Siblings in Kuwait – Spring Break 2013

One of the deals we are giving our 5 siblings is a trip (once) to visit us. Abby is here for the semester subbing and Andrew came to visit for his Spring Break! Shannon was studying abroad in Barcelona so they met up in Kuwait. It was a memorable week for all! (see Shannon’s post for proof)

There was a little miscommunication ..Shannon arrived on Friday, March 22nd and Andrew arrived 24 hours later. Luckily we like Shannon so it worked out just fine đŸ˜‰

Shannon made it!

It actually ended up being quite an interesting experience: Shannon met a guy from Portugal on the plane. He was visiting friends but they weren’t able to pick him up at the airport. Our friend, Dana, was driving so we all piled into her car and took him to Marina Mall. We invited him to have breakfast with us at Pain Quotidian…and ended up finding out he was visiting some Kuwaiti royalty that he had met on a road trip. Crazy! We ended up hanging out with him all day and had quite a bit of fun being hospitable. Bonus: he’s a great (self-taught) photographer!

girls & the gulf

jeff, shannon & city

The afternoon consisted of coffee and pedicures. Saturday was another early morning to pick Andrew up at the airport.

We had an amazing breakfast (as always) at the Cocoa Room before heading out to the desert!

Full and satisfied, Dana, Andrew, Shannon, Abby, Jeff and I headed out to do some desert hiking. We found some interesting things along the way!

We also managed to do some GeoCaching…

…and found lots and lots of bullets in the process.

It wasn’t the clearest day but we had a great (HOT) time! Check out the entire album for many more pictures đŸ™‚

Before they came, we compiled a list of all the things we wanted to do with them. [As you can see, we take our food very seriously!] It was actually a pretty busy week! We gave them a taste of a lot of things and know we missed even more. Contrary to popular belief, there’s actually a lot to do in Kuwait (if you’re looking). Some of the blogs I use to find goings-on: 2:48AM, Life in Kuwait, The Grapevine Kuwait.

Shannon introduced me to Red Mango…how did I manage to get through the first 7 months here without ever stopping to try it?!

We ventured to Souq Sharq (a first for all of us!).

We made at stop at the Fish Market.

We (finally) tried a nearby bakery and enjoyed some Middle Eastern sweets.

Strolling through the Old Souq.

Dinner at the Old Souq

Our last night, we ventured to one of our favorite restaurants for some Turkish food and shisha.

Jeff getting fancy with shisha

Abby’s friend from high school (Lance) was in Kuwait for a couple months working on the oil fields and joined us…small world!

Andrew’s turn đŸ™‚

It was a great week!!

Check out the rest of our pictures plus all of our iPhone photos đŸ™‚

We live in the desert.

Update: I found this post of a Kuwait blogger who went “behind the scenes” at the camel races. Jealous!

Saturday we had one of those moments where we realized that we live in Kuwait. In the desert. Seriously!? We joined 250 other people at the AWARE Center, climbed on buses and headed into the desert.

The ride out was pretty uneventful but it gave us a chance to watch out the window. We were completely surprised by the amount of trash. It was everywhere. Probably the hardest thing for us to see is the complete disregard (by some people) for their surroundings. Kuwait could be much more beautiful if  people used trash cans :/

After about 45 minutes we arrived at the camel races…in the middle of nowhere.

We had just under 2 hours to explore and relax before the races started. Luckily they fed us treats…

…dates, camel butter and camel milk…

…and tea.

We had the opportunity to ride camels. We decided against it. NOT!

(We did not edit the sound so you might want to turn the sound down. Also, sorry for the orientation of the video. Blame the camera man – Jeff. đŸ˜‰

Abby and I made Jeff go first – it was just a little intimidating! The camel grew more unhappy with each rider – it refused to stand up fort he rider after me. We did notice that my camel ride was recorded by Al Watan TV…maybe I’ll become famous đŸ˜‰

We went back to the diwaniya to watch the start of the camel race on TV. The older the camel the longer the race. The races on Saturday were 6k and 8k. They start far away and finish at the grand stands. The whole time there are cars following along on the outside of the tracks. Luckily people don’t ride the camels (except for this crazy guy), robots do! The people in the cars control the robots and their little flexible arm that spins around and slaps the camel. It’s crazy to watch!

Although we didn’t start our watch (what kind of runners are we?!), we think the camels ran 6k in 10-15 minutes. The weather was pretty decent (not too cold, not to hot and cloudy) the wind did pick up and we got to taste some sand. The Kuwaiti men had the right idea covering their mouths!

After the last race (there were 3), we headed to a ‘farm’ in the desert for the typical buffet spread.

All sorts of Lebanese food.

On our way back to the the AWARE center we got to see desert camping for the first time. There was even more trash, but this time we saw where it was all coming from. From November to March people are allowed to set up tents in the desert (leave them there) and go out to their camp whenever they want to. They practically make tent cities! We had no idea! But we’re pretty excited to try it for a night or two đŸ™‚

Sorry for the crappy iPhone photos!

Yes…those are blow-up slides!

Just another day in the life of Lissa, Jeff & Abby! To see our entire photo album, click here. Or watch the video below!