Setting Standards at Emirates Palace

What did you learn while on this trip? The vacation was winding down and we were at the opulent Emirates Palace, fit for royalty and decked in gold. It was designed to provide luxurious accommodations for visiting Heads of States around the world. Thank You God for your blessings ran through my mind at least one hundred times. I soon replied back to my friends by saying “Standards.”

IMG_0960IMG_0983

IMG_0990

IMG_0891 IMG_0892

IMG_1202 IMG_0986 IMG_0898  In life there’s no time to settle, we should demand excellence in all things. It’s not enough just to get by. I am worthy of the things my little heart desires; I am worthy of seeing the world; I am worthy of greatness; I am worthy of making my childhood dreams come true; When we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, we lose sight of what truly matters. I was having dinner at a palace; a palace made for kings and diplomats around the world. I was worthy, I am worthy. There’s no way I could go back to the way I used to be. Routine. Going to work, coming home and doing it all again. Nope, that wasn’t me. That’s never been the type of person I imagined myself to be. I made a promise to myself that it wasn’t enough just to merely exist-going forward I needed to live. IMG_0930

The rest of the night was spent with great conversation and shisha, overlooking the serene ocean, with the palace lights in the backdrop-beauty at it’s best.

IMG_0958

Kydee In Dubailand

45-million flowers of different shades, colors and sizes surrounded me in theDubai Miracle Garden. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, discovering one masterpiece after another. We proceeded through the garden in complete awe, getting lost in the flower maze. The garden was beautiful.

IMG_0247 IMG_0251 IMG_0256 IMG_0258 IMG_0273 IMG_0275 IMG_0276 IMG_0277 IMG_0278 IMG_0308 IMG_0309 IMG_0335 IMG_0338 IMG_0343 IMG_0344

From the garden, we proceeded to the Gold Souqs. $100 dirham later we were in the midst of a bustling neighborhood called Deira. This was nothing like the immaculate areas we’ve experienced thus far. Deira was different. This was definitely the area of the locals. We were surrounded by a sea of men asking us to buy jewelry, hair and “designer” bags. Some asked us to follow them into alleys, but we knew not to…c’ mon. We eventually met a nice guy whose name stood for happiness in Hindu. I got the best deals from him.

IMG_0352

Ky Tip: Mastering Negotiation in Dubai Souqs is essential!

  • If you’re with others, be the one that’s not overly eager. The merchants will want to impress you because he knows there’s a chance you will leave his store without a purchase. He will also want to give you a deal.
  • Negotiate the price. Remember nothing is set in stone at souqs. If they tell you 10 Dirham try to get them down to 5 or if you are really lucky, 3.
  • I negotiated 3 belly-dancing belts for 12 USD. This was beyond a steal because each belt went for 35-50 Dirham which is about $10-$12. Negotiating in USD probably helped me more because it’s a currency other than their own.
  • Try to leave the store once they give you an unreasonable price. Of course, it’s a bluff but they will chase you down to negotiate a price that’s more to your liking.

After the overwhelming nature of the souqs, we spent the rest of the night in the Dubai Mall, which is really not that hard to do. The mall is amazing, equipped with over 1200 restaurants and shops, its own ice-skating rink and an aquarium.

IMG_0354 IMG_0355 IMG_0356 IMG_0357 IMG_0358 IMG_0360 IMG_0362 IMG_0363 IMG_0366 IMG_0643

We’ll Never Be #Royals

“I’ll never see a diamond in the flesh…” -Lourde

One of my goals while in London was to meet up with Louise. Louise is my colleague at work, whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and communicating with for over 2-years but we never actually met. When the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it. We met up at the St. Pauls Tube stop, in which she led us around the corner to an amazing restaurant called The Happenstance. This restaurant was to die for. It’s distinguished by its hybrid of settings, which ranged from girly and sophisticated to rustic and modern with a southern charm. The walls are wooden and chalkboard, while the furniture ranged from standard metal bar stools to rocking chairs. The ambiance was incredible and set the tone for the perfect lunch date. I finally got the chance to order a London delicacy, fish and chips or as the restaurant called it Hand Beer-Battered Haddock with Chips (hehe).

Kydee Williams

Kydee Williams

IMG_1715  Louise and I talked about everything under the sun. I explained to her my reasons for my travels in which I confessed my confusion for the next steps of my life. Turning 25 is so pivotal and I wanted to make sure I lived my 20’s to the fullest with very little mistakes or regrets.

Kydee WilliamsAfter lunch Louise and I walked to St. Paul’s Cathedral where Princess Diana got married. We thought it would also be a great opportunity to take cliché London telephone booth pictures. I had a blast with her but she had to go back to work and I had to meet up with my friends. My friends and I had no way of contacting each other because our phones didn’t work, which meant I had to be back at the designated spot on time.

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee WilliamsOnce I met up with the girls, we took a double-decker bus to Buckingham Palace. Aside from the soldiers doing their weird march, I loved that the palace gates and fountains were adorned with gold. On my next trip, I may have to go inside to actually get the feel of being in the midst of royalty.

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee Williams We strolled from Buckingham to St. James Park where we played on the swings and watched the most interesting looking birds, ducks and geese wander past us. They were so cute and carefree.

Kydee WilliamsThen we took flicks with the stiff soldiers who wouldn’t even crack a smile. No matter what we did to them, they didn’t budge. It was kind of cool but scary at the same time.

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams  Kydee WilliamsFinally, the clock stroke 5 and I encountered the sweet sounds of Big Ben (now known as the Elizabeth Tower). I was so excited to hear him roar. I began to walk towards him, and when I finally was graced with his presence I was in awe by how dignified and handsome he stood. His classic build and quintessential grace is what people think of when they think of London. He’s legendary. I finally felt at that point that my duties as a London tourist were fulfilled.

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee Williams That night we went to the club Tiger Tiger, which was a recommendation of my friend Brittany. It was a pretty happening club, with 5 different sections, a stripper pole and an LCD dance floor. Each room had something different going on. We danced the night away, partying in London for the first time ever! It was so exciting to see how people on the other side of the pond live. Once we left, we caught a bus that would take us back to Westminster, but the bus driver hated us. She called my friends and me annoying and told us to get out of her sight. It was so rude of her but funny at the same time. She was the first unfriendly person we met in London, which was excellent when compared to the number of unfriendly people you encounter in New York on an hourly basis.

Ky’s Verdict:

When can I move here? I loved London. I can totally see myself enjoying the rest of my 20’s here because it’s so darn cool. However, it’s very expensive. British Pounds are a nightmare.

%d bloggers like this: