Our five year adventure in Doha, Qatar ended June 1, 2012, but the memories will always remain. It's back to Texas where I have decided...Qatar isn't cornering the market on "quirky", as I once believed. Thanks for opening my eyes to the world, Doha!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kristi Recap

My partner in crime, Kristi, departed Doha this morning, but not without a last request of chocolate chip pancakes for a 5:00 a.m. breakfast reservation. I obliged and am still trying to sort out if that appeasal equals to supermom or super spoiled. I report, you decide. Even though we had no tiger sightings, we had one heck of a whirlwind week. We did it all from facials to picnics on the corniche (in front of famous buildings, no less) to jeep cruising with the top off, WTA tennis, Doha Tribecca Film Festival, and not without tons of great food. It was a special week and we hated to see her leave, but we were running out of money. Smile. Thanks for the memories, Kristi!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Pigeons, Oh My!

This has been animals gone wild week in Doha with tigers on the loose infiltrating the Qatar twitter stream. Constant updates on tiger sightings and warnings were keeping us easily amused tweeps, just that. Supposedly the ISF (Internal Security Forces) had helicopters out searching for the supposed perp, so it's not just obscene cupcakes that bring out the big guns. After all was said and done, I don't know how much of the story was true, but it was fun all the same. In our little pink villa world, there were a couple of unusual animal sightings, as well. David spotted the unusual predicament below while peering out the bathroom window. Even the birds here have "only in Doha" moments.

I know there's a terrific caption to go along with this pic,
but for the life of me I can't come up with it.

We had a tiger sighting of sorts while having our breakfast yesterday morning. One of the stray, freeloading, mooching, nonpaying hotel kittens decided she wanted to join us for breakfast.

"Seriously, would you just knock next time??"

p.s. there was a hole the size of a small coin that she totally exploited.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Pampano~Muy Bueno!

What better excuse to try out The Pearl's Mexican restaurant, Pampano, than a birthday celebration. The fact that the birthday girl, Kayla, couldn't join in didn't deter us from honoring her monumental entry into our world twenty three years ago. So, it was off to The Pearl for the next best thing to Tex-Mex, real Mexican food. Pampano's, Chef Fabian, is an absolute jewel that made our visit welcoming and personal. In our pre-order chat with him, we confessed that we were die hard Texans with a hankering for Tex-Mex and the "lamb enchiladas" on the menu were a far cry from what we were accustomed. With a snap of the chef's fingers, it was move over lamb, enter chicken. Simply that easy. I adore customer service. We started our meal off with guacamole freshly prepared at our table. Kristi and I opted for appetizers as our meal, shrimp empanadas and beef filet tacos. Kristi really enjoyed her enchiladas while I preferred the soft corn tacos. Tasting David's custom chicken enchiladas transcended me back to Texas momentarily, which was the goal at hand. We topped off our meal with chocolate flan and tres leches desserts. Not the correct names, but you'll be able to figure it out. Both were delicious, but we all leaned towards the tres leches as our favorite. Bottom line: Kayla's birthday meal was delicious and fun persuading the three of us to deem Pampano as a keeper.



Soft, warm colors. Booths and tables separated by flowing curtains to create an intimate setting. Elegant, but not pretentious.
Service: Very good. Improved even more when we initiated conversation. Hey, we're from Texas. It's what we do.

380QR ($106) for 1 entree, 2 appetizers, 1 guacamole, 1 dessert (one on the house) 2 large waters.

(Ok, that's a whole lot for Tex-Mex when you are from Texas, but when in Doha, you do what you gotta do to go home without traveling 8000 miles!)


Chef Fabian from Monterrey Mexico

Note: We've visited two other local hotel Tex-Mex restaurants and this one beats them hands down.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DTFF Up and Running

Finally, the much talked about Doha Tribecca Film Festival arrived in Doha yesterday. With Kristi in tow, I figured it was time to check out what all the hype was about regarding it and Doha's new cultural center, Katara. To sum it up, down right impressive is what I found. I'm just sorry I didn't jump on the DTFF bus sooner and snatch up tickets to the workshops and screenings coming up in the next few days, if for no other reason than to maybe catch a glimpse of the celebrities that they bring to town, such as Robert De Niro, Salma Hayek, Kevin Spacey, among a few surprises thrown in. The one major drawback for the festival for me is that it runs neck and neck with Doha's Sony Ericsson Women's Tennis Tournament, but fortunately that didn't stop us from catching the screening of the film "Outside the Law", last night. My first French film...I'm so "cultured" now. The amphitheater, open air theater and the grounds that Katara offers are absolutely stunning. Hats off to Qatar and The Doha Tribecca Film Festival for staging such a wonderful event. Looking forward to more to come.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Birthdays & Beyond



the anniversary of a birthday: My beautiful daughter, Kayla, is celebrating her 23rd birthday today.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

the rest of the story...


