...making enough baby food to (hopefully) last for three months. (Yeah, probably not, with four babies eating solid food!)
...packing everything into one checked bag (oops, one and a half...couldn't fit...I borrowed the pink one from a four year old at our church)...
...then I stopped over to visit my sister Joy in Dubai on a 10 hour layover!
Joy and I were roommates for six months or so before she moved to Dubai (city in the United Arab Emirates) to work. It was so good to see her again!
Some family and friends were a bit scared of me venturing out into the Middle East, but everything was totally fine - Dubai is very much a tourist city. In the airport they even have pink taxis for women, driven by women in pink headscarves...
...and red taxis for men/families. (We later took a red taxi in the middle of the city, so I'm not sure how strict they are!)
Some sights around the city
This is the tallest building in the world. I wanted to go up in it, but that cost close to $150, so we just decided to admire it from the ground.
It was so tall Joy couldn't manage to get me and the top of the building in the same picture.
It was 115 degrees Fahrenheit outside, so we spent as much time in air conditioning as we could. This is a waterfall inside a mall. It spanned three floors.
This is the world's largest aquarium. Again, it cost too much to go inside, at least for the short time we were there, so we just admired it from the outside. I didn't get a very good picture.
Breakfast outside at a cafe
We spent about 10 minutes at the beach. This was due as much to the extreme heat as to me not wanting to miss my flight. The ocean felt like warm bathwater. Somehow, despite not bringing sunscreen along, I didn't burn.
I made it to my flight in enough time, although they made the "final call" before boarding time was even supposed to start, so I freaked out and ran for the last bit through the airport. Then I was off on a 16 hour flight to Los Angeles! Thankfully I got a good seat - I got the last seat before the bathrooms, so no one was behind me and I could put my backpack under my seat and stretch out my legs under the seat in front of me. I watched several good movies and started watching the TV series Supergirl - it's really good! (I have a thing for slightly cheesy TV shows...)
I spent a week in outer LA with my friend Alyssa, my 2014 MBH roommate, who was to be married on the 20th. It was a busy week, of course, but it was good to see her again.
We visited Hollywood, which was, not surprisingly, a disappointment. I did find some nice, cheap sunglasses.
This is the theater where Lucy and Ethel (I Love Lucy) stole John Wayne's footprints, and it was the thing I actually wanted to see. However, there was some kind of premier going on and everything was covered up with red carpet. Oh well.
And of course we had to visit the Pacific Ocean!
Alyssa took me to see some tidepools - the thing I really wanted to do.
We didn't see an awful lot (no starfish or fish) but it was still pretty cool. Lots of little crabs:
Maybe some kind of sponge?
Afterwards we stopped at a taco truck for dinner so I could have "real" tacos. They were pretty good!
I came back to Ohio on Sunday, and it is good to be home! I've finished unpacking and am hanging out with family and working on support raising - I have a rough estimate of how much I will need to raise (per month) on the thermometer on the side of my blog (I don't quite have it nailed down yet). I will be speaking at our church soon...I will let everyone know when I have a date and you are welcome to come out! If anyone knows of any other churches I could speak at as well, I would be thrilled! I'm hoping to head back to South Africa the week after Thanksgiving.
Love to you all!
P.S. Dubai also has the most awesome ball pit known to man. I'm afraid they probably don't let adults in, which is very sad.