Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dubai Marathon Weekend

(I decided to crank up my feminine side since we're into girlie things lately. Also need to change up the blog and gear up for Valentines Day)

We just returned from a great weekend in Dubai. We traveled with some of our best friends the LaRovere's and their 2 boys. The driving force behind our planning was the Dubai Marathon. Nick decided over our Christmas holiday to run the 1/2 marathon. Mark and Jackie had been planning on the Dubai weekend for a long time so that Mark could run in his 14th...yes, 14th marathon!! So the guys took a day off of work and we headed east over the water to enjoy the U.A.E.

Unfortunately there was a tiny problem with Mark's exit visa so the LaRovere's missed their flight but arrived easily a few hours later to join us for the afternoon.

Pic as our plane flies into Dubai...can't miss the "Tallest Building in the World", Burj Kalifa.

Another shot of the city as we land.

We stayed at the Harbor Marriott Suites, which we highly recommend! Our suite turned out to be a full apartment which was perfect for the 8 of us.

After settling in to our suite, we headed to Dubai Mall. Everything is big in Texas but everything is BIGGER in Dubai.

Unbelievable waterfall in the mall.

Dubai's incredible shopping.

You can barely see the Burj through the glass roof.

Nick standing outside Dubai Mall in front of the Burj...literally breathtaking its so tall. Nick waited in line for about 45 minutes to get a time and tickets for us to go to the top. By the time he got to the counter they were sold out for 2 1/2 straight days. Needless to say we didn't get to go up to the top.

The top...couldn't get my camera lens to capture the whole building.

Outside view of Dubai Mall

Standing outside of the Dubai Aquarium, Tunnel and Underwater Zoo

37,000+ fish and shark in one massive aquarium

Inside the tunnel

Up close and personal...the boys loved it, but preferred sitting in their stroller.

Peek bubble inside a fish tank.

Can't tell but this little aquarium is full of all the fish in the Nemo movie.

If only Doha could get the Bell.

For dinner the guys ate their pre-run meal at California Pizza Kitchen. Again, CPK come to Doha!

Checking into the race the night before. Notice the route...long, long, long and all the way down and back Jumeirah Beach.

Bathing boys...

Waiting to see our Daddies finish. The Dubai marathon is one of the most popular because its the highest paying in the world. The winner won 250,000 US dollars and if the world record was broken an extra 1 million would have been given to the winner. Unfortunately the world record wasn't broken but it was close and very exciting to watch!

Here comes Nick!

There goes Bear. There was no stopping him and he was gone before I knew it. He squeezed around the barricade and past security, no problem.

Unfortunately there wasn't an actual 1/2 marathon race. Nick was registered for the 10K but ran his own 1/2 marathon. Since the route was so simple it was easy for him to make 13 mi out of the 10K race. We've laughed about his "last" place finish for the 10K and also what some might have been saying as he appeared to trail behind all of the 10K runners. More importantly, I was and still am so incredibly proud of him. He finished really strong and with Barrett's extra 30 lbs in his arms. Of course Nick wouldn't have it any other way. He and Barrett both loved it. Nick has great natural athletic ability. He committed to running less than a month ago and did an awesome job!

So so proud of our Daddy!!!

Mark's turn to can barely see him. Red shirt just to the left of Nick.

This man was born to run. This was his 14th marathon and his goal this weekend was to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which he easily did...3:06:55. He finished 75th out of 1800 runners. Amazing! Yay Mark...we're proud of you!

Only at a marathon in the middle east do they have these mats and pillows to rest on.

Later that afternoon we went to the Dubai Dophinarium. Awesome show and huge hit with the boys!

Arab/Muslim Dolphin mural of course!

Boys hanging on tight as Mr. Camel gets up to give them a ride...

...camel riding never gets old. Poor Texas boys have ridden a lot more camels than horses!

Dinner in heaven...

God bless the man who doesn't know how to make a fajita...printed in the OTB menu!

Our last day was spent taking it easy. Jackie and I enjoyed massages while our husbands graciously kept the boys. They were the ones who deserved a massage. We all walked and ate lunch on Jumeirah Beach at Bob's diner. Then headed to Festival City Mall for playing, shopping at Ikea and of course eating :)


Shannon said...

Looks like you guys had a blast! Once again - I know I know it is tough to be there at times, but NEVER would you get to experience stuff like this if you didn't. I love all the pictures and am so proud of your runners!! Very impressive!

shannonmichaelis said...

How on earth did we not talk about Nick deciding a month ago to run a half marathon? And train for it and make up his own race? I am stunned, and so proud of that man! My dream to run a half marathon, and he did it all in a month. Not to mention an awesome trip! I am so thankful that you have Jackie and her family!!!! Can;t wait to catch up....

Katy said...

I mean, that place is another world! (ok that sounded dumb, but you know that i mean) Really! Pretty unbelievable! I cannot get over Burj or whatever it's called. Your boys are just getting to do so many fun things. love it.
miss you!!!

Sabina said...

You are Super Blogger!!! Love all the photos and your fantatsic way of telling the story!!!
So proud of Nick and Mark!

Kacey said...

beautiful beautiful pics! Looks like so much fun. I esp. love that there was a junior marathoner in the race!