After missing one connection in London, they were able to get in around three in the morning. Having seen some of the travelers stranded for at Heathrow this past week, I can't help but feel that we dodged
a bullet there.
On Thursday night we all went to see Tangled at the theatre around the corner. It was a great film, as good as anything Disney's done even if it was in 3D (if that novelty doesn't wear off soon, my days as a patron of over priced theaters are numbered). I felt a little bad because I was kind of hoping that our first night out together would be a unique cultural experience. Little did I realize that
a full theater on a Thursday night qualifies as a cultural experience. It's hard to describe, but if I could use one word it would be 'heightened.' The talking was louder, the gasps from the audience were fuller, and the reactions bigger. Even the use of cell phones was one a much grander scale.
Friday was church and its accompanying echo. It was also the day where Mike learned about how we dry our clothes in this part of the world. It's a full day affair.
On Saturday, we took the big bus tour of Abu Dhabi. It was a great way to see the city and the accompanying narration filled in a few of the gaps in my knowledge of the city and the region. The highlight was definitely the little Bedouin village at the end. How can you beat the experience of watch James cling for dear life to the hump of a camel?
In the final couple of days with us, the crew went without me to tour the Grand Mosque. Mom said she felt like it was a privilege to be able to go through that building. Sunday night, I was trounced by my mother at Scrabble (I have since been practicing). Monday, everyone went without (again) to see what an eleven million dollar Christmas tree looks like. I guess it looks like most other fake massive Christmas only with solid gold watches and diamond necklaces hanging from its boughs.
For our last night together, Mom and Mike took us to Benihanas for the food and the show. For nearly the first hour we were the only ones in the restaurant. We were the center of the staff's attention which meant our glasses were never empty. It was a little unsettling to watch as strangers met every need of my children--from engineering manageable chopsticks to supplying festive headgear. My children wanted for nothing. The sight brought out more than a few of my insecurities as a parent. The food was great and the company was even better. Grandma and Grandpa definitely went out on a high note.