Saturday, May 4, 2013

Weekend in Doha

Last fall we attended a bazaar at a friends compound and we won the raffle prize of a trip! It was for a certain dollar amount to be spent visiting a Gulf Coast Country! So, since we thought John was supposed to start a shutdown (12 hour days, 7 days a week) the middle of May we decided to take a family trip before that to spend time together especially since I would be heading back to the States before he was done and it would be a long time before we had family time. Well, turns out the shut down was moved to June but we still went ahead on our trip! 

We looked at all the options and quickly realized that flying anywhere take up all out prize money and so we needed to drive. We have been wanting to do a trip back to Qatar so we decided to drive there. We left Wednesday morning for the boring drive through the dessert.

Graham wanted to drive....we were waiting in the car while John went inside the adminstration building for our visas into Qatar.

We decided to splurge a little since it was a prize and stayed at the Grand Hyatt Doha on their Club Level. The hotel was very nice and the service was great. We very much enjoyed our extra benefits of free snacks and drinks all day on our floor and the breakfast. We had a beautiful room with a separate living room area which was great for us and the kids. 

The first night we hired a baby sitter so we could enjoy the complimentary drinks and appetizers in the Club Level lounge and then went out for dinner at a Thai restaurant at the hotel. We were so thankful for the time together and chance to go on a date! At about 9:30 PM, We were going to go out for dessert but decided to check on the kids before we headed out and thankfully we did as Graham was still up! He didn't want to go to bed! Good thing we came back! 

Graham loved pressing the elevator buttons and had to bring his bag with him everywhere. This is him heading to breakfast....

The main reason we wanted to come to Doha again was to visit the Museum of Islamic Art. So that is all we had planned for Thursday! We tried to go early in the morning to find out it didn't open until 1:00 PM so we went to the mall and went shopping instead and then came back in the afternoon. It did not disappoint! We both were absolutely enchanted with the architecture of the building, the exhibits and it was a great experience. I only wish we had hours to spend inside reading about everything!

Graham and Peyton even really enjoyed the museum and I loved hearing the questions coming from Peyton. It brought back so many wonderful memories of growing up and exploring so many art museums with my parents. It was great to hear her curiousity about objects, questions and also to see her piece things together and associate memories of our travels. For example, when we were in a room with Turkish pottery she said it looked like her ceramic cat that she got at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. I love that she remembered it and that all our experiences are sinking in!

 Graham's favorite part was watching the airplanes landing at the nearby airport! And running around outside once we let him be free from the confines of being quiet and respectable in the museum! 

That night John and I ordered to kids room service and got them to bed and then ordered room service for ourselves and set it up on our balcony and had a nice candlelight dinner there. And then we headed home the next day. A fun weekend away from Saudi!

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