Aug 072017
 

The healing process begins. Thank goodness for the capacity of the brain to forget rather easily.

We have been in Tokyo for four days and already it feels almost as if life in Abu Dhabi was a blur…. Perhaps it really was – at least the past couple of years. My life definitely has changed drastically in the past three years since meeting M and joining our fates together. πŸ˜›

Each morning and throughout the day, we remind each other "We are in Tokyo! Isn't it wonderful?!"

I enjoyed my time in Abu Dhabi. I met some good friends. I traveled a lot. I had a lot of great laughs, celebrations and hold memories dear to me. Those whom are meant to be in my life will keep in touch always. At the same time, the time to close that chapter of my life was just waiting for me to take the leap. While we thought that we were going to end up somewhere else many times, it is fitting and ideal that we returned to Japan where my BFF and strongest support system lives.

BFF and I have been saying for a while that we needed to be in the same place together again. It is true. I need a safe place to reset my sanity. M needs a place where I am supported and comfortable to allow him to reset himself as well. This is it!

We are both excited for what our next chapter together is promising to give us. So far we are off to a wonderful start. As time progresses, I will begin to write about our experiences of late as I can sit back and breathe a sigh of relief that we are out of reach of the insanity that we faced. I hope that someday soon we will both look back and just laugh at the whole thing. For now, we have a sense of relief and anticipation for an even better tomorrow!

~T πŸ˜€

Dec 282016
 

For the first time in a while I have started to feel a bit relaxed. Although our troubles have not faded away, we are focusing on enjoying and looking forward to the upcoming new year.

Here’s a slideshow videoΒ I made on FB of our Christmas Day brunch:

We had a lovely time with old and new friends along with their visitors. It was nice that a group of us staying in the desert could get together for good food, good laughs and good times. πŸ™‚

Boxing Day is not a thing for us Americans, other than recovery, but it is for the British influencers. Therefore, we made plans to have a nice quiet cook up at home. I finally got my home-made turkey and fixings in. It was a small consolation to having missed Thanksgiving.

We had Z and her mum over to share in our meal – everything was delicious with more fun and good times.

The 27th was a day of relaxing for the most part. We started out at the pool to enjoy the sun and while I had plans to try to do some writing, posting, etc. I ended up just reading my book. πŸ˜€

In the evening, we forced ourselves out of the house to go out to the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival just less than an hour’s drive from us. I had gone to its earlier version about four years ago when it was further out and not nearly as organized.

Some have said it is a little bit like a mini-version of Dubai’s Global Village, but as I have never been there, I cannot concur. However, there were areas for different countries around the world. Most were Arab countries or those with connections to the Arab world and trade; therefore, no need for the U.S. or U.K. presence. πŸ˜›

Each area had performances going on showing local dance and culture.

There were even fireworks around 8pm, which was a nice touch.

We tried to watch an Arabian Horse Show, but in usual desert-time fashion they either never showed it or delayed it by over an hour (which is how long we waited according to the published time…). It was fun and we were both glad that we got out to enjoy one of the few local cultural activities that happen here. It has been on for a month nearly and happens every year, so we can now say that we have done it.

So, this has been our little staycation activities over the Christmas holiday. We are slowly working our way into normal life again as the new year is not such a big deal to either of us. Still, no doubt that we will do something fun if we can, but in the meantime, we are working our way into routine and preparations for all the amazing things promising to come in 2017!

~T πŸ˜€

Dec 162016
 

Well, it has been three months now of my golf lessons with the AWN GolfΒ Clinics. I have only missed a few lessons, though one would not know it from my lack of progress… πŸ™

However, I am still enjoying it fully.

We have moved along together in our group and are now starting to practice on the course doing a group play method – play the next stroke from the closest/furthest ball in the group. So, we are all having a good time.

Still, I do believe I need to consider stepping up my practice time in order to properly improve. Therefore, a few of us are considering hitting one of the ‘easier’ courses in the city. If nothing else, it will be a great laugh! πŸ˜›

So, amidst my moments of ‘woes’ there are these blips of smiles and good times.

~T πŸ˜€

Dec 072016
 

Well, winter is definitely here. The past few days or even the past week has brought in the moisture with increased humidity and foggy mornings. As I write this now, my view is becoming greyer and greyer.

There are times when I think about my Oregon life and wonder why I do not live there. Then, days like this come along and while everyone else might be reveling in the change of weather or at least diversity of weather – I am not. I do not like the grey e-v-e-r. It does indeed greatly affect my mood and although there are many factors to my current frame of mind, this definitely does not help.

Yet, in a way I am glad that the weather reflects my mood because it gives me something tangible to relate to rather than just what is inside my head. Also, it helps to remind me that there are sunny skies to return just as I know that somehow life will return to its high again.

So, while my brain sings “…please don’t take my sunshine away…” my heart soars a little more than yesterday. I call that progress! πŸ˜›

~T πŸ˜€

Nov 162016
 

As I said yesterday, the weather has started to become amazing again. Now, we have about five months of perfect temperatures.

