This is for all of my Martin fans...
Well did ya...
I'm back. I took a break from blogging because I was on break and wanted to thoroughly enjoy it.
So in December we had exams. Exam week is much like it is back home. Students come, take their tests, and leave and go home not long after the exams are finished. One difference is exams are only 2 hours. Another difference is back home tests would be taken to a warehouse to be scored by computers. Here all exams are scored by teachers. That's right, we graded the tests. The entire department sat in a room together and we graded the tests. You did not only grade your grade level which I thought was very team oriented and made the grading less daunting and overwhelming.
After exams were over there were a few days before school was officially closed for the Winter Break which for students was December 14-January 14 however our school was closed for students a few days before that. Yep, no students leading up to the break!
Once the break officially started we began packing for our trip home. On this trip we had planned to see as many of our friends and family as we could. My side of the family had planned a trip to Florida where we would spend a week together and go to Disney World on Christmas Eve.
Packing was relatively easy as we didn't have winter clothes so we packed for the Florida weather and hoped that the North Carolina weather would be kind to us while we were there.
Our day of departure arrived and we made sure to get to the airport with enough time to enjoy the Mastercard Lounge. We took a taxi, went through the screening, and much to our delight the lounge was rather empty. We found an area and decided to eat and enjoy all of the amenities. When it was time for our plane to begin boarding we were taken to our gate and at that moment we were so glad that we arrived at the airport as early as we did. We had to walk quite far to our gate only to realize we had to go through customs and security again and that's where the lines began. We finally got through and in front of us was another line where we had to go to a machine and answer some questions to then be given a ticket to talk to a person who would stamp our passports and look at us and ask us why we were going to the US. Once we finished that process we had to walk to our actual gate where we saw all of the people who would be on our flight with us. There were so many people and many children too. I prayed at that moment that there would be no babies around us. (Judge all you want to but 14 hours with a crying baby in your vicinity is torture.) We decided to pay for the extra leg room seats because sitting in such a confined space cramps my knees. That is one upgrade that I will always pay for. It was so worth it! I was able to stretch out my legs and when I had to go to the restroom I didn't have to slide by Mike or anyone else. The flight was uneventful. I slept a lot and watched quite a few movies. The food this time was ok. Eggs were served for the breakfast meal and I do not like eggs. So, needless to say as soon as we landed I wanted to stop and eat. We had a layover in Chicago and just like we had to go outside and catch a train and go through security...AGAIN, on our initial trip to Abu Dhabi we had to do the same thing. The lines though were very long and I love that there is so much security but I wonder if there's a way to expedite the process. Nevertheless we got through and Mike had to have his bag checked and they checked him. They always check my hair so I'm used to it.
We got to our next gate with a few minutes to sit down and catch our breath. It felt good to be in the US but Chicago was very cold and all we were armed with were pullovers we ordered when we realized that we had no outerwear. Once we touched down in Charlotte and grabbed our bags we got a rental car and we went straight to Dad's house to drop things off we didn't need and to grab winter wear! We checked in at our hotel for only a few minutes and then we were off. We had to check our PO Box, stop at our Safety Deposit Box, go to Sprint to figure out why Mike's phone wasn't working, a lunch date with some of my old coworkers, dinner with my brother, Mike wanted to hang out with his cousin, visit Mike's Mom and brother's family, visit my cousins and Aunt's family, dinner with my old dancers, the advisor and some parents, repack our bags for the flight to Florida, go to Florida, spend time with family, back to the Sprint store because Mike's phone wasn't working, fly to Greensboro from Florida, see Mike's friends, be driven to Charlotte, repack our bags for Abu Dhabi, dinner and chill with my bestest friends, and then back on a plane to Abu Dhabi! We were so busy I don't think I ever felt my feet hit the ground. Here are pictures from our visit home.
We definitely visited restaurants that I had been missing! If you are affiliated with Moe's, feel free to send me Moe's chips and Queso any time! 😀
Our time in the US was great but I don't think we'll be visiting again for a while because the flight we choose is brutal! Anywho the time with our friends and family was priceless and I'm praying many of them can come to Abu Dhabi to visit. My friends are supposed to be coming Jan 2019, our families are supposed to be coming Christmas 2019 and we are supposed to have other visitors before then.
Now that I'm back in Abu Dhabi and back to my regularly scheduled program it has hit me that all of the wonderful food and ability to be lazy since EVERYTHING delivers has caused me to gain weight, like a lot of it. So, on January 28 I'm doing a smoothie cleanse for 14 days to jumpstart my weight loss and detox my body. I have already made changes in my diet. I'm trying to stick to a grilled or bake meat, veggies, fruit, and water. I will definitely be documenting my smoothie cleanse which will help me stay accountable. My friends back home are doing it too and a friend here is going to join me as well. I'm doing this for me and I am determined to be disciplined and maintain it. I'm putting it out in the atmosphere that it is my goal to lose 50 pounds by January 2019! I know that is doable and that's my goal. I'll be doing other things along the way as well and there will definitely be blog posts about it.
Now on to school. I started this trimester off reviewing the rules and resetting expectations. So far so good. The way I want my class to function is going to be a mindset change for my boys but if I'm consistent I know it'll happen.
In other news, my birthday is in 9 days which means today is January 17 for those of you who don't know when my birthday is. (#AquariusSeason #AquariansStandUp) I'm having a party at school as an incentive for my boys to work towards. I do not know what is being planned outside of school but if you know my husband tell him I really want to sit in VIP at the La Perle show in Dubai. There is a show on Thursday, January 25 at 7:30pm that he can buy tickets for and then we can spend the weekend in Dubai. (I'm not giving out hints or anything.)
Before I sign off I must talk about our trip to Dubai once we got back to this side of the world.
We went to Miracle Gardens, Global Village, and Cirque du Soleil - Toruk, The Last Flight.
Miracle Gardens is a place where flowers are on showcase. Everything is made of flowers. It was beautiful and I'm not even a lover of flowers.
Global Village is a place in Dubai where countries from all over the world are represented and you can buy souvenirs and taste food from the countries as well. Think Epcot but on a larger scale. It was so much culture to see. I absolutely loved it and I will definitely go back - Hands down!
I have always wanted to go to Cirque Du Soleiel and it was amazing. Mike got us great seats and the entire time my mouth was open in amazement. I love the performing arts. This show was extra cool because it had interactive moments. If you downloaded their app there were times when you had to point your phone at the performers and you "became part of the show".
Well friends, thanks for reading! Happy New Year and until next time Be Uniquely You and Be Kind to one another!
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Hi! I'm Unique. Follow along with me as I try unique things and travel the world!