vacation, all i ever wanted.

March 19, 2014

So, on Saturday, we’re heading off for six days in Dubai. I’m super excited, because right now, a vacation sounds excellent. Well, let’s face it, by it’s nature, a vacation always sounds excellent, but we are staying at a hotel on the Palm, and I am so psyched for six days of beach bumming. I adore the beach. And our hotel room has…wait for it…a bathtub. A huge, awesome bathtub. (If you don’t get why that’s so awesome, see number six in this post.) So, for the most part, I intend to spend a great deal of my time baking on the beach during the day and soaking in the tub and eating room service at night, all with a book (or, rather, my iPad) in my hand. It. Will. Rock.

I don’t exactly sunbathe on the beach, because I don’t tan; I burn red like a tomato, peel, and then freckle. But I do love to  lay on the beach under an umbrella with a good book and a cold drink, read until the hot weather has me nice and toasty, run and jump in the water, swim around for awhile, then return to my spot under my beach umbrella and start the process all over again. This is one incarnation of my idea of the perfect day. I have several awesome books downloaded–Zack Arias’s Photography Q&A (I’ve been a fan of Zack for awhile, but I’m currently really enjoying his new Dedpxl project), a few novels, and the first part of my BFF Annie’s rewrite of her first novel, Stay (currently being shopped to publishers by her agent, and, I predict, soon to be in a bookstore near you!). So I’m ready to roll.

It’s Lavender’s first time at the beach, and I hope she has inherited her mom’s love of it. She has secured what we think she needs to make the experience fun, and behold, my first-ever fashion-bloggery graphic detailing everything President Lavender deems necessary for a week of fun in the sun.

Let’s start in the upper left corner and go clockwise.

1. Swim diapers, of course! Swim diapers are one of those random things that are difficult to source in Riyadh, but it seems like Boots always has them lately. Boots stores are popping up all over Riyadh, and this makes me so happy, especially since there’s one right near my house. Boots is the best.

2. Pink heart-shaped Hello Kitty sunglasses. Need I say more? This particular pair of fabulous glasses was procured for Lavender by her baba (i.e., Mr. Mostafa), who bought them the last time he was in Dubai on a business trip, a few weeks after Lavender was born.

3. Winnie the Pooh polka-dot swimsuit! A perhaps weird fact about me: I hate seeing a baby wearing a bikini. It icks me out, the same way I hate seeing a little girl in an abaya. Babies (and especially mine, if I do say so myself) are adorable enough without forcing them to wear clothes that make them look like tiny grown-ups. But that’s just my personal opinion, and because of it, Lavender will be rocking her ruffle-festooned Winnie the Pooh one-piece on the beach.

4. Baby sunscreen. Again, procured from Boots. Yay for Boots! The chances that Lavender has somehow evaded the sunburn-prone genes that both her dad and I contributed to her DNA are pretty slim, so this is a must.

5. Baby float. We picked up this great little float at SACO, so Lavender can have a chance to play in the water with a tiny bit more freedom than if she was just being held in the arms of her baba or me (of course, one of us will be holding onto her at all times when she’s in the float. We’re not absolutely terrible parents). The big black square in the upper left corner of the package was put there by the muttawa to make sure that the mom on the package, who is wearing a swimsuit that shows her arms and chest, is not visible to shoppers. However, the black square is only placed on the outer wrapper, and if you push it aside, you can see the woman in her original state. Dropped the ball on that one, boys! 😉

Look out, Dubai…here we come!


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  • Risi

    Have a good time! I live near a beach,(Canoe Nation here…obviously!)so all that looks familiar. Brings back memories. Please DO apply that sunscreen! So glad you are going to be careful about that. When the tourists come here ,especially the ones from Scandanavia, they want to let their kids run naked on the beach. No sunscreen. And they are not protected by the nice brown skin nature gave my kids (but they still wore sunscreen!) I tell them but they never listen and their babies end up with burns in bad places…

  • Kerrie

    I totally agree about baby bikinis, can’t stand them. Sounds lovely, enjoy your holiday!

  • Hannah

    Yeeees! Baby bikinis are gross…I feel the same way about toddler tube tops, booty shorts. It’s not cute seeing little kids walking around dressed like teenagers/adults. Lavender’s bathing suit looks absolutely adorable. Have fun and be sure to use plenty of sunscreen

  • Ms. Jen

    If you and your husband burn, put the sunblock on until the kid is 82. Even if they don’t, still sunblock or any of the nice sun-proof-ish beach attire outfits. I come from a line of Irish folks who relocated to Southern California in the early 1900s and everyone has had skin cancer by the time they are 50-something.

    I spent my youth as a goth evading the sun, wearing lots of floating black dresses, but still I wear 60 spf. ;o)

    SPF obnoixia aside, last year, my fave gift to my one year old godson was a pair of long, hawaiian style swim trunks and a pack of Target swim diapers. Teaching little ones to float, turn over in the water, and swim is delightful.

    Have a blast. Enjoy reading, sun, and your family.

    p.s. Do take some night photos from the hotel rooftop and post them here. Dubai night photos are the best.