Tuesday, March 25, 2008

we made it

just a quick note to say we made it here to Dubai. (I wrote this last week and never finished it because I wanted to upload photos- I finally hooked up my computer and uploaded a few photos and now I have a whole other week of living here to report, but here is the old post- with pictures for those of you who don't like to read). 
total travel time: 26 hours (includes driving to/ from airports, layovers, waiting for bags etc.)
good points during that time: most of it was good. The kids were great on the plane rides (few moments of crankiness for Ivy), frustration for Asher when we had to stay buckled but were sitting on the tarmack for a good 30-45 minutes before take-off and he was hungry and the food was in the overhead bin. he survived. flying business class on Emirates airlines was wonderful. I could have stayed on that plane for a few more hours.
bad points during that travel time: "bad" is an understatement in reference to Asher's behavior getting off the airplane in Dubai. He was bad when we arrived in New York because he fell asleep 30 minutes before landing and wanted to keep sleeping. He didn't want to walk even a few steps and the Delta workers were less than helpful in offering ANY assistance. However, his actions in Dubai were even worse. I'm still re-playing the incident in my head and wondering what happened to my sweet boy as well as planning and devising ways of handling future "incidents". I don't want to talk about it anymore- too painful. It was worse than bad.

our days so far:
Thursday: arrived late to the apartment and tried to sleep

Friday: woke early with the kids, went to church (yes, church is on Friday), met lots of cool people, tons of young families(10 kids Asher's age in his primary class- mostly boys) heard multiple accents (Australian, South African, Canadian, American, British), fell asleep on the drive home from church, and went over to "Easter dinner" at one of the American families houses. Because of our naps we arrived just as most guests were leaving, but we enjoyed the food, and the ham which we will have difficulty finding again if we have any cravings (Muslims don't eat pork therefor it's difficult to find and expensive to purchase)
Saturday: John's 2nd day of the weekend, unfortunately we spent most of the day sleeping or wishing we were sleeping.
Sunday: John was back at work. Similar day to Saturday (ie sleep) although I did take the kids outside to swim and play on the playground for a few hours. Asher wanted to swim longer, but Ivy was close to exhaustion.
Monday: woke up early again (we've been doing too much of that and then taking long afternoon naps), played around with the kids in the apartment, John came home early and went with Asher to the US consolate to get my visa, then we went as a family to the Mall of the Emirates to do some grocery shopping and exchange one of my birthday presents. The kids finally went to bed on time and I'm hoping they are closer to being adjusted, although I'm awake in the middle of the night writing this because I woke up to Ivy crying and I can't fall back asleep.

Tuesday:  still woke up way too early but we were on time to see the morning showing of Horton with some other moms and kids (thankfully someone I met at church called to invite us).  It was nice to have something to keep us awake and the movie was pretty cute, although Ivy just wanted to crawl up and down the theater stairs.
the week since then: well, I would continue the play by play of our days, but unfortunately, I'm boring even myself.  The update is, we took about a week to adjust to the time change, but I think we did it.  The key was staying busy during our days.  Last week was a little easier since schools were out and we had some friends to play with, but we've done ok this week and we've checked to see about getting Asher in a preschool at least a couple days a week.  More to say- stay tuned.

*i took the Easter photos on actual Easter Sunday- just because it was something to do- I got the kids all dressed up, opened the blinds, used all the hotel blankets and had our own photo shoot. It was fun to pretend I was professional. I've got a few more cute ones if you're interested. Unfortunately, Asher of course would not let me touch his hair. 


  1. Toria,
    Love the update! Cute pictures, and yes, post those other ones as well! I like hearing the day by day play. It's fun to know how you're doing and Ivy's dress and swim suit are just adorable. :)

  2. Yeah, you made it. I've been checking to see you update things. Looks like you have a great adventure ahead of you. Your kids looks so cute. I love Ivy's dress. Can't wait to see more.

