[Dubai Download: Part 2]

And the saga continues…

 

Day 5 

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Lisa and I decided to explore Bur (Old) Dubai. Since we were pros at taking the metro, obviously we did that, got turned around after getting off, but only for a minute, and started walking. We ended up stumbling into the Heritage House which used to be someone’s house that they actually lived in. There was also a resident artist type guy who worked with metal making jewelry, frameable art, and other stuff. He was really nice, and didn’t speak much English, but proceeded to write both my and Lisa’s names in Arabic calligraphy! Mine is currently framed in my living room.

When we left, after being given fairly specific instructions as to where we should go next, we just started wandering towards the water, where the souks (markets) started to pop up. Unfortunately they weren’t quite what I had built up in my head. I knew that Dubai was a relatively young city, but I still thought there might be some older things. I envisioned the souks to be these wooden tables with unorganized piles of stuff for me to sort through and find, kind of like a famer’s market. Not the case. Every vendor basically had its own store, air conditioned and all. The fabric souk looked like China Town in NYC where they have pashminas coming out of their ears; I’m pretty sure it was the same stock, too. I got a couple anyway since Seattle doesn’t really have a China Town like NYC does.

We left, and got to the water’s edge where we then had to take an abra across the Dubai creek. Lisa and I decided to make the most of it, and got ourselves a private abra ride down the creek and back. On the way down the creek there was no breeze, but on the way back it was the extreme opposite. The ride ended up costing a wee bit more than we had expected, but since neither of us wanted to go to jail…we paid. We soon found the spice souks where Lisa really wanted to buy some saffron for her sister. But again, it was a bunch of stores with the same stuff all lined up next to each other. The saffron wasn’t any cheaper than it would have been in the US, so we moved on to the gold souk. Here comes another NYC reference: You know that block or two in the city that are only stores that sell gold or diamonds or whatever? That’s what this gold souk looked like, except slightly less like NYC. Even the fake purse and sunglass hawkers were included. Needless to say we didn’t end up buying anything, and went back to Rae Ann’s.

We all decided it would be pretty awesome to go to the top of the tallest building in the world at night, so we did. Grabbed dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, which had unlimited Coke refills for Rae Ann, and then started to head over to the entrance to the Burj Khalifa tour. Uuuuuuuh…someone *cough cough Lisa* forgot the tickets back at the apartment so we drove back to get them, drove back to the mall, and managed to get to the very last tour minutes before it closed. Phew! And of course we got some sweet pics.

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Day 6

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Literally all we did Friday was have brunch, and dance. In Dubai, Friday is like Saturday, and brunch is a thing. It’s not quite like US brunch. Basically everywhere in the city has a brunch and they range in price. Our brunch was all you can eat and drink, for, like, 4 hours. There was a big group of us, a lot of people Rae Ann work with, so it was really nice. The food was actually pretty awesome also. Dessert was my fullest plate, obviously. After brunch was done we walked to the downstairs of the hotel and there was a pub-like place where there was plenty of dancing and more drinking. We actually stayed there for 5-6 hours even though Lisa and I were totally against it initially. Time flies when you’re watching drunk people get crunk at brunch.

 

 

Day 7

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I love the beach. I mean, it’s perfection. Sure there are flaws in some beaches, but if I have a place to sit my butt down, and another to to swim/float in, I’m easy to please. Kite Beach had both of those things, AND an awesome view of the Burj Al Arab where we were going to have tea later.

 
The first thing Lisa booked for us was this tea at the Burj Al Arab, the 7-star hotel. We bought our plane tickets, and the next day we were heading to tea. Saturday seemed like the perfect day to do it too since we left the next day. It served as our last hurrah. And boy was it worth the wait. The whole evening was pretty surreal. First you have to get past the guarded gate; you can’t even go into the hotel unless you’re staying there, or you have a reservation at any of their restaurants, AND you can only get there 30 minutes before your reservation. Our name was on the list, so we drove up, had the car complimentary valeted, and we walked in. You’re overwhelmed with opulence in every nook and cranny of the hotel. The escalator, which is flanked by a massive fish tank that’s actually larger than my apartment, takes you up as high as you can go unless you’re staying at the hotel, or you have reservations at a restaurant on a higher floor. We did not, and even though we hopped in the elevator to go up, since we didn’t have a key to a room, it just sat there, and we had to get out. Tea was simply amazing. Champagne, berry tart, finger sandwiches, vegetable wantons, sorbet palette cleanser, scones with clotted cream and jam, dessert, and tea. I mean, it was totally worth it. After our almost 3 hour service, we took a couple of pictures and waved goodbye at all the rich people actually staying there. It rained on the way home for all of 30 seconds.

