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.

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: 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

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

Gentlemen Prefer Tea

Afternoon tea is usually thought of as the purview of women, but I had the opportunity to introduce a gentleman to the pleasures of tea. Today, JG found “a little bit of heaven” while savoring scones with cream and jam.  I think it’s safe to say the gentleman’s been turned on to afternoon tea. We enjoyed tea at The Chocolate Gallery in the Fairmont Bab al Bahr. Their afternoon tea features a great modern presentation.

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The money shot