After returning from the Maldives, Bec and I kick-started the festive season in Abu Dhabi. We got busy right away writing our Christmas letter and cards. We kept up with our tradition of cheese fondue with our friends Nadia and Rene at Brauhaus while the Swiss Christmas Market buzzed on around us.
We also tried to keep up with the fitness during the festive season. Bec ran a 5 km portion of the first annual ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon on December 7th. I, on the other hand, was saving my energy for the next day. My friend Spence and I had been crazy enough to sign up for the Dubai Tough Mudder. A quick summary: drive two hours into the desert, run through sand, mud, ice cold water, crawl, climb over A-frames, cargo nets, 30 ft. drops into water, and the grand finale of running through electrically charged wires. Both Spence and I got jolted to the point of collapse. I, however, was lucky enough to take it on the chest as opposed to the one Spence got on his face, but I’ll never forget watching him hit the mud. Sorry friend, too funny!
If any of you know Rebecca, you know she loves Christmas. Christmas carols, writing Christmas cards, Christmas decorations, Christmas tunes, Christmas baking, Christmas glasses, Christmas sweaters/jumpers, Christmas cocktails, Christmas shopping, advent calendars etc. The only thing missing was our tree. It was late. We had, again, confirmed our order of a Fraser fir tree from Quebec, but the shipment was delayed. We finally received the tree on the 11th, and let me tell you, Bec had it decorated the same day. There’s no need to let it defrost and let the branches fall for a day as there is Canada.
We also had the pleasure of cat-sitting a young male cat by the name of Baghira for a week. We had to cat-proof the house which meant hiding some of Bec’s more precious Christmas ornaments, but we really enjoyed the “almost wild/totally wild” nature of our feline roomy.
December 14th was also a tradition for us, our annual Christmas party. It was an open house after 5:00pm and the night flew by with 25 friends and colleagues. My favorite part was setting flame to a rum punch. We dimmed the lights, lit the over-proofed rum, and let the flames work on the clove-studded oranges. When it was time to douse the flames, I poured on some homemade apple cider. It was a hit, I do believe, and really got the party started.
On Christmas Eve, Bec and I stayed in and enjoyed a vegetable broth fondue with champagne. We dipped shrimp, scallop, sausage, wagyu beef and veggies for a few hours accompanied with some 80’s style dipping sauces. We took the 25th away from work – we opened our stockings on Christmas morning and joined our friends Laurie and Amanda at their home for an afternoon turkey dinner with all the fixings including Christmas pudding. We were, of course, missing our family back in Canada and were happy to later connect to see how their celebrations were unfolding.
Bec and I couldn’t resist attending the Mubadala World Tennis Championship as it was looking like Rafael Nadal would meet Novak Djokovic in the final on December 29th. When we woke that morning, we found out that Nadal had withdrawn from the semi final due to an injury. In the end, Bec and I saw a great match that saw Djokovic narrowly beat returning champion Kevin Anderson.
On New Year’s Eve, Bec and I reserved an outdoor table at Dai Pai Dong’s Yum Cha Brunch on Al Maryah Island. We enjoyed the dim sum and the atmosphere but we were totally oblivious to one of the most, if not the most, popular Arab singers performing just a stones throw away. Anyone familiar with Amr Diab? We left the island around 11:00pm and caught Abu Dhabi’s top-notch fireworks from the Corniche just a short walk from home.
Boom! That’s it. Thanks to everyone for following the blog and best of luck in 2019!