Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ankle length panties and why I feel regurgitated

My pastor referred to skinny jeans as "ankle length panties" in his sermon this weekend. I literally laughed out loud. Multiple times.

It was a good sermon...really funny!

Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

“Yeah, because, I mean, ‘just follow my heart’…isn’t that what Hitler did? And look at where it got the world.”

“What about friends with benefits?” Quit asking stupid questions."

Girls, you don’t want a guy who says, “Baby, of all the girls I regularly have sex with, I think you’re my favorite…”

"Sex is different for us and animals. There is no point at which the female bird asks the male, “You know, I just really need to know that you want me for more than my body.” She doesn’t say to him, “I don’t like the way you’ve been looking at some of my jungle bird friends.” They don’t go off on a picnic, make love, and then cuddle and talk about how they’re going to build a life and change the jungle together."

"A guy who has sex with a girl without marrying her is like a bulimic with food. A bulimic loves the taste of food but doesn’t want to keep the nutrients or calories in her body, so she tastes, swallows it, and then vomits it back up. That’s what a guy is doing to you… he is tasting oneness with you, but then throwing you back up because he doesn’t want to become one with you."

"If we applied this verse just as it’s written, every guy in here would be blind within a matter of minutes. Right?) A girl walks into church this morning wearing one of these tight little outfits that she looks like she melted onto herself an hour ago… or, wearing a pair of skinny jeans, which I otherwise refer to as, “anklelength panties,” and as she walks down the aisle of church you got guys applying this verse and so there’s a little trail of male eyeballs popping out and rolling around on the floor…"

"So, that’s the command: Thou shalt have great sex."

It was a really good sermon but when he compared guys who have sex with you but won't marry you to bulimics (as in they are basically regurgitating you because they don't love you enough to commit to you forever and will eventually just throw you back up) it made me sick to my stomach. He should use that line with his girls when they get older because no girl wants to be regurgitated! I have been thinking about that line for days and it seriously makes me sick when I think about how I have been regurgitated by guys I thought cared for me, but in the end, they really didn't.  It makes me mad and sad that I could just be thrown away.  I can't think about it too much...moving on...

If you want to hear or read the whole sermon, go here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I don't pray out loud

When I talk to God it is usually in my head.  If it is not in my head, it is always somewhere in private.  I equate it to my singing.  One of the things on my list was to sing karaoke and that is because I do not sing in public unless it is with a big group where my bad singing will be drowned out.  I'll belt it out in the car or dance and sing in my kitchen sometimes, but never in public.  This is kind of how I am with praying.

So today I started back with volunteering at the First Time Guest table at church.  Now they have a meeting during the service for all the volunteers where they give us updates and give us a chance to share anything we want to about how things are running.

Well then they say we are going to break in to groups of 2 or 3 to pray.  I start to freak out.  I start thinking "is there anyway I can slip out of here without anyone noticing?"  But there wasn't.  I was right by the door but I was blocked in.

So then it is time...the guy is done talking and we are supposed to break into groups.  Our campus pastor's wife turns to me and says "Do you want to pray together?"  I want to simply say "I don't pray out loud." and run out of the room.  But I just smile and nod.

I got through it but let me tell you, I suck at praying out loud and I was so thankful when it was over.  I let her do most of the talking to God and then took a deep breath and said a few things and felt awkward the entire time.  I know that is horrible, but I just suck at praying out loud.  And like the karaoke, I don't think it will ever be something I just jump up and volunteer to do.

How do you guys pray?  Do you pray in your head or out loud?  Is it all eloquent or is it more like having a conversation with a friend and totally random?

On a side note, it has been a while since I have been to church because I have been out of town so much, and it felt so good to be back.  This big, huge church really is starting to feel smaller.  I saw a few people who went on the Dubai trip with me and lots of others I recognized.  And now I am the one answering all the newbies questions.  And God is still there.  You can just feel Him there and I love it!  I need Him and I need to seek Him out more in my day to day activities.

