Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 2010

My brother Greg and his long time fiance (like 8 years long) got married on Nov. 12, 2010 in Punta Cana, DR. Our whole family and Bridget's whole family flew down (we had a group of 26 people). It was a beautiful wedding and very special for our family since we haven't all been together for many years now (maybe now I can finally get out of therapy? ha ha jk) I hung out mostly with my cousin Carla and her daughter Mackenzie. We swam, hit the pools and beaches (the waves were ridiculous because of Hurricane Tomas that had just passed through a day before we got there), wave jumping was sooo much fun, you would be standing about 30 feet from shore and a wave would come and the next thing you knew, you were washed up on the sand... We also did an excursion, we took a boat out into the ocean, went snorkelling (not a fan because of the waves - couldn't see anything and it took me 20 mins to swim back to the boat because it was so rough and they made us wear stupid life jackets). Anyway, resorts are not my idea of a vacation but I had fun none the less... I don't think I could ever do a cruise either.. just based on the experience from the resort... so boring after the first two days! Maybe I'm bitter because I don't tan so there's no point of me sitting in the sun! Here are some high lights!

Paris, France - November 2010

Ahhhh Paris (pronounced Pair-eeee|) - J'adore Paris!!!!! We only had a one day stop over on our way to my brother's wedding in Dominican Republic. It was rainy and chilly (I actually enjoyed the weather, it was a nice change from Dubai but terrible for my camera) but the city..... incredible. I could seriously live there for years and never fully absorb everything. The history, the culture, the vibe, the people..... the FOOD. Oh my gosh... the food... AMAZING. Everything tastes good, even if it's crap, it's still amazing. My favourite parts of course were the Eiffel Tower and especially the Arc de Triomph. I also ate at this trendy cafe called "The Yuppie Cafe" stands for Young Urban Professional People... it was so cool.... Here are the pics!!! I will go back one day! Preferably in the summer!

Ireland 2010

I'm too lazy to go through each picture and explain but let me say, The Irish countryside is BEAUTIFUL. Kilkenny was BEAUTIFUL. Dublin....... well let's just say, not my cup of tea. Still, it was good to see nonetheless! And they had Tim Hortons there so it wasn't tooo bad. I went for my friend Lisa's wedding. Lisa and I were roommates in Toronto and she moved to Ireland a year before I moved to Dubai, and met an irishman and now she's living in a tiny town outside of Kilkenny (which is so adorable and so quaint, it's like an Irish Starshallow) Our mutual friend Adam and his girlfriend Cat (also fellow Canadians who now live in Glasgow) came over the event. It was the BEST TIME EVER. We laughed so much and just everything flowed. It was so refreshing.

Holland 2010

Oh Holland... land that I love!!!! (My second favourite country, next to Canada of course!) I could live in the Netherlands for sure. The dutch are family oriented, fun and tolerant people. Their history goes sooooo far back and they have many things they have seen and built and memorialized. The history and culture in Amsterdam is....... beyond amazing. The dutch have a soft spot for Canadians, as we were the ones who liberated them in WW2. This was my second trip (my darling friend Nicole and her family were along for the trip this time - they have family in rotterdam so it was cool to go there) and definitely won't be my last. Below are the pics, I could post millions but here are just a few!

Dutch Architecture

Bicycles! They are everywhere, the dutch ride their bikes with their babies and kids in tow (I've seen at least 4 people on a bike, 3 kids in the back, one mom driving it and a baby in the front basket - it's crazy) and they don't stop for pedestrians so it takes you a few days to get used to looking for bikes before you cross the street!

Anne Frank House. I didn't see it the first time I went because the line was atrocious but this time I knew better and went early in the morning and only ended up waiting about 10 mins. It was cool to be in the actual place where the diary was written and they have done an excellent job of preserving it. The steps up to the annex are really steep... like almost like you're climbing a ladder. Most of Anne's scrapbook pictures (the ones she posted of movie stars from magazines) are still plastered to the wall and probably the neatest thing to see was Mrs. Frank's etchings on the wall, marking each child's height and how they much they grew over the years. The diaries are also there (under glass of course) and the museum is reallly well done, there are videos of people who knew Anne and her family, speaking after the holocaust (1960's each) and each room is narrated.

Canals! They are loveliest at night time when they are all lit up and sparkling.... The best thing is to get the hop on-hop off canal boat and cruise the canals for hours and just relax.... the guides also give you great insider info (depending on who you get)

Old Skoo' Windmills!

Famous Delft Pottery. I bought a Christmas ornament and Nic bough two vases.

Madurodam, a miniature village outside of Amsterdam, showing all the most important buildings and scenes in Holland but at 1/8th the size (or something like that) Here is a liberation parade!! GO CANADA!

Dutch Countryside, just add some tulips and you've got The Best Two Years!

An amsterdam alleyway and a vespa (aka when I move to Europe, my first purchase!!! love them!)

Amman, Jordan - April 2010

In April, Farrah and I travelled to Amman, Jordan for our friend's sister's wedding. That's the way it works in Arab culture, if your sister (or brother, cousin, extended family member) is getting married you invite all of your friends to attend. The wedding was at the Four Seasons and was probably the classiest wedding I've ever been to. Every detail was taken care and every thing was PERFECT. It really was more like a performance than a wedding. They had lighting and one of those cameras that is on a long arm that can zoom up and down and pan the room (like in a tv studio). It was really nice, plus their family was sooooooooooooooooooo sweet and so kind. Below are pictures of the wedding and also some of the sights in Jordan. We went to the Dead Sea and it was amazing. You really do float! There is no dunking yourself under, the sea catapults you right back up (trust me, I tried, because I failed to read the rules that you should avoid going underwater, because the water is so saturated by salt that it can cause damage to your eyes, I decided to dunk myself under and the ocean kicked my ass out... in retrospect it was pretty funny but i had to stand in the ocean, while my friend went to shore and brought me a towel and a bottle of water to wash my eyes out...) We also went to Mount Nebo, the place where Moses was shown the promised land. We drove allllllll the way to the baptismal site of Jesus but I was disgusted by the tourist attraction they turned it into and the men who ran it were total pervs (actually, most of the men in jordan are total pervs unless you're wearing the hijab) Anyway, pics below!