Friday, August 29, 2014

Shake Shack in Dubai

Our flight from Malaysia to Germany was not for the weak of heart.  After flying first class, flying in coach rocked our little world bubble.  We had a 6.5 hour flight to Dubai, a 4 hour layover in Dubai and then another 6 hour flight to Munich.  After an uneventful flight to Dubai, we de-boarded the plane, rode a few airport trains and found ourselves in our correct terminal with 3 hours to spare.  When checking out map of what the terminal had to offer, much to my surprise (and delight), I saw there was a Shake Shack in our terminal!!!  It really felt like Christmas morning!

I didn't have a blog back then, but for our 1 year wedding anniversary, Wes and I headed to NYC and fell in love with this place (we ate there twice!).  We have very fond memories of this place and it is the most favorite burger either of us have ever had!  Menu in Dubai (not sure what language they speak there?).

I got the same thing I got in New York- Shake Shack cheese burger, cheese fries and a black and white milkshake and oh my goodness, after having been on the plane for the last 6.5 hours, it was like heaven.  Seriously, the only other thing I wished for in this very moment was to have Wes there with me to share this experience.

Since he couldn't be there, I had Angela take a picture of me so that I could share my happiness with him!  I was literally beaming.

Funny story: I didn't know what the Dubai currency is (I still don't for that matter), so I just ordered what I normally ordered and paid with my corporate card.  When I got back to the US- I saw the company card transaction and what would have cost $10 - $12 in NY, cost $35 dollars in the Dubai Airport!! #worthit.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Weekend in Malaysia: Part 2

Sunday morning we were up early and ready to explore the Batu Caves.  According to Wikipedia, the Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples about 8 miles north of Kuala Lumpur.  It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill.  The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India, dedicated to Lord Murugan.  It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.  The draw for me was all of the monkeys that are at the top of the cave!

The view from our taxi cab.

Here is a look at all 272 steps in all of their glory!

Here goes nothing- ready to climb!  I like how I look slightly nervous in this picture :).

About 3/4 of the way up, we stopped to take a break and looked back down!

Almost there!

One of the temples we spotted on our way up.

Our first monkey sighting!  This moment was so exciting!  We just didn't know what we were in for :).

We walked up more stairs and really got to the main part of the temple and the monkeys (these stairs are not part of the 272 stairs :)).

If you looked straight up you could see the sky!

The greenery was very lush and surprising (especially after seeing all of the limestone outside of the caves).  There were monkey's running all up and down the caves.

I had brought a banana from my breakfast at the hotel to feed the monkeys.  I was too scared to let the monkey eat the banana out of my hand so I kind of just threw it when he got so close to me.  The speed at which the monkeys can peel and start eating the bananas is insane to watch.

Three monkeys looking at me :).  Wondering why I didn't bring more bananas :).

Someone had brought a loaf of bread and was just passing it out (like candy) to all of the monkeys.

Selfie with the monkey- I literally just could not resist!

The views in the cave were just breathtaking.  Even though I am not Muslim, you could just sense the spirituality of this place.

We probably stayed at the top just taking it all in for close to hour- this picture is right before we were about to head down.

We think we saw a wedding procession on our way down.  It really could have been a procession of any kind; there was people marching up carrying something (maybe an offering?) on their head, they were barefoot and all wearing yellow and there was a camera crew.

Made it to the bottom and bought the first bottle of water I could find!  I was literally a hot, sweaty mess.  The next time I find myself in Malaysia, I will make sure I bring a pair of shorts!

The Batu River that flows in front of the caves.

They had these fresh flower necklaces for sale at the bottom of the caves- I wish I could just bottle up the fragrance they smelled so yummy!

Once we got back to the hotel, I pumped and then we worked for a bit poolside while we ate lunch.  We had a relaxing evening and just walked across the street to eat at a steakhouse for dinner.  It was a nice end to our busy weekend!

Monday morning we were up early for a jam packed last day of meetings.  We seriously have the nicest co-workers in Malaysia.  They brought us some local delicacies for breakfast (they were not yummy, but it was still nice of them :)), then they took us to a roadside stand to get some of the Malaysian delicacy- Durian.

My expression after trying Durian. Sick. Gross. Nasty. Durian.  I don't know why in the world this would ever be considered a delicacy.  It tasted like dishwasher soap.

It turned out we had some colleagues in from all over the world that night (all staying at our same hotel!) so we ate dinner with them.  No pictures because it was more of a work dinner, but we had some yummy sushi and my first experience with Ramen.  Before you say gross, it is definitely not the type of Ramen Noodles that are very popular in the states; their broth is rich and the bowl is filled with yummy pork and a soft boiled egg.  The meal was very very good.  Then I talked my co-worker into walking back to the Petronas Towers at night.  I really wanted to see the dancing fountains and the tower all lit up at night before we headed out the next day.  It was a long walk, but so so worth it!