P.S.  I am trying to get caught up on the Bookshelf Blog.  Go check out my most recent reviews of At First Sight and Twenties Girl.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

List update

For those of you who just stumbled upon this little ol' blog of mine, the title may be deceiving.  See I made a list of 30 things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30.  Well, I only gave myself 2 years to accomplish some pretty lofty goals, and only ended up crossing 20 of them off my list by my 30th birthday earlier this month (I can not believe I am not a twenty something anymore...thirty just sounds so...adult-like.)  So now I am giving myself until the end of my year of being 30 to finish the rest.

Right now I am focusing on:

#18- Upgrade one room in my house: One thing I've learned is I am a very timid do-it-yourself-er. I am so afraid I am going to screw something up. Most of the time I just want someone else there with me just to well...be there I guess, just in case something goes wrong. I have bought curtains but haven't hung them. I have bought cabinet pulls but haven't put them up. I have taken down my towel bar and hooks in the bathroom, but haven't painted. I have bought new bathroom stuff but haven't put it up because I want to paint first. I just haven't had time and I really do want someone there with me, but I think I am going to have to get over that because it looks like singleness may be a lifelong thing for me.

#25- Invest in the stock market: I don't have a 401K anymore. Not since the layoff back on April 30, 2009. And now I am a contractor, so no 401K for me. (People, do not take your 401K programs for granted...it is so much easier than taking care of it on your own. And if you have a company match, by golly do not let that go to waste!) Anyway, I had to roll over all my 401K into an IRA and then I converted that IRA to a Roth IRA. I used Charles Schwab and they offer a free consultation so I talked to the guy and went with the fund he recommended. Which in less than a month has already lost over $200..geez! I asked him about investing in the stock market not through a retirement fund and he said I should max out my Roth IRA contributions ($5000 a year!) and have 6 months living expenses saved up in cash before I even try to invest the stock market. AND you have to have a good chunk of money to start with. So I don't know what I am going to do about this one.  I am working on setting up automatic contributions to the Roth IRA form my checking and I may just count that as "investing in the stock market".  I can't believe I let it go over a year without contributing anything to my retirement savings!

#1- Get in the best shape of my life: I hate the way I look right now. So much so that I freaked out about being tagged in some pictures on Facebook that made me look gross. I have been working out almost every Tuesday and Thursday morning for the last few months, but not much has changed. I need to do something everyday. Exercise is what works for me (I've done this before, I know). I started back tracking my calories with the Lose it app. I just need to keep it up and not let things throw me off track. I really hate this one. It makes me feel like a big fat loser when I think about it which is why I try not to, but that is never going to get me anywhere.

The rest of the List I just can't muster up the motivation for right now. They are mostly things that would be fun with someone else, and I am tired of trying to find someone to be my partner in crime. I don't like even asking people to do anything because I feel like I am burdening them. And some things (actually a lot of things) in life are just better when they are shared with someone else.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peace Love and Jack Johnson

Went to the Jack Johnson concert this weekend and he is just so awesome.  He makes me melt.  I also loved G-love (who opened for him).  Paula Fuga also sang along a few songs and her voice was amazing.  Jack is already a hottie, but I swear a guy that can play me a song like that is automatically 79% hotter.

Monday sucked. It's rainy today. But here is a bright spot from my day yesterday:

Little things like this and a song Jack played at the concert have me thinking about someone I loved. He will always be a part of me.

i carry your heart with me
by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I turned 30 up in this Jessie!

K friends...I know you read this but never comment...did I use "jessie" in the right context?

but no seriously...ignore the "jessie" remark folks...

Long time, no type right?  Ok so it has only been a week, but I feel like it has been forever.  See what happened was, the minute I turned 30 I died.  I shriveled up into this little really old thing and died.  30 really is The End.  It took me a while to get over it and come back to life.

No just kidding.  I feel no different than I did back when I was in my twenties a week ago.  It's just that I have been so dang busy!  I have not spent a full weekend in Raleigh in over 5 weeks!  Even Cam has spent the last 3 weekends traveling, so things have been a little off schedule.

My birthday was a birthday.  The only mistake I made on the day I turned 30 was going in to work.

