Al Rawabi Farm

Dubai has an endless possibility of fun activities for the kids on the weekend. Unfortunately, it also means you need to have an endless bank account to pay for these activities. Having none of the latter, I’m always in the hunt for fun frugal family activities I could get my hands on.

When a co-mom at school told me about this tour at Al Rawabi Farm and that it was FREE. I was in.

All you have to do is to go to their site (link here ☝️) and book your farm tour date. They call you the day before and send you an email with the location. All you have to do is follow Google maps and be there 10 mins before 10:00 AM. 

There’s a bus that will pick up all the guests at the entrance and take you around the farm.

First stop and my favorite one is the milk collecting area. I could watch these cows for hours. They go inside their stalls in such an orderly fashion and face their fate without the slightest complaint. Call me crazy but I kinda feel a little sorry for the cows. I don’t think the whole process hurts them but seeing them get hooked up to a machine and gets their milk sucked from them brings back painful memories of breastfeeding. They said they do it to the cows 3x a day … can anybody say OUCH! 
The next two stops were the milk and fruit juice packaging process which to me was super boring but to  my 4 and 7 year old was “Super cooooooooool!”.

Free juice at the end of the tour was the best part for these two.

before we left, everybody got freebies which to me was “Super cooooool!”

If you are kind of squeamish about cow dung and grass and all that “gross” farm stuff. Don’t worry the whole tour is in a AC room. You could smell the aroma of the farm in and out of the bus to the buildings but IT IS A FARM…🙄.

The whole tour only took about an hour and 15 mins but it was a nice thing to do on a Saturday morning with the kids. Something different, something educational, and something free.

Until my next frugal weekend mommies!

Lovin’ their mooooooful weekend.

img_0286

My budding reporter/blogger taking notes of the farm tour to share with his friends at school. 

 

 

 

 


IMG worlds of adventure

img_9665

Take 3 boys + 1 Marvel theme park + a 5 day holiday = an awesome fun day at IMG worlds of fun.

My boys couldn’t wait to get here. Everyday on our way to and from school they’d see signs of their opening everywhere and everyday they’d tell me

Mom, I want to go there! I want to go there!” x10 times EVERYDAY!!!!

So you could imagine my relief when finally the day has come where we can actually take them here.

Our day of reckoning was last Wednesday which was also Arnie’s last day of Eid holiday. We thought we were being smart by going on a weekday and since majority would still be on holiday, some have actually started working. I thought it was a good day because although I didn’t expect the park to be empty at least we still had some personal space to ourselves and in places like these, that’s all I could really ask for.

img_9635

Prior to going, we did a little cyber stalking on what people who have been there actually said about the place. Not that it would change our minds on going  but if you are like us and want to know some first time observations here are some of mine.

  1. The height of your child is crucial. Most of the rides require a 1.05m minimum height (and they are actually very strict about it). So if you have an over 3-year-old child but less than 1.05m in height you’d still have to pay for him at full child’s price but he won’t be allowed to go on most of the rides. We’ve actually seen some families react with anger and some in tears because of this and for everyone’s sake and for your wallets too check your child’s height.
  2. If parking is a big deal, don’t worry as per norm in Dubai there is a valet service. They will charge you 50 aed but if you are not ready to walk from Mars (which is where we parked our car) then 50 aed isn’t so bad.
  3. No food and drinks allowed. They actually check at the door and they confiscate them. There are a variety of food inside to cater to any budget so that shouldn’t be an issue.
  4. The AC could get cold for some so if you can, carry a light pullover. I’m actually ok with this because imagine the alternative, with people being so close together, I’d rather nobody sweat 😜. But it could get cold…you’ve been warned.
  5. Get ready to fall in line. Most of our day was spent falling in line and I actually expected that. What I didn’t expect were little kids trying to cut the line because they think they can get away with it. On one ride I actually saw a mother coax her kid on to move ahead of the line. I mean what are we trying to teach our children people?

*One thing about the lines though was that after we’ve gone on the ride, the nastiness, the waiting in line and all the other stuff just fade away. Which makes me think of the saying that goes “anything worth having/experiencing is worth waiting for” #insightsonline

11 hours passed and my boys would’ve gone for 11 more. They had so much fun that in our heads paying an arm and a limb for a year pass wouldn’t be so bad (if only they’d offer any).

The best part for me was the ride home. The boys gave us a play by-play on what we did and to hear their version of the day with such high spirits was absolutely priceless.

Update:

For anyone interested IMG does have an annual pass…


birthdays are #betterwithjumeirah

It is my littlest one’s 4th birthday today and as per our Dubai birthday tradition, we had a mini staycation last weekend. Our accommodation of choice for our first birthday in 2016 was the Jumeirah Mina a’slam. It was a no brainer really, a few weeks ago they had a very good price offer with a free upgrade to half board accommodation so click click click and we were in.

img_7652

That’s what I call “a room with a view”

Upon check in, we got a very nice surprise of having our reservation upgraded to a one bedroom suite. First time in my life I got a free upgrade to anything so you can imagine my excitement and the boys’ as well. Ok later on we discovered that maybe the reason we got upgraded was because of the construction of the new hotel right beside us but the walls are thick enough to mask out any noise. Plus for the extra space and the view, it was a small price to pay.

img_7666-1

our crib (for one night only)

First thing I always check when we check in is the coffee bar and I have to say this one is an A+

Now, that’s not a bad view to play hide and seek if I do say so myself.