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Lisa and I packed all our stuff up, and Rae Ann took us to the airport the next morning. The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime type of trip, and I’m so glad I got to experience it with one of my favorite people.

 

– S

 

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[Field of Floral Dreams]

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Peter and I drove up to La Conner for the Tulip Festival. I give him props for agreeing to do that, but I also think he likes taking long drives, plus we ate really good food. AND it’s not like I dragged him into any antique shops or anything…oh wait…

It was a gloriously sunny day across the western half of Washington. I’m sure you can relate to the feeling of the sun on your skin and face, even though your face is covered in skin, after a long, dreary winter. It’s like your whole body and soul is rejuvenated and reborn. That might be a slight exaggeration, but it’s a pretty good feeling regardless. We stopped at one of the many tulip fields and just walked around the rows and rows of yellow and red flowers basking in the sun.

If I haven’t told you already, then you should know, I’m a flower fiend. Between April and October you can almost always find fresh cut flowers or some other form of plant life in my apartment or office at work. They make everything better, and these fields of tulips in full bloom were no exception. I couldn’t go more than 30 seconds without smiling. Peter kept asking me what was up, and I just kept telling him I was happy. Happy to be there with him, happy to be surrounded by flowers, and happy the sun was out.

After that detour we headed into “downtown” La Conner, which is really just a “Main St.” There were a handful of shops, lots of food options, and a bountiful amount of sexy cars which kept Peter’s head turning every couple of feet. We walked up and down the streets for a while and then headed to a restaurant that Peter’s mom had suggested. If I can avoid veggie burgers at restaurants I usually do because 9 times out of 10 it’s a frozen patty that really isn’t that good. There was plenty for me to choose from, but something was telling me to get a veggie burger, so I did, with caramelized onions and Tillamook cheddar cheese. No joke, best veggie burger I have ever had in my entire life, including ones that I’ve made from scratch. It was crunchy on the outside and flavorful and soft on the inside, but it didn’t fall apart, which is the problem I had with the ones I’ve tried to make. Every bite made me close my eyes with pleasure. If I was turned on by food, this veggie burger wouldn’t have had to try very hard to get me to go home with it. I mean, seriously.

We left after my affair with the veggie burger and walked back to the car to head home. Besides the traffic we hit, it was a pretty flawless day. I’d be happy with a couple of days like that a year, but I’ve been lucky to have far more a couple so far this year. 2014 is shaping up to be pretty amazing.

 

– S

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[Spring Always Brings New Things]

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You know how I met Mr. Sullivan’s family last weekend? Well, the reason it’s taken me almost a full week to update you isn’t because it didn’t go well; work has been a little nuts this week with some unexpected surprises. But back to The Sullivans.

For starters, I’m practically a midget compared to all of them. Peter’s mom is the shortest at 5’10”, so, yeah. I think I have a big enough personality to make up in the height department, though. Obviously I was a little nervous, I mean, it’s not everyday that you meet your boyfriend’s family, and there are a lot of them: 4 brothers and a sister, plus his parents. I’ve got all the names down and general descriptions of what they do, so I think I’m in a pretty good spot.

Anyway, dinner was lovely and I had so much fun getting to know his family. Their dynamic is kind of amazing, and it’s not something that you run into often. I was definitely reminded of the way that I am with my family, and somehow that made me feel more comfortable and actually less like I wasn’t in on an inside joke. When it was time to go I didn’t really want to leave. I’m excited to get to know them all better, and let them see who I am.

Work, however, was not as easy this week. Without getting into too many details, I’ve been splitting my time between two totally different projects. Project A has been a consistent thing since October, but it’s not really what I had in mind for my future work aspirations. Project B is an up and coming thing that revved up only a month or two ago, but it’s something I would love to do more with. Sorta vague, I know. Sorry. But the good news is that my wish came true, albeit rather abruptly, and I’ll no longer be working on Project A, as of today, at all!

Also, I took an Intro to Yoga workshop last Saturday which inspired me to give yoga the good ‘ol college try. So, I’m taking my very first, actual, hot yoga class tomorrow morning. It helps that someone from work is doing it too; forces me to be a touch more accountable. (I’m currently pounding a Nalgene bottle of water so I don’t die.)

And on that note, I’m off to bed. Here’s a little something I found and felt like sharing: It’s a song, listen to it.

