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The Experience of a Lifetime

Home Sweet Home! There's no place like home, where everything has its place and comfort surrounds me.

After a 15 hour delay from Dubai to Atlanta, a late connection home, and the WORST flight ever, I am so thankful to be in my home updating my blog!

Here's what we did the last week of our trip.

Sunday, the students met with a digital media company, Blue Barracuda. This was an exceptional meeting and we all made a valuable connection. That evening and night, the students were hard at it preparing and putting the finishing touches on their PR campaign for Astro Complex, a realty and shopping complex in Saudi Arabia.

The next day, it was show time! Running on little sleep but a lot of adrenaline, the students nailed the presentation. I couldn't be more proud of their work! That evening, we headed to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Of course, we went on the haziest day of our entire trip, but it was still an amazing experience!



Monday officially marked the end of coursework, so Tuesday and Wednesday were free days! What happens when seven gals have a free day? Shopping, of course! And, oh did we shop! I must say that I am proud of myself as I devoted much of my spending money for gifts for my family. All I really wanted was local-made jewelry. Well, if you know anything about Dubai then you know the wealth has no cap, so "handmade" doesn't really exist... I did, however, find pieces that remind me of the culture.

 
That evening, a few of the students and I made our way to Festival City and dined at Hard Rock Café. That night goes down as one of the best nights in Dubai! I LOVE music and that night the restaurant featured a local band. We sang, laughed, and even had our own dance party. This gal can still keep up with the youngins'.
 
The last full day in Dubai we spent at the beach, soaking in the warm rays and enjoying the ocean water. That night we all decided to head to Hard Rock Café for our final dinner in Dubai. We were so looking forward to music, laughter, and good food. We got the good food, but all else was a no go. It was a holiday and music wasn't allowed. So to liven things up, a few of us headed to the carnival at Festival City. Dylan and Michelle rode the slingshot, which certainly was a funny sight!


 


 
Thursday morning came quickly, but I felt a new energy as I awaited our departure from our home for three weeks to the airport. Then, bad news came our way. Our flight was delayed. Not once, twice, three times... I lost count after a while, but we finally boarded for the states Friday morning. It was a humbling experience as we realized most on our flight were military and hadn't been home in over a year. Our complaining quickly diminished...
 
At 11:10pm, I walked hastily from our gate in Tri-Cities Airport to the lobby. My haste steadily turned into a slight run as I finally saw my husband's sweet, smiling face. There's no better feeling than his embrace after being apart for three weeks. It's nice to see his face across from me at dinner again.
 
And, I can't forget my baby girl. She has loved on me more than ever!

Now that I've updated you on my trip, here are few "lessons learned" from my experience:
 
1. Don't forget your curling iron! These are a rarity in Dubai and if you do find one, it will cost you over $100. Thankfully, I borrowed one.
 
2. A large, carry all tote is a BAD idea. I thought I was being smart by carrying a large tote so that I would have everything I need. What I didn't consider was how much walking and standing (on the metro) I would do. So, as you can imagine, the weight of this tote was a little much to handle sometimes.
 
3. Bring snacks. All who know me know that I pretty much stay hungry. So, I did bring some snacks. Unfortunately, not enough and while American brands can be found, food items were often expired.
 
4. Lastly, a camcorder is a must! Had we filmed this experience, I think we would have a deal with MTV by now. Oh the things students say and do...
 
Thanks for following me on this chapter! I shall now return to normalcy. 


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