2nd Wedding Anniversary

It’s crazy to think that only 2 years ago on October 18, Dave and I were saying our vows to each other and looking forward to the future. At that point, I never would have dreamed we’d be where we are now!

For our second anniversary, Dave and I decided to just relax and take it easy.ย  I picked up some Wagyu beef steaks from Dean and Deluca, and prepared them to our liking, along with some mashed potatoes. It was a delicious and very easy dinner!

I also made carrot cake, since that was the cake we had for our wedding.ย  I got a little distracted when cooking the steaks, and cooked the cake a little too long, but luckily we were too hungry to eat it anyway!

We exchanged gifts after dinner, and we each did something relating to Cotton, which is the traditional second anniversary gift. For Dave, I bought him some new cotton dress shirts for work, to go with some new bowties he has purchased.ย  He also ended up going to a tailor to order some shirts, and I hope to buy some of those as an additional gift.

Dave bought me a 3 hour spa package at the Four Seasons! Even better?ย  He had all ready booked the appointment for the day after my birthday ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s the best!ย  He said the cotton robe I’ll be wearing was his idea for the cotton ๐Ÿ™‚

A very happy anniversary to my husband – looking forward to many more, adventure and fun filled years! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll be updating soon about my birthday weekend and my fabulous time at the spa! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  But here’s a few wedding pictures to reminisce on the fun we had that day!

Finally Mr and Mrs!

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Let’s Go Steelers!

As a native Pittsburgher, I was born and raised to love the Steelers, and that has stuck with me, even though I am thousands of miles away in Doha!ย  Last year, I did not have the chance to see any games, and I felt very disconnected from the football season in general.ย  This year, I am lucky enough to have two good friends who watch the games every week, and are happy to invite others over to watch with them.

Luckily, the first few games have been 1:00 games in the US, so we can watch them here about 8 PM, which is late, but not too terrible! However, there are some evening games coming up, so that’ll be a little harder. I am hoping we’ll all just sleep, and watch it the next night instead (and avoid spoilers by not checking ESPN, FB and Twitterย  in the mean time!!!) Course, I do have some friends who are such die-hard fans, they plan to watch it at 3 AM when its live ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t know what it is about football that I love so much. There is just something something sentimental about it that reminds me of spending cool fall nights in Pittsburgh, with good friends watching the game together. In a way, I think Steelers football unites people in Pittsburgh, so its nice to have a similar feeling here in Doha.ย  Every week, we order some good takeaway food, I love to bake something sweet, and cheer on the Steelers together. I think it makes me feel a little closer to home on those football evenings, even though we’re very far awayย  ๐Ÿ™‚

I also feel like football makes Sundays a little more normal here in Doha! Even though I have to work on Sundays, knowing there will be football later that evening makes it all worth it!ย  I’ll definitely go through football withdrawal once the season ends.

There is usually a Steelers bar in every US city that is easy to find, but we haven’t found one here yet. Hoping to find one or at least turn one of our favorite bars into one! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Let’s go Steelers – hope this is a Super Bowl kind of year! ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to Work!

I think most of my readers know that last year, I was working for a university here in Doha as a Research Assistant for the Dean of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness. It was a fun job, and a great learning experience, but as his only employee, I felt very isolated on a day to day basis, which compared to my time at Carlow, was difficult to handle!

The overall goal of my position was to create a Fact Book for the university here in Doha, and while we polished up all the data we would need, weย  were unable to finish the project before my contract expired, so that was disappointing. My contract ended May 31, and I hoped to start again this past August. Unfortunately, when we returned from our multiple trips, my boss confirmed that he was unable to offer me a new contract. So I was unemployed, which worked out great for summer, but once the semester started, I needed to find some work!

Before we left for our Scotland holiday, I ran into the VP of Operations for the same university, and she asked what I was doing when the summer ended. I told her I hoped to work for the Dean again, but if not, I had no plans. She said she had a job for me, if I was interested. I told her I definitely was and would contact her once we were back to Doha at the end of summer.

Fast forward to September. I met with my future boss, the VP of Operations, and found out the job was in payroll.ย  Since I have no background in this field, she assured me she would train me on everything I need to know. So I signed a contract and I am on my third week of the new job and am quickly learning a lot! I am constantly busy, there are a ton of deadlines (which I love), and I am a part of the Operations team, so I don’t feel quite as isolated as I did in my previous job.

