Why I was too tired for Brussels – the last leg of our Eurotrip

Who would have thought that after our recent trip I would finally admit to myself that I am getting older. It really is exhausting traveling with two little babies and a grown man who wants to be babied (kidding). I based my plans on my first Eurotrip in 2009. I was 6 years younger then and got to visit more than 8 cities in 14 days. Now, I want to stay in one city in 14 days! Time can really change you. And babies can really change you.

I feel like we treated Brussels quite unfairly. Chubby hubby was too tired to explore and was going through some serious carbo withdrawal. He was constantly looking for places where he can eat rice. I was too tired to take pictures, so I took out the camera less. The kids, well, they were the same. But us adults, the excitement of being in Europe was kind of wearing off. And I hate to say that I was looking forward to sleeping in our bed back in Doha.

When I was thinking of visiting Belgium, I was looking forward to visiting a chocolate factory and stuffing my face with waffles. I didn’t get to do either. When we went to the chocolate place that offered a tour, they had it on a different day. I just bought myself some chocolate to eat when I got the munchies (which happened the next day). I did get to eat some waffles, twice on the same day.

I didn’t get to see any museums, or discover anything new. We spent half of our last day in Brussels at the train station, just waiting for time to pass us by. I think it would have been an amazing city to explore if we only had the energy. I would have also done a little side trip to Brugges.

Til next time Brussels!

Exploring Qatar: The Rock Formations of Zekreet

I usually avoid the malls during weekends because I hate crowds. But the weekend is the only free time the Chubby hubby has so we make it a point to do something new during these days- whether its trying a new restaurant or hanging out at the park. About a week ago, some friends from church invited us to go visit a site at the outskirts of Doha. Since the weather is slowly transitioning to Summer, it was the perfect time for some off road adventure.

Zekreet is located 45 minutes away from Doha, just off the Dukhan Road (the road going towards Qatar National Convention Center and the humongous Qatar Mall Construction). It is a collection of plateaus in the middle of the desert with a mini Arabic town that was put up for films (hence called Film City) and some archeological sites.

If you want to go and see the rock formations, it is best to bring your own food since there are no places to eat there! The next food stop is more than 30 minutes away from the site.

Endless Photo Opportunities at Madame Tussaud’s, Amsterdam

When I was a freshman in College, Madame Tussaud’s was exhibiting at the Shangrila, Manila. I wanted to go see the exhibit but my allowance was not even enough for the entrance. I knew I had to go see the one in Amsterdam once we had our trip planned just so I can tell myself that I’ve finally seen it. It’s something I can at last cross off my bucket list.

There isn’t much to say about the museum except that it is a great place for lots of photo opportunities. Its awesome that the figures are not hand’s off. As a matter of fact, you can get as close as you can.

Chubby hubby had the best time posing with most of the ‘celebrities’. He didn’t give me much of a chance to get my picture taken. That’s okay though. I am just used to being behind the camera all of the time. But we we both had a blast seeing famous people without feeling starstruck.

Charmed by the beautiful city of Amsterdam

When planning our trip, I was so engrossed with covering as much with in the time we have allotted for our holiday. I really really regret that. I wished I had spent more time in Amsterdam. There’s just so much to explore!

We didn’t see much of the sites but chubby hubby knew how much I loved Van Gogh so that was one museum we didn’t skip and it was really worth it.

The Rijk's Museum in Amsterdam
The Rijk’s Museum which we didn’t get to enter
To the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
To the Van Gogh Museum

And ofcourse, Madame Tussaud’s.

Madame Tussaud's in Amsterdam
Madame Tussaud’s

We didn’t get to go biking and the weather was quite gloomy when we got there. But the old brick buildings and brick-lined streets, the canals, and the beautiful mix of the old and the new made you want to stop and take it slow and just enjoy the moment. It was a nice place to relax and take it easy. The city extruded that vibe.

mini car in Amsterdam
It could not get any more minier than this!
The beautiful buildings of Amsterdam
The beautiful buildings of Amsterdam
the canal and buildings of Amsterdam
more buildings
Amsterdam's shopping streets
Window Shopping
The Gassan factory, amsterdam
Diamonds, Diamonds Diamonds!!!
The Gassan factory, amsterdam
Aria checking out the diamonds at the Gassan Factory
Looking for food at the Museum Square, Amsterdam
Looking for food at the Museum Square
food at the lunch kiosk, museum square Amsterdam
our grub at the lunch kiosk, museum square

Free Workshops at the Museum of Islamic Art Doha

Last Saturday when we visited the museum for the first time, Aria went to listen to her first story time outside the home and the church and I was surprised how behaved my little girl was. She sat there and got up only a few times. She listened to the lady telling the story. However, I did realize that we need to work on her social skills since she seems standoffish most of the time because when ever someone asks her anything, she just stares at them.