Our running group went a different direction around the Corniche this week toward the National Theatre. We got a couple of nice pics from that.

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National Theatre 2016

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View of Corniche corner from National Theatre 2016

Also, the other night I was driving back from a lesson and passed by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I pulled over to the side of the road and captured this.

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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque at night 2016

It is times like these that I truly appreciate where I live. It has been a trying six months and it does not seem to be getting easier – just yet. However, I am choosing to focus on the positives of life here and around me. In time, we will have our day! πŸ˜›

~T πŸ˜€

May 242016
 

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(thanks for the pic, J!)

Well, it is done. My time at the zoo is complete. Although I may have to make a couple of final trips out to campus, my responsibilities and work days are finished. It is surreal after seven and a half years to believe it is actually over.

When I arrived in 2009, I had grand plans of only staying for a year and then going on to rebuild the education system in another middle eastern country. It did not take me more than a year to realize that those lofty ideas were not going to actually happen. However, I have come to enjoy where I am and to appreciate the advantages this place offers. It was just time for me to move on from academia and English teaching.

So after 18 years of English teaching I am officially ending this chapter of my life. While I may still keep ties here and there or do some external work in the area of academia, I am 100% stepping into a world of sunshine and lightness which I hope to spread on to other people. πŸ˜€

With relief,

~T:D

May 192016
 

Well, decisions are being made and actions are being taken. By the end of the day we will have (hopefully) made our security deposit on an apartment here (same as this post):

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Although we had initially thought to get a 3-bedroom, there was a 2-bedroom that we decided would be smarter for us to take on; however, due to a delay in communicating, we ended up with a 3-bedroom after all! (gee darn! :P) So, pics on that space will come later.

Unfortunately, we cannot move in until early July. This is a bit of a pickle as we have to vacate our current place in early June. So, we will pack up everything, put our stuff into storage, board the kitties and then live it up in a hotel apartment for a month. It’s not ideal, but there are definitely far worse things to complain about! It also delays our summer holiday plans a bit, but the beauty is that I am no longer bound by any timelines, so it’s all good.

It is nice to be making some progress at last and to feel the excitement of a new chapter in my life about to begin. Chilling out soon to commence!

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~T πŸ˜€

 

Mar 112014
 

So…a couple of years ago I went with R to Abu Dhabi Gourmet. I guess I didn’t write about it, or at least couldn’t find it right away in a search….

Anyway, it was an expensive evening, but quite wonderful. So, I have been wanting to go again. Last year, we didn’t go because R couldn’t find anyone he was interested in experiencing their food with. However, this year I knew I was on my own.

I got a friend from work to go with me. We checked out a Korean-American chef. It was a smaller event and much cheaper, but tasty all the same! I’m so glad I got to try something from the event. Here are the pics! πŸ˜€

Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 18:56, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 2000
Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 18:56, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1250
Edward Kwon's special degustation dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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Edward Kwon's special degustation dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 18:56, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
 
Edward Kwon's special a la carte dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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Edward Kwon's special a la carte dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 18:56, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 640
2nd course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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2nd course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 19:38, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 800
3rd course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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3rd course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 19:49, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
 
4th course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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4th course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 20:01, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1250
5th course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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5th course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 20:10, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 800
6th course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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6th course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 20:30, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1250
 
7th course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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7th course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 20:43, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
8th course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro
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8th course of Edward Kwon's special dinner at Park Rotana's Teatro07-Feb-2014 20:53, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1000
 
Feb 052014
 

I knew that I was going to need some serious down time for just me after the move and everything. So, I booked a two-night stay at Anantara’s Qasr Al Sarab out in the South-Western region of Abu Dhabi.

As described, it is truly a desert resort. I loved it!

On the first night I booked a hammam treatment at their Anantara’s Spa. It was so nice and great to have fresh skin again. It felt as if I was cleaning away the past and making a fresh new beginning. πŸ™‚

Then, the second night, I booked a signature massage, which really helped to loosen up my tension. This was after a very hard day by the pool reading and relaxing. πŸ˜‰

So, overall, for just two-hours away, I felt as if it was a wonderful getaway without much stress of travel in getting there. It was definitely pricey, but I gotta say it was TOTALLY worth it. I may go back again for one night over a week in a few months. We shall see. I just don’t want to lose the great feeling I had.

Anyway, here are some photos:

Qasr Al Sarab (Feb 2-4, 2014)
 
Oct 142013
 

For some time I have been wanting to spend a day at this beautiful looking beach club. However, it’s a bit on the expensive side to get a sun lounger or a cabana for the day. Since I decided not to go anywhere during this holiday and had set aside just a bit of money to spend and enjoy the ‘staycation’, P and I decided to spend a day.

Here’re some of the photos –

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All-in-all, it was an extremely relaxing day and the weather was perfect! I’m hoping to make it there again soon! πŸ˜‰

-T πŸ˜€