Well I’ve gone around the sun 1 more time and I feel very blessed about that. I think I may have said this before but if anyone would have told me that I’d be in the United Arab Emirates at this stage in my life I would not have believed them…AT ALL!
The week of my birthday last year I had my own fashion show/week at work. Everything I wore each day to school was something that I made and that made my week so awesome.
This week I decided to wear new abayas to work. There is something about wearing nice new clothes that make you feel so great! I went to work feeling great. I saved my new favorite abaya for Thursday. See the pictures below.
Well January 25, 2018 Mike picked me up from work and we were off to Dubai. I was very excited because it was my birthday weekend and growing up my Mom made birthdays a big deal. Mike told me that we would be staying at the tallest hotel in the world. Did you catch that? The tallest hotel in the world!!! I had to look that up to verify and sure enough that’s where we were staying, the JW Marriott Marquis. Color me excited! We pulled up and as soon as we stepped out of the car we received the best customer service! The bellman welcomed us and walked us to the check in counter.
He introduced us to the lady who would be assisting us and she welcomed us and thanked us for staying with them. She thanked us for being Marriott Rewards members, thanked us for checking in via the mobile app and then she wished me a happy birthday! She explained the amenities that we would be receiving and she told us about the hotel and it’s 13 in house restaurants. WOW! We went to our room and our bags followed us. The bellman explained the room and thanked us for staying. This customer service Is top notch! We oohed and ahhed about the view from our room and then we got dressed for our first event – La Perle!
From the bathtub we could see the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa.
La Perle is a show that combines a distinct artistry with acrobatics. It was an amazing show!
We had VIP tickets which afforded us complimentary valet, complimentary all you can enjoy food and drinks, and we would be escorted to our seats. We pulled up at the theater which was only about 10 minutes from our hotel. The valet told us that they had paid parking and I told him that we had VIP tickets. He told us the price of the VIP ticket and I let him know that I knew the price and had already purchased the tickets. He looked a little surprised and asked to see the ticket. I showed him our tickets and he told us where to enter and welcomed us to the theater. Once inside the theater we went to a standard ticket taker thinking that’s where we were to enter. She said, “Oh ma’am, you have VIP tickets and your entrance is to your right.” I have to admit that I felt good at that instant! #NoJudgement
The VIP area had a blue carpet leading to a “semi secret” area. We were greeted again and had our tickets scanned. We were escorted into the VIP area and at that moment the person inside my mind and stomach who loves to eat began to jump up and down. All of the food was looking at me and calling me! I had to answer! And believe me, I did! I walked by all of the displays to see what my options were. I started with vegetable rolls and from there it went downhill. Nachos, popcorn, candy, juice! I was just so happy. #NoJudgement
About 5 minutes before the show was to begin we went to our seats. We were on the very front row in the VIP section. As we walked I felt people looking at us. Was it because I had on bright red shoes?
Was it because we were carrying so much food? Was it because we were displaying our black girl magic and black boy joy? Or was it because we were 2 brown people heading to the very front row? I really didn’t care. I just knew where our seats were and that I was excited to see the joy from THE VERY FRONT ROW!
Mike told me he thought people were a bit surprised to see us and see where we were seating. Once the show was over we only saw 1 other black couple so that explained the looks. As soon as we sat down Mike said, “Yep, we is a cultured couple.” He and I laughed and at that moment the lights went down and the show began. I can’t even begin to explain how good the show was to me. It was action packed! I would definitely go see it again and I’d buy VIP tickets. My friends said they were going to come to the UAE for my birthday in 2019 and if they do and if that show is still going on I’m going to buy us VIP tickets. I wonder what kind of looks we’d get. LOL!
After the show, we went to Zoco which is a restaurant in the same place as the theater. They serve Tex Mex cuisine. I had tacos and Mike had quaesadillas.
We laughed and talked and then I saw a cake with a lit sparkler going to another table and turned to Mike and said it’s my birthday too. Mike let me know my birthday was actually the next day so to relax. Well I turned my head and saw another cake with a lit sparkler but it was coming my way. #SuperExcited
My smile was so big! We talked a little more and then headed back to our hotel but we had to stop and take pictures in front of the La Perle backdrop first!
Now I’m going to pause talking about my weekend and tell you what I had been doing this week because it is going to make one of my revelations make much more sense.
So as I talked about in my last blog I’ve decided to be serious about my weight loss and getting healthy. I am at my heaviest EVER and it’s not cute! So, I planned to do the green smoothie detox and I was going to start after my birthday. I’m somewhat of a picky eater and I was nervous about how the smoothies were going to taste so I decided to do the modified smoothie cleanse Jan 21-25. The modified smoothie cleans is when you drink a smoothie for breakfast and lunch and then eat a clean meal for dinner. A clean dinner is grilled chicken and vegetable or salmon and vegetable. Every day I drank detox tea first thing and for breakfast and lunch I drank a green smoothie. The smoothies were actually not bad. I also worked out every day for about 45 min-1 hour each day. For dinner I had either grilled chicken or grilled salmon and a vegetable. I drank 2 liters of water each day which is like 66 ounces. I was so proud that I stuck to this regimen. I felt better about me and felt like I was making a change to better me.
Ok resume my birthday weekend….
When we got in on Friday night after the La Perle show Mike told me that we would have to wake up early because we needed to eat breakfast and be downstairs by 6:00am. I told him no problem and set my alarm.
