DuBirthday and Bye Dubai!

February 3, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I am sorry for not publishing a post yesterday, please know that it is because I had a great birthday evening, much better than expected. Yesterday morning, I slept until 9am and then worked from my room for a few hours. After that, it was time to do something fun. All I wanted to do on my birthday was have a nice sweaty workout, and luckily I was able to do just that. I’ve joined a gym in Boston, and really crave working out now. It was a little more complicated because my hotel does not have a work out facility.

One thing that was crazy about yesterday was that it was raining all day! one of the taxi drivers told me that it only rains three or four days out of the year so it’s very special. In search of a workout, I headed over to the Westin resort because I really like Westin hotels and they smell fantastic. I also assumed they would have a nice gym because they usually do. I got a golf cart ride over to the health club (it’s a big resort). They are only supposed to do that for guests but I put on my best attitude and acted very important. I always thank my bubbie for teaching me that so thanks bubbie.

The gym was phenomenal. I asked to speak with the membership consultant and gave my business card and spoke to him for a while about the different membership options for expats who might like to join for a year or so. Thats my job anyway. The guy Theo was so nice and turns out he is from Stellenbosch right next to Cape Town! I was there one year ago if you remember from my blog. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. We discussed that for a bit and it turns out he grew up on a wine farm. Ahhhh. After that conversation, I asked to try it the gym to have a workout or could I possibly buy a day pass.

“Please show ms Benjamin to the locker room!” Yes. I got my own locker to lock, and got to work out in the beautiful gym. I stayed there for a few hours and one of the trainers even helped me to use one of the cool kinetics machine. Didn’t cost me a dime!! After the workout, I took a glorious shower in the locker room, and even better, i was the only one in there. I got to use the luxurious shampoo and stuff, and they even had facial toner and moisturizer.

After that, I got the golf cart to take me back to the main hotel because it as time for lunch. The driver and I chatted and I told him it was my birthday and he asked if I was 21 or 22. yay!! Because it was a special day, he took me all over the resort and out to the marina to see all the fancy yachts.

By that time it was time for lunch. I went to a Caucasian restaurant (that’s food from the Caucasus region.) All the chefs were from Azerbaijan which was pretty cool I thought and I had a nice salad with marinated tomatoes and dill in it and then a great pilaf with dried fruits and lamb. After lunch I walked around a little and headed back to the hotel.

Now it gets totally crazy. I had a reservation a the Burj al Arab hotel for drinks and dinner. Is supposed to be the most luxurious hotel in the world. Its that building that looks like s sailboat out on the water. it kind of looks like something from men in black to be honest. I also found it pretty cheesy, but a great experience. I explored the hotel a little and then went up to the sky view bar where they wished me a very happy birthday and gave my a card and a rose from my parents and siblings. Thank you mom, dad, Eddie, and Mel! They also have me a fantastic table looking out towards the Burj Kalifa. So special.

There were two men sitting next to me and they invited me to join them. They are George and Omar and are (seemingly pretty big deal) bankers and told me they were from Lebanon and Palestine, respectively. I tell people I’m from Canada and this was no exception. We hung out for a while and they took care of my cocktail and shared their champagne, which was really amazing. They ordered another bottle, and we shared that too. One thing that was weird was that they didn’t seem to care one bit about my job or what I did. It’s just that usually people are extremely interested in the job.

They invited me to dinner with them, they were going to Nobu for sushi and come celebrate my birthday with friends. I declined because I thought that was a little weird but then their friend Victoria joined us. Victoria is from france and super nice and beautiful and a big personality and immediately we got along great. She is also more like my age while the men were a little older and we immediately started to enjoy each others company. she works in the art world, helping people to improve their private art collections. That’s how she met these guys. Because they are art collectors, of course.

So, I decided to live a little and join them for sushi! We took a private car to the palm islands and sat down at Nobu. Immediately the men ordered everything. Including a fancy bottle of sake and a fancy bottle of white wine. Pretty crazy. We started to get our food, and if we seemed to like something, they would ask the waiter to bring one more of those! It was quite a feast. We ate and drank until one in the morning. I couldn’t believe how extravagant it was! But it was totally awesome.

It seemed that one of the men might have wanted to spend a little more time with me, but I was uncomfortable with that. I thanked him so much for an amazing bday celebration, and everyone was happy because we all had fun. I shared a taxi with Victoria back to my hotel and went to sleep very soon after and that’s why I didn’t write yesterday.

I woke up this morning in … Not the best shape. I had a meeting at 930, (Sunday is a work day here, like a Monday) so I downed a red bull and a banana and had a long and very successful meeting. After the meeting, I went back to my room and slept some more, and then finished up my work here.

Now, I’m sitting at the lounge at the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa. It’s the highest bar in the world! So cool. It’s dark now but I got to watch the sunset from this high up. Im going to drink an “orient express martini” and in a bit, I will head downstairs for some tasty indian food.

Dubai has been totally awesome and I look forward to heading to Abu Dhabi tomorrow.

Love, Annie


2 Responses to “DuBirthday and Bye Dubai!”

  1. Bubbie marlene Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful birthday, one to remember. 143

  2. Ronna Says:

    OH MY what an adventure! Sounds like so much fun but honestly, I am glad you told me about it after it was over! I would have been a nervous wreck!!!!

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