Monday, February 25, 2008

Two continents in two weeks!

I am probably a little overzealous in my excitement for my trip in less than two weeks. The more I research, the more I want to drop everything and leave today! I've always wanted to travel to Asia, but I thought it would be Japan or China...not the UAE. But I'm excited to spend time with my sister and her husband and my two nephews. For six months now, I've been a ticketed passenger on a flight from New York to Abu Dhabi, so there's been a lot of time for me to not only become anxious and excited and a little nervous, but to read history and find some pretty great things to see while I'm there. Add a trip to Cairo in the mix there to boot, and this is shaping up to be a pretty spectacular vacation. Here are some cool things I look forward to while I'm away:

  • Amazing shopping in Dubai. Now, usually I'm not a huge shopper...I don't handle crowds well, and I usually end up frustrated and cranky. But this place? This place is MADE for women with money to spend. I found out there's an H&M there, so I plan on spending the better part of a day finding the deals there and replenishing my wardrobe.
  • Spending time at the beach. As much as I LOVE the 30 degree temps around Utah, I think a little change could be just what I need. And by a little, I mean, highs of 70-80 and lows in the fifties. Sun and sand and water...just what the doctor ordered for a case of the wintertime blues. I pray that Utah will be well on its way to Spring by the time I return.
  • Great restaurants. My sister says there's some pretty great eating there. I didn't used to be the adventurous type when it came to food (stick with what you know you like, right?), but in the past few years, I've ventured outside of my comfort zone and tried some pretty awesome stuff...can't wait to do it there!
  • These awesome islands (see the picture). Who knew they could actually create islands in intricate patterns like this? Pretty freakin' awesome! Not to mention all the other amazing architectural wonders they have there. I didn't realize until my sister's family was transferred there that the UAE was such a hub of commerce and business. Plus, Dubai now boasts the world's tallest building, which I plan to visit (or at least see) for sure.
  • Checking out Middle Eastern life. I've been fascinated when it comes to other cultures and the differences between the ways of living in the US and elsewhere. I guess in the UAE they have small heritage villages where "the old ways" are how they live...well, live is a strong's how they work, showing the traditional middle eastern culture. Kinda touristy, sure, but really intriguing! Having never lived abroad, I've only caught small glimpses of the way of life in other cultures. Yeah, I lived in Texas the first nine years of my small life, but that's hardly a different culture. This is one culture shock I'm kind of looking forward to! And the fact that my sister will be there to help me digest it is probably for the best.
  • Being with the Whittons. Laura's family has usually lived pretty far away, but they always come back to visit every once in awhile. But the little boys grow up so fast that we miss most of it. I'm excited to see them and to see Laura (visibly) pregnant--no one in our immediate family has seen this the last two times she had kids. Laura says she knows some cool things to do like dune bashing (google it) and other events that only happen there.

Cairo, Egypt

  • The pyramids. Come on, when you think Egypt, what do you think? Pyramids. I guess my nephew has been a little bit weary about them since his mom has been telling him that we're going to visit. She told me that he used to call them "kyramids" but can now correctly pronounce the word.
  • Museums. I went to an exhibit at the museum at BYU a couple years ago with a bunch of ancient Egyptian artifacts. I didn't have long to spend looking at them, but I was so interested in them! I don't know what the draw is to all this old stuff...I think just a sense of history and humanity and everything. I wonder what they'd put in museums to show the ways we lived. Probably some sort of iPod they dig up or something.
  • The Nile. No, I won't be actually swimming in it or anything (yeah, diseases galore, people!), but you read about these things and see never think you'll actually get to see them in person. It's kind of surreal...the reality of it hits me every once in awhile. Makes those hepatitis shots totally worth the hassle.
  • Everything I learned about in the sixth grade. When I was eleven, I had to make this tunnel book about Egypt. It was a laborious project, and because of my tendencies towards being a perfectionist, took FOREVER. There were little canopic jars and treasures and mummies. Every stereotypical thing about was in there. And now, my tunnel book can come to life. Well, sort of...

New York

I have a half day layover in New York. I've already been there before, so I'm not completely bummed that I can't get out there and see everything, but I have enough time to take in a couple things.

  • Central Park. I was about a block away from it last time I was there...but never got to see it. Which I was ok with, really, considering it was about 10 degrees with the wind tunnels that occur on those streets, and I was walking about 30 blocks to help Laura find a gift. So much fun, though.
  • Gray's Papaya. Awesome hot dogs. Or so I hear. So I'm going to eat lunch there if I am lucky enough to find the location. That's what the Internet is for, right? I found one right next to Central Park, so it's ideal, really. And cheap. We love cheap.
  • Riding the Metro. Coming from Utah, I don't often get the opportunity to ride public transportation...and as filthy as it seems, I kind of enjoy people watching and experiencing some "big city" things that us country folk miss out on with our cars.
  • Being back in the U.S. where I can turn on my cell phone. I will have gone 12 days without my phone. And if you know me at all, you know I don't handle that very well. It's my vacation, so I need some time away from it, but I'll be happy to have it back!
Well, I'll try to post pictures on here as I'm there, just so I can stay up-to-date with life... Did I say before that I'm so excited? Let me check...yep, I still am. :)


Blogger Erika said...

I want MY tunnel book to come to life too!!! I'm like drooling over your trip! I've always wanted to experience a big culture shock. Ahh, some day.

February 25, 2008 at 12:27 PM

Blogger Aaron & Devony said...

I am so so so jealous of this trip! I want to go so bad and I am SO Glad you get to go! You must tell us everything!

February 26, 2008 at 7:25 AM

Blogger Shawn and Brittany said...

I am SO jealous! I have always wanted to go to Egypt and to anywhere else that sounds cool. You will love New York and please take lots of pictures of Egypt so I can live through you.

February 26, 2008 at 9:07 AM

Blogger kate. said...

Annie, I'm so jealous! It sounds like fun...definitely want to see pictures!

February 29, 2008 at 12:45 PM


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