Saturday, August 24, 2013

Our Weekend

After suffering from blue-funkitis, I knew we needed a change in scenery for our weekend... n o more rushing around Khobar and no more hanging out just the 5 of us... it was time to change up things a bit!!!  I invited a new friend I met at the SAEA dinner to dinner at the Hobby farm for Grill Night and she invited another new family... so the 3 families hung out all night at the farm!  First, we went to the RC house ( we just found out that is what our "community group" meeting center is called.  It is weird to go RC on Thursday night... since at home we either go Saturday night or Sunday morning..... but it was a great way to start our weekend!  After that we went to the farm!  We ended up getting their early and met several new families while we were waiting!  It was SO good to mingle and see other new faces at the same point of the process as we are!!!  We got there at 6:30 and the place closes at 8.... at 8 they asked us to pay up and then the workers left!!  They told us to just turn the lights off, close the door, and close the gate behind us!!!  It was SO crazy... but that is sort of how things roll here... laid back and no one worries or locks things up!!!  We stayed until after 9 when I could tell Ethan was getting tired so we needed to call it a night so we all ended on a good note!
 The evening was beautiful!!!  There was a full moon but I couldn't really capture it, bummer!  Here is Owen asking me to take a picture of him being a "Saudi Aravia guy"... this is the first time he has mentioned or done anything to let me know he is noticing the differences around him.  We all went home with happy hearts!  A night out with new friends was JUST what the homesick doctor ordered!
 We spent Friday working around the house!  I made a really nice breakfast and lunch and we did things on our To Do list!  It felt good!  It was nice to not be out running around in a big city and it was nice to start putting some of our touches on this place to make it feel more like home!!!  We bought 2 house plants/ trees (we are standing in front of the one Owen picked out) to add some greenery and it is SO nice!  Brad also hung drapes and put a back splash in our kitchen while I worked on organizing clothes and putting more random things away that have been left out since unpacking the suitcases!
To end our great Friday, Brad and I went on a date!!!  We met a guy at the pool that I chatted up about his live-in house keeper who also watches their kids (a lot of people have live-ins here... and I have to admit, that while I don't want one... it is hard to not get wrapped up in all of that and want to live like the Jones and have it all), he said she has down time that she tries to fill with other jobs to try to make more money to send back home... so we had her come over and she was great!!!!  For me, it was nice to get dressed up (I even put on make-up and wore my hair down... haven't done that since being here) and for the two of us to have a nice dinner together... we haven't done this in 3 months! (another bonus was that it only cost about $6 an hour for a sitter here!  Actually that's about the going rate for most hired help.) It was good to connect and see where we both were in the process and get on the same page about where we are and where we want to go!  Where did we go for dinner?  There is a place on camp call Carliton's Lounge and it is a cafe that has severs (the one place on camp that has servers) and is on the beach!  It was my first time going there and it was really nice!!  To make it even better, a sweet friend I've made on Facebook came over this afternoon so I got to meet her in person for the first time and she brought over a bottle of homemade grape juice for us to enjoy with our dinner!  It was SO nice!  After that we drove the golf cart around camp looking for a good dessert to take home (the places here have great dessert, we were just looking for a specific one).  We ended up driving to the Golf Club and then to the other side of camp to the Hobby Farm... for us, it was nice to just be out for a drive and chatting!!!
 Inside our private dining room at the restaurant
So far, the weekend was nice and relaxing!  It was perfect!  We decided to speed things up a bit for Saturday and head back into Rahima to do some shopping... we had to give the golf cart back today and have to give the car back on Thursday so we are trying to do some shopping to stock up since we don't know when we'll be getting a car.  Our first stop was a place to eat breakfast.  We headed out to town at 8 since that's when stores open.... difference between here and most other places- most places when a store opens at 8 they are ready to serve at 8.... here opening at 8 means the employees walk in the door at 8 and start setting up.... so we didn't end up eating until 8:30.
We actually used the extra time to drive around looking for a bakery everyone on camp talks about, we never found it... but what we did find... several bakeries that were bachelor only... so we ended up driving back to the first place we stopped at and by now they were ready for us.  We spend some time downstairs looking at all of the cookies and chocolates but they were quick to usher us upstairs to the family dining area (the private rooms).
Haha, look at Addyson's face as the guy is bringing in our tray of food and drinks! :)
We ordered some coffer, fresh squeeze orange juice (very popular here), and some pastries (one that is cheese with bread crumbs on it warmed up and they bring you some simple sugar solution to pour on top).  It was all delicious!