Seriously...now I know why they say you should never work on your birthday.  Because if you do, you could end up having the worst day ever and crying in the bathroom before noon and then going to cry some more in your car in the afternoon.  What is it with this crying at work thing!?!  I don't hate the job, I just hate being a newbie.  I hate not feeling like I know everything and not having everything under control, and last Thurday everything seemed to being getting out of control.  And I felt stupid.  Not good on your 30th birthday.

But my friends made it better by taking me to a wine tasting and out to dinner at my most favorite restaurant in Raleigh- 18 Seaboard- that night.  And I finished it all off with a delicious cupcake!

This weekend was a Bachelorette party in Charlotte.  Here's the rundown:

I only got about 4 hours of sleep in preparation for the festivities, but that is more than some of the girls who stayed up all night and were still DRUNK when we got there at 8:30 am.  Yeah, that's how we they roll. Gotta love it!

We rented a boat and went out for a few hours on Lake Norman and even though we thought it was going to rain, it ended up being a fabulous day and I had the tan lines to prove it!

We stayed at the swanky Omni hotel in downtown Charlotte

Our team Kell's Belles (AKA the girls who had been drinking ALL day) won $50 at trivia at the restaurant we ate at (who knew it was trivia night?!) which we used for a round of shots for the table!  (I had never played trivia and I loved it!)

We went to the club owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr.- Whiskey River- and it was packed!  Like you walk in the door and are shoulder to shoulder with everyone.  But we danced our butts off and I forgot how fun it is to go out dancing with the girls...on a side note I have this weird thing about dancing.  I think I am pretty good, but then I look around and see these people that can't dance and start thinking to myself, do I look like that?! and it makes me self-conscious.  I also think it is awkward to dance with random guys...or any guys...I mean do I really want some guy grinding his crotch on me? That's not dancing.   And most guys just look like slime balls or horn dogs dancing- unless it is Justin Timberlake or Usher.  I'd dance with them :)

Then we went to Buckhead Saloon (which was WAY less packed) and danced on stage but by that point I was exhausted! And my feet were KILLING me! I think I am getting too old for this stuff. By the time we got back to the hotel sometime after 3 am, all I wanted to do was take off my shoes and get in that big fluffy bed.

I downloaded a bunch of the songs we were getting down to (some of which I haven't heard before- because I am old and out of touch with what the kids these days are listening to) and they have been pumping me up all week.  In particular this one called "All I do is Win".  People driving by when I am driving home from work listening to this probably think I'm crazy singing and dancing like that in my car, but I love it!

Anyway, that was my weekend.  So far this has been the best week I have had at work yet.  I don't want to jinx it, but I think I am starting to pull things together and finally don't feel so lost.  I mean I am staying until past 7:00 every night, but it is the good kind of working late, like I am on a roll and I just don't want to stop!

I have like 5 books I need to review and I'm going to be having a giveaway coming up soon!

And for anyone freaking out about turning 30, don't. It's just another birthday and the only one who even really thinks anything about it is you. Embrace it and then go dancing with your girls just to prove to yourself that you still can. Your feet may hurt and you may want to call it quits before 2 am, but just remember...nothing really good happens after midnight anyway! And now you're wise enough to know that!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

OMG it's almost here!

Ummm...today is my last day in my twenties....I'm kind of freaking out....just a little....but it's going to be fabulous right?  Nothing to fear.  Just embrace it and all that jazz.  Ugh I hate birthdays! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finally! Paying all my own bills!

This has been years in the making. I have pretty much covered all my own bills since I graduated college, but I always had a little help here and there from my mom. Ok, maybe a little more help than I should have.  She paid my car insurance. She would help cover any of my medical expenses. I used her credit card to pay for my gas.  She gave me the down payment for my townhouse.

I started getting uncomfortable with all this help and wanting to be fully financially independent at any cost around 25 or 26. I was a grown up. I should be able to afford to take care of myself financially!

