My First Halloween Growing up, I never did Halloween. It's not a thing in West Indian culture, so my parents weren't with it. I spent most Halloweens giving out candy to other kids; and that was okay with me. But this year, for the first time, I got in the thick of it. I truly enjoyed dressing up for the Halloween party at Aloft Abu Dhabi!
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Paris Was a Good Idea-Pt. 2

So, part of what makes a great trip for me is including experiences that reflect my interests and passions. On this first trip to Paris, this meant tea, opera, shopping, and Josephine Baker. The tea experiences will be shared in a separate post. Here’s highlights from the others.

I toured the legendary, historic Opera Garnier:

It’s not often that a building bears the name of the architect.

Attending a show at The Folies Bergere was one of the best experiences of my trip.

Ready to head out to the Folies Bergere

Where Josephine Baker became a legendary star

Pre-show atmosphere

The shopping alone makes Paris worth the trip. I went in mid-July and sales were everywhere!  I thoroughly enjoyed shopping at the high temple of Parisian department stores, Galeries Lafayette.

Paris Was a Good Idea-Pt. 1

I didn’t fall in love. For most of my life, I dreamed of going to Paris and I expected to fall in love with that legendary city…but I didn’t. Nevertheless, Paris was a good idea! I shopped. I ate. I shopped. I toured. I shopped some more.  It is definitely a “bucket list” experience.  So, while I didn’t fall in love, Paris and I definitely became dear friends, and I will certainly return. Here, a few of the Paris classics…

Atop the Arc Dr Triomphe

Detail from the Arc de Triomphe

Stairway to the top of the Arc de Triomphe

A different view of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe

View from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Bastille Day fireworks at the Eiffel Tower…SPECTACULAR!

Paris Eye

Didn’t make it inside Notre Dame…next time!

The Tuilleries Gardens

Sur le Pont des Arts…the love lock bridge

The Louvre Museum…truly grand inside and out!

I didn’t think I’d like the pyramid, but I did!

View from under the pyramid at The Louvre

The grandeur of The Louvre

As close as I could get to the Mona Lisa

I spent the majority of my time in the Egyptian Collection; it’s the largest outside of Cairo.

Guest Blog: Advice for Newbies

Hi, my name is Patricia. I lived and worked in Abu Dhabi for three years.  During that time, I had a vast array of experiences ranging from horrifying to blissful.  And, yes, many of these experiences were at work!  Each environment and experience will be different, however, here are a few things that helped me throughout my expat adventure!

  1. Know Yourself: Know your strengths and weaknesses, and your limits.  Know what you can and cannot bear. Don’t allow anyone or any situation to push you to the point of no return.  Take care of YOU, first.
  2. Know Your purpose: Stay focused on your goals, whether they are financial or personal.  That will be the one thing that will keep you from losing your mind when things get crazy.  If you don’t have goals, get some! Otherwise, you won’t make it.
  3. Be Open Minded: Learn the culture.  Be willing to learn about the people you will be serving and living among.  The more open you are, the easier the transition.
  4. Forget What You Know: Put aside everything you did at home; things work differently here. Change is constant. You need to be flexible and go with the flow.
  5. Build Relationships: Try to establish good work relationships with your fellow English and Arabic colleagues.  If you show yourself friendly, and willing to learn and share, it will pay off well.  Working collaboratively with my Arabic colleagues helped me greatly with discipline and communicating with parents.
  6. Seek Solutions: If you happen to find yourself in a negative situation, take care of YOU and seek resolution.  Pursue solutions through your organization’s procedures.  Don’t allow negative feelings and situations to linger; it can be bad for your physical and mental health.

With that I say: Welcome to Abu Dhabi!

 Patricia and I at Tribes in Dubai.

Doin’ Tea at St. Regis Saadiyat

I love a good hotel afternoon tea, but it’s not often easy to find. Recently, I took a chance on tea at The St. Regis Saadiyat after reading that they were among the top four afternoon teas in Abu Dhabi. They did not disappoint!

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It was a perfect afternoon for tea on the terrace!

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We enjoyed views of the golf course and the ocean.

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A delightful pineapple amuse-bouche to prepare the palate.

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Everything was wonderful!

Travelogue: Jordan

It’s May. The time of year when teachers start to get crispy around the edges. So when my friends suggested a trip to Jordan, I was all in! We had an absolutely awesome time. There was map reading, insane driving, getting lost, lots of laughter, and amazing awe inspiring sites! And the men…Jordanian men are some kind of special! If only we had more time. Jordan was balm for my tired soul. We shall return. In the meantime, here are some highlights.

Petra, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, is a city carved into beautiful, rose hued stone.

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On the path to Petra


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The famous Treasury in the background


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Amphitheater at Petra


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Incredible detail

Mount Nebo is the site where God revealed The Promise Land to Moses. It is absolutely spectacular! These pictures cannot do it justice.

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Imagine it all lush and green, the way Moses must have seen it!

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Standing on Holy Ground, claiming my Promised Land

Based on historical records, Bethany by the Jordan is believed to be the site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.

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The Jordan River

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This precious archaeological site is where Jesus was baptized. Several structures and churches have stood on the site as memorials.

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This area is known for incredible, historic mosaics. This one depicts John the Baptist baptizing Jesus.

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The area below is where modern pilgrims can enter the river for baptism.

Fridays at the Palace

The Emirates Palace is the premiere venue in Abu Dhabi. It features a theatre, in addition to 7 star accommodations and dining. This April, I spent several Fridays enjoying events at the Palace. Here’s a recap!

Abu Dhabi Classics presents
Orchestre de Paris

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The stage is set for a wonderful performance by an outstanding orchestra.

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Abu Dhabi Classics presents The Little Prince Musical in concert featuring narration by Hugh Grant

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Naturally, there are no pics during the performance.

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JS Entertainment presents White Out at the Emirates Palace

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It was a fabulous month!!

Treat Yourself: Fresh Flowers

I’m not the kind of person who waits for other people to give me flowers. However, the flowers I give myself are usually the supermarket variety. Recently, thanks to Groupon, I was able to treat myself to an arrangement from the florist for the cost of my usual supermarket bouquet. I got to choose the flowers I wanted and they opened up beautifully! Every once in a while you should definitely treat yourself to fresh flowers from a florist.

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Treat Yourself: Body Scrub

Have you ever tried one of those salt or sugar body scrubs? I have and the results were underwhelming. But I’ve figured out the problem…you’re supposed to have someone apply it! I recently had the citrus body scrub at Maven Spa. It was their March special so the price was right! It was part massage, part hammam, and totally bliss. I walked out feeling relaxed,
with skin like a baby’s bottom. Every now and then, treat yourself to a body scrub at your local spa.

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A bit of the lovely treatment room.

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I love the tub in the treatment room! Maybe I'll try one of the bath treatments one day.

Spring Break

Day 3 in Singapore and I finally made it out my hotel room. I’ve been sick as a dog with a bad cold. These past two days have reinforced my belief in booking a good hotel with a great bed. This bed, at Big Hotel, has been such a comfort to me.

So this is probably sounding like deja vu…Singapore, Big Hotel. But, I could think of no better way to spend Easter than back at New Creation Church. So I’m in Singapore again.

Now, after two days in bed, I finally ventured out to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Little India.

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Still a bit under the weather, but I'm getting out there

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A bit of springtime bloom at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

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Hindu temple in Little India

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A tasty dinner in Little India