This is the view of the twin towers from the back.

I didn't really love that the mall and sign was in all of the pictures so we walked through the mall to the other side :).  In my opinion, the Petronas Towers are even more beautiful at night, just harder to capture that beauty with an iPhone :).  Even though we were tired and needed to pack, I am so happy we made the trek back there!

We walked through a tunnel for most of the way from our hotel to the Petronas Towers- they had advertisements along the way.  I couldn't believe they still make Previa's so I took this picture for my dad!  It was my family's first minivan!

On Tuesday morning, we got up, ate a quick breakfast and our driver took us to the airport.  The hotel always gave me the cutest designs in my coffee cup every morning :).

Interesting fact, they drive on the right side of the car in Malaysia! I never knew :).

And with that, we were off to Freising via a layover in Dubai (where the best surprise awaited us!).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


The day had finally come- on August 2nd, we celebrated Everly turning one with our friends and family!  I normally write out invitations, but I didn't have time to do that this year- so I whipped these up from Walgreen's and was pleasantly surprised with how they came out.  I wish Everly's newborn picture would have been lighter, but I didn't have time to re-do it once they were printed, so I just let it go!

Everly's birthday party had a loose bouncy ball theme.  Most of the decorations included something that was bouncy ball shaped, there was ball shaped food and a bouncy ball for everyone to take home as a party favor.  I think the theme was lost on most party guests, but it was still fun for me to go with :).  Everly's birthday chalk signed framed and hung!  You might notice that the sign below is a different one than the one I posted on my blog last week- we were just guessing on her height and her weight since she hadn't been for her well checkup yet.

I hung up the 52 Weeks of Everly pictures :).  Looking at this, I really wish I would have cut out letters that said 52 Weeks of Everly, but oh well :/.

And I made a homemade 'Happy Day Everly' sign with hanging paper lanterns!  Ever since Emma came along, we have been referring to birthdays as happy days because that is how she phrases it so I like that this banner has extra special meaning to our family.

We actually had a fairly similar menu to Emma's first birthday party- chicken salad sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit salad, veggie cups, pasta salad and caprese salad skewers.

And there was a special little smash cake for my special little girl.  I was pretty proud of how my smash cake turned out compared to Emma's 1st birthday cake ;).

And cupcakes and Oreo balls for everyone else!

I really liked my bouncy ball cake toppers (not edible, of course!).  These cupcakes were topped with homemade butter cream frosting that Wes made :).

And then it was time for the party guests to arrive!  Everly and her Godmom- both not looking at the camera, hilarious, but looking oddly like twins :).

Emma was once again obsessed with baby M- she wanted to hold her and was just so stinking proud of herself when we let her!

Time to eat!  Look closely and you can see a little bit more of my party decorations in the top left :).  I made the fabric banner (with Wes's help) and was pretty proud of myself!

The birthday girl and her birthday meal.  When I saw this picture, I was cracking up- I only got the birthday girl some pasta salad and a few bananas!  I definitely should have let her try some of the other birthday fare.

Emma practicing singing happy day!  Everly waiting on her cake :).

I went ahead and braved it this time and lit the candle for everyone to sing Happy Birthday!

I am happy to report Everly didn't burn her finger reaching for the flame and had a little bit of help blowing out her candle from Emma.

Once the candle had been blown out, it was time to chow down!  She hesitated at first, but then she was all in.  Those pigtails and party hat just slay me with her cuteness :).

She had the sweetest crowd cheering her along!  Some also donning party hats ;).

She was definitely a hot mess by the end of it :).  (p.s. I think that's Emma's cupcake that Everly is eyeing- poor Emma did not understand that she had to watch Everly eat cake before her ;)).

Mommy and daddy with our baby girl!

Then, we let Everly open some of her presents- I could tell she was getting a bit overwhelmed, so I would say that she only opened about half of her presents during the party.  If we knew we were going to be seeing some of the people later that night then we waited to open the presents :).

That belly!  Those baby thighs! She was just like Emma, if she really liked something that she got- it was hard to re-direct her on to opening up her next present!

Bobbob missed the cake smash so he gave Everly a little personal serenade when he got there :). She loved it!

Travis, Ally, Bobbob and Aunt Susan smiling with the birthday girl!

Wes was overwhelmed by the number of bouncy balls that we had in our house ;).

Time to let everyone that wanted to swim!  The theme of 'it's going to be freezing if we are having a pool party' continued- a few days before Everly's birthday, we had a cold front (not complaining too much!), but it did make the pool water quite frigid :).

While I was hanging out in the pool, we got some cute family shots of Wes's parents :).

Wes's parents with all three kiddos :).

Me and my mini-me after our successful party!

Happy 1st Birthday Everly!  We love you so much!!