Storytelling time at the Museum of Islamic Art Doha
Story telling time. Aria is the one in the black shirt.

The Museum of Islamic Art hosted that event just last Saturday and the next one is going to be on the 11th of April. After that session, the kids had some arts and crafts. I was excited to accompany Aria to the workshop.

More kids at the story time in Museum of Islamic Art Doha
The kids at story time
Aria at the workshop at the Museum of Islamic Art Doha
Aria at the workshop

The kids were going to make pop up cards of the animals from story time. I was right beside Aria during the entire workshop, doing most of the art work. lol

Aria and scissors at the workshop at the Museum of Islamic Art Doha
Ooooh scissors!!!
Aria and crayons at the workshop at the Museum of Islamic Art Doha
Ooooh Crayons!
Aria's pop up card of a red bird at the kid's workshop at Museum of Islamic Art Qatar
Tweet tweet tweet!
Aria's pop up card of a red bird at the kid's workshop at Museum of Islamic Art QatarZxxxa
Aria’s pop up card of a red bird. Guess who did most of the work?

It’s the perfect weekend activity for the kids! Planning to attend more of their workshops, and another plus is that it is FREE! They also have a lot of workshops for adults. You can head on to their website here for more details.

Finally! A visit to the Museum of Islamic Art

After our MIA Park Bazaar visit in my previous post, we decided to finally check out the Museum of Islamic Art. I have been telling the chubby hubby about taking me to visit the place but since he is not a museum geek he has been putting it off as much as he can. I even remember telling him when he picked me up from the airport that I want to go see the MIA. And he only got around to taking me there last Saturday. Yey!

The Atrium of the Museum of Islamic Art Doha
The atrium

We only got to visit one exhibition which is about animal fables in Islamic art. Aria got to point at the animals she recognized and say their names. I love how much my daughter is learning everyday. We didn’t get to check out the other exhibits because we found out that they had storytelling for kids was just about to start when we got there, so we let Aria listen and participate in the free art workshop at the museum which I will be sharing in another post… that is if i get the chance to.

After that we just checked out the museum and appreciated the architecture and ofcourse, we took some family pictures overlooking the westbay area of Doha.

At the courtyard of the Museum of Islamic Art Doha
Overlooking westbay

 

At the courtyard of the Museum of Islamic Art Doha
Hanging out at the courtyard
At the courtyard of the Museum of Islamic Art Doha
Momma and Baby Bear

 

 

 

 

Family time at the MIA park bazaar, Doha

Ever since I read about the monthly bazaar at the park of the Museum of Islamic Art, I have always planned to go. The first time we made plans to go, we went to City Center first and got too tired to go to the park afterwards. The second time we went at 6:30 pm not knowing that the bazaar ends at 6. Last Saturday we finally made it, with enough energy to go around and a lot of time to spare. I can finally stop obsessing about that bazaar knowing that I have already been there.

It is not as big as the flea market in Safa park in Dubai. Although it did remind me of that time we participated in the very first flea market where lots of stuff was not just ‘ukay ukay’.

Aria at the MIA Park Bazaar
Aria at the MIA Park Bazaar. No smiles.

There were lots of stalls selling interesting things, such as handmade baby clothes, art by locally based artists, jewellery, clothing and FOOOOD! There was one whole lane of food stalls and the chubby hubby and I spent most of our time on that lane. We checked out each and every one and thought carefully which ones we were going to try. I saw a stall selling Thai Iced tea with milk and bought a macha green tea flavored one and the plain ice tea with milk one. Each drink cost 10 QAR. A little pricey for bazaar food but it was worth it. Coz it was good. Atleast in my opinion.

Checking out the food stalls at the MIA Park Bazaar
Checking out the food stalls
My Macha green iced tea at the MIA Park Bazaar
My Macha green iced tea

 

Eating corn dog at the MIA Park Bazaar
Aria Eating corn dog at the Bazaar
Aria and her lollipop at the MIA Park Bazaar
Aria and her lollipop

 

There were also some stalls selling cheap toys and a lot of families were flying kites from those stalls. Told the chubby hubby that he should fly a kite with the kiddos someday. He says that he can make his own kite and that we didn’t have to buy one. I just have to give him some bamboo sticks.

I don’t know if he is challenging me to look for bamboo sticks but when I do, he better be ready to make a kite and spend some quality time with the kiddos.

We didn’t really buy anything at the bazaar, but enjoyed looking around and checking out what can come back for at the next one, the number one item being FOOOOOOOD!

checking out the people flying kites at the MIA park
checking out the people flying kites

 

the art of getting by without much

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