Happy Birthday Amanda!

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I love traveling! I love experiencing new places and culture, even within the states. I have traveled to many places with many people, but I have to say one of my favorite travel pals is my sister in law, Amanda. (And I am not just saying that because today is her birthday). She has a sense of adventure, an eye for taking great photos, does her research on things to do but still allows me plan an itinerary- or at least a game plan- and trusts my ability to keep it all organized. 

We have traveled many times together to Florida and over seas, and many more trips coming up this summer, from California to Charleston. The most memorable so far has been our trip to visit Matthew in Abu Dhabi with their mother. 

 
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We did our research and figured out what places we wanted to see. We were able to combine Amanda's love of adventure with my love of... an agenda! We planned days where we would do the tourists activities, and open days where we could plan it as we go.  We had her mother fly to us in Williamsburg and we all drove up to DC to fly out of Dulles. 

DAY ONE

On our first day, we did the desert experience. A Jeep picked us up from our hotel and drove us to the desert where the adventure began. We didn’t just casually drive through the desert, we sped through it. There were times we thought we’d topple over in the dunes. We were finally brought to a secluded area where we could dine, ride camels, sand board and enjoy entertainment. 

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DAY TWO

We could not go to Abu Dhabi and not visit the Grand Masque. This building houses the largest carpet in the world as well as the biggest chandelier. But it is the architecture that is really magical about this building. We weren't allowed in with out wearing an abaya, as we could not show legs, wrists, and our hair. 

DAY THREE and FOUR

A simple day at Yas Island and a shopping spree. Not pictured are the local markets we went to. 

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DAY FIVE

Amanda and Leily  left this day out of Dubai, so we decided to spend the morning at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world (do you see a trend here?). Matt surprised us with VIP tickets so we were able to go ALL the way to the top of the building. It was a little dusty this day, so we were not able to see as far as on a clear day, but you can still get a sense of how tall this building is. 

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I am so happy I got to experience one of the coolest places I have visited with one of the coolest people I know! Stay tuned for our adventures in California and Charleston later this summer - and with better iPhone 7+ photos!