Saturday, April 4, 2015

Museum of Islamic Art and Fine Dining

Last night wasn't one of the best nights I've even slept in a hotel room.  I ended up sharing a small bed with Addyson (Owen and Brad shared and Ethan slept on the floor).  Addyson likes to toss and turn ALL night long.  To make matters worse, I HATE those little blue lights that shine all night long on certain electronics and every hotel rooms has one I can't seem to cover up and it bothers me throughout the night.  I ended up waking up at 3:30am and was just hoping I had the energy to go out and explore Doha.
Then at 5:30 I got a tap on my shoulder, it was Owen saying he felt like he was going to be sick.  We rushed to the bathroom where he had an upset stomach however, the more he talked about it he said it came from a headache that came from the blue light shinning in the room all night.  Hmmm, sounds like he suffers from the same thing I did. : (  Poo guy. With him sick I just knew our plans to go exploring were pretty much off the table.
Brad took the two little kids to breakfast while Owen and I stayed in the hotel room and read.  I ended up reading "Fault in our Stars" from start to finish in less than 24 hours of being in Doha!  I couldn't put the book down and getting to hang out with Owen in the room just helped me with not having to put the book down!  After the crew got back from breakfast I headed down, book in hand, for a quiet breakfast by myself!  That was a nice treat.  To wrap up the morning, Brad took the little kids down to swim in the hotel pool (this is where we learned that Ethan, less than 3.5 years old can swim by HIMSELF!!!!) while Owen and I relaxed.  All of a sudden, Owen jumped out of bed and asked, "When are we going to go to the museum?"  And just like that he was better!
After resting up, we were ready to go exploring.  This was actually perfect timing because the museum doesn't open until 10.  And if you are planning to go to Doha I suggest always double checking things such as opening times, are kids allowed, and anything else you might need to know.  There is no where that has updated info.  For example, we were suppose to go to the museum yesterday but thankfully we called before walking over there and it turns out the museum is closed on Tuesdays.  Good to know!
Outside the museum by the pretty sign and "river" that flows down the driveway.  Picture courtesy of Addyson.
The museum of Islamic Art is a beautiful building full of many great pieces of art including an area of "marvellous" creatures that come from many of their stories and the nice touch is that this museum is free to get into.  If you, as a lady, are not dress modestly they do have a scarf you can borrow to cover up with.  I happened to have a pair of pants with me so I just changed over once I got there.
In the marvellous creatures exhibit there is a kid area with 3D versions of some of the creatures and a place for the kids to create their own creatures or recreate some that they have seen.  Another thing I noticed, especially in this area, is that the museum employees several woman.  This is something that is up and coming in Saudi so it was really nice to see here in Qatar!
This beautiful building is 5 stories tall with the fine dining restaurant on the 5th floor and at the top you can see the beautiful ceiling!
All kids were claiming they were too tired to walk..... so I turned my single jogging stroller into a ride for 3 kids!!!  Then there was no arguing over who had to walk and we were able to enjoy the rest of the exhibits.

One of the amazing pieces was a fully intact chainmail armor set for the knight and the horse!
One of the exciting things we had planned for our museum day was eating that the fine dining restaurant of Alain Ducasse, IDAM.  Up until last year, Alain Ducasse had the most michelin stars of any chef.  We were excited to experience a restaurant with such high caliber.  That plan was almost foiled with the guard that mans the elevators took one look at us and told us the restaurant was closed.  Luckily for us, a worker overheard that and said the restaurant WAS opened and we could be served.  We wanted to go back and question the guard, what made him stop us?  Just another fine lesson in, never judge a book by its cover!
We were seated and the beauty of the restaurant, view from our table, and the quality of all of the things that surrounded us took over!  I tried to keep my picture taking to a minimum and just enjoy this with the kids but I couldn't NOT take any pictures!! : )
A cool towel to clean up before your meal.
White glove service!
Little appetizers were brought to the table.  We had mini pancakes with three different toppings to choose from- a beetroot humus, a chicken pate, and another dip I cannot remember because it wasn't our favorite.
They also served us flat chickpea crepe like items that were baked to a crisp.  The kids enjoyed the spreading of mini dips and trying new things.  This was such a hit they our server brought the kids another round.
Brad and I ordered the tasting menu and each of us ordered a different main dish.  Here we have lobster spring rolls, crispy chicken on a salad, and a quail egg with a pumpkin and quinoa salad.  Yummy!
My main course was squid.  Brad got braised lamb.  We had ordered the kids chicken pasta but they ended up eating all of my squid and I ended up with the pasta!  Who would have thought?
Dessert was amazing!  Can you see the layers of golden flakiness across the table?  Brad had a saffron dish that was good.  I had a yummy berry compote served with cinnamon ice cream.  we were also served cookies and chocolates topped with....
Gold flakes on top!
The kids thought it was so neat that they were able to eat gold!!
We ate lunch for 2 hours!!!  Yes, you read that correctly!  TWO HOURS with 3 kids ages 7, 5, and 3 and the kids did amazing!  We sat there talked about our day, talked about the different food items as they were served, and discussed which items we thought were best.  Honestly, when the whole experience was over I couldn't believe how well it went.  We even had  another guest stop by our table and compliment on our children and their behavior!  I was so glad Brad talked me into trying this with the kids (I almost talked us out of it).  It was an amazing experience and so great for the kids to be a part of it!
We left with bellies full, mouths full of delicious flavors, and smiles on our faces!
Note to parents- never let the age of your kids or someone else's idea of what your kids should and shouldn't be doing (ie, the security guard at the elevator) stop you from experiencing life and all it has to offer!!!  And just when you think you know what your kids can handle, sometimes they surprise you!  Just like mine did today!  Go out and seize every opportunity you can!  Live life to the fullest!

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