While it can be said that Chris and I never took a formal ‘honeymoon’… we’ve found ourselves in some of the most beautiful places in the world. This photo is taken as the sun sets over the edge of an infinity pool, fading into the distance of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. Chris took me on an unbelievable vacation this past summer. Literally across the Emirates… breath taking views in between miles and miles of seemingly untouched desert! UAE was nothing like I imagined… I mean I knew it was going to have plenty of gorgeous scenery… I guess I just had no idea of the luxury!! These are just a few of my favorite memories and suggestions if you ever have the opportunity to visit! I can’t wait to go back in just a few months!! I’ll of course share more then!! At the end I’ll link some tips and products that were MUST have’s on my trip!
First I have to tell you the travel was NOT ideal… both there and back I was traveling for over 24 hours. I had a 6 hour layover in Zürich and the only thing that saved me was having lounge access. Free wi-fi, free food and free booze. If you don’t have lounge access through your airline or with maybe an AMEX or membership, I highly recommend joining various clubs or rewards programs that do. I had access to showers and washrooms where I did take advantage and freshen up, some even had areas to sleep. But regardless of how long I’d traveled, I would double it to see Chris. It was all worth it to spend this time with him and even if we hadn’t been able to explore these amazing places… I would have have traveled twice as long just to spend time with him.
Chris and a few friends arranged for us to have a gorgeous, giant sailboat all to ourselves for drinks, dinner and you know… hanging around! HA! They hoisted this rope apparatus over the side of the boat and raised it high…. looking at us like, let’s go! And even though I hesitated, I jumped at the opportunity to float over the corniche! I even dipped my toes in the warm crystal blue water… it was amazing. I can’t deny I was scared to death for a few minutes as I have a MAJOR fear of the ocean. But when you have opportunities to do something like this – TAKE THEM. That evening was amazing and the smile on Chris’ face when he went was something that I won’t ever forget. His smile always makes me melt but this one was memorable. Husband of the year award goes to….. Christopher!
Afterwards we walked the grounds of Emirates Palace which was the first royal palace until the new Prince of Abu Dhabi wanted a bigger one. So they made this palace the most luxurious hotel in the world. We giggled as we explored just in awe of the elaborate architecture. Imagine gold, marble and silk everywhere… ceilings so high it’s like they’re not even there! The ornate and unique paintings and sculptures that decorated the grounds were gorgeous. This palace was the home to the royal family of the richest country in the world and here we are, Chris and I, enjoying it. I told Chris I’d do anything to just stay one night there… the boys would love it too. The grounds and the pool were just as extravagant as the palace itself! Crossing my fingers we can make it happen!
Dubai is a MUST, of course. But I have to say what surprised me the most was the sheer size of the Burj Kalifah. It IS the tallest building in the world, I know. Seeing in person with your own eyes is NOTHING like seeing in a picture. Even here, the sun is setting behind it and you see these buildings that seem SO tiny. They’re not. I promise you they are going to remind you a lot of every major city you’ve ever been in. The Burj is just THAT big. I feel like I cannot emphasize this enough… even with all CAPS. It’s just huge. But even aside from the Burj Kalifah, take the time to explore and shop the Souk, really take it all in. The Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world and has ANYTHING shop, boutique or restaurant you can imagine. I was so overwhelmed at the amount of people and just all the shopping. This mall even has an indoor ski slope, year round… an aquarium… a giant waterfall. My mind was literally blown. SO much to take in.
SO many amazing memories from this trip. And yet I’m planning another trip, a longer one for the boys to come too. I could have never dreamed of the places we’ve traveled. We are so blessed to offer the experience that we have to the boys. Different countries, exposure to culture and experiences they will remember for the rest of their lives. I’m so thankful. Travel as much as you can…. remember we only have this one life to live… so LIVE it!
Before you go!
Now for the travel tips and must have products I was talking about! Which I feel like I need to preface with three things… 1: I’m a planner and 2: I’m a germaphobe 3: I HATE flying and basically cringe the entire time. No plane nappy nap for moi. So traveling especially on long trips to countries I’ve never been to before… I bring a large rolling duffle style carryon and pack it full of anything I might need. Basically I’m ready for anything…. I swear I could live out of that bag if I really needed too… HA!
In the Bag
• neck pillow // blanket (on sale)
• baby wipes
• a complete change of clothes (what if you get stuck without a bag)
• Clorox wipes and Lysol spray (yes they come in travel size!)
• mini-bottles (they’re an ounce… hellooooo TSA approved)
• battery pack (mine will charge my iPhone 5 full charges)
• compression socks (um, I don’t want my feet to swell!)
• a scarf (if you’ve never sat next on a plane that smells like a full on fart… you’re lucky!)
• lavender oil (mostly for above said mentioned stinky plane, but also to relax)
• and a small toiletry bag with a little make-up (and remover wipes), lotions, toothbrush and toothpaste, brush and ibuprofen/Benadryl.
To some this may seem like a lot for just me to travel… but it’s not. Of course this isn’t a complete list… somethings are just a given. But EVERYTHING on this list came in handy on this trip. And a little funny…. my bag did NOT have wheels. But I was so thankful I had anything and everything I needed… I didn’t mind lugging it around. It’s better to be safe than sorry for sure and I hate having to buy things I had at home when I could have just brought it. Hope it’s helpful!
If you’re flying international… make sure you check into the carry on restrictions for those countries too!! For example, Zürich only allowed one clear sandwich sized bag with liquids through security. It’s also good to find out ahead of time what the local time is going to be so you’re able to plan for that!
Now, ready, set – GO! Travel and see ALL there is to see!