Wheel in the Sky

The Corniche is located on the western side of the city of Abu Dhabi. A curved 6-km stretch of land, it’s a great place to hang out. Pier fishing, cycle paths, bike rentals, fountains, park areas, a public beach, exercise stations (which I find humorous for many reasons), and my favorite thing… cats. Lots and lots of cats.

Exercise Station

Exercise Station

The Corniche used to be all beach area; dhows and ships would anchor there before Mina Port was constructed. Now only a portion of the area is a public beach.

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The Abu Dhabi Yacht Club is nearby. This is where I watched the port race when the Volvo Ocean Race sailed through last year.

Marina Mall is across the street from the yacht club. I quickly came to despise this mall because I went there probably every day for the first 10 days after arriving in Abu Dhabi. It was the closest place to eat, shop for household items, exchange money, and buy a phone card.

One of the weird things that happens when I go to the Corniche is that my ‘Chicago’ kicks in. Because I liken it to Navy Pier, I go on and on about what needs to be added to the Corniche to make it more exciting. I gab about the restaurants, beer garden, Skyline Stage, rock & roll boat rides, cruises, Ferris wheel, fireworks, etc. that make Navy Pier such a popular destination. I’m not trying to knock the Corniche. Really. It’s a beautiful place to walk, bike, relax, and enjoy the views.

Why I constantly compare is beyond me. Maybe it’s because the Corniche is so underutilized that my mind is blown. This is waterfront property! Attractions in Chicago are always jam-packed. Granted, it’s a little warm here during the summer months, but I walked the Corniche yesterday on a beautiful “fall” afternoon and passed fewer than three dozen other people. Oh well, more space for me, I guess.

You’d think with all my ranting, everyone would simply tune me out. But someone had their ears open because look what just rolled into town next to Marina Mall.

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout! They’re really getting the hang of this commercialism thing!

Dust in the Wind

It’s apropos that I’m lounging in my apartment watching Along Came Polly, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Sandy Lyle, because that’s exactly what today is- sandy. The wind is blowing full-force and there’s a sandstorm that appears to span the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, maybe more.

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This one has been wreaking havoc for hours and my weather app promises more windy days ahead.

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Here’s an aerial view of my party animal neighbors’ patio, where their beloved A&Y letters have blown over yet again.

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Most of the 5th floor canopies on the patios have been battered, too. I have small piles of sand on my balcony. So much for the months-long window-cleaning job that was just completed at The Arc, though it’s no big deal for me because my stack was skipped anyway. I actually don’t mind being holed up at home today because Ashley and I finally have a chance to sit down and plan a little getaway for the end of March. The only downside is that I have only two mornings each week to use the pool but it’s closed right now so fingers crossed this doesn’t continue into tomorrow. I need some Vitamin D to alleviate my current depression.

Some of the blues I’m experiencing stem from work. I’m grateful to have my job and won’t get into details here, but man, I gotta figure out a way to let some of this go. Right now I’m just trying to start each day fresh.

Another problem for me is homesickness. There are many people I’d love to see, but I especially miss my babies. I have four daughters- two cats and two humans.

Taking a photo with the felines is never easy

Taking a photo with the felines is never easy

Our almost 4 year-old Noelle is currently living with my friend Robin, her son Tyler, Tyler’s cat, and several dogs. Quite the menagerie. But she’s holding her own there.

Mitter

Our elderly girl, Styx, will be 16 next month.

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She doesn’t like dogs AT ALL so my parents begrudgingly took her in. Without fail, they report in-depth on her every move. To us, she was always kind of like a side item that required very little attention, as per her own request. She could be taken care of almost effortlessly. She’s now become the center of my parents’ universe. Listening to all the worries and stress Styx causes them, I’m not quite sure how they raised three children! But I’m grateful they took our beloved girl and I promised them they’ll miss her when Kate takes the cats to Grand Rapids in the fall.

Next is Jenna.

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I miss her terribly and don’t hear from her as often as I’d like. Although the 10-hour time difference is partly to blame, she’s also busy at school; she studies a lot, has joined several clubs, and is in a sorority. We text throughout the day but I usually have to catch her on the fly in order to talk on the phone. It’s weird because Jenna was a homebody until her senior year in high school. With Kate already away at college, Jenna and I spent a lot of time together. So not having her around anymore has left a gaping hole. I must admit though, given a choice, I’d rather have her happy and busy than the alternative.

And last but not least, my Kate.

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We talk and text all the time. She just returned from the Mardi Gras extravaganza in New Orleans, a 21st birthday/Christmas gift from my sister. She’s got so much going on right now including an internship in Michigan this spring/summer along with the Cannes Film Festival job in May. The fact that Kate won’t be staying in Chicago this summer led to our discussion that we may never live together again. What? I refuse to accept that.

I wish these four would just walk through the door right now. Unfortunately, the only thing coming through the front door today is food delivery, and the patio door… sand.

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