sarah vs the world

Not a video game, not a comic, not a band, but an amazing adventure continues...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Christmas then lots of winter...

So I have been a bit busy since getting back from Christmas.  I haven't even had any time to do an update about my Christmas trip.  It's been cold, windy and even snowy in Baku, but hopefully soon things will start to get warmer.  Let's start with the amazing Christmas we all had.
It nearly didn't happen.  On the day I was meant to leave, there was an issue with my plane ticket -- as in I didn't have one any more!  I spent half the day ensuring I wasn't spending Christmas in Baku!  But luckily, just a few hours before I was meant to depart, it was all sorted.  So I flew into Ohio for the full Grubb Family Christmas.  
Everyone flew in.  Rachel, Jonny, Chris, Brock, Amber, Nora and I all were there together with Mom and Dad.  Jonny, Chris and I rented a cabin in the woods which we hosted Christmas dinner at.  We opened presents together for the first time at Mom and Dad's house.  We drove Christmas Eve to see Grandma Rita. It was fantastic to have us all together.  And having little Nora Lee to distract us was quite fun.  Photos galore:
Mom only has 3 Christmas trees in total
Jonny and Brock with the matching Mo's
Nora with my airplane spoon gift
Dad aka Oscar with his grandbaby
Brunky Jon
Nora in her camp style high chair
Nora and I
Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Breadmen
Sunrise at the cabin
All of us together
I think it was absolutely amazing that we all got to be together as it ended up being some of Grandma Rita's last days.  About a month later, she died.  I didn't head home then as per her very specific instruction.  We will all be together again in July for her memorial service.  It will be a wonderful celebration of her life.  I look forward to seeing everyone there then. 
After many years, Mom finally gets her 4 generations photo
Before heading back to Baku, I spent New Year's Eve with my parents and some of their friends.  It was a lovely dinner finished off with some flaming bananas!
Pre-dinner purchase
The Flambe
Ringing in 2015
So not long after New Year, it was back to Baku.  It had turned to proper winter, complete with wind chills and the occasional snow fall.  Much colder than I had expected.  But we have all managed to bunker up inside and rug up as required.  Except for the odd occasion when my power and gas are out.  We also seem to lose water sometimes as well.  Oh the joys of Baku.  It is definitely down to single digit days off, and even those are few and far between.  My team is much bigger, and things are moving along.
Rearranged the family tree to include some snaps from Christmas
A lovely note from Mia Cooper when she heard about Grandma Rita
One of my nights without power or heat
The snow arrives in Baku
I have managed to get in a few social activities around town.  I have found a new favourite breakfast place which servers proper bacon.  I had dinner at a quaint art cafe.  Made regular stops to Paul's the steakhouse.  Tried a new steakhouse near the Heydar Aliyev Centre with the boys from CT.  We had a decent size gathering in celebration for Australia Day which saw us singing INXS, Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham at the top of our lungs!  We had a big surprise birthday for Julia which included a pinata!  Stanley and I started a bit of a food experiment in Baku with interesting foods.  While it has been a fun winter, I have to admit, I am looking forward to when it is warm again and not spending so much time inside...
Breakfast from House Cafe - a regular Sunday thing now
Mayak 13 Art Cafe
Simon tries the Monster Burger at Paul's which includes a beef burger patty + a steak!
Still haven't been inside but it sure is lovely - Heydar Aliyev Centre
Triple J's Hottest 100 Streams on Aussie Day in the office...
 The Pub all decorated
 Passing around the cork hat
My homemade Kingstons really hit the spot
Julia's Pinata before...
And as she smashes it!
Stanley and our strange fruit
But the weather eventually got to me a bit too much.  I am currently hanging out in Dubai for a bit of sun relief.  So far, I have managed to have a lovely picnic style brunch at the Vida Downtown, see Michael Buble in concert, return to my beloved Irish Village, hit the Dubai Mall several times, have hours by the pool, witness Dubai 360 and just some general catching up with friends. 
Lovely Irish Village
Brunch dessert
Pool time at the Park Hyatt
Buble rocking out
A flutter of heart shaped confetti closes the show
 
That is about all for now.  It will be back to work very soon.  It has been lovely to do some shopping, see some friends and get some sun.  Off to the pool as we speak....
Lots of love,
Sxo

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