Sunday, January 25, 2015


Our golf course on camp is entirely made of sand. They oil the sand to make it flat, and you use a little piece of fake grass from which you hit. It's unlike anything I've ever seen, but it is well used and totally free, so it's hard for the golfers to argue too much. For the little ones, the sand bunkers were tons of fun for the cousins this weekend when my brother and his family came down. Augie ran around in circles in the bunker, and Sojo's best way to connect with her cousin is to let him chase her. He will do it forever, and he has the funniest laugh when he is running around trying to get her.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tennis, Anyone?

With the start of a new trimester, we sat down with Sojo and made a big list of various sports and activities offered on camp. Her job was to pick two--our way of keeping her involved but also honoring that she loves to come home and do all that fun kid stuff of riding bikes and playing in the park. She wound up choosing tennis and baseball, which we thought were awesome choices.  I grew up with lots of playing tennis in the street with friends, and I have tons of great memories of the sport. We opted for private lessons because the whole waiting in line thing is just not fun at all for kids, and they are pretty cheap for a half hour.

With fingers crossed that she would like it, we headed off to our first lesson with a borrowed racket and a Darth Vader tshirt. Watching her play, I was gobsmacked at how well she hit the ball, and she loved playing with the teacher. Just the right amount of competition and instant gratification to hit the ball so well. She was so hooked that she wound up going for another lesson the following day, which surprised me as her friends were waiting to play in the park. 

Kudos to her for branching out and trying something new. Kudos to us for steering her towards a sport where Dale and I can watch instead of being the coaches. 

Friday, January 16, 2015


Although we do love to stay here in the desert over the winter break, it is nice to have a few days of 'the real world,' which usually includes movies, no abaya wearing, and wine. Since Dubai is fairly close, we decided to head there for a few days of fun. We loved seeing the Burj Khalifa from our hotel and from about everywhere else, and we saw tons of movies (some even twice!). Add in Cheesecake Factory and the Rainforest Cafe, and it was a dose of all the finer things that we need living in a small town and a conservative country.

The highlight for Sojo was the trip to Ski Dubai. A veritable winter wonderland inside a mall, complete with snow, skiing and a chairlift, tubing, luges and 2 degree weather. We were given snowsuits upon arrival, and Sojo and I got a ski lesson as part of our package. The whole thing was crazy fun, at least until the crowds descended on us around noon. It was so comical to be throwing snowballs while looking out the glass windows to see people shopping right to the left of you. Once we could not bear the crowds, we headed to the Cheesecake Factory that also had big glass windows to view everyone having fun.

At the end of the day, we really are small town people at heart. Mind you, small town people who lived in sprawling Asian cities for 10 years, but this is truly what we love. Albeit, with a getaway every now and then. 

Thursday, January 01, 2015


Having a quad is a big thing here in the desert. Since our backyard is just hills and sand, it's more than a perfect way to spend some time. Last Christmas, someone was selling an old, kid-sized quad that didn't work, so we picked it up and Dale worked on it for a while. Most unfortunately, it ran for 2 minutes, and that was it.

Before this Christmas of 2014 happened, Dale was bound and determined to make that thing work. Since he was a mechanic years ago, he persisted and persisted and it was our own little Christmas magic. They have been toodling around ever since, snack in hand!

Yesterday, Dale and I headed out beyond our back gate into the hills behind our house for a little adult riding. Super fun, even if we do look like circus people riding a tiny quad with our pillow on the back since we don't fit in the seat of the kid quad.