 

 img_7681As guests, we got unlimited access to Wild Wadi which was only a buggy away and guests had their own entrance, you still had to fall in line but it was much shorter than any line I’ve been on at these water parks so no biggie…

The boys loved their Wild Wadi adventure so much that they asked if it was possible to sleep there.

For dinner, we were given dinner vouchers that we can use at any of the  Jumeirah Group restaurants and because I’m half mexican at heart (or maybe at the stomach) we chose to eat at Tortuga. As half board, we get a starter, a main, and dessert for each voucher and the kids eat free. After eating all these our bill was only 45 aed and that was only for the water.

Kid’s meal: Chicken fingers 

Carnitas Asada

Albondigas

Churros 

img_7764

Tortuga @night

Waking up with this view with a cup of my STRONG coffee (5:30am view)

breakfast at Hanaya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_7731

 

I woke up early the next day to soak in the view and to maximize my posh coffee maker for the day. Breakfast was I’d say “normal” as far as hotel breakfasts go and that’s actually my favorite part of any staycation we’ve been to.

 

We got to use the hotel’s abra to go around their property which consisted of 3(?) hotels 

After  breakfast, we brought the kids to the Sinbad Kid’s club and because the boys are older now, we got to leave the kids behind but as we got back to pick them up they were glued to the desktop watching videos and playing games which wasn’t really my cup of tea. So we brave the heat and off to Wild Wadi we go.

Before checking out, we even had the pleasure of meeting their in-house turtles which is part of their Turtle Rehabilitation program (sorry no pics- got so caught up in the moment I forgot!)

another light fixture in our room

 

All in all I’d like to say it was a successful weekend, thanks in part to Jumeirah and Daddy’s uncanny ability to sniff out a good deal. We got to celebrate our youngest’ birthday and experienced new things together as a family. My hope is that when they get older they appreciate our unconventional way of celebrating their birthdays and this results to them  having that thirst for experiencing new things. To have the lust to travel, to eat or at least try new things, and to  live life to the fullest. I think that all that is the greatest gift we can give them.

Happy Birthday Aden! Love, Dad, Mom, and Kuya

 

 


less is more…

at the airport and they couldn’t be bothered on what lies ahead…

We’ve noticed that our boys have spent more time on their gadgets and less time on conversing with us.

Conversations like “How was school?” and “Did you have fun at the party?” are all answered with a nonchalant “Fine“.

This type of behavior scares me and makes me frustrated. BUT I also know that no one else to blame but me.

Oh but wait! there is always someone or something to blame and for this instance the mighty IPAD was my enemy of choice. And so it begins our quest to make our kids spend less time on their gadgets and more time with us. And because of this there were new rules that had to be mandated.

and the new rules are…

  1. No gadgets in the car.
  2. No gadgets when we go out.
  3. No gadgets at the table during dinner.
  4. No more gadgets after dinner (except on the weekends and that’s if all their homework is done.)
  5. Every time they misbehave an hour is taken away from their precious gadget time.

It’s been over a month now and I think the boys have adjusted just fine. It wasn’t easy in the beginning but we’ve managed to keep their gadget’s time to a minimum and I think we are all better for it (at least that’s what I want to think).

Well for one, the kids communicate more. Now when I ask about their day in school, they start by telling me who was in school and who was home sick like a roll call, then we start with what they did, what food their friends had for lunch and so on and on and on. Seriously, I have to switch off the radio in the car because they want my full attention when they speak something which I don’t mind at all.

Another positive thing I can think of is that the boys obey me more…why? because I always threaten to take away their gadget time if they don’t follow me or make me upset.

But of course just like any addict trying to quit the bad habit our ride hasn’t been smooth sailing.

Kuya not happy that daddy gets to use his gadget (old dogs…) and the little one entertaining himself by sitting upside down.

One example would be when we are waiting for food at a restaurant. Before, when we do eat at sit down restaurants that’s when we always give them their gadgets so they’d sit still and not bother anyone or play with the forks and knives. But because we don’t carry their gadgets everywhere anymore (rule no.2) there’s always drama, drama, drama.

I know that this in not the end of our journey but at least for now I feel like we’re trying to raise well-balanced boys who can one day torture their children the way we did to them…


Yachting Dubai

This is a very very late post that it could have #throwback after it. But it doesn’t happen often and it might not happen again and I never thought I’d have the chance to do it and these are the reasons why I’d like to share it with you all.

