A month layoff back home in NJ and we were more than ready to hit the road again. This time we we’re heading to the Middle East. First stop, Doha, Qatar.
I was expecting the worse from this long haul flight, but we broke it up a little by stopping in London. Some airlines have food the girls like, British Airways is not one of them and I knew that before we got on the plane. It was my birthday, so we had a good birthday meal at the airport. We took a night flight, which worked out really well. They both slept the entire flight. The next connecting flight was to Doha, with a stop in Bahrain, but we wouldn’t disembark the aircraft. We didn’t have very long to get to the next flight. It all went very smoothly. Olivia slept another couple of hours and Eliana watched movies. I didn’t hear any complaints at all. They really are very easy to travel with. We arrived in Doha at 10:30pm.
There was quite a large line at immigration, but it moved quite quickly. Especially since you pay for your visa when you arrive. We were out of the airport by 11:30pm and in a taxi to the hotel.
Our first thoughts of Doha was that it is really pretty. As you’re driving you see illuminated posts which change colors from Green through yellow, orange, pink and blue. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by the staff with a warm cookie. The porter took our bags up while we were still checking in and then escorted us up. He was so friendly and asked us to please call him if we needed anything, The hotel is absolutely beautiful. The girls were so impressed with our bathroom, which has both a big bath tub and a separate shower. They’ve only seen that on TV before. It was midnight and although the girls were not too sleepy we went to sleep so we could be turned around by the morning.
It worked!!! Completely refreshed and ready for a swim, but first food. We went downstairs to the restaurant. Food at the hotel is really expensive, especially after getting used to the prices in Istanbul. Between lunch and dinner we spent $170 and that was for two kids meals at lunch and two main entrees at dinner. I’m so glad that on show days dinner is provided at the theater, otherwise we would be spending a small fortune on food alone.
We enjoyed a swim and gradually cast members appeared at the pool. We were all so happy to see everyone. Olivia and Eliana were having a great time playing sharks with some of the cast members and I enjoyed chatting poolside with others. The pool is on the roof. They close it really early at 5pm. The girls are not allowed up there after that since it turns into a club. However, it seems way too early to end our day.
The following day was our first day at the QNCC. It was tech/dress rehearsal. The theater is huge and really beautiful. The chairs are large and luxurious with fold out tables. The crew had been loading in for a couple of days, so they were ready to start running a couple of songs and sound check when we arrived. I love the excitement of opening in a new venue.
We have our own dressing room and this time Eliana has her name outside too! She was so excited, jumping up and down with joy. Our container of books was placed in our room ready for us to start homeschooling again. (ok, she wasn’t so happy about that part).
Yesterday was opening night. We were not being picked up from the hotel till 4pm, so we had the day to relax. I decided to book a massage, my late birthday present to myself. It was exactly what I needed to get rid of any final kinks from flying. There was a thunderstorm which was forecast to last the entire day, so we headed for the gym . We had only been on the treadmills for about five minutes when a lady who worked there came over and said we would need to leave. I was so upset. The girls had not been allowed in the spa area. They were not allowed on the rooftop after 6pm and now the gym too. Was there nothing they’re allowed to do at the hotel? OK, it looks wonderful, but they’re going to be miserable pretty quickly if they can only be in the room, especially with the long hours in the dressing room at the theater. Also, we’re touring, so they’re not getting any of the usual gym classes. They need to have exercise. I went to speak to management. They could tell I was really upset. They immediately apologized and gave us access to the gym. Of course, I wouldn’t have been nearly as upset if the sun was out and we could use the pool and to be fair, it’s unusual that the sun isn’t out here.
We left for the theater at 4pm. When we arrived we had dinner and got some school work done. Then it was showtime! It was a full house. 2300 seats filled. As the first song started we heard the audience applaud. Oh, that feels so good. Olivia’s face was gleaming. The show was wonderful and well received. There’s nothing like screams at the curtain call.
The QNCC will be our home away from the hotel till our last show here on March 19th.