Monday, February 24, 2020

Around Doha in February

I think it's easy to take for granted that Doha does have a lot of great events around town. January was full of them and February also didn't have a shortage of things going on around town.

My mom arrived mid-month and the next day we headed to Katara for their Garden Festival. The sections were decorated beautifully, we got free henna, held a falcon, and had mom's first Turkish ice cream experience (I'd post the video, but I am pretty sure she would fly back to Doha to smack me, hehe. Ann, I will send you a copy.)

The next week Marli and I took our moms on the metro to the new downtown Msherieb and had breakfast before walking over to the Souq for a bit. Also, if you aren't injecting syrup into your pancakes, then you are doing life wrong. 🤣

A couple days after we headed to the big jewelry show in the convention center. This is the same venue as the book fair from last month, but wow. They add tile to the floor, indoor fountains, and gorgeous decor. Then there were the gems and jewelry. Beautiful. We also caught a glimpse of a member of the royal family - so cool!

The next weekend our school gave us free tickets for the Al Shaqab Longines Global Champions Tour. We headed over midday and ended up staying into the evening. The girls loved watching the horses "dance" and jump and they had an amazing kids area with free activities. They had face painting, arts and crafts, play areas, and shows/entertainment going on throughout the day. The weather was perfect for being outdoors and it was a great way to spend our Saturday!


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Family Photos in Austria

One of our last days in Austria we had a late sleep in and decided to do a mini photo shoot. We asked someone from the hotel to take our family pictures and then Jason took some of the girls and me and I took a few individual of them. So excited with how these turned out, but we had gotten ones with Jason and the girls (it was cold outside so by the time we'd taken these they were done).


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Winter Break Ski Trip!

Do you ever book a trip so far in advance that when the rip actually approaches it feels a bit surreal to actually be happening? That was our ski trip! We booked the holiday last fall during an airfare sale and had our hotel booked a couple weeks before that because it was an in-demand hotel so the trip seemed to creep up quickly on us mid-February.

The metro in Doha has been open a couple months and we decided to take it to the airport for our trip. It was an easy taxi ride over and a cost-effective and efficient way to get there. The staff helped with our suitcases and ticket purchase and held the girls hands as they walked to the airport. Talk about customer service - and for only 2 qar (about $0.50!!) We took our obligatory selfie with the bear and boarded our flight to Germany.

After we landed in Germany and purchased waterproof snow boots for a fraction of the cost, in Doha we got on the road towards the Black Forest. We spent one night in the Black Forest en route to our hotel in Austria. Jason researched the best placed to buy cuckoo clocks made in the area and we enjoyed walked to a waterfall near our hotel before shopping for our family heirloom. We also made sure to have black forest cake in the Black Forest - ha!

We continued our drive to Girls, Austria where we checked into our hotel for the next week. You know it's going to be a good hotel when you arrive and there's a complimentary carousel in the lobby to entertain the kids during check-in. 🤣

We had been recommended by multiple friends to stay at Kinder hotels. The girls have been asking for snow for ages so it made sense to look into it for our trip. They cater to families with all-inclusive meal plans, family rooms, indoor pools and water slides, kids club, playgrounds, entertainment, and on-site ski school. Done. We booked a mid-range one and have nothing, but amazing things to say about it. (Our specific hotel was the Kroeller.)

We spent the next day relaxing after the drive and explored the hotel's indoor playground and the pool and also spent some time sledding and playing in the snow.


We also stopped by the ski shop to get the girls fitted for their ski gear for the first day of ski school! They were all excited and spent the day skiing while we spent the day relaxing and visiting with one another.

At the end of the day the girls decided to continue with a second day of lessons so we renewed their rental and got fitted for our own. The hotel had a small beginner slope that was perfect for Jason and I to practice. 😆 We spent the day hitting the slopes and catching glimpses of the girls on the ski school slope next to us (don't worry ours was slightly steeper, hahaha.)

Olivia didn't quite take to skiing like her sisters and so the next day she chose to go to the kids club while Madison and Evelyn went with ski school to the larger slopes a short bus ride from the hotel. We played with Olivia for a bit in the snow and then decided to head to the same slope for lunch because there was a restaurant included with our booking that you could ski to and it would give us a change of scenery. What we failed to realize until it was too late was that the only way down from said restaurant was a black or red slope. We opted for the latter and slowly made our way down embarrassingly slow and not without a couple falls. 😅 However, it was a gorgeous viewpoint and I'm glad we did it. Sort of.

We hit up the pool basically every afternoon after ski school, then dinner, then whatever movie or magic show the hotel was putting on for the girls. It was fantastic! Oh and hot chocolate every day.

Our final day we returned our rentals and headed for snow tubing in a nearby town. We took a gondola up and spent the next couple hours taking turns tubing with the girls (Madi wasn't old enough to go by herself) until we were exhausted. The girls played in the snow a bit more before heading back to our hotel for one more trip to the pool and dinner before packing.

The next morning we loaded up the car to head back to Germany. We made sure to ride the carousel a few more times during checkout where the girls received going away presents and a delicious loaf of rye bread. The hotel was absolutely superb and I would highly recommend looking into the Kinder hotels.

We made a detour on the drive to visit Neuschwanstein Castle (the inspiration for the Disney Castle). We took a horse carriage up to the top, walked around the grounds, and then continued on our road trip to the airport where we stayed the night before flying back to Doha early the next morning.

It was an amazing trip to Austria and we loved getting out and skiing and being in the snow and mountains. The girls got the snow fix they've been begging for and we are so proud of them working hard at ski school and having a great time!

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