When in the middle east...

I just don't know how to post about the trip.

Hundreds of photos, so many stories, and things that just feel like my explanation will never do them justice. Hence the reason it's taken a few days to get something up...

So instead of having some sort of perfectionist mentality about this...I'm just going to throw up some of my favorite pictures, in no particular order and hope I hit the highlights.

First off...our wonderful hosts!
Clive! Also known as Clivers, Clive-Bajive, Bajivers, and baby Dive (as dubbed by Miles). How amazing to spend 12 days getting to know my nephew. He's super sweet, and as you can see, has a great smile!

Betsy and Ryan! These two did such an amazing job planning our side trip to the UAE and making sure we hit all the hot spots of Doha. Ryan especially went to a lot of work handling annoying situations that arise when traveling in the middle east. Thanks so much you guys!

Clive with the honey store owner in Souq Wakif (souqs are the more traditional marketplaces). This guy was feeding Clive honey straight out of that container you see.

Mom and I trying to navigate the vegetable souq and get what Betsy needed. Not the most comfortable situation I've been in...

Souq Wakif also has a lot of pets you can purchase. Yes, that's right these are dyed baby chicks. How do they dye them you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. Betsy and I thought maybe similar to how one dyes an Easter egg? Ah, the quirks of other countries...love it!

Speaking of quirks...why that monster-looking animal is in the tree I'll never know. Why one of the hidden gems of Doha is a Thai restaurant that only has a sign outside reading "Thai Massage"? I don't know that either. But one thing's for sure...you can eat really good Thai food and then apparently head in for a massage. Why not?
Another fun drink/smoothie creation at a cafe in the souq. Mango smoothie on bottom, strawberry sauce in the middle, coconut milk on top. Yum.
Sister time...honestly my favorite part of the trip. Everything we did was made ten time better because I got to hang out with Betsy. Only with a sister can you be together for that long and not really run out of things to talk about nor get sick of each other. Well, I didn't get sick of her at least. :)
Love you B! And my henna is staying surprisingly well! Believe it or not, my fingers are starting to fade, but my arms are still what they were in the UAE...odd.

This is where pictures will never do the Liwa desert justice. We stayed in what is known as the 'Empty Quarter' of the United Arab Emirates a couple hours outside of Abu Dhabi.
This was a shot from standing on a crest of a dune we climbed. There is said to be 7 colors of sand in the UAE, representing the 7 Emirates.
So amazing to experience a part of God's creation that is unlike anything I've seen before.
And there was Emily...sitting on her camel. (said in British accent)
Dad, mom, Betsy (photo taken by one of our "adventure guides"). After reading the book Arabian Sands, which is about the Beduin people who were nomads in the Empty Quarter and at times only stayed alive because of their camels, my dad was very stoked about being in that same desert on a camel. They are quite the fascinating animals!
Entrance to Qasr al Sarab, where we stayed in the desert.  It's literally the only thing there besides the nearby construction camps that were built in order to build the resort. Basically a huge sand castle plopped in the middle of huge, rolling sand dunes. It's only been in operation for 18 months.
Spent a lot of time here, swimming and soaking in the sunny, 80 degree weather.
Dad and I trying the various desserts. My favorite was the cool spoon on my plate that had a small serving of Creme Brulee. Mom shoved over that parfait to make the picture cooler, I'm not that much of a pig. :)

Before dinner on our final night in the desert. What a great crew to spend the trip with!
  I'm so thankful to have been able to visit my sister and her family and experience this crazy cool part of the world! Hopefully not the last trip over there! I can honestly say any expectations I had were either met or totally exceeded! And surprisingly, I had fairly high expectations...


Sara Huber said...

I love every picture...totally amazing! There's some pretty good photography going on here too!

So I'll have to hear the story behing the vegetable souq piture...you are looking away as if slightly embarrassed, not wanting to make eye contact and Mom has a fake smile on her face. Probably a good story. :)

leah said...

oh wow. this is great em, thanks for giving us a glimpse into your trip. those desert pictures are incredible...wow, wow, wow!! :)

glad you set your expectations high--it's more fun that way! love you!

Joy said...

Amazing pictures! What a great, fun exciting trip. Sisters are the best, aren't they:)

Linda said...

Great review Em! Hope your getting more cleaning done than I am...I need to get busy!

Klint & Sarah said...

Loved this post!

Those pics of the desert are AMAZING!!

So glad you enjoyed!

Daveana said...

Oh my Oh my Oh My! Your pictures look A-Mazing. I've never wanted to visit the desert more than I do now! It looks super amazing! (can I just say it looks a-mazing one more time?) Oh Wow! Can't wait to hear more about your crazy experiences!

Betsy said...

So glad your henna is staying so well!! Mine is virtually gone, only my fingernails are brown. You must moisturize!!! :)

Laura said...

What great pictures!! It is so hard to even believe some of them are real! I was thinking the same thing as Sar on the vegetable souq pictures:)

Sandra said...

Awesome Awesome pictures. You rode a camel...how fun is that?
The desert pictures are amazing.
And I will agree...no better people to spend several days with than family...especially sisters:)
Thanks for the great post.

Tricky said...

Wow! It looks like you had an amazing time!! I thought deserts like that only existed in Alladin! How beautiful! Lucky you got to experience this!

leah said...

tricky, don't you mean 'Adalin'? oh wait...that must have been someone else...