The UAE In Pictures

There is a lot of money in the UAE…and they like to show it off.  As a result everything is very extravagant and over the top there.  We only had one day in Abu Dhabi and one day in Dubai (which included 4 hours of traveling to/from there), but we still got a decent feel for the area – especially Abu Dhabi where my friend Tommy, who works as a drilling engineer, was able to show us around.!i=2431218058&k=nWBp6G9



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The Maldives In Pictures

We’re back home and still getting used to it, but it is great to get back to some normalcy.  We do still have a bunch of stuff to post – including getting to the rest of my wrap ups and some other posts…I’ll probably try to do one on some of the tricks we used to book all the stuff.  So keep checking back every now and then if you are interested in any of that.

In the Maldives, we stayed at the Park Hyatt (Hadahaa Island).  It was incredible.  Check out the pictures to get an idea of what it was like.!i=2429762420&k=K7zwhfv

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We left Abu Dhabi at 10 am and made it to New York around 5pm (14 hour flight).  I definitely have alot to say about our time in the United Arab Emirates, but I will have to catch up on that when we get home.  Aaaaaahhhhhh! HOME!

I promise that we will continue to post pictures and final thoughts on the trip.  It has been quite an adventure.  I think I need to take a few days to compile my thoughts and digest everything that has happened in the last 11 weeks.  It has been a wild ride!

I want to thank everyone who followed along with us and kept us motivated to continue blogging.  I am a first time blogger, so I was learning along the way!  We loved and read every single comment.  I may not have responded every time, but we saw them all.  I can’t tell you how good it made me feel.

Sorry the last couple of posts don’t have any pictures.  I promise, the next ones will have pictures of Dubai and Adu Dhabi!

XOXO Alyce

P.S. What is the deal with the weather? We were hoping to skip winter!!

Abu Dhabi

We made it to our last and final stop!!  We had a long day from the Maldives, but it was so nice to see some friendly faces when we got the the UAE (United Arab Emirates).  We are staying at the home of Tommy and Mallory Ryan.  As I said in the last post, Tommy graduated Jesuit with Justin, and Mallory went to Dominican with me.  Tommy works for Exxon and got transferred here about a year ago.  He spent the day showing us the main attractions in Abu Dhabi.  Tomorrow, we go to Dubai for our very last day of the big trip.  Hallelujia.  It’s been great, but I am sooooo ready to go home!  I’ll post a more detailed report of our time here a little later.  Until then, I’m exhausted, and I’m going to bed!

Good night!

XOXO Alyce

Goodbye Maldives (and other random musings)

For our last full day in the Maldives (boo), we slept in (well, Justin slept in) and had a late breakfast.  I haven’t been sleeping too well for the last few weeks.  I think I just miss my bed at home.  Maybe, I miss the sound of Moose snoring and Chunk whining to wake me up– just to pat him on the head and tell him he’s a good boy.  God I miss my boys.  I may complain about the dog hair, slobber, and messy house, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I absolutely adore my dogs.  Now that I’ve experienced life without them, I know that I am happier with them- without a doubt.  They make me laugh and love us unconditionally (well, at least Moose does!).  Although Chunk acts tough, he doesn’t let us out of his sight.  It was quite a process to pack for this trip without him freaking out.  Even though he never actually saw us packing, he could tell that something was up, and he didn’t like it.  We even snuck the bags in the car while he wasn’t around.

Wow, I just realized that I started rambling.  Did I say that I miss my dogs? It’s probably pretty obvious which posts are alcohol induced (oops).  Right now, I’m sitting on the beach.  Well. Not really ON the beach but on cabana sofa on the beach.  It’s happy hour, and I’ve had a margarita, and I’m working on my daiquiri. This is the way I like to do the beach.  They served me my drink with a cloth napkin.  Yes, a cloth napkin.  I am in heaven.  I could stay forever if I didn’t have the best dogs and family to come home to.  And I am ready to come home. No doubt about it.


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Nope, that’s not another country that we added to the trip!  It’s a wonderful, tropical fruit that we have tried and LOVE!  Even Justin “I don’t like fruit” Ittmann has been really enjoying all the fresh tropical fruit.  His two favorites are pineapple and mangosteen.  He even ordered a plate of mangosteen with his breakfast (never thought I’d see the day when Justin ordered extra fruit instead of extra meat)!!


Mangosteen mainly grow in Southeast Asia.  They have a purplely red outside and are white on the inside.  It actually looks like a head of garlic.  It’s sweet, a little tangy, and delicious.  I’ve never seen them in the US.  Although, if I would have seen them, I wouldn’t have known what it was until now.


We have also been having passion fruit, guava, dragon fruit, and papaya on a regular basis.  I’m going to be pretty sad when I get home and get back to apples and bananas!

For whatever reason, I felt that this deserved a whole post.  I think I’m running out of things to talk about!


Our last dive…..turtles, eagle rays, and sharks!! Ahhhhhh, sharks!

Today, we did the 2 tank morning dive.  We were really looking forward to these two dives.  The afternoon dive yesterday was OK, although it wasn’t much different than snorkeling the house reef (but it was A LOT more expensive).  The Maldives has some of the best SCUBA in the world, and we couldn’t wait to see some different things.  There were 6 divers on the boat, plus 2 guides (a French couple, Swiss couple, and us).

Sidebar:  One of the staff at the resort told us that they very rarely get visitors from the US.  It would be an extremely long trip to solely visit the Maldives from the US (about 2 days travel each way).  Surprisingly, everything is priced in US currency.

Anyway…… It was about a 45 minute boat ride to the dive site.  During that time, they serve you water and make sure that all the equipment is ready to go.  I don’t know what I would do if I ever had to put my BCD and regulator on my tank by myself.  It’s pretty standard operating procedure that the dive shops do that for you.  Although, this place went a step further and helped me into and out of my wetsuit!

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