The summer of 2010.

The summer of 2010 was a big year for us. Our daughter passed another milestone by completing her secondary school education. After the summer break, it’ll be a new beginning for her, starting high school, making new friends and adjusting to the new curriculum and school. In the next two years, she’ll officially become an adult and start university. The years has passed so quickly, and it’s unbelievable. So we decided to take a longer holiday, to celebrate the new milestone and enjoy before life becomes hectic again. Our travel itinerary made in a way that we stop over in Dubai for two nights, and the fly to England, Ireland and back home.

It was our first long holiday and an expensive one, when compared to our previous vacations.  Our first stop, Dubai, the “shopping capital of Middle East,” with the world’s largest shopping mall. We had zero interest in going to malls and shopping, even if a ‘must visit’ mall exists in Dubai. So we decided to stay away from shopping malls. Instead, we spend a very active, full day in Wadi Wadi Water Park at Atlantis. The next day,  we had a late afternoon tour in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. It was a thrilling experience. Apparently, the desert safari tour is “all about dune bashing.” For me, it was like, going on a roller coaster. Everyone on board was screaming and laughing during the ride. My stomach was churning, and I was worried that I might throw up inside the vehicle. Luckily, the madness ended, just before I was ready to throw up. I managed to get out of the vehicle and empty my stomach, on a very golden brown desert soil. By then, it was nearing to sunset, and the group of people in our jeep were keen to start the walk to the highest point and not miss the spectacular desert sunset. After emptying my stomach, I quickly followed everyone. Once the sun went down, we headed to the camp where we were supposed to have dinner. The desert tour was inclusive of a dinner in a Bedouin camp.  We enjoyed the Middle-Eastern cuisines along with smoking Shisha; or Arabic hubbly, bubbly pipe. During dinner, a lady, definitely not an Emirati woman, performed belly dance items for entertainment. In a corner near the dining area, someone did the henna tattoo for those who liked to get one.