Sunday, March 14, 2010

Piece of Home in Doha

One of my very best friends has been visiting us in Doha for the last week. I had no idea how badly I needed a little piece of home, specifically Jenise! I was reminded of a lot of things because of her visit. First of all she is absolutely the most low maintenance friend I have. By that I mean, its easy to love her and spend endless time with her. What you see is what you get and she's honorably sincere! Our personalities are very similar plus we both made major moves (literally) with our families recently. About 6 months after we moved away from Houston, she and her family did too. So she now resides in the metropolis of Victoria, Texas. We both have had our challenges with moving but found encouragement from each other, especially over the last week.

After lots of relaxing, eating, visiting, laughing and making memories...I have mixed emotions of feeling extremely refreshed but also a little more homesick since she's left. Having pregnancy hormones doesn't help. More than anything I'm obviously just thankful!! The sacrifice to get to Doha and make arrangements for 2 toddlers isn't easy. Big THANKS to RayRay, Champ, Julianne and Stephen! Thank you for sharing Jenise with me for the week!

Obviously jet lag is the big concern when coming so far. Jenise gets all kinds of bragging rights though. She slept through the night every single night and never skipped a beat. Thanks to a few sleepy drugs and a busy (but relaxing) itinerary we introduced her to Doha without missing anything.

After her first good night of sleep we took a Doha driving tour and ate lunch at Chili's. Thankfully my dear friend Karen was available for watching the boys in the afternoon while we pampered ourselves with a massage and eased Jenise into Doha life at an incredible spa.
Sharq Village and Spa
(sister hotel to the Ritz Carlton, designed to reflect middle eastern architecture and atmosphere)

The next morning we took off for Souq Waqif (local markets).

After the Souqs we ate a quick lunch at one of our favorite "hole in the wall" spots Thai Shack and then picked up the boys from school. After naps we dug into the very full suitcase Jenise brought from Honey and Papa. Of course there were lots of things I specifically asked for but there were also a few birthday presents for Barrett.

Wedneday evening we spent the night out with my good friend Jackie. First...walked around the Pearl and ate dinner at Bice, an Italian restaurant.

After a late dinner we headed over to the Diplomatic Club for never-to-be- fogotten KARAOKE.

The atmosphere is hard to describe. When we first walked in they were playing BINGO. Not your grammy's BINGO. The room was a big mix of folks...we were the only Americans. Jackie, who has no shame and who is also hilarious didn't hesitate to give them her best of Beyonce's "Single Ladies". She didn't just sing, she gave them Beyonce's best moves as well. The crowd loved it and was highly entertained. She was working the rug!

In between the only American/English performances there were some very serious karaoke singers trying their best at popular Arabic (mostly Lebonese) songs. After a few local tunes Jenise and Jackie took over and finished up our evening with an old fave, "Ice Ice Baby". Obviously I stuck to taking pictures and encouraging them! We're pretty sure they were making fun of us...definitely laughing AT us. I can imagine what they might have done with a 8 month pregnant karaoke singer.

The next morning we hung around with the boys and eventually got motivated to leave the house for a picnic with Nick on the Cornich.

After lunch we dropped the boys off at Jackie's for the night. She and Mark offered to keep them over night so Nick and I could spend child free time with Jenise. First things first we took advantage of the afternoon and tried out another spa in Doha. Pretty pathetic but it was wonderful!

After a facial we hung at the pool until late afternoon.

Roof-top dinner at one of our favorite Doha restaurants.."29"

Unfortunately we don't have pics following dinner. We stopped by our good friends' apartment to introduce Jenise to the Jacksons and then headed over to The W Hotel to hang out a swanky trendy lounge called "Wham". Wasn't long before we U-turned it right on outta there. No one there was married much less pregnant. The music was loud (ha!) and we weren't quite trendy enough to hang with all the European models. Good laughs, that's for sure! Instead of The W we wrapped up our evening more appropriately at Dairy Queen for a blizzard. Huge thanks to Jackie and Mark for keep the boys so we could enjoy a night out and sleep late!!

To be continued....


Caryn said...

Oh Wendi that just looks wonderful. It makes me miss you even more and feel a little home sick for you :( I am SO glad Jenise was able to visit and bring a taste of Texas to you. Love you!!

Shannon said...

What a wonderful time with Jenise! I am so happy you got that little piece of home! I love all the pictures and the Ice Ice Baby and All the Single Ladies was hysterical! Miss you so much and cannot wait for summer to get here and have you back home!

angie said...

Looks like y'all had a wonderful visit. Girl you have been on my mind a lot lately and I feel like the Lord is asking me to pray for you so I am! I cannot imagine how you're doing it all girl but you make it seem effortless. Those pregnancy hormones are a force. I'm Praying for you honey. Have a good week.

The Hoerman's said...

So glad you guys had fun! The DQ pick is the best! Yall are so funny, sounds like a good choice to me!

Lindsey said...

Ok, I may have to come visit now. :) That looks absolutely fabulous! So jealous. I don't do much of that around Houston.

Love your belly pics. <3

Jenise Livesay said...

There is no way to describe some of the situations we got ourselves into. I still wish I had climbed into the huge pot at the Sharq. At least I did do the Karaoke, no regrets there.