A refreshing break – Abu Dhabi

I thought I would be able to post at least one blog during our long break in Europe, but nope, that didn’t happen. Nor did I find the time to isolate myself behind a computer screen, neither did I feel the urge to write things off, since it were the most relaxing weeks that I’ve had in a while.
We made a little road trip through Italy (yes, we are obsessed) where we met with our friends in the snowy mountains of Aprica and at the sea side near Venice, followed with some just-the-four-of-us time at the gorgeous lake in Riva del Garda. There we stayed in an child friendly agriturismo surrounded by vineyards that I would definitely recommend (www.lacolombera.it).
Part two of our journey led us to the Ötztal ski area in Austria, where we fi-nal-ly (due to covid – what else?!) met with my family. I haven’t hit the slopes with my sister since 2016, so it was about damn time that we checked out if she could still keep up with me ;-). So proud that Alixe took her first ski lessons, stay-at-home Maxime & my dad became besties and we broke many legs, metaphorically speaking.
The last weeks we spent in our home town where the girls enjoyed going to my old school. It’s amazing how well and quickly they adapt to new environments. We just dropped them off, no tears. They were happy to play (Alixe thought it was strange that she didn’t had to do writing and numbers) and even after the first day, it was as if they had always been going to Lenteland. Meanwhile, Stijn and I took the liberty to have some just-the-two-of-us time in the beautiful Napels, and we didn’t die afterwards :-).
Although our days were packed, after those six refreshing weeks our batteries were fully charged and we headed back to the UAE.
Arriving at the beginning of Ramadan, and with the weather still nice, Abu Dhabi gave us a very good first impression. Clean streets, modern buildings, low traffic (yeah, now that Ramadan is over, this illusion stopped :-)), good infrastructure and lots of green & water (Abu Dhabi city consists of a part mainland, and three big islands).
The first two weeks we stayed in the city center at the Beach Rotana hotel, which made us feel like we were still a bit on holiday. It has a beautiful beach area, a relaxing swimming pool (with bar!) and is attached to the huge Abu Dhabi Mall. That was very convenient in terms of time management, all the (grocery) shopping – dining – playground at one place, especially since I lost lots of time driving the girls to school, which is at the other side of Abu Dhabi.
When you move, you always have to start from scratch. Even the most basic things such as toilet paper, but also everything for preparing food, you need to buy at once. You literally start from zero, although I was prepared for some weeks without our stuff and packed in our suitcases stupid little things you never have when you need it, like plastic jars, cheese grater, wine opener and even our Nespresso machine :-). A few days later than promised, we got the keys from our new house, did a deep deeper deepest cleaning (which was necessary, believe me), got the moving company to hand us back our furniture and belongings and moved in.
It’s striking what you can get done here in no time. Ordering internet on a Saturday evening 11pm and on Sunday 9 am the guys from Etisalat were already doing the installation. You need a handy man, landscaping, cleaners or even swim teachers? You just make some calls and even the same day they are at your doorstep with a quotation. Of course it’s not because there is many labour available, that is all of good quality… For everything, you have somebody to do the job, even for things you could easily do yourself. You will never hear me complain though that at the supermarket there is somebody to unload your cart and pack it in bags (and if you want even puts it in your car, but that’s just one step too far :-)).
As of now Stijn is still assigned to the Fujairah project, so during the week we’re alone in Abu Dhabi. Hopefully he’s joining us for good this weekend, it’s manageable doing this on my own, but it’s just more fun doing the whole move together.
We’re almost settled in completely, we even bought me a car, because it’s too hot to walk and nothing is really at walking distance. Now waiting for the curtains (so the girls would finally stop waking up when the sun comes up), our Ikea delivery (yaay, that always feels like Christmas) which consists most importantly of all the wall lights and at last carpet grass for the garden :-). Let’s make this house our new home.

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