366 Days of Maya - DUBAI - Day 326-339

 Where do I begin? First off, this was the best vacation ever. The first few days were spent with family, celebrating my cousins wedding. I got to hang out with my aunts and uncles and cousins I hadn't seen in over 15 years and Maya and Frankie got to meet my entire family for the first time. This was nothing short of awesome and we were all so happy to be together. Then we joined my dearest friend, his beautiful wife and their crazy loving wonderful family for part two of our vacation. I am grateful, so grateful for the people in my life. I am grateful we got to make this trip and spend so much time laughing and loving and just being. Nikhil & Prasi, thank you for having us over and taking such good care of us. You two are so thoughtful, patient, loving, generous and just plain perfect for each other. It makes my heart sing knowing that you're our friends! Padma Aunty, Ventak Uncle and Divya, I am hugging you right now in my head and I miss you all so much!!!  To my crazy family, you are the loudest, funniest and sweetest people I have ever met and I can still hear your voices in my head carrying 20 different conversations at the same time. Such chaos and such joy!

And now this is what the trip was like from my Maya's perspective. Our journey was from Ottawa-Toronto-3 hour layover-Toronto-Amsterdam-7 hour layover-Amsterdam-Dubai. Yep....Maya got 3 hours of sleep in this 24 hour journey and my cousins wedding was the day we arrived so my poor daughter was miserable....utterly miserable. This trip taught me to listen to my gut and put my foot down as a mother. We should have stayed home from the wedding and let Maya catch up on her sleep but we didn't. The next day we rented a bus and did a whole lot of sight seeing. Soooooooo much fun but once again Maya did not get the rest she needed. By the 3rd day she had a fever and was very sick. The 4th day she was OK but we were still on the go with my cousins reception so by the end of the day she barfed 4 times. At this point, I HATED myself for bringing her all the way and not putting her needs first. And I was ready to pack our bags and leave immediately. I did not listen to my gut because I was sooooo excited to be seeing my family in such a long time and because of this my daughter paid the price. But thankfully by day 5 she started to recover and we said goodbye to my family and headed over to our friends. We caught up on some much needed rest and enjoyed some peace and quiet. She had a bout of diarrhea for 1 day and then she starting teething. Yep, she got her first tooth in Dubai. So even though she recovered from her sickness she was so cranky and STUCK to me. Maya was loved to bits by everyone there and was pampered to no end, which helped her and me a great deal. Towards the end of our trip she was back to crazy happy Maya. Our flight back was much quicker and Maya slept really well. Like I said, best vacation ever but I am never ever ever E-V-E-R making such a long journey with a child EVER again LOL.

I was desperate to take a break from photography and I kind of resented the fact that I was doing a 365 project because it meant I had to carry my camera. I didn't even bring a battery charger so I ran out of batteries a few days before the trip ended. I left my camera at home on many occasions so these photo's are sub-par-ish. But looking back I'm glad I had no choice but to take photo's because I'll have these and many more pictures (which I'll share at some point in the distant future when my head stops spinning) to enjoy in the lifetime to come.

The photo below cracks me up. She looks so disgusted staring at all that food. 

Frankie was so excited to take Maya on her first ride. He is such a romantic and a sentimental dreamer. I am painfully practical sometimes. I actually suggested he should just stand in front of the carousel for 2 minutes and Maya wouldn't know the difference, instead of paying to go on it. My friends told me to shut-up and I'm so glad they did. Look how happy he is....he is such a papa bear and sweetheart!

For those of you wanting to visit Dubai. Don't do it with a baby/child. Dubai is fantastic and it is meant to be a luxurious experience which is simply not possible with a child.  I really thought Maya would enjoy this trip because she's so social and enjoys being with people. She had been weaned and was only nursing 3 times a day so I thought it would be easy leaving her with friends and family. She has also never shown a real preference for me and has always been perfectly happy when I leave her with mom or Frankie for the day. On this trip however, thanks to being so sick and all the chaos and teething, she was only happy with my mom or myself. I so desperately wanted some time away from Maya and to get some one-on-one time with my husband but this really wasn't the case.

Thankfully, close to the end of our trip Frankie and I got a night out with some friends from Ottawa we met up with and we finally "got" what Dubai was all about. We enjoyed delicious Lebanese food & sheesha on a patio overlooking the Burj Khalifa and the fountain show. We enjoyed catching up with our friends and just soaking in how wonderful life was.

Dubai is simply fantastic and if you want the real Dubai experience, keep your baby/child at home..seriously!