 

– S

 

ALSO, my trip to Dubai is in 3 weeks O_O ohmygod am I excited.

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[Togetherness]

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Before I start writing this post I just want to say that I don’t want this to turn into a relationship based blog. I feel like lately that’s what it has become, and it’s hard because it is part of my life, and right now it’s the part that I’m the happiest in. With that said, I’m going to talk about my relationship now. #sorryimnotsorry

Mr. Sullivan and I had a lovely date night this past Wednesday. We met up on the east side after work, got massages and grabbed dinner. We talked about serious life stuff, made fun of the bridal party sitting near us and the fact that our server looked like a more manly version of Eli Manning, and simply enjoyed each other’s company. I always have a good time with him, even if we’re just sitting with each other doing our own thing. It’s like, real life.

 

– S

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[Dreamworld]

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I feel like such a sap saying this, but, I’m super happy. Probably the happiest I’ve ever been while in a relationship, and a lot, practically all of it, has to do with the man I’m in this relationship with. He’s thoughtful, caring, funny, driven, handsome, and so much more.

I’ve never had a good Valentine’s day and after talking about it in passing, he took it upon himself to make the entire weekend one that I will never forget. We went to dinner Friday night, and even though my salad was filled with a massive amount of unwanted bacon, we got dessert for free! We ended the night by watching one very shocking episode of House of Cards.

We rose early, and were on the road by 8am. (I managed to get ready and pack everything up in under an hour. *Pats self on back*) We stopped at one of the many roadside coffee huts, drove through Stevens Pass, which was beautiful, and ended up in Leavenworth, WA. We walked around the pseudo German town as the snow started to fall. Lunch was delicious, we hit the road again and arrived at our final destination of Coeur d’Alene, ID 4 hours later.

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The silences weren’t awkward, the views were lovely, and I couldn’t imagine taking that trip with anyone else. Thank you for being mine, Mr. Sullivan.

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– S

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[Just a Little Update]

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I don’t really have a ton to say, or update you on, but I took some pictures that I’d kinda like to share, and I’ll put some captions on each picture so you feel like you know what’s going on. Yeah? Ok.

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All of the fire extinguishers in the building were checked this day and since the inspection happened in the morning, everyone put their extinguishers outside of their doors. Not really sure why, but it made me giggle.

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Went to grab a drink with my man, his bandmates, and their girlfriends at Cafe Racer. It was low key, and kind of nice to get to know them a little bit more.

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I bought flowers and managed to create 3 different arrangements out of them. There’s something about flowers that just make me so happy, plus this little guy sitting right in my entry way is kind of perfect. I actually bought more flowers yesterday just so I could bring them into work. It’s an addiction I’m totally ok with.

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I gave myself a manicure, and felt like a hand model. So, I took pictures of my hand.

– S

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[I’ve Gots the Travel Bug]

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First non-365 post after a whopping 1 day off, but I have big news totally worth sharing…

 

I’m going to Dubai in April!

 

My friend Lisa texted me on Friday and asked if I wanted to go with her. I said I’d think about it over the weekend, but as soon as she asked me I knew I was going to make the trip happen. I mean, when else am I going to go to Dubai? So, we bought our tickets today and I literally did a dance in my office when I was done. I’m just glad the blinds close.

 

– Stephanie

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[356] Sick Day

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There are a shit-ton of people at work who have been sick, and passing their sickness around. Unfortunately, I caught some strain of that sickness and decided to stay home. There wasn’t anything pressing at work, so that made my decision a whole lot easier. I stayed in bed until almost noon, and then walked down the street to get some pho with the boy, who happened to have a meeting later not that far away from my place. I put enough sriracha in my pho to clear out the entire contents of my head, except my brain. When I got back to my apartment, I hopped back into bed and slept on and off until 5pm.

The only reason I got out of bed was to shower, go have dinner made for me, to watch A River Runs Through It, and to get some cuddling in. Nothing like some quality time with someone that make you happy to cure a head cold.

 

– Stephanie

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[350] Old in a Good Way

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After an exhausting day at work, just kidding, it felt good to just go home and relax a little bit. I managed to catch the sunset light in my apartment which always brings a smile to my soul. My boyfriend came over after his band practice, he has a show tomorrow at Rendezvous in Belltown, and we went and grabbed some pho, which I hadn’t experienced in Seattle yet. It was an easy, mellow night, and even though I got into bed before 11, I couldn’t have been happier.

 

– Stephanie

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