We've just finished a really great week. Jeff's final holiday till the BIG one in the summer. These holidays were particularly sweet because Jeff was finally all caught up. He had absolutely no work hanging over his head. It was all done. Phew! And, we were completely plan-free. No trips scheduled, no visitors coming. Just us. And a whole lot of time.
It was a funny week. A particularly "Canadian" week for us, with Jeff diving into his favourite past time, puttering. We've often been considered a bit odd, by Doha standards, for the fact that we do so much ourselves. Take care of our own garden, wash our own car (not always), put together our own furniture, paint our own rooms. Neighbours and compound workers alike have often looked at us curiously, and I know our nanny probably appreciates her light workload, though she frequently expresses her desire to spend more time with our girls, particularly baby Isabelle.
But that's how we roll. This week saw Jeff painting Izzy's room (a refreshing, icy blue... hooray for NO PINK!), assembling Ikea furniture, mounting shelves and paintings, and installing light fixtures. It was so great to see him puttering again; I could even deal with the steady flow of Peter Gabriel, Sting, and Genesis...
On the weekend it was time for a break, so we headed Friday morning to Al Wakra, this time in search of the family beach. Unfortunately, each time I have been to the public beach in Al Wakra, I have either been approached or watched by strange men, so we decided to change things up and try the family beach instead. (Where I was still approached by a strange man, but nevermind...)
To get to the family beach, you actually have to drive through Al Wakra, taking the second u-turn back. There's a sign on the side of the road, pointing you right, and then you travel on a two-lane road which should in no way be a two-lane road. At the end of the road, you turn left, hitting the gravel. Honest to God, it's amazing anyone ever finds these beaches. Long, meandering stretches of unmarked roads, followed by unknown gravel turn-offs.
This sign greets you when you finally reach your destination:
If you've been to the family beach in Al Khor, also known as Farkeeh coast, it's much the same. There are toilets (yay!), BBQ pits, some covered areas, and three massive playgrounds which unfortunately were not yet open for business. Oh, and security guards to ensure that only families enter.
We hadn't been to the beach for awhile, and we'd forgotten how good it is. Kaiya just loves it and absolutely loses herself in the sand and surf. She loves wading way out in the water with me, building sandcastles, collecting shells, and playing with hermit crabs.
Izzy did amazingly well, sleeping away most of the windy, sandy day in this little contraption. Funny thing is, when I bought it, I wasn't even thinking of trips to the beach. But it's really perfect!
Moments not captured on camera:
- Kaiya and Jeff's sandcastle volcano, complete with moat, bridge, and covered in her dinosaurs, of course
- Me being asked by a couple of abaya-clad Jordanian sisters to play football (read "soccer" North Americans) with them. I can't even remember the last time I kicked a ball around. It was great!
Jeff's back to work this week, but Kaiya's home for another week. Seriously, this kid gets far too many school holidays. And in less than 10 weeks, I'll be back in Canada with the girls. It's all going just a little too fast. I know September and my return to work will be here waaaaay before I'm ready for it. So for now I'm just soaking it all in as much as I can.