But life is way more expensive than I thought. And entry level jobs pay way less than I thought they did. And raises don't go as far as you think they will. And eventually all your friends get married and there is no one left to room with so your bills essentially double! And don't even get me started on taxes.

Last year I lost my job and I took a job where I was basically making what I made 4 or 5 years ago back when I had a roommate. Only now I no longer had a roommate. Things got really tight. I had to get creative. I had to give up things I never thought I could live without...ahem DVR. I had to get my own health insurance and give up health insurance. No more savings.  No more 401K.  No vacations.  No concerts.  No fancy dinners out.  I had to pinch every penny.

Thank goodness I found another job a few months ago and I am back to making almost what I made before. I still have to buy my own health insurance and I still don't have DVR. But it's ok.

Living like that for a year helped me think about every single purchase. Do I really NEED that? Is that thing worth not ever getting hardwood floors or going on vacation next summer?

At the same time I don't feel super guilty if I splurge when I buy something that has been on my wish list.

But I will return something in an instant now. Sometimes before I would keep a shirt I ended up not really liking just because I felt it wasn't worth $10-$20 to take it back. Not now! If I get something home and think I won't use it, I take it back!

I'm still trying to get used to my new budget. I get paid on a different schedule and I had to add health insurance and gas into the mix, but it has been a few months and so far so good!

I am officially financially independent!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Music and waves can soothe the soul

Happiness is something you have to choose. Sometimes you have to force the mean, worried, sad, lonely, defeated, hopeless, and drama filled things out of your mind to let the happiness back in and that is what I am going to try to do everyday. I'll let myself be mean, sad, angry but I will no longer hold on to it. I will force those thoughts out as quickly as possible. I'm not letting anyone steal my happiness and I'm not going to sabotage myself by being someone I don't want to be.

I'm leaving for the beach again tonight after work. Yay! There is something about that place. I've been going there for 25+ years every summer, so in a way it is like going home. To a beautiful, relaxing, soothing home!

In exactly one week I will turn 30. And I am not letting myself freak out. It's just a day in my life. And really I should be happy I made it! I survived my tumultuous teens and crazy, twisty-turvy, amazing twenties! I think my thirties will bring more calm inside my soul and more satisfaction in my life.  And I'm trying not to look at the list (everyday) and count how many things I won't mark off by the deadline.  It's not a contest right?  and it's not like I am going to die next Thursday and never get a chance to mark them off right?  It's not the finish line, just a mile marker. That was the one downside of the list...it is kind of making 30 seem like The End.

I've been trying to discover some new music lately because music can soothe the soul.  I am loving this new band I found called Skyfactor. I randomly stumbled on one of their songs, and I love them all!

Here's some other things on my current playlist:

Suggestions by Orelia Has Orchestra

Jack and Jill by Katie Herzig

the City of Black & White album by Mat Kearney

You Make it Real by James Morrison

the Daydreams album by Skyfactor

American Boy by Estelle

Brighter than Sunshine by Aqualung (my absolute favorite song ever!)

Light Up My Room by Barenaked Ladies

Dusk and Summer by Dashboard Confessional

Only You by Joshua Radin

Love by Matt White

and some good ole Jack Johnson

Can you tell I am trying to embrace the chill?

What on your playlist today??  Give me some more suggestions!

Oh and P.S. I finally switched to gmail!  My new email is ncsuzblogs (at) gmail (dot) com.  So if you have G-chat, add me!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Marking #8 off my List at Wild Wadi waterpark

When I originally put #8 on my list I thought it was going to take me getting down to a size zero to run around having fun in a bikini at a water park, but God had another plan.

When I found out we were going to a water park- Wild Wadi - one day while we were in Dubai I was not thrilled.  First of all I am in the worst shape of my life probably (pretty ironic considering the #1 thing on my list is to get in the best shape of my life) and second of all we were required to wear once pieces (I didn't even own a one piece!) and third of all  the sun is blazing hot in Dubai.  How was I even going to survive a water park without turning in to a lobster?!

Well first I splurged on a great one piece. This one was like $80 after I found it on sale (Macy's has it for even cheaper right now!).