I'm not sure what others think about the private dining rooms but, I really liked it!  They kids were free to do their own thing and they were contained in our room!  I didn't have to worry about them.  I was free to unzip my abaya.. and let my hair down ; ).... and didn't have to worry about looks from others.  It was actually a really nice experience.  Our server announces himself and asks permission before coming in... I'm wondering if this is so the women that choose to uncover in the room (if they even do that.. I'm not even sure they do... and I only say this because I peaked in one and the woman was fully covered but that might have been because she knew her door was opening because of her kids coming in) announcing his presence gives her time to cover back up.  Whatever main purpose of the room is and what the women here actually use the room for, I have no idea but me, I'll use it to have a nice breakfast without having to worry about my kids or myself! : )
After breakfast we went to order our carpet for our living room (the one we shopped for the other night).  It will be a nice touch to our house and make it a bit more cozy (we have tile floor all downstairs) until our stuff come!  Then we headed to the Farm grocery store.  It is the store off camp that most people on camp like to go to because of its selection.  Finding it was a bit challenging because it wasn't on the main roads.... when we are on a new adventure to find something I like to pretend I'm on The Amazing Race (tv show I've always dreamed of being on) and I've just gotten clue about somewhere to go and I just have to find it.... and finding the Farm store was a bit like that!  Brad and I had to stop to ask a local who didn't speak any English and use his hand gestures (which we watched while being honked at from a car behind us) to guide us about a half a mile away.  We did a little happy dance when we found it on our first try!! : )
I was looking for flavoring for our morning coffee... at home we use vanilla syrup so I tried to find that.... see, I'm trying to find at least a couple of new items on each shopping trip so slowly over time I'll know the ins and outs of stores and know what my family likes... anyways, I came across this bottle and on the front said Flavoring for coffee and sweets, perfect!  I turned the bottle over and over trying to find a flavor.... didn't find the flavor but I saw this... what?!?!  Good for 4 very different things.... skin, coffee, colic, and gas!!!  WOW!!!  Now that's a product!  Not sure how it will actually taste in coffee but regardless, might be good to give to Brad anyway! ; )  Actually, I didn't buy it... I was a bit scared of what it would taste like and I didn't want to buy it and be disappointed... guess I should at least give it a try... I might be pleasantly surprised... for more than one reason! : )
Shopping with the kids isn't always easy.... especially here since I'm really having to read products and find supplements... I need to go into town one day with other ladies and leave the kids at home and start learning what others do... then I'll become a pro much quicker than at this rate!  Thankfully this trip both Brad and the kids were entertained at the meat counter so I got to shop in peace for quit a while and came home with many new items!  And since the butcher loved our kids (he kept giving them samples hoping to get more and more reaction out of them but our kids are really playing shy here and don't give much of a reaction to any stranger) and Brad made friends with him, if I came across something I wanted to know about I'd take it up to him to ask.  that was really helpful!
We ended up leaving with 2 shopping carts like this full of stuff!  I'd say it was a successful trip to the Farm store!!!  From there, we went back to the Fruit stand from the other day and the guys remembered us!!!  As we walked up to the store, Ethan pointed and said "nana"!  He also remembered the store and getting a banana there!  As soon as we walked in our guy greeted us, told his friend to get the kids a banana, and went to work!!!  This time we walked about with twice as much stuff!  He added it all up and asked Brad if he agreed on the price... Brad did (silly Brad).. but then the guy punched some more numbers, lowered the price and asked Brad if that was a "good price".  Brad agreed again (silly Brad) and gave the guy money.  The guy (we really need to figure out his name) came back with change and said, "I gave you another 20sr discount".  See, I think they wanted to play the barter game for Brad to start establishing that "wasta" friendship and getting good prices.... I told Brad that next time he has to play along!  The trick is that some places you can barter and other places have fixed prices so we just have to learn who does what!

All in all, it was an amazing weekend of hanging out with friends, meeting new friends, meeting internet friends face to face, decorating our house, and hanging out as a family!  In one short week school starts and we'll be adjusting to new schedules!  While I'm thankful we got an extra long summer this year which gave us the extra time we needed to adjust to our new life adventure, I'm also thankful that school will be starting and we can get a routine and start living our new "normal"!
I hope everyone has a great week!!!

1 comment:

dave and jenn said...

Do you think that flavored syrup would kind of taste like gripe water? Might not be horrible! I've taken it before, and it does have a sweet taste to it...