Traveled this weekend to Oman. Very beautiful country with amazing clear blue ocean water. Unfortunately I did not get to go swimming in the ocean. I did, however, go down in the late afternoon to the Souq area. If you want gold or silver this is the place to go. Amazing undercover market with so many stores you could not imagine. I also got to experience my first 41oC day outside!
I spent the afternoon walking around experiencing the wonderful gulf culture.
Spent my last day in Doha busy trying to make connections and see schools...and making myself car sick in the process!
I started out at the Hyatt Plaza (no shortage of malls or giant grocery stores here!) at the 'New Arrivals Coffee' for a networking group called Doha Mums.
I met about 9 other Moms (most without their kids because in school or nursery) from all over - UK, South Africa, Poland, Lebanon. Everyone really friendly and happy to share information on everything from schools to the best place to buy diapers. By attending the event I can now sign up to get an official membership and post any query to their online forum which I think will be very helpful.
I then had to pull out my map to help the driver narrow down the location of some pre-schools and kindergartens. It seems school starts young here for kids. There are many full time (Sun-Thur, 7a-1p) schools starting at 3 years. Haven't completely decided what to do with Maëlle but did find some great options. Might opt for a nursery which still is teaching the kids (music, PE, art, abc's/numbers etc) but you can opt for 2-5 days per week. Think it's great that they teach a little Arabic too. There is one close to our new house, I think walking distance no problem but so funny when you ask. "Oh no! Too far, car is better."
Relaxed in evening, one last swim and a nap before off to the airport for my 1:30am flight.
We are so excited to have found a new home in Doha that checks off pretty much all of our boxes, as the real estate agent put it!
It's green and lush, large enough to meet other people and be able to walk/bike on the property, great pool and facilities, close to shopping, can actually walk somewhere, close to Doug's work, nice back yard, and just a great relaxing feel to it.
We got to go in and see that actual Villa yesterday and confirm we'll be renting it. It's a 3 bedroom villa with a large entrance way, two opens rooms, dining room, and kitchen on ground floor - oh and maids living area / or storage! Upstairs is a bonus room type area and three massive bedrooms. The master bedroom is probably the size of all three of our bedrooms from home!
Nice that they'll completely paint and clean the place before we move in. We"re going to ask for a couple things too like new toilet seats and appliances. There is quite a bit of property owned furniture in there too that we can keep if we want. Might be nice to have some extra tables etc to fill our giant rooms! Should be a fantastic new place to call home during our adventure.
Weekends are Friday / Saturday here, and Friday is the big brunch day. Most hotels host a giant brunch buffet. Was reading about the top brunches in town when I realized one of the top ones was at the hotel just across the street! Very convenient since no driver for us on the weekend.
Enjoyed a really nice meal with a live piano player right behind us and a variety of every delicious type of food around us. Brunch was more like Linner (Lunch-Dinner) since it doesn't start till 12pm and didn't have any breakfast food on it. The highlight for me was the made to order tempura, mmmm delicious all you can eat prawns.
I was so excited to try the ice cream, they make themselves, to find the chocolate just like favourite from Baskin Robins (that they no longer make), chocolate mouse royale. This actually better. Planning to see if I can go back just for an ice cream cone before I go.