Las Noches de las Luminarias

This year we visited Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.   Lighted paths take you through a series of trails in which the botanical gardens are illuminated in colored lights.  Sprinkled throughout the paths are places to stop and buy a drink.  We saw visitors drinking coffee, hot chocolate or buying a bottle of wine.  This special event ran from November 27th through December 31st.  We visited the day after Christmas. Here’s a few photos from our evening.  N

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Archery at the Al Maha Resort in Dubai

A stay at the Al Maha Resort includes two activities each day.  During our stay, there were seven complementary activities from which to choose.  FalconryNature WalkGhaf Tree WalkWild Life DriveCamel TrekSundownersArchery Below is a handout that guests will receive upon arrival. We requested the document ahead of time in order to plan our activities. As you can see, Horse Riding and Desert Drive are also available for an extra charge.  We picked archery for one of our activities.   We meet our field guide, Shabaz at the Hotel Lobby and he took us in an SUV to the archery range.    Our guide helped…

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La Mer Beach Street Art – Dubai

Do you enjoy street art? If so, LaMer Beach in Dubai is a fun stop. There's an open-air shopping area with street art sprinkled throughout. In between shops and restaurants, you'll find artistic expressions on the walls, around corners and up above your head. Here are pictures from a recent visit to La Mer. Eateries are sprinkled throughout La Mer. Consider Visiting La Mer Beach If you're in Dubai, consider visiting La Mer Beach. To see more about La Mer check out our post on the La Mer Beachfront. You may also enjoy the following posts on Dubai Ritz Carlton…

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Etihad Business Lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport

On a recent stopover at Abu Dhabi, we had a chance to visit the Etihad Business Class lounge. Here’s a quick pictorial tour.  The lounge is locatedin Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi Airport. P.S. There is also a smaller lounge in Terminal 1. The lounge was sizable, here's a directional sign. I liked that they had a room to store luggage. Here's one of the seating areas We arrived while breakfast was being served Bread selection Salad Items Fresh Fruit I'm not sure what it's called, but the cheese on the bottom right was good. The breakfast included many hot…

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Booking Our Outbound Flight to Dubai and The Maldives

We’re planning a two-week trip to Dubai and the Maldives.    For the outbound flight we decided to fly Emirate.  Emirate operates a non-stop flight from LAX to Dubai on their A380.  We booked an award ticket that included a one week layover.  We would fly from Los Angeles to Dubai, stay in Dubai for a week, and then continue on from Dubai to the Maldives.  Both of these flights are allowed on a single award booking. When it comes to booking award flights on Emirates, there are several points and miles options.  The most straightforward approach is to use Emirates Skyward miles to book the flight.  This…

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Money Tips for Traveling Internationally

We’re ramping up for a trip to Dubai.  Part of any trip is figuring out how to best pay for expenses when traveling internationally.  Here are some financial tips we put into practice when exploring the world.  Tip #1 - Bring Some of The Local Currency  We normally arrive at a destination with some of the local currency.  At a minimum, we want enough to take a cab to the hotel, and for tipping.  In preparation for Dubai, we ordered AED, the currency of the United Arab Emirates.  We pay an exchange rate, but it’s worth having cash ahead of time.  We don’t want to land…

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