Friday, 25 November 2011
The One Where Erika Came to Visit!
The week finally arrived that we had all been waiting for!
The week that we promised ourselves would happen.
But the week we thought probably wouldn't!
I had been counting down in true 'Ellie style' for weeks. And the day was finally upon us. We were going to collect Erika from the airport. But on that journey there was a strange feeling in the car. Had we all anticipated this too much. Had we built it up to be something it wasn't. Would things and people have changed too much for this to work in the 'real' world. Because let's face it our friendship developed in such a artificial world for us. So there was a real worry that this wouldn't transfer in the way we had imagined.
Trust me - there was no need to worry!
Arriving at the airport, uncharacteristically on time for the Lloyd family, armed with a welcome banner made by the kids in my class, the kids and I popped to the bathroom, thinking do it now so we don't miss her!
OOPS! Erika had arrived - uncharacteristically early!
So the picture, I am sure, we had all had in our heads of how we would meet again ended up being rather different to the reality. Momentarily distracted by the surprise of her actually already being here, we all instantly hugged kissed and made a heck of a lot of noise!
A short time later, Erika was once again sat in our car, having a smoke, and instantly I think we all knew it was just like old times. It was just perfect!
That night we got Erika's bed ready with her room mate - Grace - ate takeaway and drank some REAL wine! And talked - sooooooo much! In fact all week we talked so much!
So what did we do the rest of the week? Well it was a week of firsts for us all.
We went to the Movenpick for brunch. 265 QAR for 3 1/2 hours of complete indulgence. All the food and wine you could consume. And a fantastic kid's room with food and entertainment galore to keep them entertained allowing the grown up's to appreciate their indulgence!
Jason enjoyed freaking me out by eating an oyster and I watched Erika and her camera with a smile!
No trip to Doha would be complete without going to the mall! So without a doubt - we HAD to take Erika to Villagio! Where we enjoyed the obligatory McDonald's - believe it or a not, for us, was a little taste of Saudi! We wondered round and a dreamed of Porches and Tiffany's! Although it was a bit of a shopping fail, after several fitting rooms, we left with nothing to show!
Ahhh - the beach! We hadn't really had the chance to explore the beaches before Erika had arrived so this would be an adventure for us all! We headed towards Furawait and found a perfect beach. All expats so swimwear was fine! We set up our day camp - as always! The kids LOVED the sea as always, Jason hated the BBQ as always and me and Erika enjoyed the sun - as always! It was a lovely beach - watching all these people from all over in their own little groups doing their own thing, having so much fun and just enjoying spending time with each other - doing just as we were! A really lovely day - until the wind got up - then it was time to go home!
Well that morning we woke up to rain! A place where it rarely rains, it rained when Erika was here! Ah well, we were sure there was something to do! So off we went to the Souq Waqif. We had been once before and knew that Erika would love it - the stalls, the architecture, the animals. And she did! A far cry from the souq in Saudi! The rain was about to get us again so what else to do but get into a cafe for some food and a shisha of course! No better way to spend a rainy day!
Erika just had to go to Costa! So we took her to Landmark mall where we finally had shopping success at H&M! We all enjoyed a Costa and I then did a rather fast shop at Carrefour for us to enjoy the Lloyd's homemade pizza for dinner! An Ellie Supreme it is then!
Salon day - Erika had her hair cut and coloured and required a stiff drink to get over the shock! Let's just say they weren't the most confident of people! Thankfully I only had a pedicure and my eyebrows threaded - I don't think I could have coped with the hair! But she did look fab afterward! I cooked a full on roast dinner whilst Jason took Erika to the Pearl - another must if visiting Qatar!
And then we were at the end! The day Erika was to fly back! So not to waste the day we got the car packed with her cases and drove to the Corniche. We had a lovely, windy, walk looking at the dhow's and then spontaneously took a trip out on one. A perfect, peaceful end to the week! A quick McDonald's later and we were at the airport! I am pleased to say not as emotional as the last goodbye!
So that was our week! Lots of food, lots of wine, lots of talking, lots of laughs and lots of tears!
It was perfect.
It was everything it should have been.
It was everything we wanted it to be.
It was everything a true friendship is.
It was proof that no matter who you are, where you are and what you are doing - if you have made that bond with another human being that is called friendship it will last, it will withstand distance and no matter what path you take in life you will always meet again.
Posted by Ellie at 07:12