–noun a person who evades his or her duty or work; shirker: Sybil is such a slacker when it comes to updating her blog.

How do I feel about my blog "slacking"?

relief [ri-leef]


alleviation, ease or deliverance through the removal of pain, distress, oppression, etc.: Sybil feels great relief when there is not an unwritten blog post hanging over her head.
over her head.
So, what am I going to do about it?

enjoy [en-joi]

to experience with joy; take pleasure in: Kristi and Sybil enjoyed their facials and lunch at The W's, Spice Market, yesterday and are looking forward to more girl fun this week.

I Think About You ~ Collin Raye
Dedicated to Kayla
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Friday, October 22, 2010

All Systems "Go"

As in
"Go and get the hell out of Dodge"
while you can, Kristi!

Our main concern regarding daughter Kristi's France departure was getting here to Paris for the flight to Doha. Qatar Airways has been getting their flights in and out of the country, but the strikes and protests have been wreaking havoc on France's rail schedules. Updates about what trains are and aren't running are posted nightly (in French) on their website. Last night, while grazing the buffet at the "Ponderosa" (what can I say, we needed a little variety in our Bennigan's, Friday's, Chili's rotation), I received an exciting text. Kristi had used her mad French skills to determine that the train ticket in her hand is actually going to be valid for her trip this afternoon. Fingers crossed. It must have been my Give it a Rest, France post a few days ago that did the trick ;)

I, in turn, used my mad English skills to determine that her Paris to Doha flight is looking good, as well. Fingers crossed.

So, barring any last minute roadblocks, it'll be rise and shine for us tomorrow morning to meet Kristi at her 5:50 AM scheduled arrival. Fingers crossed.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Give it a Rest, France

This tweet from Kristi about sums it up...

Who would have ever thought that I'd ever give a rat's patooty about the comings and goings of French politics. The extent of my France thought process is sipping lattes and nibbling on croissants. Well, that was until it got personal. It seems that Kristi has found herself in the middle of French history, a piece of history that she could do without. Simply put, the government is on the verge of bankruptcy and its financial woes could possibly be lessened if the retirement age were raised from 60 to 62*. Gasp. Come on France, your life expectancy these days is a few points shy of 81. Are you seriously planning on lounging in the French Riviera for twenty years on the government's dime? Never mind, don't answer that. Forgive me for sounding a bit perturbed, but my baby girl is in your fine country with a train and plane ticket to exit on Friday, but with all the striking and rioting, it's becoming more unlikely that her exodus to Qatar will happen. All that mother and daughter bonding, aka shopping and eating, is becoming a distant dream. Suck it up France. I have a daughter to catch up with.

*Yes, surely there's more to it, but I'm not sure what.

Do you think that these kids wreaking all the havoc have any idea of what they are protesting?

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Signs of the Times

While out and about this afternoon...

End of Construction...really?

No time to order a new sign?
Just paper over an existing one.

I'm sure it wasn't important.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

The W's Market Restaurant

Kristi's thoughts on turning "21" in France

First things first...

The "baby" has turned 21.
Hope you have a great celebration in France!

...see you Saturday!

I made my first trip to The W's Market Restaurant this week for a friend's "going back to Texas" gathering. I found the atmosphere to be ultra modern, but very warm and cozy. There was a set menu for lunch which included an appetizer, main course, and dessert. The selection seemed quite broad for a set menu and priced at 80QR, a bargain compared to other Doha restaurant hotel prices I've seen. I chose the tomato soup, the grilled hammour, and cheesecake.

I loved the added touch of the server pouring my soup into my bowl before my eyes. What can I say, I'm easily entertained. It was excellent by the way.

My choice of the grilled hammour for my main course was questionable. The menu said it had mushrooms, but my gosh, where was the fish? By the time I finished plucking and passing my mushrooms around the table I only had a tiny, tiny, tiny piece of fish. It was ok, nothing spectacular. Did I mention that the hammour was tiny?

I got over that little trinket of protein as soon as they brought out the cheesecake and sorbet.

It was exquisite to the last crumb. You know, the kind of good where you want to pick up the plate and lick it clean? Not to worry, I exercised great restraint. I just might want to return one day!

Final Impression:
Atmosphere: Great
Service: Very attentive
Food: Soup~excellent, Hammour~just ok, Cheesecake~perfect
Price for set lunch menu: 80QR ($22)
Iced Tea: 30QR (cheap tip of the day~drink water & save 6 bucks)

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