10 April 2011

iceland in the desert

My family and my Filipino Mafia colleagues (and their families) went to Iceland Water Park in Ras Al Khaimah yesterday, and we had a blast!

Weeks before, we were invited by our friends Humprey and Sheryl because they were given group discount vouchers. The normal rate is Dhs150 (for adults) and Dhs100 (for children), but we just had to pay half-price (small kids like Caila went in free). We heard that they were going to increase their rates to Dhs225 soon, which was their original rate when they opened, but we’re not sure if it was just a rumor going around. Anyway, of course we didn’t want to pass up the opportunity, and it would be a good bonding experience for us, so we made plans to go on one of our non-working Saturdays (which was yesterday).

The park was awesome! First, we took Caila to the Kids Cove where she enjoyed sliding down the big fish on her own over and over, and then she started splashing around, enjoying the feel of the water on her face. After a while, we swam and waded in the Snow River while Caila rode her float. She was scared at first because her feet didn’t reach the bottom (even though I was right behind her holding on to her float) but after a while, she started enjoying herself and kept laughing and giggling. A while later, we could see that she was beginning to shiver, yet she kept insisting that “kaya pa!” when we asked if she was feeling cold; she really didn’t want to go out of the water. Anyway, by then, we were already hungry, so despite her protests, we pulled her out and had lunch.

The nice thing at Iceland was we could bring food from home, so each family brought at least a dish and we shared what they had prepared. We brought rice and inihaw na liempo, Kuya Alex and his wife brought dinuguan and puto, Sheila and her sons brought pancit, shrimp and leche flan, Kuya Sonny and his housemates brought embutido, and Eva and her family took care of the rellenong bangus, drinks and disposables. It was a delicious feast! Once everyone had had their fill, we all went separate ways to explore the park once again.

Good thing my sister and Ate Cel came with us and they didn’t want to try out the rides, so hubby and I were able to leave Caila in their care at the Tundra Baths while we went on the attractions. We tried two rides from Mt. Cyclone, a ride from Mount Tornado, and Mount Boomerango. Now that one was amazing! It was like we were boomeranged from one side to another and all we could do was scream our lungs out; I swear it felt like my heart had jumped out of my body!

Aside from the rides he went on with me, hubby also went on several others with Eva’s husband (because Eva’s and my hearts were too weak to try them). He also played a quick game of soccer on the Polar Games field, where he accidentally scraped his knee (yeah...OUCH!).

After some time, we heard an announcement on the speaker, and it turned out that Sheryl had arranged to have Humprey publicly greeted with the Happy Birthday song (no, she didn’t sing), and she had made a surprise birthday cake for him which was really moist and delicious! It was great!

By 2:30pm, my family and I decided it was time to get ready. It was an hour’s drive back home, and we wanted to get some rest before going to the two separate birthday parties of our friends’ sons in the evening (one in Bur Dubai and one in Abu Hail). Of course Caila didn’t want to go yet, so I made a deal with her that while my sister and Ate Cel got ready, we would play at the Kids Cove again, and once they were done, it would be time for us to get ready. Fortunately, it worked. She splashed around the shallow water, went down the Fish Slide again, and we went down the slide on the Kiddie Mountain together before she agreed to get out of her bikini. By 3pm, minutes before we were about to leave, she had dozed off on my chest.

Our daughter really enjoyed herself. In fact, all of us enjoyed ourselves. It was a perfect getaway for a family bonding experience. And although this morning, hubby and I woke up with aching bodies, our day at Iceland Water Park was definitely worth it!

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