I realize that it has been a while since Christmas but since I never got around to telling you about Bahrain I thought I would do so now. First off, let me tell you from the beginning that the point of this vacation was to relax and do as little as possible. Hubby and I spent so much time over the summer running around and have been stressed with work that we decided we needed an actual vacation.
The problem is that we’ve never had a vacation where all we did was sit around and relax. We like driving around and doing things and seeing things. We started out with several lists of great places to visit but were able to cull the list for reasons like cost (Zanzibar) or too much effort (Egypt). Hubby finally came up with Bahrain that fit our criteria quite nicely: it was island (as were our last two Christmas vacations), there weren’t too many things to have to do there, and it was vaguely affordable. As my father would say, “Done deal!”
We left on Wednesday the 19th and started our trip on a perfect note – a free upgrade note! The desperate wish of all frequent fliers came true as we prepared to board our flight to Dubai when we were told that we had been upgraded to business class free of charge. (And may I mention that there is something devilishly satisfying about sitting in your business class seat sipping champagne while people glare at you as they walk all the way back to their coach seats.)
Our eight-hour wait in the Dubai airport was thrilling as we sat in the Silver Lounge and tossed and turned in our leather chairs trying to get a few hours of sleep in before our one-hour flight to Bahrain. On the plus side, I did buy a new cell phone while we were waiting. Or as I like to put it: Santa Hubby gave me an early Christmas gift!
After picking up the most ghetto rental car that Avis had available, we made our way to the Novotel that we would call home for the next week. The hotel boasted one of the sweetest pools I have ever seen – deep enough that even Hubby couldn’t touch the bottom and big enough to swim laps while avoiding the dozen or so children who always seemed to be in it.
Before I tell you how we spent most of that first day, I don’t want to forget to mention the amazing lunch we had at a Lebanese restaurant around the corner from our hotel. The guidebooks all said that Al-Sawani was a popular spot for locals to eat with their families but when we arrived we were some of the only people in the cavernous dining room. The buffet-style food was fabulous; from the hummus (literally the best I’ve ever tasted) to the rice dishes and barbequed chicken, every single dish was fresh and well prepared. The affordable meal was far better than the term “buffet” might suggest and it was only due to poor planning on our part that we didn’t return there again during our stay in Bahrain.
Day 1 can basically be summed up in one word: sleep. After months of working 10-12 hour days, traveling constantly, and stressing out over every last little thing, Hubby was understandably tired. We returned from lunch for a nap and woke up just in time to enjoy a light dinner at the hotel bar complete with some of the worst karaoke-style singing I have ever been forced to endure. After dinner, we crawled back into the comfy bed and didn’t awake until well after nine a.m. the following morning. Sounds like a perfect day to me.