew – so exciting!!

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2 thoughts on “What a jam-packed visit!

    • widerangingramblings says:

      She was sad to leave – we are hoping this means a longer visit next time with both parents! Thanks, it was actually pretty good, I think I was the most surprised. My mother would have been proud, I cleaned as I went so the kitchen was even clean for the meal! I guess now I will have to start doing more cooking…

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