Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hello from Malaysia!

Hi everyone!  Just a quick hello to all readers of my blog.  The Holmes family has moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and I invite you all to visit my new blog, Malaysia and More!  

Kuala Lumpur skyline

(This may be a nice picture of KL, but just between you and me, it is not as beautiful as Muscat!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Farewell, Oman-- from The Chedi

This is my last night in Oman.  It is fitting that we are spending it in the same place I spent my first night in Oman-- The Chedi.

September 2012

June 2014

The Chedi is the ultimate in zen.  Very linear, symmetrical, calm, and soothing.

Like my first stay in The Chedi, I have been pretty busy.  I've been supervising the packing up of our house and taking care of moving details.  I finally got to enjoy the pool this afternoon.  It was fabulous!  I had the whole pool to myself.  Of course it was 112 degrees, but still nice.

These pictures were taken as I walked to the spa for my massage.  The grounds a bit maze-like, but beautiful spots wherever you look.

The relaxation room in the spa.

A beautiful place to spend my last day in Oman!

We have an early morning flight to Abu Dhabi, then on to the US.  It has been an amazing 20 months!    Farewell, Oman!!

P.S.  Be sure to catch my next blog, Malaysia and More!, debuting sometime in August, for more Holmes family adventures.  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Cave Restaurant in Muscat

I just have to say, this is my 100th blog post!!  I can't believe it.

Anyways, I don't do many restaurant reviews.  My friend Andy does a much better job.  But The Cave is more than just a restaurant.  It's almost an attraction all on its own.  They have been building this restaurant the whole time I have lived in Oman.  It really does look like a cave.  It always reminds me of the cartoon TV show The Flintstones

If you are familiar with the show, you are probably humming the theme song right now.  Flintstones, meet the Flintstones, they're a modern stone age family.  From the town of Bedrock, they're a page right out of history....

Here is the front of The Cave, from the parking lot.  

The restaurant sits on top of a hill, so it has very nice views.  Beyond the parking lot.

The main lobby.  The interiors are very cave-like.  They did a nice job.  Although the furniture is not very cave-like.

We came here with our friends Mary and Jeff.  What I didn't realize was that The Cave is not one restaurant, but will be a total of seven restaurants!  Here is Al Manjur, with Omani cuisine.  Not all restaurants are open at this time.

We ate at The Harbor, which serves seafood.  

Here is Joe, walking in.  We ate at the very unfashionable hour of 7:30, which is when the kitchen opened.  We were the first customers of the evening, which is why I took so many pictures.

Mary, of 'glamping' fame.

In addition to the menu items, you can select from this fresh seafood display and have it cooked to your liking.

King fish

The server was explaining the night's special to Mary.  It came with tuna steaks, mussels, and prawns, I believe.  Mary ordered it to be cooked in a wok with vegetables.  The tuna was grilled.

Mary ordered peach iced tea, and it came with a peach star!

I ordered the Spanish seafood soup for my starter.  I didn't know what to expect, food-wise, but it was delicious!

We also got crab and salmon sushi.

This was my entree choice.  Hammour, a local fish.  I had a choice of rice or bread to go with it.

Joe ordered wok-cooked prawns.  We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals.  Great flavors!

Like I mentioned, we were the first customers of the night and got very good service.  The place filled up as the evening went on, and we noticed some service issues as the night progressed.  So, if you come, come early.  Easier to park, too, though this place does have a large parking lot (just know that you will exit the lot the same way you came in, although we had to drive around a barrier to get out).  At this time, there is no alcohol being served.  They are working on getting their liquor license.  All in all, it was a great evening with good friends and good food!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Goodbye, Souk!

Today was my final trip to the souk.  I had a few things I wanted to buy before we left Oman.  Here are some of our purchases.

Our friendly shop owner.  The name of his shop is The Lexury Home.  I have bought things from this shop several times in the past two years.  How do you find his shop?  Enter in the main entrance to the souk.  Make the first right.  Keep walking and walking, passing all the fabric and clothing stalls.  When the lane ends, veer right.  This shop will be on your right.  I have bought an oil picture, several watercolor prints, and jewelry from here in the past.  Oh, and camel keychains.

Here is the Arabic coffee pot that was tops on my list.  I have always wanted one, but this pot is going to my daughter Amanda's baby shower in the US.  It is going to be an Around-the-World Theme.  

A clearer picture of the coffee pot.  Ignore the pink.  That is the reflection from my pants.

(Speaking of the baby shower, here are a couple of earlier souk purchases.)

Savannah picked out this silver khanjar  necklace.  The khanjar is the traditional Omani dagger, worn around the waist by Omani men on more formal or ceremonial occasions.  Her khanjar actually slides in and out of it's sheath.

For example...

Joe has been wanting a khanjar since we moved here.  He finally bought one last night.

A sweet moment when brother and sister are not fighting.  :)  Austin bought a gift for his girlfriend here, so it was a fruitful stop, even though I did not find the type of prints I was looking for.

Savannah also bought some 'Ray Bans', tops on her list.

Parking is hard to find around the souk, so we had to drive up and down the corniche, circling around.   I was just snapping pictures as we drove.

Great memories of my favorite part of Muscat.  Though not the greatest of pictures.  :)