I LOVE this suit! I love stripes. I love the green with the white with the navy. And I love that it looks like a tankini. It fits well even though I do have to tie the neck strap kind of tight, but all swim suits are like that for me.

Despite having a great suit, I was still nervous about being out and about all day in it. But for some reason it wasn't that bad. I think it was because you saw just about everything when it came to attire at Wild Wadi. Most people were in the "appropriate swimwear" of tankinis and one pieces, but some of the local women even wore their black robes in the water. Then you'd also see some Europeans in what I would even call very inappropriate swimwear.

But for some reason no one really seemed to notice or care what anyone was wearing here. It just wasn't a big deal.  Most of the people there were not dressed to get noticed, they were dressed just to have fun and be comfortable.

The only people I really noticed as far as attire were this super-skinny-anorexic-skeleton in a bikini (seriously you could see every bone in her body- she had an issue) and then another girl who was wearing a thong and had a tattoo on her butt. It was very apparent that she wanted to be noticed and it was gross.

After the initial uncomfortableness of being in a bathing suit in public, I just forgot about it. I just went with the flow. I even went on what I like to call the slide-of-death:

I know some of you like really tall slides that drop you straight down, but I hate them. I had never even been on one. But this one fooled me because it had a series of "humps" before it plunged you to your death. I just closed my eyes and tried not to throw up and my stomach tried to jump out of my throat and my bathing suit was practically ripped off my body (all the slides gave the biggest wedgies ever!).

But really it was a great day. Almost all the other slides were connected by this lazy river thing and each time you went around you could pick different slides to go down. We must have went around 10 times! My favorite was the Tunnel of Doom which was pitch black. They had these lifeguards guide your float to each slide and they were super nice and fun!

They also had a great relaxing lazy river with this huge waterfall you go under that felt like getting a massage!

But yeah, the day was so fun and I didn't feel self conscious or like I was being judged at all.

It was great!

But I still want to get back in to bikini shape by next summer!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Bachelorette made me SWOON!

First of all I can not not comment on The Bachelorette! Chris and Roberto were both AMAZING guys! Chris was my favorite until tonight. But Roberto was amazing tonight. Roberto and Ali kissing in the rain...AHHHHH...see there is a reason that is on my list! And Roberto's proposal? I LOVED it! I would give anything to find the guy that feels about me like that and would say those things to me! My future husband should watch that and take notes! I even loved how he whispered "be my wife" as he knelt down. I want that!

Ok, back to regularly scheduled programming...

Things to do in Dubai

We did manage to fit in some fun stuff while we were in Dubai. If you ever visit, here are some things to check out:

- Burj Khalifa- world's tallest building. I couldn't even get it all in a picture it was so tall! We went up to the observation deck on the 125th floor. I think it is over 200 stories total. It was very modern and pretty, but for some reason it didn't seem that high because all the other buildings are so high too! The observation deck is called At The Top and the entrance to go up is inside the Dubai Mall on one of the lower levels.

- Dubai Mall- world's biggest mall. It is apparently the size of 50 football fields?! It was really nice. Tons of stores including lots of designer stores like Versace, Fendi, etc. I went in Jimmy Choo and tried on a pair of nice heels just to feel what it was like to have on a pair of Jimmy Choos. They also had a lot of the same stores we have in America like Forever 21, sephora, H & M , etc. (Do they were those kind of clothes under those black robes?? I would love to know!) They also had an indoor ice skating rink, movies, a huge arcade, a huge aquarium, and lots of very cool/interesting sculptures/design elements in this mall. There was also a section called The Gold Souk and a souk across this small pedestrian bridge called Souk Al Bahar, but they both were way too nice and fancy to feel like a souk and the stores just felt expensive. It was pretty though.

- Dubai Fountains- right outside the Dubai Mall. This is like the dancing fountains at the Bellagio in Vegas, but I think this one is bigger. We watched one of the daytime shows and one of the nighttime shows. They were nice, but I still like the Bellagio show better. I think the way these fountains were laid out and our viewing point made it not as pretty as when I saw the Bellagio one.