Last December, (I told you, it’s a late post!) we had the pleasure of having family over from Manila and the US. We had months to prepare for this trip and so we tried to plan it as best as we could. Through a grapevine of networks we were able to get a good deal on a chartered yacht and since we probably can’t afford this type of luxury with no internal discount wait! let me rephrase that – since we probably can’t afford this ever doing it while we had guests over would be perfect.

Our 3-year-old loving his rented abode.

At first I thought it was a small dinghy or a motorboat or something similar but when we got to the Marina it was a proper yacht, it had 3 cabins, 3 heads, a galley and a wide deck to fit 15 people…F-A-N-C-Y!!! Right?! The interior was better than our first apartment in Dubai. Heck! It might even be better than our apartment at the moment! Aside from the Captain and 2 skippers there was a steward to help and serve us with the food that we brought on board. Soda drinks were included but we brought our own.

For two hours as we cruised around the shores of Dubai, we saw the landmarks from a different perspective. Sitting on the deck with my boys by my side, watching the sun set, life stood still. And as my 6-year-old boy would say … “ahhhhhh! This is the life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


It was so windy on the deck that everybody was cooped up in the main salon

 

Possibly our only group picture from this visit

Au Revoir Dubai! (at least for a few hours)

 It was a wonderful experience and something that would definitely stay with me for awhile.

* As I was writing this post, I had every intention to share details as to how much , where, and from whom we got the charter but upon checking the website given to me there was no mention of chartering any yachts that led me to believe that this might be more internal that I thought. So for the safety of my friend’s, friend, friend…job I decided not to…who knows I might need her/him again next time 😜😜

Dome Box Dubai

The Dome Box is a dome theatre with a state-of-the-art 360-degree screen that offers a unique audio-visual experience.¹ In lay man terms it’s like going in a planetarium but like 1,000 gazzilion times better!!! Totally blew my inner geek nerd mind away…

We got the tickets by winning it from Dubai 92, 5 months ago. I’ve had it for the longest time but never really got to doing it because to be really honest, I had second thoughts of bringing my 3 year old. His attention span is so fickle that I’m always so scared that he’s going to blow a fuse any moment. (FYI, it is getting better at least i’d like to think so…)

But then, their nursery class got to go on a class trip and he absolutely loved it!!! He has been talking about it non stop that it raised our curiosity and we finally decided to go last weekend before the 6 months validity of the ticket expires.

When we arrived there had just been a birthday party at the site and my curious side asked the staff if it was possible for me to see the set up and take pics while they were cleaning up. It really looks like a cool place to hold a party especially for those around 7 and up ages. Upon inquiry the birthday party starts at about 125 aed per head with a minimum of 10 kids. Of course ++ if you want them to have popcorn during the movie or for their adult companions to have a small snack, anything is possible, if you have deep pockets (as it goes in Dubai😉).

The movies are 30 minute shorts that are educational and at the same time entertaining. I learned so much on “The life of trees” that I didn’t know about. Our second one was about astronauts which takes you to the everyday life of an astronaut living at the space station. I’m not sure how often they change the movies but I’m hoping they change again before our other tickets expire.

 

Check out their website for more info but personally I found it more interesting once I walked in on their space. Plus the staff was extremely friendly so inquiring alone was a pleasant experience in itself.

¹http://www.thedomeboxdubai.ae

Dose of my own meds

pills

pills

It’s a tale as old as time, husband and wife arguing about how one often disregard ones needs.

You hear it over and over and even see it on comedy sitcoms.

My husband and I are no different. I always expect him to help me even without me asking and of course he never does because well simply he didn’t know. He never says anything and just lets me fume on my own resulting to me feeling stupid in the end. There was one time I think he felt he had to say something and it actually struck a chord. He said that he’s not a mind reader and I cannot simply expect him to know what I need by just looking at him, I have to actually say it…

After that I think I backed off him (a little – I think).

Today, I got a dose of my medicine and it was awful!!!

Long story short: We had to renew our residence visa and prelude to this I had to take a medical exam. Me being Mrs.  Spoiled Rotten thought all I needed to do was just show up. Of course there was more to it than that. I didn’t prepare a thing for my medical and of course like any smart wife I started to blame him. He said he texted me what I needed and of course I had to check. All the text said was

Medical for visa renewal, Thursday

I didn’t know that was code for bring passport, 2 ID pictures and a photo copy of visa page and 1st page of passport.
In the end we managed to do my medical and in his true “gentlemanly” fashion I never heard a word. Which made me feel worst because if I were in his shoes I’d never stop talking. But all I could think of was “How was I suppose to know?” which made me think of all the times I get frustrated by him not doing what I wanted him to do (in my head). This had such a big impact on me that I simply had to write about the experience

I guess the lesson for today folks is this:

Never assume. Never assume that the person knows what you are talking about and /or knows what you need. And if you don’t tell the person what you need NEVER GET MAD at the person because at the end of the day, you didn’t marry a mind reader so deal with it!

niXX