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Showing posts from 2013

Jinan Suites, Al Khobar

I am missing in action here for over a month. That's because the kids were into quiz bees, quarter exams, and projects the past weeks. That's the main reason I forgot to post our Dammam-Khobar getaway. If you're wondering why we always go to Al Khobar, that's because it's the nearest city from Riyadh that has beaches! And I love the beach. Even just the sight of it.

The Eid al-Adha this year falls on the third week of October. Together with a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary and a male friend who said yes at the last minute, we spent an impromptu two day, one night vacation in Al Khobar.

Impromptu because we didn't book any hotel room in advance and we didn't know where to stroll and eat. We also didn't know the location of the beach in Half Moon Bay area where we plan to swim. But we know that just by being out of Riyadh and away from the sight of buildings where we work, we will have fun.

We've been to Al Khobar and Dammam twice alre…

Durrath Samaa / Jubail Holiday Getaway

I love going to places especially those that I haven't been to. I usually don't go to a place again if I've just been there a few months ago or if I've stayed there for a long time.

Last Ramadan, we went to Jubail with our friends here. Jubail is known for being the largest industrial city in the Middle East. But it also boasts of clean beaches and waterfront amenities. It is almost 500 kilometers away from Riyadh so we started our trip at 5 AM. Unlike our trip to Dammam which was a little dangerous, we were on a convoy this time so we just took our time, stopped over on rest areas, ate breakfast on the road, and played good music on the way there.

We stayed in Durrath Samaa Hotel. It was in the central part of the city and offers free parking. The air-conditioned room is clean, has free Wi-Fi, and is reasonably priced.

After checking in and resting for a while, we headed to the Corniche to check out the parks and the sea. One of the things that I really like about S…

My First Pineapple Upside Down Cake

As I've said here, I've always wanted to bake. I already baked brownies a couple of times but didn't get to take pictures because my kids ate them while they were still warm. Last week, I thought of making one of my favorite cakes, the Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
I already baked it with my classmates during one of our Home Economics class decades ago. But somehow, the taste and the aroma just didn't leave me. I've always wanted to bake it again. As a beginner, I searched online for the easiest-to-follow pineapple upside down cake recipes, took out the best tips from each recipe and came out with this:

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Adapted from here and here

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
pineapple slices

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup pineapple juice/syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Using a 9&qu…

Royal Saudi Air Force Museum, Riyadh

Just last week, a friend who will be spending his annual leave in Sydney, Australia asked us to take him to the airport. Along the way, our conversation led to Qantas being mentioned in the 1988 movie Rainman. In that movie, Raymond, portrayed by Dustin Hoffman insisted to his brother, played by Tom Cruise, that Qantas is the safest airline in the world. I believed that perception for years until I did my research.

That conversation made me remember my late post about our visit to the Royal Saudi Air Force Museum (RSAF) / Saqr Al-Jazira Aviation Museum. I accompanied my daughter on her second field trip here and I also want to check the place out. I admit I don't have any interest in mechanical things so please bear with me if I can't tell you some of the names of the planes, the engines, or the weaponry.

*The display halls contain exhibits on the history of the RSAF, aircraft engines and weaponry, uniforms, insignia and decorations and a special display on Prince Sultan bi…

Bible Verse #10: Friendship

A Day in Baher Villas, Al Khobar

The school opened last June and the kids are now busy studying, doing homework and projects. I'm happy that I wouldn't have to think of things for my kids to do just like what I've said here. My kids love to go to beaches on their vacations from school. And because we didn't go to the Philippines this year, Fred and I thought of bringing them to a beach resort here to bust their boredom and change their environment even for just a day or two.

After searching online and asking some friends, we went to Baher Villas in Al-Khobar. It is located in Half Moon Bay area and several hundred kilometers away from Riyadh. Going there was a risk we had to take because first, it would only be the four of us. If anything happens to us or on our car while on the road, there's no one to help us. Not like two years ago when we went there on a convoy. Second, we didn't know the way. We just relied on the GPS of our Android phone.

And third, we didn't know what lies ahead. Ju…

Macau Tour, Day Three

Our tour guide had to work on our third and last day in Macau so we had to fend for ourselves. Since we've been to almost all the places that was on our list, except the Go-Kart and the Macau Museum, we took our time and decided to just walk and explore Taipa by foot.

Residents from nearby condominiums are blessed to have this oasis. The blooming flowers, inviting benches, kois and turtles in the pond, and shady trees all make for a quick getaway from the hustle of city life.

We discovered a path filled with pebble stones, and people said walking there is therapeutic as the stones massage the feet and gauge a person's overall fitness. They said that only the healthy and fit would be able to walk this pathway all the way to the end. We thought it was a joke until we tried. First step, we knew we're healthy. Second, we knew we were a little unfit. Third, we knew we needed exercise. And fourth, we realized we were so unhealthy! Although the stones ma…