This past week, on route to Australia, I stopped in Abu Dhabi for a couple of days. So it was me, for two days, in Abu Dhabi, ALONE. Pretty cool. The closest I had come to Abu Dhabi before this trip was the Dubai airport when I was traveling to Tanzania a few years ago. And man, even that airport was like a mini vacation in itself!
Since the moment the flight attendant told me to open my window blinds in preparation for landing, I was astonished at how beautiful this place was. I mean, I had no idea the sky could be so many shades of blues, oranges, pinks, and yellows, all at once! My eyes were paralyzed on the view for a good 75 minutes— no joke. (due to amazing view + me being delirious from the 13 hour flight) I landed at about 7:30pm Abu Dhabi time (8 hours ahead of NY), sped through customs, security, baggage claim, and met my driver for a short 20 minute drive from the airport.
On my arrival I was greeted by a multitude of gentleman and was treated like a Princess. After being checked in, I was brought up to my room, where I was given a mini tour and settled in. At this point I was in utter awe at how amazing this place, this hotel, and these people are. I felt as if I was literally in a whole different world. Men and women walking around in their traditional Arab dress with the headpieces and everything. Of course I have seen Sex and the City 2 a million times, and it was actually just like that (to give you a better idea). Let’s just hope I don’t pull a Samantha and get kicked out of the country.
Quick shower, and an ever quicker unpacking job, I was starving and ready for my first bite of Arabian cuisine. Who knew that a hotel could have so many restaurants? I mean this one has at least five— all different and all delicious. So I ordered a seafood salad with some of their local dressing, cuddled up in bed with an (unknown) movie, popped a sleeping pill, and that was the end to my long first day.
This morning (day two) I woke up to my alarm at 9am. First thing I thought was this is just not gonna happen— I hit snooze, and fell back asleep until 11am. I rushed out of bed, went to the gym for like a minute (have you ever been to a gym with the perfect view of the Grand Mosque? I have!), then laid out by the pool. When I say “laid out”, I mean sat there uncomfortably drenched in sweat after 2 minutes because it was 100 degrees. No exaggeration. I then came to a sudden realization that i hadn’t had my morning brew yet. What! It’s already 12:15, and I haven’t had a sip of caffeine (even with this jet lag)!? So I headed to the oh-so-fancy Chocolate Lounge where I had a couple (or a few) cups. And that’s that.
This afternoon I am going on a Desert Safari organized through the hotel. I don’t know why it’s called a “safari” because since it’s in the desert, we will be seeing absolutely no animals (except Camels!). But, even better, I will be camel riding, sand boarding, watching belly dancing, henna painting, and feasting on an Arabian Desert- Barbecue. I literally can not wait! More to come…