A Fine Day, Dubai

As promised, this travel blog is in no particular order whatsoever. At the moment, Dubai is on my mind. I returned yesterday from a whirlwind trip that was somewhat last minute - and fantastic. We flew across the Gulf to celebrate a friend's birthday in true Dubai style - complete with pink limo, champagne service and a dance floor on the 43rd floor somewhere downtown. In a word: extravagant. We booked two nights at the Movenpick IBN Buttuta Dubai and fully indulged. At the Palm Jumeriah infinity pool and private beach. Sail boat snapshots and adventures in both mass transit and chaufferism; to the Mall of the Emirates, for some camera perusing, a bite to eat and a quick stop by the indoor ski slopes of Dubai. Metro to IBN Battuta and a half-hearted hitchhiking attempt before chocolate hour at the espresso bar. Americano, latte, biscotti and pistachio cookie dough dipped in fudge (for two), swiss chocolate buttons of varieties both dark and light, prelude to grape mint shisha, roasted cashews and white wine. Streets stocked with Ferarris, Lamborghinis, and fashion labels I won't even pretend to recognize. Believe the hype, Dubai is to die.

The Movenpick breakfast buffet must be seen to be believed. It may even rival that of the Grand Hyatt Muscat; if only because there is a self-serve espresso machine where I can fill up on lattes and cappuccinos to my hearts content (I love cafe). An early morning flurry of white-capped chefs scrambling to prepare food in plain view, surrounded by satellite stations of colorful, whipped up creations. I want to photograph everything. The level of service is sublime. Even as I am sipping the last of my cafe, the server is already at my side. Milk? My, have you ever seen a person disappear and reappear in the blink of a eye? I have. Here. In Dubai.

Though my encounter was brief, I did see potential for the penny pinching type (me). We took the Dubai metro and monorail for just 14 Dirham (roughly $4) and traveled to the Atlantis hotel, the Palm Islands, and the Mall of the Emirates. We saw the impressive indoor aquarium inside the mall of Dubai and took photos of the Burj Khalifa (tallest building on earth) and the world's only seven star hotel - the Burj Al Arab...for free. The shopping malls were unlike anything I've ever seen. I can say without a doubt, that within the air conditioned confines of Dubai's finest, you will find anything and everything you could ever need.

U.A.E, you haven't seen the last of me.