Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our Valentine Weekend

Because V-day landed on a Sunday, which is the first work day of the week here, hubby & I decided to just celebrate a little earlier.

It was our first out of town here in the UAE with a baby in tow. Since we had practice when we went to Tagaytay last December, we thought this time, it will be much easier for us. And it was! Dade was super cooperative so our trip was a breeze.

We checked in a Khatt Springs Hotel & Spa in Ras Al Khaimah, a small hotel located at the foot of the Hajjar Mountains. It’s about 100 kilometers north of Dubai, and an hour and a half drive with no traffic.

Going there, we drove past these:

camels crossing a roundabout

a date farm

After we checked in and dropped our stuff, we trooped to Khatt Spring’s sister property, Al Hamra Fort Hotel & Beach Resort, which was about half an hour drive back to the city.

A fellow kabayan took this shot of us three:
the de Gracias

It was Dade’s first time to the beach, and he did seem to enjoy the fresh air.
first time to the beach as a family

We had early dinner at the Al Hamra Mall (also owned by the same hotel chain), and walked around a bit. We also bought some snacks at Spinney’s and dilly dallied to enjoy our time. I even FB’d while waiting for our food because we had so much time to spare, and that’s when I found out that our w@w couple friends, Emtee & Rico were also checked-in at the hotel (and even staying in the same floor as ours!). So we planned on meeting up first before turning down for the night. But when it was time to head back to Khatt Springs, alas, our car wouldn’t start!  What an impeccable timing for Yumi’s battery to get drained!

So there we were, at 7:15 pm looking for a kind soul to jumpstart our car. Dear hubby wanted to just leave the car, and suggested that maybe we can ask our friends to drop us off there the next day instead of us waiting in the biting cold.  Stubborn me wanted to exhaust all resources possible before giving up, so I called our insurance’s 24-hour hotline, and also sought help from strangers when I learned that they can only tow the car.  Until finally, a local gentleman whom I approached promised to help, and sent his friend Adil to jumpstart our car. Unfortunately, because our car’s battery was super drained, Adil’s Land Cruiser could not resuscitate the battery to life. He offered to take Ryan to the petrol stations to look for a replacement, but none of the shops sell car batteries. In the end, we left Yumi all by itself, and took a taxi to get back to the hotel. Before leaving, I talked to the mall security about our situation, and asked them not to have our car towed as we will be back the following day. I left a note on our windshield just to be sure.

That day was truly an adventure! Would you believe that we almost got lost on the way back to our hotel because the taxi driver turned left instead of going straight in one of the roundabouts about 2 kilometers away from Khatt Springs? Good thing I remembered that we were supposed to go straight and insisted that we head back and take the road I know. He was arguing that he knew where it is, and it’s just a different route. Sorry but my instincts told me otherwise, and so we made a u-turn and he followed my directions. In less than 15 minutes, we made it to our destination. That was half past 10:00 pm.

We said a quick hello to our friends, who generously agreed to help us find a car battery & take us back to the mall to pick up Yumi. A little later, we headed to our room to retire.

The next morning, we had our buffet breakfast at La Palmeraie. Dade and I changed into our swimwear after brekkie so we could try the hot springs and take a dip into the pool. I regretted taking the steps to go down the hot springs area though because it was too steep, and my legs weren’t ready for the 50-ish steps.

Dade didn’t like the warm water of the springs on his feet so we quickly moved back to the hotel via their shuttle. He enjoyed his time in the pool though. He floated instinctively, and before I knew it, he was kicking his legs like a swimming frog! What a funny sight! 

first swimming pool experience

We checked out at 1:00 pm and hitched a ride with our friends who helped us find a car battery and install it, too. Lunch was at Nando’s at Safeer Mall before we picked up our dear car.

So yes, that was how we spent our V-day weekend. Despite the car trouble, it all went pretty well. We thank God for sending our way a kind stranger and a good pair of friends during our trip.

How about you, how was your Valentine’s Day?


Jacqui Co-Soriano said...

oh wow, dade can now go swimming!! few more months, think migo can go na din. can't wait! :)

Eper said...

We haven't attempted a family vacation but we plan to do so this Holy Week. But instead of going out of town, we might opt for a simple stay at a nearby hotel. I don't know how it will turn out but I'm crossing my fingers :)

Gracie said...

hi Jacqui,
yep, enjoy na enjoy ang bata - nakakatuwa! for sure Migo can go swimming na rin this summer. sunblock lang to keep his skin protected.

Gracie said...

hi Eper,
i'm pretty sure you & hubby will be able to manage Quino. it will be fun for the little one, trust me, especially the swimming part :)