- We also went to the Sahara Center in Sharjah (not as nice as the other malls but they had an indoor roller coaster- I didn't ride it, but some in my group did) We ate at the food court here a couple times throughout the week because food courts were way cheaper than the hotel. They are pretty much like US food courts- Mcdonalds, Chinese, pizza, KFC, Subway, etc. The Mcdonalds even had a McArabia (basically a pita sandwich). They also had a grocery store downstairs which was nice for stocking up on bottled water and soda. We called the Sharja Center the "Northgate of Dubai". Northgate is a not so nice mall in Durham, NC. It isn't as bad as that at all, but compared to all those other grandiose malls it wasn't as nice.

-Mirdif City Center-another mall! On "singles night" we went as a group to this mall for indoor skydiving. Some in our group did it, but I didn't. I wanted to save my money to buy gifts at the souk! It looked pretty cool though. They also had a bowling alley, indoor soccer, and this challenge course/rock climbing wall in this mall. P.S. when you see "City Center" don't automatically think that is the same mall you went to the night before. There are many different "City Centers" I swear I have never seen so many malls in all my life!

-The Blue Souk- I don't know if this was the official name of the place, but that is what everyone called it because it was blue. It was the only real souk we got to visit unfortunately. It was in Sharjah and was the most "ethnic" thing we did while we were there. It wasn't like a traditional "market" because it was indoors, but it was little shops where you bargain the prices. They had gold, carpets, jewelry, souvenirs, and lots of scarf/pashmina stores. I was a sucker for the pashminas and bought a lot for gifts for people. I definitely worked on my bargaining skills here.

-Eye of the Emirates- it is like the London Eye. It was this beautiful huge ferris wheel. The best part was each "cabin" was air conditioned! It gave a great view of the city! The most interesting part about the ride was the people in the one behind us got a "talking to" for sitting beside each other and him having with his arm around her. Public displays of affection are not allowed. They were a young Arab couple and didn't appear to be married. All I know is they moved to opposite sides of the cabin after their talking to! They also have a thing where you can take a water tour here. I wish I had done this, but my group didn't. Another group did and said it was cheap and totally worth it. It takes you around the marina and past the Shiek's house apparently. They also have lots of restaurants, Cariboo Coffee, Dunkin Doughnuts, and a yummy gelato place here.

-Wald Wadi- a huge waterpark that was really fun...I am going to write more about it in a later post. We got great views of that 7 star hotel- Burj Al Arab- from here too (the famous one shaped like a sailboat) because it was right next door.

-Mall of the Emirates- we went here right after the waterpark to get dinner. We got to see the indoor skiing here. I think the skiing was 200 Dirhams (or about $60). Some people did it, but I saved my money. If you do go to do the indoor skiing bring gloves. They give you everything but gloves, and the people who did it said their hands were so cold! I really don't remember much else about this mall. By that point I was really getting sick of malls.

- We went and ate at a traditional Arab restaurant one night. It was REALLY good. They had the best hummus ever with pita bread, a delicious salad, pickled vegetables, and I had the Shawarma. It is this chicken on the huge skewers that they wrap us and grill in a flat bread. It comes with some kind of white sauce that I can't even describe. But it was really good. I also had fresh strawberry juice here. Fresh juices are really big over there and really good!

- Ibn Batutta Mall- we went to this mall the day we were set to leave because we had to check out of the hotel but our flight wasn't until midnight. Seriously, another mall? I don't even want to know how many malls they have there! This one was cool though because it was based on the explorations of this famous explorer- Ibn Batutta- and each section had a big display and decorations based on the country- China, Persia, India, Egypt, etc.

We did not get to see any of those man made islands (the palm tree or the world) but I wonder if you would even be able to tell what it was from the ground? If I would have had a window seat, I would have looked for it from the plane, but oh well! The internet pictures are probably better.