We got up on Friday, January 26 ate breakfast and went downstairs. We waited. Mike talked to the concierge and waited. He told me that we were going to ride ATVs in the desert but the tourist company wasn’t answering his call. He was trying to call and find out if we were going to be picked up or where we were to meet them but no answer. I asked the name and looked them on online and found a number. I called and received no answer. I decided to send them a message via Whatsapp and I got a response. Come to find out they were not coming and our tour had already left. Mike looked defeated. I let him know it was ok and that I was still enjoying myself. We went back upstairs to our room and I decided to go to the fitness area since I only did a small workout the night before. Before going to the gym I saw a scale in our bathroom and decided to get on and see what numbers would be looking back at me. I got on and the numbers looking back at me were not the numbers that were looking back at me just a few weeks ago. I was 2 KG lighter. 2 KG! That’s equivalent to almost 5 pounds. I was super excited about this progress that I hurried off to the gym. While on the treadmill I began to think about our blotched ATV ride and began to preach to myself. (Sometimes you have to preach to yourself.) I was already feeling skeptical about my whole weight loss journey because I didn’t see any changes in my body even though I know I was putting in work. Had we gone on the ATV ride I probably would have never got on the scale. That small win made me feel great and it confirmed that what I was doing was in fact working! Sometimes things don’t go the way we want because we don’t need them to. Think about the time you had a flat tire unexpectedly. What did that flat tire keep you from? Think about that time you spilled coffee on your work clothes and you had to change and in turn you were late for work. What if that spill kept you from being in a wreck or getting a speeding ticket? Missing the ATV ride, even though I really wanted to go, helped me encourage myself and confirm my process. It also helped Mike and I bond because he revealed some things to me during our spa treatment….(calm down I’ll talk about the spa shortly) that showed me his vulnerable side and ultimately made me think about the kind of wife I was being. So, yeah we might have missed an adventure to help me kick off my year of me and adventures but it still did just that! Also, I wanted to go to Paris for my birthday but Mike told me about the La Perle show and we decided on that. Saturday morning when we woke up Mike told me that Paris was actually flooded. See what I missed! #ThatWillPreach
So after working out I took a very short nap and I woke up starving! Mike was still sleep so I told him I was going to get something to eat by the poolside grill. I invited him to join me but he said it’s your birthday so go enjoy yourself. I think he felt some kind of way about his plans falling through so I was off. I left our 65th floor and went down to the 3rd floor and saw that the restaurant was empty which led me to think they were closed. I asked and they were open. So I went inside and I had the entire restaurant to myself. #LovedIt
I ate and went back to the room. By the time I returned it was time for us to go again. We were going to the spa to have body scrubs and a couple’s massage. We checked in and because Dubai is an Islamic country men and women facilities are separate. Mike went one way and I went another. I was escorted to the changing room and from there I was taken to the steam room, sauna, and Jacuzzi area. I got in the sauna for a few minutes. A very few minutes! I then went to the Jacuzzi which was empty. This entire area was actually empty. I sat in the Jacuzzi and thanked God for the means to even be sitting in a Jacuzzi, in a spa, in Dubai.
I was escorted to the massage area and was joined by Mike shortly after. We received our body scrub treatment, and then were told to shower and that was followed by a massage. It was such a relaxing experience. I think we’ll be making spa visits part of our monthly budget.
After our treatments, we went back to the room and I was hungry...again. We ordered Tony Roma’s because Mike wanted a steak and I just wanted to eat so I didn’t care where we ate. We ate and talked about the spa. After eating I took a shower. When I came out I was met with this...#HowSweet #YouDoNotNeedToKnowMyAge
We watched a little television until the sleep monster jumped on us.
Saturday, I woke up and went to the fitness area. Once I got back we went to breakfast and enjoyed the view. We checked out of the hotel and stopped by the Dubai Mall to visit the Souq. The Souq is an area of the mall where you can haggle and bargain for the items that you want. I wanted to get my Dad some cologne because over Christmas he was in love with Mike’s cologne and every day that I’ve talked to him he has asked if I have gotten him his cologne yet so that was a must!
This weekend was such a great weekend It was just what I wanted and needed. I am so thankful that I get to have all of these experiences. I do not take any of these experiences for granted.
I encourage all of you to travel and see the world! If Abu Dhabi or Dubai is on your travel itinerary let me know so we can hang out!
Starting tomorrow, Sunday January 28 and the following 13 days I’ll be doing the Green Smoothie cleanse. I will have a green smoothie every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ll only be eating approved snacks and it is my hope that it helps me jump start my weight loss and ultimately my lifestyle change. I’m going to do a blog that encompasses all 14 days and each day I’m going to detail how I’m feeling and if I’m noticing any change. I’m super excited about losing weight and being a healthier me. I invite you to keep reading my blog so you not only see the changes my body goes through as I embark on this lifestyle change but to also see what adventures I take on during this next year of my life!
Before I sign off, on Sunday, January 28 I'm having an incentive party for all of my boys who have earned enough Class Dojo points. A parent had a cake and cookies delivered to me on my birthday and since I'm not eating sweets I figured I'd share it with my boys. Well, the day of the party another parent sent in a cake so the boys had a lot of cake to enjoy. One of my boys gave me a gift too! Super Sweet!
Thanks for reading! Remember to Be Uniquely You and Be Kind to One Another!
Hi! I'm Unique. Follow along with me as I try unique things and travel the world!