My Uncle Steve and Auntie Sue told us that they never thought they would travel to the Middle East, however, once we put the offer out there that Abu Dhabi could be used as a stopover point for somewhere else they took us up on the offer. Starting their journey in Vancouver and spending a night in Toronto, they landed in Abu Dhabi on the evening of Sunday, August 31st, 2014. Uncle Steve was a little blown away when his glasses steamed up and the wall of heat hit him stepping out of the airport! We stayed up a little late catching up over wine and scotch as we hadn’t seen each other since Albania 3 years earlier.
I was able to take the next two days off of work to spend with our guests. On Monday, the 3 of us set out on a driving tour of Abu Dhabi. We drove by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque where I somehow bypassed security and drove up the VIP entrance. We then drove out to Yas Island passing by Rebecca’s office on the way. We stopped at Yas Marina and had a quick look around at the F1 track and Viceroy Hotel. From there, we drove to Saadiyat Island and stopped at the Manarat Al Saadiyat arts and culture centre. There were no exhibits open at the time, but we stayed for a nice lunch at Fanr Restaurant. Auntie Sue and I had a salad, but Uncle Steve was feeling adventurous and opted for the camel burger! After a drive down the Corniche, our last stop was the local grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner. That night, we prepared an Arabic themed meal at home that consisted of fried halloumi cheese, creamy lentil soup, tabbouleh salad, and roasted cauliflower with citrus tahini sauce accompanied by some Turkish wine we brought home from Istanbul.
The next morning, the 3 of us went to Rebecca and I’s favorite breakfast spot, Jones the Grocer. We had a look around the store after eating and I showed Auntie Sue the famous walk-in fromagerie which I do my best not to visit too often. We headed back home so Uncle Steve and Auntie Sue could get organized and packed for their trip. I dropped them off at the airport for their 14:50 flight to Sri Lanka where they would be spending the next 5 weeks. They would be staying two nights in Colombo before heading to the beach resort area of Galle to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. Congrats! They’ve since made their way around the southern coast then headed north along the eastern coast. When they travel, Uncle Steve and Auntie Sue love to get off the beaten path, try the local food, and get immersed in the culture. They’ll soon be in the Tamil capital of Jaffna before they head south to rendezvous with Rebecca and I in Anuradhapura on Sep 26th. We’ll be spending 10 days with them touring the cultural triangle and tea country before we all fly back to Abu Dhabi on October 7th. We can hardly wait!!!