I am so glad to be back at work, learning new things and using my brain ๐Ÿ™‚ Currently, I have a 6 month contract, and as long as everything goes well, I will be able to continue working there for as long as we’re in Doha!ย ย  I am very excited about the prospect of a having a guaranteed job while we are here.

I’ll update you in six months if my contract becomes permanent! ๐Ÿ™‚

Abu Dhabi

When we returned from the US, Dave met with HR and found out he would have to leave the country and come back through customs to take care of some visa issues. (He had come in on a tourist visa since we didn’t have time to get him a new residency permit when we returned from Scotland and then left again for Pgh!).

So we decided to do a quick trip over to Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE. We planned it over the Eid holiday, and flew out on a Friday morning. It was a short and sweet 35 minute flight, and we were there in no time! Once we landed in the airport, we withdrew some dirhams (UAE currency), and hopped in a taxi to our hotel, the Le Royal Meriden. It was pretty swanky ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s a view from the outside of our hotel. The top circle looking part is a 360 degree revolving restaurant!

After checking in, we relaxed in our room for a bit, and then decided to take a walk to the Irish Pub in our hotel to check it out. It was an interesting place, but there were decent beers on tap, so we had a few drinks.ย  We wanted to order food a little later, only to find out they had a buffet until 4, so we would have to wait until after 4 to order dinner.ย  So after having some drinks, we headed back to our room.ย  Although it was a short flight, we were exhausted, so we spent the majority of the evening in our hotel room, watching tv and just relaxing!

The next day we woke up and headed to the lobby to have some breakfast. It was a really amazing food spread, and I had everything from croissants to mini donuts to (fake) bacon, quiches, cereal and a smoothie. It was really delicious and I could have stayed there all day ๐Ÿ˜›

But we were off to the Grand Mosque, which we found out later is the 3rd largest mosque in the world, only after Mecca and Medina in Saudi. Here’s a view from the outside (no clue why its so hazy!):

As we entered, I was ushered over to an area with abayas and sheilas that needed to be worn in order to enter the mosque. The abaya was too long for me (I’m short!), and it was HOT! I had worn long sleeves anticipating the dress code, and thank goodness I had a tank on underneath, so I did not have long sleeves and the abaya. That thing does not breathe so well! Here’s a picture of me all decked out in my abaya – complete with sunglasses, just like the local Qataris. If I had a designer purse, I would fit right in!

I had never been inside a mosque before, and this one was beautiful! There were gorgeous German made chandeliers, with Swaworski crystals, gorgeous glass walls, marble columns with mother of pearl flowers, and a lot of other neat things! I took a lot of pictures (too many, probably), but if you want to see them all, check out my full Shutterfly album here.

After spending almost 2 hours at the mosque, we headed back to our hotel to try to find a bite to eat! We decided that we were unhappy with the Irish pub in our building, so we decided to take a walk to the Sheraton to check out their English pub. It was a short walk from our hotel to the Sheraton, and we were rewarded with pints and good food when we got there ๐Ÿ™‚

After that, we headed back to the hotel to relax for a little bit before our fancy dinner that evening. On the way back, we saw this:

We thought the name was really amusing, and as we walked past, we smelled shisha! So we knew we’d be walking back there later ๐Ÿ™‚

Dinner was at the restaurant on the top 25th floor, which you can see in an earlier picture. It is a round restaurant, and it revolves 360 degrees! Sometimes it was a little nauseating, but I was able to forget about it after awhile! We had some really great food, and shared a bottle of wine. It was a great way to celebrate my husband finally becoming a Doctor ๐Ÿ™‚

To end the night, we headed to the shisha cafe, which was really awesome! I had some watermelon shisha and it was the best I’ve ever had! It was also a very interesting crowd in general, and we haven’t found anything like it in Doha yet. They were also amazingly quick replacing coals – at least every 10-15 minutes!

After that, it was off to bed so we could get up for our early flight in the morning. Abu Dhabi is a really fun place, and we hope to go back some day to explore a little more of it! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you ever have a chance to visit the Middle East/UAE, definitely check out Abu Dhabi!