  3. Wow Toria, it's good to hear you made it and are adjusting. I can just imagine the traveling and what you went through with Asher, at leaste it's over. I love all the pictures, I can't believe you took those easter one's, so professional. I'll be anxious to hear more about Dubai. That's so weird church is on Friday, so is that considered the Sabath?

  4. Toria! Glad that you survived all your travels and are adjusting. You will have to keep me posted, I had a hard time moving to CA...I can hardly imagine Dubai. When you said that you have heard several languages it reminded me of here. Our neighbors are from London, Iceland, Costa Rica and Columbia. I love the ethnicity here! It will take time to adjust and meet people. Everyone says 6months to adjust and a year to feel comfortable, I think that is accurate. Good like on the time change and sleep schedule, that sounds hard! Keep us posted...

  5. Wow- it sure sounds like an incredible adventure. I can hardly imagine how hard it was travelling for that long with 2 kids. I think you are such a tough and brave cookie! Keep us up to date on EVERYTHING that you do in Dubai. I'm so glad you have already met people at church and some friends for Asher. Hopefully that will make the transition easier. Good luck- we're thinking of you!

  6. You're in Dubai! My mother is here in the states, but will be returning to Abu Dhabi on April 17th. I will have to tell her and my father that you are there in Dubai. Who knows, maybe some weekend (Friday/ Sat) they'll be in your neighborhood...

    I'm still so impressed you've made that round the world flight with kids!

  7. Toria I was starting to worry that you had been abducted by Arab Knights or something, so I'm glad you are alive and well. Church on Friday? sounds like a big cultural adjustment ahead for you, I want to hear more about the abnormal or different stuff there, I didn't expect you to be going to the mall and movies! Where is your Burkah, aren't you eating crazy food and speaking a different language. It all sounds so western!

  8. You guys made it! What a feat! I can't believe church is on Friday. Not Saturday? I thought that was the Sabbath there. I'm confused.
    Can't wait to see more and for me to get more educated about the world :)

  9. Toria - I am glad you are safe and sound. I can only imagine the Asher meltdown (you saw me after the Harrison flight of death:) That Easter pic of Asher is like looking at my brother as a little boy - crazy. We miss you tons - be safe. And we will call soon. Love you.

  10. P.S., your hair looks great! I forgot to mention that in my above comment. I'd never picture you with dark hair, but wow, you really pull it off. Change is fun. :)

  11. Hi Guys! Glad to see you're doing well. I'll have to go back to see what you've been up to...your kids are such cuties.

  12. You sound great, Toria. I'm glad you are there safe and sound and getting back on a normal sleep schedule. What a trip...and by yourself, no less.

    Your children are adorable, by the way. How do you take such great pictures? What kind of camera do you have? (I'm not saying its the camera that makes them cute...just wondering if I have a chance to capture such great lighting and all with my little Cannon one shot)

    How is work going for John? Did you ever sell your car? I think FHE should stay on Monday, just so it's easier to remember...Sabbath on Friday is crazy, especially with it being the first day of the weekend.

    I'm so glad there are lots of kids for Asher to play with. That was the hardest part when we moved to Indiana for the year - hardly any playmates for Tessa and Abel. It was really hard to fill that void for them after having so many friends in MN.

    Keep the updates coming!

  13. thanks everyone! Sarah- I have a Canon powershot that I use for most of my pics- just like you and it actually takes pretty good shots, but the better shots are from a Canon SLR digital that I borrowed from my dad. I don't know really know what I'm doing so I just experiment turning the lens thingies (yes, I need to read up).
    And I know what you mean about playmates for the kids. It's great that there are lots of kids his age in the ward, but unfortunately I think most of them are in school, so we've had a difficult go at making any friends yet. We lucked out with our first week being spring break and one family was nice and invited us out a lot. I think now it's getting time for me to be a little more pro-active. We'll make friends soon I hope!

  14. That was lucky to arrive during spring break. At least you know the kids exist! I really do wish you luck with making friends. It's such a necessary part of fitting into a new setting. And you will be a great friend to have... I wish you guys had moved here!