I woke up to the sound of fast cars at one of the most luxurious hotels in Abu Dhabi. I always thought nothing will beat the sound of the waves crashing in, but I’m beginning to love the sounds here…maybe better.
JOURNEY TO ABU DHABI
Morning flights are the absolute worst, especially if you live on the Island and you have a toddler to get ready. Our flight was at 9.40am on Wednesday morning which meant we had to be out of the house at latest 5.30am. Leaving the house at 5.30am would mean waking up at 4.00am in the morning. I had barely gotten any sleep from the night before because, packing! Dear nomads, traveling should not be this hectic.
We left for the airport in good time, 5.40am, beat all the potential traffic and got to the airport at 6.36am. I was so certain we’ll be the first people at the counter. Jokes! We got there and met a long queue. One thing Nigerians do not play with is international flights. They can go late for job interviews or even their weddings but when it comes to international flights, we hardly ever miss it! After queuing for a while, we finally got our tickets and went into the boarding area. We still had over one hour to laze around before actual boarding and we took advantage of our Diamond Bank Exclusive Card which gives you access to the Diamond Bank lounge located at the airport.
We are finally in Abu Dhabi after a long 7 hour flight from Lagos. Traveling with a toddler is HECTIC! Very very hectic and if you can afford to take a nanny with you please do. We took ours on this trip and she has surely been a blessing. At some point she chased after the little Nomad for an hour non-stop. We had to take turns chasing. “I catch you!”, she’ll say. No one is catching you, come back and sit down ?.
As we disembarked, the entire crew, even the pilot knew the little Nomads name. Everyone was saying bye to her like she was some sort of super star ?. She was grinning from ear to ear, giving them the queen of England type wave. I surely need to update the traveling with baby article.
Traveling with a toddler is a whole different kettle of fish. You’ll end up pulling out every trick in the book to make them sit still. Truth is 7 hours is an extremely long time for an active toddler to sit still so get ready to run around in circles.
I had read a couple of articles here and here stating that Abu Dhabi is now issuing a 96 hour transit visa to all nationalities. I got excited at this news but called the airline to confirm if true. We ended up using the visa services of an agent because “this service is not available to Nigerian nationals”. Its important to verify any visa information you find online. By verification I mean call the tourism boards of these countries or send them an email. Obtaining a UAE visa will need the service of an agent and ours set us back $150 each.
Our entry into the city was relatively easy. No questions asked, the official just took a photo of us and scanned our passports. I also had a quasi-experience traveling with a Canadian passport. The little nomad required no visa for this trip. Her passport was stamped at the airport, free of charge and this stamp is valid for 30 days cries in green passport woes.
Our first night was amazing! The hubstar got our room decorated just because which was a pleasant surprise to me. Rose petals all over the bed and floor and thangs! The hotel, Yas Viceroy was so much more than I expected. The hotel is an island surrounded by the famous yas marina circuit. It’s so luxurious.
Will be talking about the hotel in detail later. We put our bags away, ordered dinner, did more chasing around our room and hit the sack!
Our first full day in Abu Dhabi was wasted and I’ll tell you why. First of all, the hubstar was “sent out” of breakfast buffet this morning. It was so hilarious. As we head out of our room, he decided to channel his inner Diddy or brother love (whatever he decides to call himself these days) and wear a white bathroom to the breakfast buffet.He ignored me when I told him his “outfit” was inappropriate. Right at the entrance the receptionist told him he couldn’t go in, bathrobes not allowed! Wifey knows best but these men don’t listen.
After breakfast and taking over two hours to get the little Nomads hair in order, we had an emergency and had to head to a pharmacy. It was already 2.00pm at this point. The plan was to dash to the mall, get what we need to and go to the beach. We got ready (this took us an extra 1 hour) and headed to the mall to get a few items. The few items turned to 6 hours of shopping and we ended up with tons of items including a baby stroller. It was actually great because I got a good work out from it ?. 13,246 steps baby!
Back in the hotel now and chilling at roof top having something called a “Senna de Silva” which came in a cool ass pineapple cup. I want to get for my home! Nigerian songs have been playing for the past thirty minutes. I’ve been so excited to hear it. Maybe they realized we are Nigerians and decided to play Nigerian songs to make us feel good. Its clearly working! Naija to the world!
Tomorrow I’ll probably have more interesting adventures for you. Let’s just say today was a resting shopping day.