Saturday, January 29, 2011

Toast Sanza Party & Wine Tasting

Yesterday was Friday and the first day of the weekend here (work week is Sunday through Thursday), but it feels more like a Sunday because it's the Muslim holy day. People go out for Friday brunch here and the car dealerships are closed as well as other types of businesses that would close on Sunday but be open on Saturday back home. It will take a bit to adjust to this I think because we not only have to start thinking of Friday as the weekend and Sunday as the start of the work week, but we also have to think of Friday here as a Sunday back home and Saturday ... well, I guess Saturday is still Saturday, just in a different order! :)

So anyway, yesterday was Friday and we decided to check out Toast Sanza, which is an annual wine tasting and BBQ event hosted by the South African, New Zealand & Australian groups in town and sponsored by one of the very few liquor stores in the city. The event was held at one of the golf clubs in town and not too far from where we're staying. It was a gorgeous day - high around 80 and very sunny. Towards the later afternoon a cool breeze picked up, which was heaven (except that it tricked us into thinking we weren't getting sunburned!) Yep, all that sunscreen and I forgot to put any on! I now have my first official Middle Eastern sunburn. I know, I know, it could be worse and be frostbite! :)

Tickets to the event were about $60 and included a wine glass, 6 wine taste tickets (which was about 1/2 a glass of wine each so plenty to drink for an afternoon) and lunch, which was a hot dog or hamburger aussie style (that is to say, HUGE). There was a DJ playing great music, some games for the kids and a silent auction. The best part is that a number of the folks from CCAD (Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi) were there so I got to meet a bunch of the people Brian had been talking about as well as the head of HR, who is currently reviewing my CV (fingers crossed!!) It was a really relaxing afternoon and the wine wasn't too bad either. Jacob's Creek, which is an Australian winery, also has a wine club membership and they sponsor wine dinners and other events in Abu Dhabi - we plan to check them out.

Brian and a couple of his Epic colleagues: Jeremy and Fatima. Oh, and don't worry, he's not two fisting it, he's holding my glass while I take the photo.
Good food, good wine, great weather and some new friends - can't ask for a better day than that!

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