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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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.

Weekend in Dubai

I’ve been wanting to spend a weekend in Dubai since my first trip in September.  The races leading up to the Dubai World Cup gave me the perfect excuse.  We went to the races on Thursday evening and then enjoyed a wonderful Spanish brunch at Salero in Kempenski Hotel at Mall of the Emirates.  Then we walked it off at Global Village.

A day at the races…
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Beautiful entrance to Meydan Racecourse


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Horses entering the parade ring before the race


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Brunch at Salero…

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Salero at Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates


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Global Village…
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A Bad Day at the Beach is…

better than a bad day at work! 

Back in the fall, before the mercury started to drop here in Abu Dhabi, I bought a weekday pass for Yas Beach Club on Groupon.  At the time, I didn’t attend to the fact that it would expire on February 1st.  So here I am, on the last day of January, taking advantage of said beach pass.

It’s a blustery 68 degrees out here; far from my idea of beach weather.  But, after the day I had at work, I’m happy to sit on the shore and listen to the lapping water.

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This is definitely going to be one of my favorite places; looking forward to when it gets warm.

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I braved it for about half an hour, then took refuge in their restaurant, The Tikki Bar.

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Hawaiiana decor that doesn't feel tacky

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Snack time...

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View from The Tikki Bar

A Tribe Called BALA

Abu Dhabi City

January 23, 2016

Dear Reader,

Today, I travelled to Dubai for the first ever meet-up of the Facebook community BALA, Black Americans Living Abroad.  We met at Tribes restaurant at The Mall of the Emirates. It was a wonderful afternoon of good food, good people, and good vibes.  I was reminded of how important it is to connect with like minded people; sojourners who are traveling the same path.

Wishing you many opportunities to connect with your tribe,

Fondly,
Maxima

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The food was delicious!

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Appetizer, grilled calamari


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Entree, butter fish

A few of the awesome people I met…
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Pilgrimage

Abu Dhabi City

January 3, 2016

Dear Reader,

Happy New Year!  I am still basking in the glow of my recent trip to Singapore.  This trip was particularly meaningful for me because it was a pilgrimage.  Now, when you think of pilgrimage what comes to mind may be Jerusalem, Mecca, Rome, or Lourdes, but probably not Singapore.  However, Wikipedia describes a pilgrimage as a journey to a place of significance to one’s beliefs and faith.  Singapore is just that for me.

Several years ago, I started listening to Pastor Joseph Prince.  He is the Pastor of New Creation Church in Singapore.  His preaching and teaching has had a tremendous impact on me, freeing me from the weight of depression and fear and deepening my understanding of Christ.  Seeing and hearing him preach in person, at New Creation Church, was one of my deepest desires.

New Creation Church is a marvel! Outwardly, it bears no resemblance to a church.  However, when all the inhabitants began to worship together in that place, it was transformed!  I truly experienced people making church by coming together in Christ.

I think the pilgrimage is one of the oldest reasons in the world for travel.  Yet, not many have the opportunity.  I feel so blessed and grateful to have made this journey.  I pray that you will have the opportunity to travel to your place of spiritual significance.

Fondly,
Maxima

P.S.-I did not take pictures during worship, only before and after, for obvious reasons.

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