Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lost Again, with My Granddaughter

Getting lost in Bahrain on your granddaughter’s first day visiting is not something you plan.  But that is exactly what I did.

ML arrived on Sunday night after traveling all the way from Oklahoma, USA to Manama, Bahrain. YIPEE! She seemed to handle the 2 days of travel well.

I followed her flight all the way with my United app on my iPad. Sorry, this picture is upside down -- ugh I can't figure out how to rotate it.
ML leaving immigration and arriving in Bahrain.
A photo with the camel outside the airport is a must for all new visitors to Bahrain.
Of course, I have the next 3 days mapped out for some real fun together.  

The next morning ML surprised us both by getting up at 6:15AM to see D off to work.

BACON for breakfast!
After a hot breakfast that included her favorite dish of “BACON,” we were off to the American Women’s Association (AWA) monthly coffee in A’ali.

We stopped by La Chocolate bistro on the way to pick up a “sweet” to take to the coffee. The restaurant has a fantastic assortment of pastries. ML loved it, as I knew she would. I had this stop on her itinerary from the very beginning.

Oo la la!
Leaving La Chocolate is where the adventure begins.  

I have never gone to A’ali although I have driven by there several times on my way to the Royal Golf Club and the AWA clubhouse. I thought I would be able to find the villa where the coffee was being held.

I was wrong.  My GPS had the location (which turned out to be correct) but the road leading up to the area was blocked by some big barricades.

We tried going down a side road that did show it went through, but it did not.  At the end of the side road we encountered a large guard carrying a large gun.  He instructed us to turn around and go back which we did gladly.  ML nervously asked, “Did he have a gun?” Yep, and a big one.

So we started driving around side roads trying to find our way through.  Somewhere in the maze we ran into a car with 2 of my AWA friends who were also searching for the coffee. We decided to follow them.

T and L were also lost but seemed confident they could find the villa.

Although I had a feeling they were going in the wrong direction, I followed.  My thought was 2 cars were safer than one.

We wound around through some markets and a small village. We right next to several of the burial mounds that must fill the area. We had passed the large burial grounds on the highway but I never dreamed you might drive right up next to them on a road.

We drove right next to some of the burial mounds.
This is the view of the burial grounds from the highway.
It was very interesting until I saw black flags marking an area that was occupied by opponents of the Bahrain government. Opps!  We should not be here.

Quickly we passed the flagged buildings and in the distance I could see a major highway I recognized. We turned back the other direction and entered an area filled with big villas.  I had a feeling this was the right area and my GPS confirmed we were on the correct road.

I flashed my lights at T & L trying to let them know I had the location of the villa identified but they kept on going. I decided to take a turn off the road they were on and head out on my own toward the location on the GPS.  After only 2 turns I saw a line of parked SUV’s that looked like familiar AWA cars parked outside a villa.  We made it.

The neighborhood was filled with large villas just like this one.

The coffee was fun and ML got a kick out of meeting all the ladies. It was truly a global experience. And, there was chocolate cake!

ML comparing our box from La Chocolate to the color of the flowers at the door to the villa. They match beautifully
Our sweet from La Chocolate was very popular. We captured a piece to take home to D.

Here is our selfie with the President of AWA. ML is the cute one in the middle.
After the coffee we headed to Seef Mall to have our nails painted and to have ML’s hair done. We have started a tradition of nails and hair every time we get together.  It is a nice tradition we both enjoy.  Girl time!

ML asleep in the chair at the beauty shop. I think jet lag was catching up with her.
A little shopping and we were set!  Of course ML had to shop at Forever21 in the Seef Mall.  Forever21 is her favorite and shopping there while visiting the Middle East was a must. Whenever I am traveling abroad and I see a Forever21 store, I always send her pictures.

Seef Mall is just down the street from our flat.
ML bought the cutest dress for our dinner out in Dubai then we headed home. D was supposed to try to be home from Saudi by 7.  Of course that did not work out.  When we finally heard from him it was too late to go out to eat so ML and I drove to Jaffair and picked up sushi at a cute little sushi restaurant.

Back at the flat we spread the sushi out on our living room table and ate Asian style as ML told D all about her adventures during her first day in the Middle East with Mema - what an adventure!

It was a great day!  And, I am looking forward to tomorrow.  We have decided to really step out of our comfort zone and order MacDonald’s DELIVERY for breakfast.  What a HOOT!

Brenda (otherwise known as Mema)

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