Other tourist tips I have:

Girls wear long pants, skirts, or dresses (capris are ok) and cover your shoulders. The one day I wore a knee length short sleeve dress I would've given anything for a pair of pants or something because I felt out of place. Also take a nice bag and sunglasses and sandals (I wouldn't wear tennis shoes...everyone wears sandals or flip flops). You want to make sure they are nice though or else you will feel out of place in all those fancy malls.

Don't plan on walking anywhere. It is too hot. We walked from the Dubai Mall stop on the metro to the Mall about 4-6 blocks away and we were drenched in sweat. The metro is really nice and there are cabs everywhere for a good price. Plus your feet will already be hurting from walking around those huge malls all day!

Keep a currency converter card with you. It is easy to think prices are high when you see something for 100+ Dirhams, but you have to remember that is only about $27-$28. It is easy to get confused when you are trying to convert it in your head, so it is nice to have something that says 5 dirhams= $xx, 10= $xx, 25= $xx and so on.

Take a outlet adapter/voltage converter with you. I got one at Target for $20 that was a combo adapter/converter and it was perfectly labeled and easy to use and everything I tried with it worked perfectly.

They have a different sense of time than us. I don't think things open early, more like 10 am. From 1pm-4pm some things will close (like the Blue Souk) for lunch/nap time (how nice!!) But things stay open late- at least until 11 pm. And remember their weekend is Friday and Saturday.

Get bottled water and soda from the grocery store. It is so much cheaper! Red Bull was cheaper too- like $3 for a 4 pack. Sodas and water were less than a dollar and packs of them were pretty cheap too. They only drink bottled water there and if you buy it at the restaurant or hotel it will be much more, so stock up at a grocery store and carry it with you.

Don't let the weather scare you. Yes, it is hot, but most everything is inside and if you are in a hotel's cooled pool (or the cooled water at Wild Wadi) it is very nice. I wore SPF 50 and didn't get any sun. On the last 2 days I even spent an hour or so at the pool without SPF and I was fine.

I highly recommend a trip to Dubai. It is very exotic and beautiful. And just observing the people is fascinating!

Unexpected Weekend

Sorry for the delay in getting to the fun stuff I did in Dubai.  I had an unexpected house guest on Friday. 

The longtimer- my high school/college, longest relationship ever boyfriend came up to visit- the one who was engaged...yeah that one.  He called a couple times before I left for Dubai (including the day before to tell me to be safe).  He broke off the engagement with that girl because he said he wasn't ready a couple months ago.  He called the day I got back from Dubai and I told him about planning to go to the beach this weekend and asked if he wanted to come.  (My 2 besties had plans, and the beach is so much more fun when you share it, so why not ask.)

He gave me the typical, yeah we'll see answer that he ALWAYS gives (even when we were together- he has commitment issues). He did not go to the beach with me, but he did end up coming to see me on Friday.

It was weird. Being around someone you know but don't. Someone who knows you but doesn't. We didn't do anything grand. Just hung out and got a pizza and watched a movie and TV. Really boring. But that is him. I would have rather went out and showed him around Raleigh. I did drag him to one of my favorite breakfast spots- The Flying Biscuit in the morning so I could get the oatmeal pancakes I had been craving for months!

We talked about lots of things. We noticed mannerisms in each other that hadn't changed. There was nothing there though except friendship- not that I thought there would be which is why it was safe to see him I thought. He said he probably would end up marrying that girl he broke off the engagement with eventually (which I do not get- why break up with her then?) It was good to see him, but weird at the same time.

Saturday Cam and I drove to the beach. It was cloudy and rainy, so we just watched TV and hung out on the balcony to watch the waves. I LOVED it because I miss my cable. I caught up with Kourtney and Clhoe in Miami, The Jersey Shore, Project Runway and even caught an episode of True Blood!

Sunday we got a chance to go out on the beach. Cam had been on the beach at night before, but never during the day, and never had I let him off leash to play in the waves. He loved it! He kept trying to eat the waves and kept barking at them. He had so much fun!

But he did learn that if you drink too much ocean water you will have explosive diarrhea on the beach which will embarrass the crap out of your mom and get you 2 baths later that day.

Back to work today, but I will try to post about Dubai tonight (with more pictures!!)