Add your email here to Follow our Blog!

2014 has been quite a year for us:

Get Married (May)
Buy a House (September)
Move to Dubai (October)

Here we are, two hardly entertaining, relatively conservative (one of us curmudgeonly) souls, living the dream in the Middle East. Our first meal in Dubai was enjoyed at the Cheesecake Factory.

Let’s be honest, the purpose of this “blog” is to show our
moms what we are up to. But, we promise to share with you our experiences (via pictures) and about the friends we meet
along the way. We do not promise that any of this will be interesting to you. We also understand we are not the first or only expats to live in Dubai (80% of the population here are expats), but from time to time we may get carried away
– just be happy for our “accomplishments”.

Editor’s note: All blog entries henceforth were likely experienced in the most western way possible (lodging: Marriott; transportation: car with tour guide; food: Top 10 from tripadvisor). If you would like to read about someone who lives like a native (lodging: hostels; transportation: feet; food: (beans and weenies), look no further: Ashley Weaver - The Journey. Her story is far more intriguing than ours.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thailand's Top Ten

Visiting Thailand was on the top of our list since moving to Dubai. Generally, a difficult country to fly to from the west, we could not pass up the 5 hour flight. We were fortunate to spend a week crisscrossing the country and seeing the very best it had to offer. There is something for everyone in Thailand: the beaches of Krabi (Phi Phi Islands and Railay Bay), the big city of Bangkok, and the affordable adventures of Chiang Mai. Below are a few of our favorites. We give Thailand two thumbs up.

1. The Limestone Hills and Beaches of Southern Thailand (Phi Phi Island and Railay Bay)

We stumbled upon this dude while taking in the islands. 

Beautiful day with a gorgeous woman
Real picture, not a google image
Centara Grand Resort - Situated perfectly between the beach and cliff backdrop. All credit goes to Jeff on this pick.

2. Thai Farm Cooking School - Chiang Mai

Some of our dishes: Green and Yellow Curry, Basil Chicken,
Sticky Rice, Sweet and Sour Chicken

3. Thai Temple Architecture

Wat Rong Khun
Chiang Rai
Grand Palace

4. Thai Elephant Home

 5. Chiang Mai Markets

The Sunday night walking market is the best
market in Chiang Mai - you can find everything
on the streets - knock off purses, watches,
sunglasses, hand made items, clothing, food.. and
all of it at extremely cheap prices!

Soap carving into flower shapes

Delicious food

The quest to find the world's best fried chicken continues
(score: B-)

6. Thai Food

We had an amazing Thai dinner in Bangkok at Baan Khanith in the Asiatique Market
Note our dessert - Sticky rice with mango - and coconut ice cream on top... easily a favorite
Fresh fruit is in abundance on the streets!
Pad Thai
Spicy Papaya and Carrot Salad

Great drinks and fruit juices
7. Thai Tigers

Cat nap - (@ Tiger Kingdom)
Here kitty kitty.....

8. The People

With our friend Mr. One
"I Love My People"
Rachel loves her people, too (@ Long Neck Village)
9. Golden Triangle (Chaing Rai)

Boat trip to Laos for some more cheap shopping
Photo taken from: Thailand.
To the left, Myanmar. To the right, Laos.
The Golden Triangle 

10. Thai Massage

No shame 
100 "bath" or bath = $3 USD

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Holidays

A benefit to living in an international hub is the accessibility to reasonable flights - both price and travel time. Staying true to our upbringing in the Midwest, we were hankering for some cold weather and decided to venture to a place that would feel a bit more like Christmas. We landed on Prague, a vibrant city during Christmas. With great outdoor markets, delicious Czech food, beautiful and historic architecture and great music; Prague lived up to all of our expectations. As you can see from the pictures, we had a wonderful first Christmas together in a beautiful city! While we missed some of our favorite aspects of the Christmas holiday, (family, friends, & memories) we were able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.. And that remains the same no matter where you are!

Then it was to India for the New Year - talk about dynamic differences. When we moved to Dubai, we expected some culture shock... But it was nothing compared to adjusting to a visit in New Delhi.  A few things about India: The pollution can be intense - even in the airport it was cloudy with smog. The traffic is insanely hectic; there are 24 million people in this city, twice the number of folks in New York City. Cars share the roads with lots of motorcyclists, tuk tuks, rickshaw bicycles, horses, cows, camels, and monkeys. However, India has beautiful historical buildings (palaces, mosques, mausoleums) and great markets. We spent one morning riding on a rickshaw through the Old Delhi markets, which was a really cool experience. It is amazing the work ethic, perseverance, and ingenuity these folks must use to be successful in their day-to-day endeavors. For example, the famous electric wire filled streets, their means to getting electricity. We were excited to check off our 2nd world wonder together; the Taj Mahal was truly an incredible sight to see.

We are enjoying out time here in Dubai, we are frequently asked "what do you like most about it?"  It is an easy answer for us, we like the simplicity of life here and the quality time we get to spend together during this first year of marriage. Our jobs are going well, and Luke has built some great relationships in the office. We recently joined a small group with our church and are really looking forward to what the Lord is going to teach us through those relationships and studies. We are excited for the diverse perspectives we will see in this group.  We are also looking forward to moving to the beach next week! Thank you for all your prayers and support!

St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle
Vltava River Cruise - St. Charles Bridge in the Background
Beautiful Streets of Prague
Had to take a picture on the St. Charles Bridge
Christmas Markets at Old Town Square
We really enjoyed the beautiful scenery everywhere we looked!

Astronomical Clock at Old Time Square
Installed in 1410 - this is the oldest Astronomical Clock, still working, in the world today.
We went on a search for the American Embassy!
Stairway from the Prague Castle to Lesser Town Quarter

We LOVED The Food in Prague...
Sausages, Sausages, Sausages
Pork Schnitzel - Just Like Uncle Larry Makes It
Traditional Czech Christmas Meal Duck and Cabbage

The Most Amazing Homemade Fruit Curd Cheese Dumplings Ever!
Cafe Savoy
Then to India We Went...
Famous Electrical Wire Filled Streets of Old Delhi - Chandni Chowk
Typical Intersection in India

Rickshaw Ride Through Old Delhi

The Traditional Saree Dress

Humayun's Tomb - New Delhi

India Gate - Honorary Monument to the Fallen Soldiers

Red Fort - New Delhi

Beautiful Lotus Temple

Best for Last.. the Taj Mahal - Agra, India
The Bench is the "Princess Diana" bench, as it was brought in just for her visit in 1992

Oh.. Can't Forget The Animals of India...